Salem Missouri Club Cruise 2004

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On Saturday, April 3rd, we began our Salem cruise.  All those who wanted to go met at the TA truck stop on I-44.  Our fearless leader (Steve) was already there, and as I pulled up to the exit my cell phone rang.  It was Jim Wagner with bad news.  It seemed that he was still having trouble with his truck and got as far as Joplin before he turned around and went back home.  Sorry you couldn't make it Jim and Margie, we had a lot of fun!

Those who went were: Steve and Carol, Russ and Cheryl and Cal and I.  We were meeting Carl around Rolla so we could all go for a late lunch, early dinner before the cruise.

We started off with Steve in the lead, Russ in the middle and Cal and I in the rear
(as usual....heh, it's hard to get pictures if I'm in the lead)!  We stopped around Richland for a potty break.....'cuz Steve looked as if his eyes were floating, then continued on to meet Carl on the side of the road where he just slid right in to take the lead!


When we reached Rolla, we followed Carl to Johnny's Smokestack and all pigged out!  Carl said it's rated the "best" BBQ in Missouri!  Then it was time to walk things off, so we headed to the Ranch motel to get checked in then Carl had a surprise for us!

After check in, we followed Carl (Cal and I road with him in his truck) to a friend of his and local "car enthusiast" Lyle Hutchens who belongs to the "Salem Current River Cruise Club" (among others)!  As we pulled in the drive, all you could see were old cars rebuilt and painted, and what looked like an old gas station with the old "bubble pumps" outside.  As we walked inside I felt as if I had gone back to the 50's all over again, and even remembered some of the parts I had seen at my dads gas/service station back in the 60's.  There was even an old coca cola pop machine and a totally restored Wurlitzer jukebox sitting in the office.  Lyle actually played some records on it for us while we listened.


After walking around in this huge shop and even spotting some old parts he bought still in there original hangers, we walked outside and down the hill to another huge building.  Sitting outside of this Museum was a beautiful hard top convertible Ford Fairlane with the barn and windmill behind it just waiting for me to snap a picture (which I did of course)!


When I walked inside I once again felt as if I was walking back into time.  From the old cash register, to the couch built out of a chevy rear end, to the stop light and no parking signs, there were so many vehicles that I lost count after the first 10!


I took pictures of what was available in the front room, but when we walked into the back, there were tractors, bull dozers, car and truck parts and even a great "parts" store behind the shop!  It was the "neatest" junk yard I had ever seen!  Although Lyle had to mow around it, each car was parked neatly side by side, all in rows just waiting for him to come down, pick one up and bring it to the shop to begin restoration!


Of course, I fell in love with a couple cars, but the C600 was my favorite.  I would have given anything to hook a wagon up to it and go "trailer truckin'!"  What a "beauty!"





On our walk back up the hill I stopped once again to take another shot of the Fairlane!  I think the pix turned out just GREAT!  The guys walked over to the back of the shop and pulled open a garage door to unveil a train sitting on the tracks.  Lyle's wife told us that they made the track from old road sign posts, and when I looked closer I could just picture all those faded green posts sticking in the upright position as a road sign never knowing that they were to be reused as a railroad track for the grandkids!


We said our "goodbyes" and "see you in a bit" 'cuz they were fixing to go to the Cruise In also, so off we went back to the motel to get my truck, grab a jacket 'cuz it was supposed to cool down, and away we went down the street to the Cruise In.

(How'd I get in that one? Cal? What were you doing with the camera? But that's a cool looking Nissan on the left!)

When we got to the Cruise In (which was held at the local Wal-Mart Super Center), we all picked a spot, and I grabbed the camera, snapped a few pictures and handed it over to Cal so the ladies could take a walk to Wal-Mart for some much needed shopping!  OK, so we really didn't need to do any, but it was getting chilly and the wind was blowing pretty hard, so we thought we'd enjoy the "indoors" for a while!



When we came back out, the guys were all tired and ready to sit down for a while so we went to "Mom's Ice Cream & More" for some coffee and pie!  That was the BEST pie I have had in......FOREVER!  And although the owner "Ginny" swore that the coffee was just regular roast Folgers, it was a great cup too!  I had the peanut butter pie, that was so rich I think it was beginning to "melt" before it even hit my lips!  Y-U-M-M-Y!  I'm coming back for more!

We're working on having Ginny bring her great pies and ice creams to the run.  They make everything from scratch (except the ice cream), and I'm sure once you've tried one bite, you'll be back for more before the day is over! They also have waffle cones which they make themselves too, so if you're not in the mood for pie, you can enjoy a great cone!

Ginny has been in Salem for almost 2 years now and has numerous awards and news articles about the shop up on her walls.  It's no wonder too because she's got a neat shop, and the attitude of those who work for her is top notch!  She's just the kind of lady who you would want for your mom!  The following day Cal and I stopped by to chat for a few minutes, grab a quick cup of that great coffee and smell the pan fried chicken she was cooking up for lunch.  Too bad it was only ten o'clock!  I look forward to seeing her at the run.  I think everyone will be more than pleased at her fantastic deserts!  Thanks Ginny for treating us like we were family!  You made our night!

We all went back to the motel after our pie and coffee, Carl went home and told us he'd see us in the morning for breakfast when Hazel (his wife) got off work.  The night was a blurr, but I'm not sure anybody slept really well because we lost an hour of sleep, we weren't in our own beds, and some weirdo decided that he was going to peel around behind the trucks in the parking lot at 3 in the morning!  I would have given anything to have had my Co2 to take pop shots at him from the door in my PJ's!

We were all at the trucks in the morning getting ready to check out when Carl picked us up in his car.......we were expecting his truck so were all shocked when he pulled up behind us in the parking lot.  We followed him into town to a "house" called the "Spring Creek Cafe'" (yes, this was an old house turned into a restaurant).  We parked outside and walked in!  It was cool!  The breakfast was simple, yet good, and the best part was it was inexpensive! (something the guys really liked)

We all chatted while we were drinking coffee and waiting for our breakfast, and when we were done we stood outside and chatted a little more.  Russ and Cheryl were cutting through the "sticks" to get back home.  Steve and Carol were going back via interstate so Steve could check out the parts he bought while in Oklahoma City at a giant swap meet a few days before, and Cal and I followed Carl to look at some property they had for sale and get a few day time pictures of Mom's.  We chatted some more then headed back via the interstate to Springfield.  Of course, we had to check out a few antique shops along the way, but we were home by late afternoon, in time to unload the truck and Cal to check out the lawn mower for the first time this year!

Thanks Carl for showing us a great time!  You're a really good host and I'm sure we won't soon forget our cruise!  We're honored to have you as a member in the club!

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