Cheryl John London

My Favorite Road


What’s your favorite road?”

I get that question a lot.

It’s natural, since folks know I’ve driven every mile on the map.

They’re curious. What’s my favorite restaurant? Favorite bed and breakfast? Favorite state park?

At a chamber banquet in Trenton, the questions came up. I told the audience I adore Highway 6, seasoned by a pair of great Mexican restaurants, one in St. Jo, another down the road in Milan.

But my favorite?

At a Steelville speech, I answered that Highway 8 is a pretty ribbon looping past Maramec Springs and Wildwood Springs and the Huzzah and the Courtois.

But my favorite?

In a London studio, it was fun chatting with BBC listeners about a survey listing Britain’s three favorite Americans, all Missourians. I reminded them of a fourth…

But my favorite?

A Jeff City radio host got me to reveal my favorite stream.

Rolla radio guessed that my favorite road might be Route 66.

Love the Mother Road,” I gushed. “And those other legendary Missouri highways: The Avenue of the Greats. The Tightwad Turnpike. Bushwhacker Boulevard and the Fox Trotter.”

There are so many great roads,” I told a Moberly crowd. “And each road has its own soul. From Blues Alley to the Blue Eye Byway. The Great River Road and The Route of the Canoes. Little Swiss Parkway. The Baldknobber. The Toad Suck Trail.

Some of those nicknames,” I confessed, “are my own.”

Motorcycle riders search for rollercoaster roads. And I point them toward self-guided tours along the Ozark Hellbender, the Jesse James Getaway and the Elephant Rock and Roll. Real trails…all twisty fun!

But not my favorite.

Historians point to roads that began as conduits westward. The Santa Fe Trail. The Oregon Trail. The California Trail. Each offered hope for pioneers who found themselves in a rut. You can even follow the Lewis & Clark Trail, and the Boonslick Trail. Historic.

But not my favorite…

My favorite always will be Highway 17, for one special reason. Winding south from Eugene, past the graves of the Ma and Pa of the Beverly Hillbillies, along a robust Roubidoux Creek through Waynesville, unfolding toward the home of the world’s greatest clown, long before it crosses my favorite Ozark stream, Highway 17 approaches a tiny Texas County town, and becomes…

The Road to Success.


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