My Favorite Road

“What’s your favorite road?”

That question comes up a lot from people who find out I’ve driven every mile on the map.They’re curious. What’s my favorite restaurant? Favorite bed and breakfast? Favorite state park?

The question came up in Trenton. I love Highway 6 because it’s seasoned by a pair of great Mexican restaurants, one in St. Jo. Down the road, the reason Milan’s Flor de Mexico in Milan serves the best Mexican food? home cookin’.

But my favorite road?

In Steelville, 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, a patient BBC host endured my survey report listing Britain’s three favorite Americans, all Missourians. I added a fourth…

But my favorite road?

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

Rolla radio guessed my favorite road might be Route 66. I love the Mother Road. And those other legendary Missouri highways: The Avenue of the Greats. The Tightwad Turnpike. Bushwhacker Boulevard and the Fox Trotter.

Great roads. Each road has its own soul. Blues Alley. The Blue Eye Byway. The Great River Road and The Route of the Canoes. Little Swiss Parkway. The Baldknobber. The Toad Suck Trail.

OK I made up some of those names.

Motorcyclists ride the rollercoaster roads along the Ozark Hellbender, the Jesse James Getaway and the Elephant Rock and Roll.

But not my favorite.

Some roads are bigger than life. 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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