By Laura Huffman and Beth Wiles for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau
If your bike could talk it would ask, maybe even demand, to ride to Pulaski County. Home to legendary highways, scenic Ozark byways, timeless rivers, and iconic roadhouses, this day trip defines the classic American ride.
Starting in Saint Robert follow Route 66 east through Devils Elbow to J Highway and catch the north outer road east towards Jerome. D Highway winds through this town that was platted for General John C. Fremont at the close of the Civil War. The ninety-degree curve marks the beginning of your climb up Dixon Hill- terrain that has challenged railroad surveyors for over 150 years. At Dogpatch Corner turn right onto Highway 28 towards Dixon, or left to see what’s shaking at Wooden Nickel Saloon.
In Dixon, if you are hankering for home-style cooking pop into the Homeplate Bar and Grill on Elm Street. Returning to the road, turn west onto 4th Street/C Highway/Highway 133 towards Crocker. 133 meanders lazily along the Burlington Northern railroad tracks. You may recognize the rolling prairie landscape from indie movie favorite Dystopia: 2013.
Turn left onto Highway 17 and lean in as it snakes you through Crocker and into Waynesville, the home of Hoppers Pub and sixty-six different beers on tap.
Traveling west from Waynesville’s historic downtown square you will cross the “roaring” Roubidoux River atop the storied Route 66 arch bridge. T Highway careens through the Gasconade River valley before leveling off at the old Swedish settlement of Swedeborg. Turn left back onto Highway 133 and chase the train’s whistle into Richland- home of the Chopper Shop and local favorite, The Burger Stand.
Leaving Richland, south on Highway 7, the road cuts a swath through a Gasconade river bend and plays hide and seek with itself in a section atop the rugged bluffs before diving into the river’s valley. Reward yourself with cold beverages at Roadhouse Bar & Grill– the “other” headquarters of Mid America Freedom Rally. [UPDATE: Roadhouse Bar & Grill is temporarily closed and expects to re-open July/August 2018]
A short side trip off of Route 66 at Interstate 44 Exit 156 (Waynesville) onto H Highway will take you to pay your respects to our American veterans at Missouri State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Leonard Wood.
Route 66 east returns you to Devils Elbow on the Big Piney River. Shake off the road dust and settle into the Elbow Inn’s mouthwatering BBQ. Cap off your tour with a trophy picture of your scoot on the all-American 1923 steel bridge with the stunning Sugar Bowl bluffs in the background.
For more ideas of things to see and do in Pulaski County stop by the Visitors Center in Saint Robert or online at www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com