The Snowmads: Jason and Kristin Snow are an adventure-addicted couple who walked away from corporate jobs and a conventional life last year to travel a new road. This is an excerpt from their drive on Route 66. For the full article click here.
For our first night in Springfield, we decided to stay north of the city and have our first experience parking overnight for free at a winery, thanks to recently joining a great camping club called Harvest Hosts. Well, I say “free”, but really mean that we bought several bottles of tasty wine to offset our lack of camping fees!
It was a lovely evening with great company getting to know the winery owners, drinking tasty wine, and playing yard games. Be sure to check out Oovvda Winery even if you aren’t camping there – they offer a great wine tasting and their bottles are very affordably priced, with a large backyard full of tables to enjoy them.
The next morning, we ventured into Springfield to explore. A positive impression was formed very quickly: it’s a surprisingly modern, artistic, welcoming, bike/pedestrian/dog friendly town with some great restaurants and bars, and two noteworthy breweries.
Our first order of business was a stroll through downtown with our dogs to get a sense of the city. Besides a bustling street fair showcasing local artists, we encountered lots of quirky little shops, a strong environmental movement, and parking meters dubbed “giving meters” to donate money to feed the hungry. Color me impressed!
Our first refreshment of the day was at Springfield Brewing. Who could say no to this sign??
Then, as if there was still any doubt about whether we should be there, the dog friendly second floor patio with complimentary biscuits won us (and the four-legged ones) over.
Our next stop, and an easy few blocks’ walk away, was Mother’s Brewing. We walked into their backyard “patio”, which is their tasting room entrance, to find an all-day Wiffle Ball tournament underway! We grabbed a couple pints and kicked back to watch some of the action. It too was very dog friendly and we had a wonderful afternoon in the sun watching the games and occasionally catching an errant ball.
After meeting some of the brewery’s friendly and dog-loving staff, we were invited to spend the night in their parking lot across the street, giving us more time to explore downtown and making it a safe and easy walk back home that night (read: we could try a lot more delicious beer and not worry about driving!).
Later that night, we randomly found ourselves at the scene of the 5th annual Queen City Beard and Moustache competition, which was an absolute blast. A live bluegrass band played both our wedding song,”Swept Away” by the Avett Brothers, and Knoxville’s anthem, “Rocky Top”, which we took to be a strong sign we were exactly where we should be! We met some amazing people that night who we will undoubtedly want to meet back up with in the future.
We had hoped to make it to a minor league baseball game while we were in town, but sadly ran out of time. Springfield is high on our list for a longer visit in the future. There was a lot more culture than we’d expected in central Missouri, and plenty of great food and drink to keep us occupied for much longer than one day!
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