THE FAR COUNTRY 120 MILES • Hwys 63, 136; Rtes 81, 16, 6
IF YOUR QUEST is to reach the reachable star, this route—on the state’s far northeast corner—should top your list. The trail starts in Kirksville, nicknamed Missouri’s North Star, home to two universities and the site of a major battle in the American Civil War. Confederate soldiers executed in the city were buried in a mass grave at Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery, a few blocks west of Kirksville’s Square. Before you ride or after you finish, be sure to stop in the Wooden Nickel Restaurant for a great meal. For more information, go to VisitKirksville.com. From Kirksville, head north on Highway 63 to the town of Lancaster. In 1869, Howard R. Hughes Sr.—the father of the eccentric fil maker and millionaire Howard Hughes Jr.— was born in Lancaster. He would attend military school in Mexico, Missouri, before finding fortune as a tool inventor. At Lancaster, catch Highway 136 east to [ 18 ] 2016 Missouri Motorcycle Guide
Memphis, Missouri. Drop in at Keith’s Café for everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to T-bone steaks. You’ll also want to go to MemphisMoChamber.com to check the schedule for community events, such as the Scotland County Antique Fair, August 24 through 28. Continue on Highway 136 east out of Memphis to Kahoka. At Kahoka, catch Route 81 south to Canton. This scenic town located right on the west bank of the Mississippi River has a lot to offer visitors, whether it’s dining, antique shopping, or exploring. The Buckin’ Bull Saloon serves up cold beverages, sandwiches, pool, and pizza Wednesday through Saturday. If you want to cook your own, most of the city parks in Canton have barbecue grills for public use. A complete list is available at ShowMeCantonMo.com. In Canton, look for Route 16 and take that east to New Court, where it meets Route 6. Follow Route 6 back to Kirksville.
Historic home, Kirksville