Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Favorite Motorcycle Pit Stops: Rolla, MO to Chandler, OK

A year ago, Bill and I started traveling this route on our motorcycles once or twice a year. I want to share our favorite stops along Interstate 44 from Rolla, MO to Chandler, OK. 

Our General Criteria

Our criteria is not listed in any certain order or priority.
  • Cleanliness
  • Within 1 mile of the highway 
  • Fuel and food are both available
  • Good food for $10 or under
  • Premium fuel (93-91 octane) is available
  • Fuel and food  are within one city block of each other
  • Ease of access when arriving or departing the business
  • Ease of access when departing or entering Interstate 44, Will Rodgers Turnpike, and Turner Turnpike
  • Friendly staff

 From East to West

  • Rolla, MO     

Fuel: Moto Mart    
Moto Mart has a large parking lot with adequate parking close to the building and at the pumps. I've stopped here many times. Immediately behind Moto Mart, you will find Los Cazadores.

I think this is the best Mexican food in the area. You can get a platter full of piping hot food for $6-$12. Urbanspoon.com users have established a 91% rating for Los Cazadores. 
  • Lebanon, MO

Fuel: Lebanon Eagle Stop, 2545 Granite Lane
FoodDickey's Barbecue Pit, Granite Lane

Eagle Stop is busy, but it also has 93 octane, premium fuel. The lot is good sized; it is easy to enter and exit.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit is next door and has it's own large parking lot. This is a franchised chain with a standardized menu. For dessert,patrons can help themselves to soft serve ice cream. I love the Route 66 antique, collectible, car theme at Dickey's.
  • Sarcoxie, MO

Fuel and Food: Kum n Go with an attached Subway

We have stopped here on three separate occasions while traveling west. The restrooms are for a single occupant. However we still like to stop here.
  • Joplin, MO

 Fuel and Food: Petro Stopping Center
Iron Skillet Restaurant, Blimpie, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Caribou Coffee

This is a great place to stop because it offers several dining options with lots of seating.
  • Vinita, OK

Fuel: NO
Food: Clanton's Cafe

Fuel someplace else. We found 10% ethanol at the two stations we tried. Plus, there is limited availability for 91 octane, crowded gas pumps, AND it was difficult to enter and exit the two stations we have been to.

Clanton's Cafe is a Route 66 landmark that has been featured on Food Network. Great place to eat. The bathrooms are the original, one occupant facilities. Cute signs adorn the walls in the women's bathroom and make for entertaining reading.
  • Big Cabin, OK 

Fuel and Food: Big Cabin Travel Plaza with The Cherokee Restaurant

Bill and I enjoy stopping at this truck stop. The staff in the restaurant are friendly, the service is excellent, and an ATM is available. Be careful leaving the parking lot because this is a popular stop with truck drivers too.
  • Claremore, OK

Fuel: Quiktrip Convenience Store #66
Food: fruit, baked goods, typical convenience store

This is a brief fuel stop for us. A Motel 8 is located about two blocks west of the convenience store.
  • Tulsa, OK

Fuel: Quiktrip
Food: Hardrock Hotel and Casino

Quiktrip is a national chain with standardized regulations for each store. Hardrock Hotel is a great place to stop, but the cost for lunch and dinner is in the $10 to $20 range.

You can detour around Tulsa if necessary by getting off at this exit, going back east about two miles and entering the Creek Turnpike. Our experience with the first, unmanned toll booth on the Creek Turnpike wasn't stellar. No change machine was available so make sure you have quarters, nickels, and dimes. The turnpike was very nice though.
  • Stroud, OK

Fuel: On Cue Express
Food: Rock Cafe

We usually need a full tank of gas when we arrive at the Stroud exit and this station is very close to the turnpike exit. At this point in our trip, I like to take old Route 66 from Stroud to Chandler. Honestly, I've had enough high speed travel on the turnpike this far into our 400 mile trip.

The Rock Cafe is a nationally known, Route 66 diner. This diner has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and television.
  • Chandler, OK    

Fuel: Limited Choice
Food: Route 66/OK 66 has a variety of restaurants

We do not normally eat or fuel in Chandler because it is within twelve miles of our destination. However, the food link will take you to a list of local restaurants along Route 66 that I have passed on our trips.


I'm sure some of you may have noticed that Springfield, MO is not on this list. Traffic is heavy in this area due to tourism, hospitals, colleges, and events. Gas prices tend to be higher in the Springfield area. Bill and I prefer to stop before or after Springfield when we are traveling west.