Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 25 Summer Vacation 2008

Today is Day 25 Thursday July 31 2008.

If Arizona was our favourite part of Route 66, well, I would say that what we are going to do and see today on this part of Route 66 is our second favourite part of Route 66.

We got up early and left Vinita Oklahoma.

July 31

First stop is the Afton Station in Afton Oklahoma. We wanted to have our pictures taken with Tripper the Penguin, but unfortunately the Station was closed. We did not get to meet Laurel the proprietor, but this will give us an excuse to come back another time another year. I did take some good photos of Afton Station.

6 Rte 66 Afton OK

After leaving Afton Station, it wasn’t too long and we were driving on the famous 9 foot wide section of Route 66. Sometimes referred to as the sidewalk road. It is only 9 feet wide, but we got to drive right down the center because we did not encounter any oncoming traffic. The shoulders are wide enough to pull over and allow oncoming traffic to pass.

36 Rte 66 9 Foot Wide btwn Narcissa & Miami OK

18 Rte 66 9 Foot Wide btwn Afton & Narcissa OK

The next stop was the town of Miami Oklahoma. I spotted this really neat old traffic light that had been retrofitted with new led lights.

43 Rte 66 Miami OK

After leaving Miami, we drove through Quapaw OK and then crossed the border into Kansas where we found this neat old bridge. The Rainbow Bridge in Baxter Springs Kansas.

67 Rte 66 Marsh Arch Bridge Baxter Springs KS

74 Rte 66 Marsh Arch Bridge Baxter Springs KS

We stopped a lot today to take photos. In the town of Baxter Springs we visited at the restored Phillips Station which is also a small Route 66 museum. I got a kick out of the proprietors license plate on her car.

62 Rte 66 Baxter Springs KS

There is only about 14 miles of Route 66 in the State of Kansas, but there is sure a lot to do and stop and see. We stopped and bought drinks at Eisler Brothers in Riverton Kansas. Then we drove into Galena Kansas were we stopped for lunch at a new business that had recently opened up on Route 66. 4 Women on the Route and the home of the famous tow truck “Tow Tater” which was the inspiration for the cartoon character “ Tow Mater” in the Disney Pixar movie Cars. Here is a picture of Karen and I standing next to the now famous tow truck.

113 Rte 66 4 Women on the Route Galena KS

And a picture of the renovated old gas station.

99 Rte 66 4 Women on the Route Galena KS

Leaving Galena Kansas, we entered into Joplin Missouri. Drove through the small towns of Webb, Catterville, Carthage, Phelps, Avilla, Heatonville and Spencer. We were in and out of the car taking photos of old motels, now in ruins, old gas stations, now in ruins and some that had been restored and preserved like the Boots Motel in Carthage.

134 Rte 66 Boots Motel Carthage MO

It is always the unexpected encounters that happen along Route 66 that turn out to be most memorable though and that came true when we were driving through Gay Parita Missouri. I saw this nicely renovated gas station and pulled over to take some photos. We were quite surprised to hear a voice calling to us and asking us to come on in. I didn’t realize that this station was occupied, a lot of the old gas stations are just spruced up but there is never anyone around. This gas station wasn’t even mentioned in any of our Route 66 books or videos that we had studied before leaving Ontario on this trip.

We pulled away from the shoulder of the road and turned into the newly renovated Sinclair Gas Station, where we were warmly greeted by Gary Turner.

159 Rte 66 Gary's Sinclair Station at Gay Parita MO

You can’t help but like Gary the minute you first meet him, his hospitality is becoming well known around the world and certainly on Route 66. He loves the old road and is eager to tell you his stories. We spent a very pleasurable hour visiting with Gary and enjoyed a couple of sodas while we chatted and learnt more about the road ahead of us. Karen and Gary posed for a picture.

172 Rte 66 Gary's Sinclair Station at Gay Parita MO

Then Gary took a picture of Karen and I holding his Route 66 flag.

165 Rte 66 Gary's Sinclair Station at Gay Parita MO

We are both looking forward to our next road trip on Route 66 so that we can stop in and say hi to Gary again. This is a MUST STOP if you are in Missouri driving on Route 66.

We stayed overnight in Springfield Missouri.

To see all of our photos from today, you can click on the link to my FLICKR site.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 24 Summer Vacation 2008

Today is Day 24 Wednesday July 30 2008

July 30

We got an early start to our day and headed to Arcadia Oklahoma to visit the newly opened Pops and to see the famous Round Barn.

1 Rte 66 Pops - Arcadia OK

I have never seen such a large selection of every kind of pop / soda drink as I have at this location. You name it and they probably have it. I have never seen a round barn either.

4 Rte 66 Round Barn Arcadia OK

We stopped for photos at the Seaba Station in Warwick Oklahoma, and then on to the restored Phillips 66 gas station in Chandler OK. We were disappointed to learn that the famous Route 66 Rock Cafe had suffered a fire. We had planned on stopping for lunch here.

24 Rte 66 Rock Cafe Stroud OK

There has been aggressive reconstruction underway during the spring of 2009 so I am sure that they will be re-opened by summer 2009.

We drove through the towns of Bristow, Kellyville, Sapulpa and Bowden. Then it was into Catoosa for a photo op with a Blue Whale.

61 Rte 66 Blue Whale Catoosa OK

The Blue Whale is a must see stop along Route 66.

We had milk shakes at the Top Hat Dairy Bar in Foyil OK.

77 Rte 66 Top Hat Dairy Bar Foyil OK

Then we took a little side trip off of the Mother Road to visit Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park. The claim to fame here is the “Worlds Largest Concrete Totem Pole”, standing at 90 ft tall. Everything here in this park was built by Ed Galloway, one pail of concrete at a time.

81 Totem Pole Park  Worlds Largest Totem Pole 90 ft tall Foyil OK

We stayed overnight in Vinita Oklahoma and went for dinner at one of the largest McDonald restaurants in the world. The unique thing about this restaurant is that it is situated over and above the Interstate I –44.

117 Worlds Second Largest McDonalds over I-44 Vinita OK

121 Worlds Second Largest McDonalds over I-44 Vinita OK

To see all of our photos from today you can click on my FLICKR site.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 23 Summer Vacation 2008

Today is Day 23 Tuesday July 29 2008

We are only going to drive 135 KM today, but again, this is a day packed full of things to do and see. We will drive from Clinton OK to Oklahoma City OK.

jul 29

First stop is The Route 66 Museum in Clinton Oklahoma.

3 Rte 66 Clinton OK

The museum is chock full of Route 66 memorabilia and historical information. There are many other Route 66 things to see in Clinton beside the museum so make some time to drive around. Here are a couple of photos.

29 Rte 66 Clinton OK

31 Rte 66 Clinton OK

Heading East out of Clinton we came to Weatherford OK and got up close and personal with a wind generating turbine. Everyone who is against generating wind energy insists that these things are very loud. Well Karen and I did not have any difficulty conversing back and forth while standing under one of these things. Another argument is that the cattle are spooked by them. The cattle in this field seemed perfectly comfortable. They were coming to check us out at the edge of the fence.

36 Rte 66 Weatherford OK

I haven’t taken a photo of the car in a few days. We bought a Route 66 Flag to display as we are driving.

37 Rte 66 Weatherford OK

We passed the abandoned Route 66 Drive In in Weatherford OK.

38 Rte 66 Weatherford OK

We had lunch at the new Lucilles restaurant in Weatherford. There is a nice concrete stretch of 66 with the original curbs between Weatherford OK. and Hydro OK.

42 Rte 66 btwn Weatherford & Hydro OK

Then we found the original Lucilles Restaurant in Hydro OK.

43 Rte 66 Hydro OK

Here is another nice section of Route 66 between Hydro OK and Bridgeport OK.

50 Rte 66 btwn Hydro & Bridgeport OK

Then we came upon the 3/4 mile long Pony Bridge between Bridgeport OK and Calumet OK.

55 Rte 66 .75 mile long PONY BRIDGE btwn Bridgeport & Calumet OK

An odd sight for us Ontarians is the red soil of the land. This picture really shows off how red the soil is. We don’t have anything like this in Ontario.

59 Rte 66 red soil btwn Bridgeport & Calumet OK

We drove through El Reno OK and around Lake Overholser and through Bethany OK till we arrived at our hotel in Oklahoma City for the evening.

All of our photos are posted on my FLICKR site if you wish to take a look

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 22 Summer Vacation 2008

Today is Day 22 Monday July 28 2008

Today we are going to drive from Amarillo Texas to Clinton Oklahoma. It is only about 300 KM distance, but it is going to take us most of the day because there is so much to stop and see along the way.

July 28

First photo op is what is billed as “The Largest Cross In the Western Hemisphere” I am glad that they didn’t claim it to be the largest cross in the world, because I am sure that I saw one as large, or maybe larger somewhere in Georgia last winter.

5 Rte 66 Groom TX

Then it was on to Groom Texas where we found this water tower about ready to topple over on its side.

8 Rte 66 Britten TX

It is really not going to topple over because it was designed this way to attract tourists into what once was a service center on Route 66 in Britten OK. The service center is long gone, but this water tower is a great photo op.
Then there was Jerico Gap another mud / dirt section of Route 66, needless to say we didn’t want to get the car stuck or dirty, so it was back out onto the Interstate for a few miles.

11 Rte 66 Jerico Gap TX
Allenreed Texas was next, then McLean Texas. If you are curious about why barbed wire was invented or how it is made, this is the place to learn everything and anything about barbed wire, or Devil’s Rope as they call it around here. The building also houses a very good Route 66 museum. Visit the Devil’s Rope and Route 66 Museum while in McLean Texas.
29 Rte 66 McLean TX
McLean TX also has a very well restored Phillips 66 gas station.
61 Rte 66 McLean TX
We found a section of Route 66 between McLean and Shamrock TX that still had its original 1930 concrete. This 1930 concrete was in better shape than most other roads we have driven on in either the USA or Canada.
70 Rte 66 Orig 1930 Concrete btwn McLean & Shamrock TX
The U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, but of course it is no longer an Inn, it is now the Chamber of Commerce Building and Tourist Center. It was closed today, and we are going to come across a few other Route 66 must see places that are closed today. Monday is not a good day if you want things to be open.
75 Rte 66 U-Drop Inn Shamrock TX
Closed… The Sand Hills Curiosity Shop in Erick Oklahoma. We really had hoped to meet the owners, Harley and Annabell. They have their own blog so you can stay up to date on their antics. The store front was a good photo op though for our car.
82 Rte 66 Sand Hills Curiosity Shop - Erick OK
This is one of the few places in America where you can actually see Rednecks work and play in their own environment. Insanity at its Finest. Too bad they were closed.
85 Rte 66 Sand Hills Curiosity Shop - Erick OK
Next stop was the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City Oklahoma
95 Rte 66 National Route 66 Museum - Elk City OK
We spent several hours here, because not only is there the Route 66 Museum, but there is also an Old Town Museum where there are replica buildings and displays of an old town. There is a Transportation Museum, a Train Depot, and a Farm and Ranch Museum. Lots to see and do here in Elk City OK.
181 Rte 66 Elk City OK
It is time to head for our hotel in Clinton Oklahoma, it has been a long day jumping in and out of the car, visiting museums and taking photos. Here is one of my favourite photos from today.. This shows Route 66 following the contours of the land and over to the left is the Interstate. We are the only car on Route 66 for as far as the eye can see.
191 Rte 66 btwn Foss & Clinton OK
To see all 191 of our photos from today, you can click on the link to my FLICKR site.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 21 Summer Vacation 2008

Today is Day 21 Sunday July 27 2008

We are back on Route 66 this morning after a day of rest and relaxation yesterday.

jul 27

First stop is Clines Corners, a trading post souvenir shop. Then it is on to Santa Rosa New Mexico. We stopped and took pictures at the Club Cafe, the Sun & Sand Motel and the Sahara Lounge.

Then we stopped for a couple of hours to check out the Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa NM.

14 Rte 66 Auto Museum Santa Rosa NM

18 Rte 66 Auto Museum Santa Rosa NM

This is a must see museum for anyone who is in Santa Rosa. There are over 30 restored cars inside and they are gorgeous. You are going to have to see my FLICKR site to look at all the cars because there are too many photos to put into this blog.

We had lunch at the Denny’s in Tucumcari New Mexico, but since we had spent some time in Tucumcari a few weeks ago on our way out West, we kept on going till we got to San Jon NM and checked out the abandoned businesses and weather beaten signs.

Now we are crossing the State Line from New Mexico into Texas. Our destination for this evening is Amarillo Texas, but first we want to check out the abandoned town of Glen Rio Texas.

76 Rte 66 Glen Rio TX

Then we push on to The MidPoint Cafe in Adrian Texas. This cafe is aptly named because it is exactly located half way between the start of Route 66 and the end of Route 66. The MidPoint Cafe is the home of the Ugly Crust Pie so we had to stop in and buy a couple of pieces plus some other souvenirs of our visit.

89  Rte 66 Mid Point Cafe Adrian TX

87 Rte 66 Mid Point Cafe Adrian TX 92  Rte 66 Mid Point Cafe Adrian TX

96  Rte 66 Mid Point Cafe Adrian TX

After enjoying our ugly crust pie and ice cream, we push on towards Landergin Texas and Vega Texas.

We had to stop in Vega just to check out the windmills that we could see in the distance. We turned North off of Route 66 and tried to figure out how to get close to one of these, but the area was all fenced off.

120 Rte 66 Wind Plant Vega TX

I had to use the zoom lens to get this shot.

Next stop, The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas. Another must stop and see location. The owner of the property has buried a dozen Cadillac's nose down into the ground. People come from all over for this photo op and to spray paint their mark onto one of the cars.

126  Rte 66 Cadillac Ranch Amarillo TX

We checked into our hotel in Amarillo and then went out for dinner at The Big Texan. The Big Texan is the home of the 72 Ounce Steak. If you can eat this steak with all the trimmings within 1 hour, you get your meal for free. I know my limits so I only ordered the 6 ounce steak with all the trimmings.

136 Rte 66 Big Texan Amarillo TX