Day Three on The Mother Road Route 66
Last Updated: April 24, 2020.
Kansas, having the least mileage of the 8 States Of Route 66, didn’t take very long. Route 66 has an interesting history, starting WAY before the first spade of dirt was turned. Looking at the map, it seems that the shortest route from Chicago to L.A. would include a lot MORE of Kansas and LESS of other states.
Because back-scratching and arm-twisting?
Oklahoma is my next state on The Mother Road.
Way down yonder on the Indian Nation, ride my pony on the reservation…
Way back when, before it was a state, one name for Oklahoma was “Indian Territory”, abbreviated “I.T.”
It is a beautiful early summer morning in eastern Oklahoma, beautiful sunny blue skies. Traveling down Alt69 ( Old Route 66 ) from Kansas, Quapaw is the first settlement encountered. Where East Meets West? Looks like Quapaw is giving some serious competition to St. Louis, in addition to being Home of Miss Indian USA 1999. At least, I guess that’s where she grew up – I didn’t make inquiry as to where she lives NOW.
Commerce, Oklahoma is a little wider spot in the road with some
old-fashioned Route 66 Stuff:
Commerce gave way to Miami, Indian Territory. Miami is displaying its civic pride this year.
Don’t blink as you cruise along, or you will miss the town for people who love themselves.
After Narcissa, there was a sign directing me to the right for
Then I fell off the Earth. Washboard like I hadn’t seen since working on the Rez, traveling by Windy Knoll, OK and onto some of the old Ribbon Road:
It turns out that I had been driving a stretch of the original “Ribbon Road”
Then Afton, Oklahoma hove into view. I almost drove through but Afton took hold of me.
It may have been Afton’s truthfulness or perhaps its Packard Garage which made me slow down and get to know this town.
According to this sign, it will be 1680 miles until I see the Pier at Santa Monica. Like the man said, “and miles to go before I sleep…”.
Vinita is a neat little town along the way.
Then on to Chelsea. I almost drove by, because the Business District is off to the side. Glad I didn’t, because there is some neat stuff hidden in Chelsea, OK.
Chelsea is the only town I’ve seen on #Route66 that has a pedestrian UNDERPASS!
So I left my mark:
Route 66 and Chelsea must have been very busy back in the heyday to require an underpass!
I’ve always driven the Will Rogers Turnpike when traveling through eastern Oklahoma. All I remember is the toll booths.
Traveling Old Route 66
instead, I was able to drive through all of eastern Oklahoma including Claremore, Catoosa & Tulsa without getting on The Will Rogers. It was a much different trip than the turnpike. The road is good; it’s 4-lane divided highway in places. Traffic is light and there are very few 18-wheelers. I followed Old Route 66 ( OK66 ) Westward toward Tulsa. There is a shield for Old 66 as it enters Tulsa on the north side. I followed it and split away from OK66.
Things go well until the west side of Tulsa, where Old Route 66 crosses over to the south side of the Will Rogers, but I don’t. A few miles later I realized my mistake and am able to cross over and pick up The Mother Road West.
America’s Main Street parallels and crosses the Will Rogers north / south as I travel along. As I got near OK City, #Route66 entered Edmond. It appeared that I had lost The Mother Road, but when I doubled back, I found a shield. Double back past the College again and just west of it there is a shield directing me to US77 South. I hung a left and traveled into the city limits of Oklahoma City. I-40 & I-44 through O. K. City are rough. Route 66 is a much more relaxed method of traversing the city.
Back in the early 60s Mum’s brother, my Uncle John, managed a grocery store here in OK City, before leaving for Missouri. No doubt there have been many changes since then.
That’s one thing I like about the Mother Road. I have a connection with a lot of places here. For me it really is a time capsule, a trip down memory lane.
On the west side of town, I leave Memory Lane for I-40 West. The Mother Road will more or less parallel I-40 all the way to Barstow, CA – about a thousand miles.
The Mother Road Route 66
had disappeared for the time being. I took an exit for Weatherford, drove through a little of the town, then back on I-40 to Clinton and the 66 Museum. The Museum took less than an hour. There are plenty of old pictures and a replica of the Joadmobile.
There is a FiftySeven Chevy on display at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton. The 57 had some neat features. This marked the first year that fuel injection was available in the full-size Chevy. This car has always spelled out S-E-X to me. Fins, dagmars, V-8 engine, fuel injection, unique styling – this car had it all. It is the epitome of Post-War Chevrolet, Post-War America. Sex, Power and World Domination all rolled up in one package. Who can forget Chevy Orange? I’m getting all choked up about it. Time to get back on the road.
Then on to Elk City, OK to dine in splendor at America’s Most Advertised Fast Food Joint ™ while updating the blog. Looking forward to Alanreed, TX.
I will spend the night in my favorite low-cost Motel, the Pontiac Palace.
Earlier today on Route 66.
Tomorrow, I’ll gallop off toward Gallup, NM.
Buzze A. Long, making ZZZs in Elk City, OK