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Started with sights in Springfield. Need to move faster today. Hope to be near Tulsa by end of day.
Here are some sights:
There are many places that claim to be the Birthplace.
Replica of Batmobile
The road is long… (“The Long and Winding Road” – Beatles) except this one is straight as an arrow. But made me thing of that song.
Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair station. Restored and great hospitality.
…and a link to Gary’s Gay Parita Historic Service Station
This is from Gary’s Gay Parita as well.
Another road side stop being restored. Gas Station, cafe, feed and seed store. Spencer MO.
These next 3 pictures are “Red Oak II”. A “ghost town” that isn’t really a ghost town. The creator, an artist, grew up in the “real” Red Oak about 18 miles east. He lived on a farm and decided to create this town as a living, open air museum. He painstakingly moved in homes and businesses and restored them. Each property is individually owned and maintained. It’s “weirdness” makes it beautiful! Unfortunately, I didn’t have to time to walk around and look at it, but it’s a place I’d like to see again and allocate more time.
(I know it’s hard to see but those are dozens of pipes coming out of the ground, each with a faucet on the end.)
Here’s one of the roadside motels from the heyday of Route 66. It’s call the Boots Motel in Carthage MO. It’s still in operation today. The Art Deco style keeps coming back into vogue.
…and the “Giants” of the day in Missouri…
I don’t really think this is a “giant” crayon, but it’s “billed” as one.
This one is just a few blocks away from the crayon and does look more like a giant.
And then comes Kansas. Route 66 only has 13 miles in Kansas so not a lot to see. I did talk with several people and have a few pictures for the trip picture book but didn’t think they would fit well here.
Almost as quickly, into Oklahoma. (I never did find a “Welcome to Missouri” sign. I did find one last year on another trip, so I believe I am welcome there!)
Mickey Mantle. Most you know who that is but if you are too young or have very carefully avoided any discussion or knowledge of baseball; he is a Hall of Fame baseball player who spent his entire career with the Yankees, most of it in the glory days when (I once asked), “How do they decide who plays the Yankees in the World Series!” He grew up in Commerce Oklahoma, just a few miles south of Kansas. He was once known as the Commerce Comet.
Last picture of the day is also a giant. Yes, a giant, concrete Totem Pole that is 40 feet tall and stands about 4 miles off Route 66 near Foyil OK.
Ending the day in Claremore OK. It’s the birthplace of Will Rogers. Another good day. Did more driving today as the attractions are getting further apart and I realized if I kept at it like Day 5’s pace, I wouldn’t be in California until May.
This is a great way to see America. As in “This land is my land and this land is your land, From California to the New York Island…” (except for this trip it’s Chicago instead of the “New York Island”.) Appropriate since the song was written by Woody Guthrie who grew up here in Oklahoma and lived in the Great Depression. And that time saw Route 66 crowded with travelers escaping the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s in Oklahoma to the “promised land” of California.
A song for those times might have been “Hard Travelin’ “. About hard times and working where work could be found. Bob Dylan recorded and performed that one as well. (You knew I had to work Dylan into this eventually, didn’t you? Next time it will be for one of his own songs.)
Route 66 represents so many things about America: The westward movement, hard times and good times, poverty and prosperity, replacing the old with the new (Route 66 replaced by the Interstate Highway system), a time of growing up as a country, in many ways a time of innocence somewhat shattered by the Great Depression. Route 66 is one of the great roads (and stories) of America. I’ve heard from people along the road that people from all over the world come here to drive all or part of Route 66. I’m honored to be able to be one of them.
The Driveby Tourist