Sunday, June 3, 2012


Sunday June 3 2012

We woke up as planned in Weatherford, OK. The hotel breakfast was top tier and got us off to a good start. Weatherford has the first of several big wind power farms we saw today and they have an informative display set-up in a park. The full sized wind mill blade laying down horizontally got our attention. We checked out the posters and Lorna had fun goofing around with poses with the blade.


We stopped at the Cherokee Trading Post in Clinton so Lorna could say she had been to an Indian trading post. A few souvenirs latter we were on our way.

 We ended up spending some time in Clinton. The vintage Clancy and Tradewinds motels took good pictures.

I confirmed that Elvis (Yes the Elvis) stayed at the Tradewinds and learned that he had room 215. Keep that in mind if you are in town and want to live some Rock & Roll history.

 Clinton is also home to a Route 66 Museum, it was closed.

 They did have a real nice Valentine Diner that had a good story poster. Those things were tiny!


 The Dairy Best Drive In looks closed but is still in nice shape, complete with carports.

 The REDLAND Theater has a striking red and white neon sign and marquis.


 The McLain Rogers Park has a nice neon arch sign over the entry gate. It features some WPA projects including a 400 seat amphitheater. 

It seems that one byproduct of so many community economies collapsing with the advent of the interstate is one heck of a regional yard sale. Lorna has been able to make some great finds in the pressed glass she collects. This is the first time she has ever seen new old stock that still had the Anchor Hocking stickers. She also scored her first colored (green) piece, a small dish. We have also been in many stores containing a mind boggling amount of stuff. There must have been a lot of goods in shops and store rooms as well households sold out as people moved away.

In Foss we found the remains of Kobel’s place. This was a long time fuel stop on the mother road. The weather has gotten into the masonry building and it’s collapsing from the inside out as trees envelop it from the outside. The lettering on the facade is still legible. This town is also where we spotted our first armadillo though in the form of road kill.

Canute is nearly a ghost town with an exit on the interstate. On 66 we did find  a nice display of granite monuments that told the history of the town. It was a big stop in the days of the cattle drives.

Across the road in the Holly Family Cemetery is a replica of the Crucifixion scene. A life-size bronze figure of Christ on the cross. In the side of the hill, a glass-enclosed sepulcher holds the waxen image of Christ. Two individuals were entombed there in the 1930’s.

We located the Cotton Boll and Washita motels. Both are intact but neither seems to be operating. Looking at these lodging places it’s easy to imagine the days when 66 was jammed with a nation on the move. 


We’re getting into ranch country. It’s getting common to see gated properties with arches over the driveway carrying the name of the ranch. Fields of grazing cattle are easy to find.
Elk City is home to the Elk City Motel. It made it a big point that it is American owned. We saw this same marketing strategy at several other places today.

 They have a 179 foot oil rig on the main drag.

 Elk City is home to the National Route 66 Museum. This seems like a pretty significant exhibit but it was closed. Too bad, since lots of folks were pulling in to visit. Despite the name of the place it’s is a local operation with some state funding.


Sayer looked like a drive though…. Wrong! On the way to town we crossed the 1926 timber creek bridge. It is a riveted, 6-panel Pratt through truss spanning 96 feet.

While there I got some wild flower pictures including pumpkins, gourds or squash growing wild.

 Next we found another pedestrian subway at the top of the hill. We went down the steps and crossed under route 66  and exited on the other side. It is in good shape and it appears the town is maintaining it for the novelty or actual use.  It was a 1939 WPA project.

The Owl (Rexall) Drug Store and soda fountain were closed (out of business). The place is complete with the orange and blue sign panels on the facade.

 When Lorna checked in at the gift shop next door they said it was theirs and to go have fun. I got shots of the old fountain with glassware still in place. While Lorna was shopping I played with the camera timer and got pictures of me as a soda jerk. When Lorna got out we shot some pictures of her manning the fountain.

 She did good, coming out with her first colored (green) Star of David pressed glass piece.

 We took pictures of the downtown including the sign and marquis of the Stovall Theater.


 At the head of the main street is the Beckham County Courthouse featured in the movie Grapes of Wrath.

The Western Motel outside of town seemed to be doing OK.

Leaving Sayer we passed the town owned  City Park. It’s an expansive facility with camping, golfing and everything you'd go to a park for. It includes some magnificent WPA built projects, a red stone pool house and stone walls.

In Hext we got to drive some old concrete pavement with hardly a soul to be found. We stopped to take more wildflower pictures.

The town Erik blew the doors off of the afternoon.

Driving into town we ended up parking near the “Sand Hills Hills Curiosity Shop.  This place has an incredibly eclectic collection of automotive and brand signs and artifacts scattered over the building and property.


 The owner greeted us from his home on the back street inviting us to take all of the photo’s we wanted. Latter when we returned he was near the building and offered to open it up so we could look around. 

Once inside Harley of Harley & Annabelle gave us a tour of his self-proclaimed red neck world. Then he made sure I was ready with my video camera and with his guitar played a customized version of Get Your Kicks on Route 66 just for us. See the video!

Before we left he was having us pose with iconic signs and taking our pictures. Talk about souvenirs!

 Afterwards he let us had out back to take pictures of his redneck palace where more stuff could be seen.

In between we wandered up the street to check out this fascinating near ghost town. At least it seemed ghostly on a Sunday afternoon. This is home town to Sheb Wolley “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple Eater” fame and Roger Miller, King of the Road and so much more.


We caught the Roger Miller Museum about 30 minutes before closing and got a free abbreviated tour for which they made a nice souvenir sale. I found it interesting and Lorna really got a lot out of it. 

Walking the streets we came across some closed stores that look like they have been untouched for decades.Inventory is sitting there as a time capsule.

One shop had stuff literally mounded in heaps, talk about yard sale fodder!

The WEST WINDS, ELM, and CABANA motels were all there for photographs. I don’t think any are serving guests though some are inhabited. 

In Texola we saw the 3 cent cowboy wash with all you need to do laundry, wringer style right out on the lawn.

   We visited the Territorial Jail &  Museum, a 6 X 10 freestanding cement cell with a few posters inside. It has barred doors.


 There were a lot of nondescript abandoned buildings, watering holes, stores filling stations and whatever.

We ended with the state line Will Rogers Highway monument.

When we entered Texas it was like a switch was thrown. The expanse of the land widened. The plants got stouter and began to be more desert like. The lush rolling countryside of Oklahoma was behind us. So far Texas signage for Historic route 66 is nearly nonexistent, this last day in Oklahoma relied heavily on maps too.

With that we crossed the line into Texas. We set our sights on the town of Shamrock, we wanted a reasonable evening and this town fit the bill. With a Holiday Inn Express and an iconic building nearby it was just right. One of the downsides of traveling now is all of the daylight, the equinox is coming quick. The route is famous for iconic neon signs and that means we really can’t catch the neon while touring and timing is very hard. In this case we have the building that was the model for Romone's auto painting shop in the movie CARS next door!  It’s all restored and decked out in neon. Landing here for the night was pure serendipity.

We had steaks at Big Vern's here in Shamrock and settled in for the night.

Shot from the hotel window.
Towards dusk I went out and got a few shots of the Conoco station building.

Even the ATM across the street got into the act, mimicking the Conoco station's neon trim

We’re still lagging where we want to be by a day or so and decided to be aggressive about pushing across Texas. We want good time in the desert states and California. Lorna wants to stay at the Blue Swallow Inn in New Mexico and that means hitting the right date.

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