Leaving Oklahoma

            Bubba is on the road.  He is traveling Route 66 in Oklahoma heading west.  As he leaves the big cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, the landscape changes.

            We have gone a long way.  We started in Chicago a year ago and after a break are back to complete the route.  It is easy to get lost on a road that, for the most part, doesn’t exist anymore and sometimes I think we may have strayed off the track.

            I wasn’t sure if the “Yukon Czech Capital” is in Canada or Europe.  I certainly wouldn’t have looked for it here.  Rick and Spider assured me we were still on track in Oklahoma.  I had to agree.  I looked around and we did seem to be in Oklahoma.  I saw no signs of us being anywhere else.

     Maybe this is the “Way South Canadian River”.  I believe I read somewhere this is the longest bridge of this type anywhere, at least in Canadian Oklahoma.  The trestles just roll off into the distance.

     We are in the country now.  This is Route 66 as it was in the Southwest.  It rolls straight off into the distance.   Being bypassed by bigger roads, these days you can drive where you want and as fast as the road allows. 

     You do have to be a little careful, the road is a little narrow and you never know what is hiding in one of the dips just waiting to shove you off into a field.

     I think I heard the farmer yelling at us and thanking us for plowing his field as we slid sideways past him. 

     The road with its concrete curbs and asphalt patches was showing its age a bit prompting us to slow down and enjoy the scenery.

     That was the good road.  The bad part was ahead.  We did get a warning that road conditions may change.

     Luckily our GPS told us where we were.  Driving on road.

     We soon came to a big city.  This place is so laid back that if you can’t find a parking place; you just park in the middle of the street. 

     It was time to stop for the day.  We gassed up the car.

     Got a bite to eat in a first class restaurant.

     We checked out the maps and decided to push to get into Texas the next day.  Oklahoma is a nice place but we had Santa Monica ahead of us.  We found a great four star hotel and bedded down for the night.

Texas Tomorrow!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ok Rt 66

     Oklahoma has some pristine portions of old Route 66 still intact.  When the newer, bigger roads were built, these stretches were left behind.  Now many serve to access the old farms and the homes of the past.  They make their way, unspoiled, through the quiet countryside.  The 66 remnants in this area are often straight with small concrete curbs at the edges. 

     Driving on these roads is like taking a Sunday drive that lasts for about a month.  You feel as though you are a million miles and several decades removed from the present world.  Bubba started getting thirsty and…well…I’ll let him tell you the rest.

     We were getting a little parched.  We had to find a place to grab a quick drink.  You can’t be too picky on old remote roads like this so we decided that we would stop at the first place we saw that even looked like they might have any kind of beverage.  We came across this place and thought maybe it would have some soda pop.  I don’t know what the clue was, maybe just a feeling.

     Yes, it does have ANY kind of beverage.  You can shop by brand or shop by color.  I drank a bottle of this, a bottle of that, and WOW, look at how many varieties of Jolt they have!!  Maybe I had a little too much sugar and caffeine or maybe there was a special soda hidden in there but all of a sudden the colors were starting to get to me.

     Back on the road it wasn’t long before I had to stop and use the facilities to get rid of some of this excess liquid.  Bathrooms can be few and far and it was getting urgent.  I think maybe the local police were aware of this and did their best to slow me down.

     We took them at their word and, sure enough, there was an Officer, all dressed up in his blue uniform, with a speed camera.

     Not wanting a repeat of the Kansas encounter, we backed off the speed a little.  We finally found a rest stop in Oklahoma City at the Will Rogers Theater and Sushi Restaurant.  Raw fish in the middle of Oklahoma sounded fresh and tasty but we decided to pass on lunch. 

     Instead we stopped at this place.  It looks like they might have milk here.  The road nibbled at the building until this was all that was left.  There was a man walking on the corner and the City was nice enough to put a sign there to explain that he was a man walking on the corner.

 

     They didn’t have an empty table so we stopped off for a gourmet meal at this place instead.  It has a four star Michelin rating.

 

     Maybe it was a four tire Michelin rating.  We placed our order and the waiter went into the back.  We heard a gunshot and in no time we had a nice big plate of “chicken” with a big plate of “more” on the side.

 After that meal we all had to take a break.

 

 

 

 

On the Road Again

            Before the holiday season and the resulting trip to the dentist, Bubba was just starting out on his epic Route 66 road trip.  On this leg, he was starting in Oklahoma and heading west.  The goal was to find, and drive on, as much of the old road as possible.  We picked up at the same location as we stopped the year before, even staying at the same hotel.

The hotel we stayed at in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma had suffered over the last year.  The restaurant next door was closed so the country western Karaoke we “enjoyed” last year would not be on the agenda.  The in-hotel night club was also closed.  Well, this was a weekend so I guess…I don’t have an excuse for them. 

Our first stop on the 66-11 tour was Catoosa, Oklahoma.  This is where we left off last year.  We revisited the Blue Whale. 

            He was glad to see us again as you can tell from his big grin.  This is a Rt. 66 landmark that is in a “swimming hole” in a small park.  You can use the tremendous waterslide on the side or do a little tail diving.  You have to be careful of the aquatic plants and unidentifiable things that now clog the pond.  The Catoosa whale is one of the Rt. 66 giants.  Tracing the old route should bring us to many of the sights and attractions from the years past. 

            We motored on to Tulsa where I posed for a picture with this guy.  Another giant!  I had to find a safe place to stand.  This guy was big!! 

     Can you see me?  It was hard to get us both in the picture.  I’m sitting on the shoelace on his left foot.  Yeah, there I am.  I thought maybe the best way to stay out from under his foot was to sit on top of it.

     A glance, some pictures and we hit the road again.  We had to pretty much stay on the new road that was put down in 1952 in this location.   It was the up-to-date modern two laner road.  We finally found a spur of the original road from 1926 and carefully crossed the bridge.

I’m glad we had a small car.  The bridge did have a nice brick floor to it.

            There are some odd traditions that have come down over the years.  One is the Shoe Tree.  For some strange, demonic possession type reason, people stop, write on their shoes, and leave them in this tree.

            One shoe in particular caught my eye and I tried it on.

            JUUUST a little too big. 

            We then stopped at the Rock Café in Stroud Oklahoma.  This landmark was built in 1939 from rock excavated when the Mother Road was built. 

     The grounds are strewn with curiosities to tempt the weary traveler to stop and feast.  I had a quick chat with a fish that was sitting outside waiting for a table. 

       Since we saw his name on the menu, we decided to get back in the car and move on.

      Rick was getting a little tired so he let me drive the rental car.  I had a little trouble parking it at the next stop.

I’ll try again another time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On The Mother Road

            Bubba fears being taken to Missouri and dropped off.  He has caused us some grief in our time together, but he has also been a fairly quiet companion. 

            As we pulled into our hotel for the night I felt a sense of déjà vu.  I’ve been here before.  This was, yes, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  We were going back on Route 66!!  Which direction are we going this time?  I wasn’t too thrilled with some of the people we met last year when we drove from Chicago to Broken Arrow.  Everyone seemed BIG.

 

Why even sipping on a straw proved to be a challenge.

The cuisine was…well…shall we call it varied?

I guess as long as I stay in the car, I will be alright.

            We won’t be heading back to Chicago.  This time we will be heading west toward California.  We will hunt out the remaining bits of Route 66 and take a shot at driving as much of the old road as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

South from Kansas

            After an overnight stop in Wichita, we continued south into Oklahoma and, once again, dropped off the freeway for a side trip.  Bubba takes over the narrative.

            We stopped off at the home of Pawnee Bill.  He was in the Wild West Show business with Buffalo Bill so it was fitting that we visited his mansion.

            The Wild West show traveled the world and gathered a lot of wagons.  I got the idea this could be an alternate form of travel for me.  I still harbored the suspicion Rick and Spider might take me back to that place where they found me. 

            The problem with all these rigs was that they are missing engines.  They needed a means of propulsion.  Looking at all the old posters around I could see they were powered by some four legged beasts.  I didn’t see any horses nearby but I did see these guys.

            This gentleman in particular seemed well suited for my needs.  All I had to do was saddle him up and we could be back on the road.  Or maybe I could politely persuade him…he is pretty large.

            I got up right next to him and gave a shout but he must not have heard me.  I went around to the back end and gave him a swift kick in the pelt but his fur was too thick and he didn’t feel that either.  I decided that perhaps I could just lead him around by the nose.  I climbed up and grabbed on to a nostril.  He got a startled look on his face.

            What followed is now called the great stampede of 2011.  Buffalo tore through the ranch destroying everything in sight.  The ranch foreman took issue with my bison interference and sat me down for a chat.

            I looked around for something more my size and found a small beastie that I could probably jump on but someone beat me to it.

I guess I’ll stay in the car after all.

            The suspense will soon be over for Bubba.  We will reveal our destination to him soon.