Fenton, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Saturday, June 15 brought a loooong part of the journey. Unfortunately we had to take I-44 through Missouri so we could get into Oklahoma at a reasonable time.  We had, individually, both been on Route 66 in Missouri, and through part of Missouri together (see our April 2001 trip), but it still pained us to be on the Interstate!  We didn’t like “shunning” the Mother Road! We did take Route 66 at Exit #261 in order to go to Pacific, where we had breakfast at Monroe’s Route 66 Diner, which is housed in a metal Quonset hut. Very excellent diner with great road food – perfect to start your road trip with a hearty breakfast!  Reasonable prices, too.

We also stopped in Stanton, to go to the Antique Toy Museum for a case of Route 66 Root Beer for the road. After purchasing our root beer and some other souvenirs, the owner offered us a free tour.  We didn’t have much time to do the tour justice (Jennifer had been there for a visit in August 2000), but we did enjoy about a half an hour there exploring their expansive (and expensive!) collection of toys.

We continued on through Missouri, and unfortunately, as we approached the Kansas/Oklahoma borders, we realized we couldn’t take the route through Kansas (and would miss Eisler Brothers’ General Store) or else we would be very late meeting our friend, Laurel Kane. Laurel is an avid Route 66’er and collector of postcards – see her website: Postcards from the Road.  She is from Connecticut, as was Jennifer, and recently moved to Oklahoma after purchasing an old D-X filling station in Afton, Oklahoma on the shoulders of Route 66. Laurel is restoring the station, which dates back to the 1930’s, where she will greet visitors on Route 66, where they can view her thousands of vintage Route 66 postcards as well as her dozen or so Packards which will also be on display. Long story short (hopefully), Laurel brought us together…when Jennifer was still living in Connecticut and joined the e-group, she met with Laurel for an afternoon of discussion and story-swapping about Route 66. Later that evening, Jennifer received an e-mail from Laurel’s friend Pat. Unbeknownst to Jennifer at the time, after their meeting, Laurel e-mailed Pat, telling him she found Pat’s future wife! When Jennifer moved to Romeoville, Illinois, we met in person and hit it off…a year and a half later, here we are – honeymooning on Route 66!  Now, back to our trip….

We met Laurel at Waylan’s Ku Ku Burger in Miami, Oklahoma, then motored down Route 66 to her Afton Station for an updated look at the renovations. After visiting with Laurel for several hours, we hated to part, but our destination was Oklahoma City, so we needed to continue.

As we took the Evil I (aka, the Interstate) into Tulsa, we noticed some heavy storms up ahead. We witnessed an impressive lightning display, which turned into torrential rainstorms, and continued until Oklahoma City. It did not make for fun travel, especially on the crowded Interstate! Thanks to an incorrect map on Yahoo, we got lost trying to find our hotel, the Route 66 Drive Inn Hotel & Suites, which was on the west side of OKC.  Of course, the map showed it on the east side.  But being the Road Maven couple that we are, we found our way there.

We arrived around 10:00 PM and were told our choice of two rooms had been held for us by our friend Ken Turmel. Ken is a fellow Route 66 e-group member, and a retired postal carrier who has created what is called “PostmarkArt.” It’s hard to explain, so see Ken’s website, designed and maintained by Jennifer: PostmarkArt by Ken Turmel). Ken and his wife Melissa were in the room next door, and in a room across the courtyard were two of Ken’s daughters, and another fellow e-group member, Nicole. We met Ken for a while, and later Nicole, and talked until 1:00 AM! Knowing we were all meeting in the morning for a big Route 66 e-group breakfast, we finally said goodnight!

Slideshow of All Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

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