Posts tagged Oklahoma

September 12-14, 2015: Route 66 RV Trip

0

Our latest journey is another trip on Route 66. We decided to take our new Shasta Oasis travel trailer on this trip, rather than our typical road trip by car.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

We initially planned to start on Friday evening after work, but due to a late schedule, needed to wait until morning. We left early to ensure we could meet the schedule we had planned. That was another different aspect of this trip, that we would have some anticipated stopping points; travel less time per day, and spend a little more time in the overnight location.

For the first day, our destination was Springfield, Missouri to the KOA where we stayed for the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival a couple of weeks ago. After we passed St. Louis, we took 66 mainly through Missouri, except in a spot or two.

We stopped by Paris Springs to see Gary Turner’s replica filling station, Gay Parita. Sad to hear that vandals have been stealing signs and memorabilia after his death. His sons have taken down many of the signs to prevent further thefts. Gary’s daughter will be purchasing the property and opening it once again – hopefully, that will deter the vandals when someone is on site!

We went next door to visit Teresa and John – fellow Corvair enthusiasts we met during the Springfield 66 festival last month after conversing on several 66 Facebook groups. Nice visit with new friends!

Once we arrived at the KOA and he’d had some playtime at the KOA’s playground, we took our grandson to the Steak n’ Shake on Route 66 and then to Andy’s Frozen Custard.

We enjoyed this KOA just as we had previously. There is a nearby train tracks and it is pretty close to a crossing, so when the train goes by, you do get the loud whistle sound. Whether that disturbs one is strictly personal preference. I can sleep with it, and fall right back if I wake up…plus I enjoy the sound. Your results may vary, but it’s good to know!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

We moved on the next day to the Tulsa area. We continued taking 66 as much as we could, stopping at as many places as practical given our combined total of 48 feet. Of course, we stopped at Afton Station to visit our friends Laurel and Ron. Jameson enjoyed the station and exploring the Packards and the old motorhome.

Next, we stopped at the Blue Whale in Catoosa, which went well. Luckily, a year later, our grandson has a better understanding that leaving one place doesn’t mean the fun is over and he knows that there is more fun down the road!

Unfortunately, on this day there would be a little less fun than we had planned. First, we ran out of gas in Tulsa. So much for the “Distance to Empty” feature on the truck, which still read 50 miles! Our Shasta came with a year of Coach Net from Forest River, the parent company of Shasta. They did very well, giving us an estimate of an hour but the service provider delivered the gas and we were on our way within 45 minutes. Two thumbs up!

That was great service though the experience was still annoying and we were a bit cranky…and then to make matters worse, we found that our RV park for the night (Cross Trails RV Park) was not at all what we expected.

Here is the description from their website:

“Sapulpa’s newest RV Park located on 7 Scenic acres with all the amentities that you need to feel at home. We are located in the scenic hill country on the Southwest side of the Tulsa metro area. We use the Eaton Powerhouse Pedestal that has 50/30/20 Amp electrical plugs, TV cable jack as well sewer, trash and free WiFi internet access. Our clubhouse offers a Laundry Room, Showers , a Playground area for the kids, a Dog Park, Picnic Area and Storm Shelter.”

Let me first say the good. The manager was very responsive and friendly by telephone (I did not see him in person, though). It was unusual, though, for him to tell us to meet his son by the dumpster along the fence after dark. Not exactly a usual or comfortable “check-in” experience.

The park is very new and to some extent, that is a plus. The concrete pads are very new and in excellent condition, same for the electrical pedestal. And for what it’s worth, it was on Route 66.

Beyond that, I have very little other positive things to say about this RV park. None of the other amenities appeared to be built or ready…no playground or dog park. The only building that was listed as the office and laundry was closed and peeking in the windows, it was still very much under construction. The grounds were similar, with piles of dirt and rocks everywhere. Many of the other trailers were in various ages and physical condition, with some having flat tires (along with their vehicles). All around, it was not a comfortable place to stay and I wanted to leave as soon as we could in the morning. I do hope that someday this park builds or makes available all of the amenities it has advertised….but as of September 2015, it does not.

We did manage to sneak in a very short visit to the very cool playground in Sapulpa where we took our grandson last year. It got dark pretty quickly but he enjoyed it anyway!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our next day was to be a bit longer day, trying to get to Amarillo, Texas. Unfortunately, in western Oklahoma, the wind picked up considerably and we were getting a lot more sway with the trailer than we felt comfortable. We heard it was worse in Texas, so we decided to stop and stay at the KOA between Clinton and Elk City, Oklahoma. Not too much to do in the area but they had a playground and what more does a 4 year old boy need. :) This park isn’t bad (the grounds), though there are better KOAs. It doesn’t have much around it to do, except if one drives 12 miles in either direction to Clinton or Elk City (I did cruise Route 66 to Elk City to get some groceries and it was very peaceful!). It’s very good for an overnight stop, but maybe at other times there are amenities and activities? Many KOAs have kids activities, but my feeling is this one is geared more to overnight stops. For that, it is very adequate.

We would then have an easier day getting to Amarillo tomorrow!

Below is a gallery of photos from these three days of the trip. Enjoy, and stayed tuned for the remainder of our journey!

September 12-14, 2015: Route 66 RV Trip

Flickr Album Gallery Pro Powered By: Weblizar

July 3-5, 2014: Route 66 – Riverton, Kansas to Amarillo, Texas

0

Day 1: July 3, 2014 – to St. Louis, Missouri

Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

The first day of our trip was largely uneventful – we took the Interstate to St. Louis after work so we could make some progress on getting to the California border. We stopped at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and met with our camping friends Dane & Elaine, and then headed to our hotel, the Holiday Inn – Route 66….which was on Route 66!

Day 2: July 4, 2014 – St. Louis, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma

Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Day 2 was a partial day on the Interstate. Usually referred to as the Evil I, it did serve its purpose today – to quickly get us where we wanted to go. We love Missouri 66, but took the Route several times in recent years, so our goal was to get to western Missouri quickly, then slow down in Oklahoma. Plus, we’re strongly thinking about joining the 25th Missouri Route 66 Motor Tour this year!

We did make a stop in Phillipsburg at Redmon’s Candy Factory – also a travel center/gas station, etc. By Joplin, we exited the Interstate for Route 66, but were bummed when we found the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates store was closed. We’d been there last year during the Route 66 Festival and gone on a tour and were hoping for some chocolate!

Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, we had an ill-fated quick visit to the Route 66 Carousel Park. I made the dire mistake, after my 3-year old grandson asked to go on a merry-go-round, of saying maybe we’d find one (it sounded innocuous at the time and I thought it would go well, and the place was listed on their site as being open). So true, the park was opened when we arrived, but as we approached the gate, they informed us they were closing for 1 hour. 1…hour…not great to hear for a 3 year old who has no concept of time and was very excited to go on rides! Not great for us, who wanted to make the stop count by going on rides with him…not waiting for an hour, then go on rides! So that went over like a lead balloon! Not good…

So we meandered on 66 and stopped at the Marsh Arch bridge.

Marsh Arch Bridge - Route 66, Riverton, Kansas

My grandson is fascinated with water towers, and this trip didn’t disappoint. He saw plenty and really seemed to enjoy this one in Quapaw, Oklahoma.

Water Tower - Quapaw, Oklahoma

We stopped for lunch at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burgers in Miami, Oklahoma
Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger - Route 66, Miami, Oklahoma

And of course, the big Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma!
Blue Whale - Route 66, Catoosa, Oklahome

By this time, it was getting later in the day and we decided to stop at a really nice playground/park in Sapulpa, Oklahoma called Heritage Park (considering the missed chance to go on the amusement rides earlier). It’s a very nice park that was built by volunteer residents. It’s huge!!

Heritage Park - Sapulpa, Oklhom

It was getting late and we didn’t want to miss anything driving in the dark, so we decided to go back to Tulsa to stay, as it wasn’t far. We did a Priceline and got the Crowne Plaza in southern Tulsa, but being the night of the 4th of July, several routes across the river were closed. We didn’t stop anywhere to watch fireworks, but we were treated to displays in all directions – that’s the good thing about the flat land. Ultimately, we made our way to the hotel after a number of detours, which you can see on the interactive map above…but finally we made it!

Day 3: July 5, 2014 – Tulsa, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas

 Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Coincidentally, our hotel was located across from Oral Roberts University, which was the site of a photo op from my Roadside America app, which helps me find neat roadside attractions and oddities from their site, in a pretty cool iOS or Android app. It’s also available as a Garmin GPS add-on too.

We easily spotted the giant Praying Hands – wish we could have gotten inside to avoid the ugly power lines, but the gates were closed:

Large Praying Hands - Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, Oklahoma
And some neat architecture as well:

Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Heading back into Sapulpa, I spotted this art display which pays homage to the town’s manufacturing history, of glass and brick factories as well as Frankoma Pottery.

Sculpture - Route 66, Sapulpa, Oklahoma

In Bristow, this Ford dealership’s new building was built in the style of the 1920’s architecture throughout town. Their original building burned down, and they wanted to retain the original style when they rebuilt.

Bolin Ford - Route 66, Bristow, Oklahoma

The Rock Cafe is in Stroud

Rock Cafe - Route 66, Stroud, Oklahoma

As well as the Skyliner Motel
Skyliner Motel, Route 66, Stroud, Oklahoma

The Round Barn in Arcadia

Arcadia Round Barn - Route 66, Arcadia, Oklahoma

Restored Phillips 66 Filling Station in Chandler
Phillips 66 Filling Station - Route 66, Chandler, Oklahoma

The Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City
Tower Theatre - Route 66, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Braum’s Milk Bottle
Braum's Milk Bottle Building - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Giant Route 66 Shield at the Route 66 National Museum in Elk City
Route 66 Museum Sign - Route 66, Elk City, Oklahoma

The Conoco Phillips station in Shamrock, Texas (U Drop Inn) – featured in the Pixar film Cars

ConocoPhillips Station / U Drop Inn - Route 66, Shamrock, Texas

ConocoPhillips Station / U Drop Inn - Route 66, Shamrock, Texas

And the Big Texan, whose adjoining motel was booked up, unfortunately. We had an acceptable generic stay at a nearby Sleep Inn.

Big Texan Steak Ranch - Amarillo, Texas

Slideshow of All Photos (from July 3-5, 2014)

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

Tri-State Route 66 Festival — Day 2

0

Sorry for the lack of posts! Unfortunately my internet connection at the Joplin Holiday Inn was AWOL until yesterday morning before we left, so I’m just now able to get a new post up.

Oklahoma is HOT this time of year! It was in the low-mid 90’s and it felt it. We stopped off in the morning at the World’s Largest Rocking Chair where we met a couple from Minneapolis who were cruising Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. We found a neat little diner in St. Robert where we had a late breakfast.

After a visit with Ramona Lehman at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, we jumped back on 66 and made our way into Joplin. We then made our way to Miami, Oklahoma for dinner after picking up Denny Gibson from his motel in Baxter Springs, KS. We had dinner at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger…one of our must-stops on 66…and had some good grub and road chat.

After a brief stay at a welcome party for the festival, we made our way to the Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma and spent some time with Jim Ross, Shellee Graham, Jerry McClanahan, and Joe Sonderman and swapped trip stories to end the night.

Tri-State Route 66 Festival — Day 1

2

After getting a somewhat late start out of Indy this morning, we made it to Springfield, IL in a record 3 hours for lunch at the Cozy Drive In.

Afterward, we picked up Route 66 and headed south through Farmersville, Litchfield, and Mount Olive before arriving in Collinsville. I was on a mission. It’s been more than 6 weeks since we ordered our Serro Scotty trailer, and I needed a fix…bad. The first time I saw one in person was at an RV dealer there back in November. We arrived at Randy’s Trailer Town to a scorching 92 degrees, but that didn’t stop me. I was pleased to find not one, but TWO HiLanders there to gush over. One was unlocked, so we went in just so I could open every cabinet again, check my head clearance in the wet bath, and just sit at the dinette for a minute and imagine what it’ll be like in a couple of weeks sitting in our own HiLander at a campground somewhere in Indiana.After getting the satisfaction I needed, we jumped on I-70 and made our way through rush hour traffic in St. Louis. We then picked up 66 again in Eureka and continued on it the rest of the evening. We pulled in to the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri for our overnight stop. The Wagon Wheel is in the process of a total refurbishing, thanks to new owner Connie Echols. The Wagon Wheel is a classic Route 66 motel, dating back to 1936. Highly worth the stop!

After checking in, we walked next door to a place I’ve been wanting to try for a long time: Missouri Hick BBQ. It’s been here only 8 years, but after one bite, I found their ribs to be legendary!  After devouring our tasty BBQ, we walked back over to the Wagon Wheel and admired their classic neon sign.

At that point, our day was done. Then it was back in to use their free wi-fi and post the day’s activities. For a complete view of today’s fun, click here. Stay tuned for Day 2 on Thursday!

Tri-State Route 66 Festival — The Prelude

2

Here it is Wednesday morning and we’re getting ready to head off for five (hopefully) peaceful days on the road. Our day will start off with a drive out to Springfield, Illinois where we’ll have lunch at the Cozy Dog Drive In, well known as the restaurant where the corn dog was invented 50-some years ago. From there, we pick up that grand old two-lane highway, Route 66 and take it south into St. Louis, where chances are we’ll be diving into a concrete from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, another Route 66 icon dating back to 1941. After that, we meander our way through the Ozarks of Missouri before picking a spot for the night.

Thursday we’ll finish our drive along 66 in Missouri and head into Joplin where we’ll bunk up Thursday & Friday nights. The Tri State Route 66 Festival is our destination, just over the Missouri/Oklahoma border, at the Downstream Casino. Friday we’ll be cruising throughout central Oklahoma. As some of you know, we’re big into photographing old movie scene locations and there are a couple of towns where “Rain Man” was filmed that we’re going to hit. We also plan on hunting down an old plant that used to build Serro Scotty trailers back in the 1960’s, since we’re (almost) new owners of a 21st century model.

Looking forward to hooking up with some of our old Route 66 friends we’ve met throughout the years this weekend. Feel free to follow along with us here on the blog, as I hope to have daily updates and photos of our trip as internet connectivity allows.

Off we go!

Portland Concrete, Bridges, and Lucille’s…

0

If asked where my favorite section of Route 66 would be, I’d have to say all 2448 miles of it. But, if I was forced to pick a favorite section where I like to drive, I’d say it’s the section between El Reno and Hydro, Oklahoma. It’s got a nice ribbon of Portland concrete that dates back to the 1930’s, complete with curbing, like this mini section that’s housed at the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.

 This cool section brings back memories of roadtrips when I was a kid, when two-lane highways were made of concrete and the tires hitting the seams of the road created a perfect rhythm. This section has the same beat. The fun starts at an area called Bridgeport Hill, with a nice little view of the Mother Road as you descend toward a gentle curve.

 One of the highlights of this section in western Oklahoma would be the 3944 foot long Route 66 bridge across the South Canadian River. It’s unique in that its constructed of 38 spans of “pony” trusses and has stood the test of time, dating back to 1933.

This section between El Reno and Hydro is approximately 28 miles long and keeps you far out of sight of Interstate 40, helping to preserve the image of what travel was like along this section, which carried Route 66 traffic until it was bypassed in 1962.

The alignment comes back into view of I-4o in Hydro, where you can stop off and view Lucille’s Historic Route 66 Gas Station. Built in 1927 as Provine Station, it was purchased by Carl & Lucille Hamons in 1941 and renamed Lucille’s in 1974. Lucille’s remained open right up until her death in August of 2000 (Carl died in 1971), and was later purchased and restored by a Weatherford businessman, but no longer functions as a business. (Hat tip: “Oklahoma Route 66″, Jim Ross, Ghost Town Press). I had the opportunity to stop into Lucille’s in 1995. I had just finished a semester at Indiana Wesleyan University and aced a finance class I had taken. With some vacation time to burn up before the end of the year, I decided to reward myself and took some time off and made a solo trek on 66 out to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I stopped by Lucille’s and got a pop for the road and went on my way. It was my only chance to visit there, but I was glad to have stopped in a Route 66 business that had seen the highway’s birth in the late 1920’s through being bypassed by I-40, right outside its windows. Not only that, but it was neat to visit with someone who had served Route 66 travelers during the highway’s heyday, prior to the interstates when Route 66 was the way west.

During the father/son trip we took over Christmas of 2008, I shot some video of the pony bridge and put it together on YouTube. Hope you enjoy…and my apologies for the shaky hand in the beginning!

Christmas on Route 66 — Greetings from Stroud, Oklahoma!

0

What a morning! Here in Stroud, Oklahoma, about 50 miles southwest of Tulsa, we’ve had a heck of a storm roll through here. It was 65 degrees this morning before the storm rolled through, and just 40 miles west of us it was 42. Tornado watches, thunder, lightning…we had it all! Right now it’s just raining here in Stroud at the the Skyliner Motel.

Had a nice drive on Friday from Amarillo. The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma should be a must-stop for anyone traveling out this way. Passed Oklahoma City, we stopped by Jim Ross’ Arcadia pad for a couple of hours. He suggested we stop by a place up the road in Luther called “The Boundary on Route 66″, a newer BBQ joint on the route. Glad he did! The spare ribs there were fantastic…

and the owners, Donnie & Buffy Samara made you feel right at home.

I”ve tried a lot of BBQ in Oklahoma over the years and I have to say The Boundary is worth making a 700 mile trip for. Then again, I’ll take 200 mile trip for a corndog, so what’s that tell you? The Boundary on Route 66 is located at 16001 E. Hwy 66 in Luther, Oklahoma. If you find yourself out this way, make it a point to stop by for lunch or dinner. You won’t regret it!

We’re getting ready to shove out of Stroud, as the storms have blown through and the rain has diminished. I’ll have updates tonight or tomorrow on today’s journey. Until then…stay dry!

Christmas on Route 66 — Greetings from Claremore!

0

We made it from Indy to Claremore, Oklahoma today. The weather started off quite miserable, as it rained most of the trip through Indiana & Illinois. Once we got into Missouri, the clouds parted and the sun was shining throughout the afternoon, and provided one heck of a sunset as we entered Oklahoma.

We stopped for lunch at the Circle N in Bourbon, Missouri for a fine grilled ham & cheese and then in Phillipsburg for a stop at Redmon’s for a bag full of road food (candy). We pulled into the Will Rogers Inn in Claremore tonight following nearly 630 miles of travel today. By the time we got ourselves settled in, we went out to grab a bite to eat. Unfortunately just about everything was closed, so we ended up getting some chow at a convenience store.

We’ve got another nearly 400 miles to cover Thursday to get to the Big Texan and our Christmas steak. Hopefully we’ll have internet access in Amarillo.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas on Route 66

0

As if the Thanksgiving on Route 66 trip wasn’t enough, now comes “Christmas on Route 66″. I’ve been wanting to get my dad out on the road with me for a couple of years & now he’s finally agreed.  Destination: A Christmas steak dinner at the Big Texan in Amarillo.

He’s picking me up Christmas Eve morning & we’re interstating Wednesday & Thursday and bunking up at the Big Texan Motel Christmas night after a steak dinner at the BT. Friday we’ll turn around and mosy on 66 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Should be a cool father/son bonding thing. I’ve always been intrigued by the story he told me of his family’s trip out to California in ’49. On the way back home…on Route 66…my grandpa had to be admitted in the hospital in Tucumcari, NM with stomach ulcers. Being the stubborn German he was, he checked himself out of the hospital 3 days later and my dad drove he & my grandma home via 66. So, I’ll be taking him on some of those sections of 66 that had been bypassed, but were in use in ’49, mainly in Oklahoma. No, I don’t expect he’d remember much about those sections, but it’ll be cool to tell him that this abandoned stretch is the same road he would’ve driven 60 years prior when he was a teen.

Anywho, I’ll be bringing along the laptop to provide updates as internet connections allow.

The Grapes of Wrath Filming Locations

3

Beckham County Courthouse, US 66 – Sayre, Oklahoma

"The Grapes of Wrath" - Beckham County Courthouse, US 66 - Sayre, Oklahoma

Courthouse, Route 66 - Sayre, Oklahoma

US 66 west of Albuquerque, New Mexico

One day, I was watching The Grapes of Wrath and noticed that this particular view looked very familiar. I checked our Route 66 honeymoon photos from June 2002 and saw the 2nd photo below. I don’t think I could have taken the photo of the same location and had it match more perfectly with a printed screenshot with me! We took this photo without even knowing about this particular scene!

"The Grapes of Wrath" - US 66 west of Albuquerque, New Mexico

June 2002

Route 66 - West of Albuquerque, New Mexico

Trails Arch Bridge – Route 66, Topock, Arizona

"The Grapes of Wrath" - The Joads crossing the Trails Arch Bridge - Route 66, Topock, Arizona

2002. This bridge crossing on Route 66 from Topock, Arizona into California over the Colorado River was discontinued from traffic use in 1947. Today, it supports utility and gas lines.

Old Trails Arch Bridge - old Route 66 crossing into California

Go to Top