By reputation, we understood that Oklahoma was supposed to be the best state for experiencing the original Route 66 and today was the day to find out for ourselves. We started off in Amarillo, TX and made our way across the rest of the Texas panhandle. This part of Texas is amazingly FLAT. Flatter than Iowa even. So flat, in fact, that when roads miles to the north or south ran parallel to our routes, you could actually still spot trucks on those roads driving “along” side you and even the sticks of their road signs were visible too. This is no exaggeration and wish we would have taken pictures to prove it.
Anyway, as we approached the state line of Oklahoma, the ground started to return to a more typical rolling terrain. Expecting the Route 66 driving to be good, we took advantage of every opportunity to drive road. We were not disappointed and in general the road surface was good, so today was a great day of road tripping off of I-40. In fact, we figure we were able to drive more than 120 miles of our 375 mile day on Route 66 itself.
One of the first interesting landmarks we saw was this cross sitting between Route 66 and I-40 in Groom, TX. This cross was erected by some religious group to promote their organization and it is amazingly large. Check out its size relative to the tractor-trailer sitting directly in front of it.
Once crossing from Texas into the Oklahoma, the very first town on Route 66 is Texola, OK. For this particular town, we had a mission of taking a photo of a very famous sign that would greet Route 66 drivers as they entered from the west. Unfortunately, we could not locate it – even after consulting with some locals. Perhaps our information was bad relative to location and/or it may no longer exist….which can be a problem when looking for famous Route 66 landmarks. The sign was purported to say:
There’s no other place like this place anywhere near this place so this must be the place
Maybe it wasn’t the place, so after giving up on locating this, we continued on down the road to Clinton, OK which is home to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.
This is the best valued admission fee we have paid for the entire trip. In fact, we told them the $3/person they were charging was not enough and would still be a good deal at twice the price. In any case, we highly recommend stopping here if you ever have the chance. It has a great collection of Route 66 facts, figures, equipment, stories, and artifacts….too many to do justice here.
Once we got to Oklahoma City, OK we were able to drive the entire rest of the day’s trip to Tulsa, OK contiguously along the original Route 66 roadway path. Here is a collection of a few Route 66 landmarks we saw:
Speaking of Oklahoma City, one of the other stops we made today was at the Oklahoma City National Memorial recognizing the lives of those lost in the bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building on April 19th, 1995. The first photo here shows a shot of many of the 168 empty chairs at the memorial that each represents a person that was killed that day. The locations of the chairs correspond to the floors each person was on when they were killed and all the chairs collectively physically reside where the original building was constructed.
The second photo here shows the Survivor Tree that amazingly was not destroyed by the collapse of the building. The rest of the symbolism of the memorial is well documented on the memorial’s website and we both agreed that it is a very well done tribute to those lost, those who responded, and those who survived.
Tomorrow we make our way from Tulsa, OK all the way to St. Louis, MO…the Gateway to the east.