October 4, 2012 – Sand Springs, OK to Elk City, OK

We’ve quickly become aware that trying to travel any length of the Historic Route 66 is, at best, a challenge, in a larger RV and there are many places difficult to access and even more where parking is simply not available other than for cars.  Nevertheless, we are continuing to relish reliving even a small part of the Mother Road’s contribution to Americana!

Today, we traveled many sections of the original road while jumping onto I-40 between towns to enable us to see as much as possible.  Further, while the old road generally runs parallel to the Interstate, and frequently less than 50’ away,

there are many places where the historic route simply stops

 

or runs on to property now in private hands.

The route is also punctuated with cattle ranches and large tracts of grazing land.

 

 

There are also a great many people raising horses.

 

 Stroud lays claim to the

more wall murals,

And the Red Rock Café, which has been rebuilt after being burned to the ground by a tragic fire.  Still serving its famed Alligator Burgers,   Its owner, Dawn Welch was the inspiration for the Sally Carrera character in the 2006 animated Pixar film, “Cars”.

 

 

Continuing down the road,

we entered Chandler where we encountered

Art deco buildings

Old Quonset buildings

The Lincoln Motel, first built in 1939

Meantime, we periodically ran into areas where it was evident fires had wreaked havoc on the landscape, although new growth can be seen emerging from the ashes.

 

 Chandler was a pleasant surprise, with one of the oldest Phillips gas stations along the route,

several old homes

and, most impressive, the Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center.

 

Its exhibits consist of murals, scores of photographs and a series of twelve 3-4 minute videos on various subjects concerning Route 66’s history.  For each set of two of those videos, you are provided different seating reminiscent of the road’s golden era.

Mustang front and rear seats

Motel beds

Arcadia was the last town we visited today.  The first sight was the former Hillbilly Bed and Breakfast,

advertising its distances from Chicago and Los Angeles, the Mother Road’s end points.

 

Just up the road a few hundred yards is the Round Barn.

This world-renowned icon built in 1898 is the only wooden round barn in Oklahoma.

On its open second floor, you can gaze up at the ceiling.

 

 Standing at the center of the floor, your voice is echoed as if you were speaking into a microphone.

 We also marveled at the cedar shake roof and wondered how the installed it.

Just a ¼ mile further on, is POPS.  This modern convenience store and gas station has carved out a niche with the Route 66 culture and aficionados with its giant 66’ tall soda bottle bedecked with LED lights

 

It also showcases a collection of more than 12,000 soda pop bottles

 

 

 

As we neared our destination of Elk City, OK, we increasingly noticed what appeared as red soil dunes.

The remainder of our day’s journey was through cattle country, although the number of free range cattle we saw was limited.  However, we passed a number of huge, odor-emitting feedlots where literally thousands of cows were being fattened up,  particularly in Hereford which bills itself as at the “beef capitol of the world”.

 

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