Category

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

August 14, 2019

Texas Panhandle – Day 12

Texas Panhandle was someplace I always wanted to visit. It’s just a small portion of Route 66, but like Texas, everything is BIG. Top of my list is Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas.

Charly?” I asked, “Why are you wearing the same dress as yesterday?”

I’m thinking it is a cardinal sin for a woman to wear the same dress 2 days in a row.

“I didn’t wear it very long, and I am running low on clean everyday clothes,” she informs me.

“Everyday clothes? What are ALL those suitcases in the back of the car?” I ask trying to clarify my confusion.

“Oh, that’s wardrobe for photo shoots,” she tells me.

“So, your wardrobe, as you put it, isn’t everyday clothes?” I ask trying to understand.

“No,” she said in a tone as if I were completely out-of-touch.

Leaving Oklahoma and Entering the Texas Panhandle

It wasn’t long before we came across Slug Bug Ranch. This was unexpected for me. I knew about Cadillac Ranch, but Slug Bug Ranch?

A few VW Beetles half buried with graffiti beconned us to stop. An old abandoned structure nearby was home to vandalism and who-knows-what-else. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but soon other tourists arrived creating more of a safe atmosphere.

“Charly,” I began, “why don’t you put on some of that wardrobe, as you call it, and we’ll take some fun shots amidst this trash.”

Had I been asked to do that I would have said, “No way.” I normally don’t ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself, but I’m a 60-something man with a potbelly and I’d be afraid I’d trip on some of this garbage.

Before long Charly came back from the car with a slinky outfit.

“Seriously? You’re going to walk through here barefoot in that?” I said with my eyes bulging out of my skull.

“Yeah, why not?” Charly retorted, and added, “I’ll watch for broken glass.”

It wasn’t the broken glass I was worried about. It was EVERYTHING ELSE.

Charly's First Outfit - Texas Panhandle
Charly’s First Outfit

After snapping the first frame, I realized this portion isn’t as dirty as I initially thought. Charly’s elegance amidst the graffiti created a dichotomy in the image, and once seeing that, I was ready to shoot more.

“What else do you have that isn’t everyday clothes?” I asked hoping for a wardrobe change.

Charly soon returned wearing a poet’s shirt… okay, she called it a “dress”, but I’ve seen shirts that cover more of the legs.

Charly's Poet Shirt - Texas Panhandle
Charly’s Poet Shirt

Having Fun at Slug Bug Ranch

We were having fun at slug bug ranch in the Texas Panhandle. I would get the shot I like and then Charly would be off changing in to another outfit. I often dreamed of being a famous fashion photographer taking photos of models in unsuspecting places. Couple this with driving Route 66 and I felt like I was on top of the world.

Slug Bug Ranch is a takeoff from Cadillac Ranch. One being east of Amarillo, the other being west of the city. Graffiti is encouraged at both locations. (Vandalism, however is NOT.) If you do visit, bring a couple of cans of spray paint to leave your mark. However, be warned, your mark will only last until someone paints over it with their mark.

So, bring a camera to photograph your artwork.

Charly Dancing - Texas Panhandle
Charly Dancing

I just kept the camera in one place for a while, and Charly would perform as if it were her stage. Other tourist looked on, taking pictures with their phones and selfies with Charly and me in the background.

Charly Getting Silly - Texas Panhandle
Charly Getting Silly

Soon Charly started getting silly, and I figured that was the sign that she’s getting bored. For the life of me, I fail to understand older men who fall for younger women. They are children, for Pete’s sake… in spite of being the age of majority. In any event, her silliness was enough to make me want a change too.

“Hey, Charly,” I yelled to her and pointed to another location, “let’s move over there.”

That's Just Plain Silly - Texas Panhandle
That’s Just Plain Silly

Charly held her pose and stuck out her tongue to which I said, “Now, that’s just plain silly.”

She giggled and informed me her lip gloss was strawberry flavored.

Let the Fun Begin

Charly returned as I was setting up for the next spot. This time, she looked like some sort of SciFi vigilante.

“Now, that is a cool outfit,” I remarked, “I’d call that everyday clothes.”

We both laughed and Charly entered this trashed room.

“Show me what you’ve got,” I said unsure of how to suggest she pose.

Before I knew it her foot was in the air and leg stretched out in a manner that would leave me crippled for life.

“Do that again,” I said because I wasn’t ready for the shot.

Action Hero Charly - Texas Panhandle
Action Hero Charly

Seeing the room already in disarray, I suggested she act like she just kicked over a three tiered table.

Take THAT! - Texas Panhandle
Take THAT!

“Take THAT,” she yelled as she went in to a fighting pose.

That Was Fun

That was a fun start to our Texas Panhandle portion of Route 66. We’re ready to move on. We’ll still be in the Texas Panhandle, just not at Slug Bug Ranch. We’re finished here.

Slug Bug Ranch – Texas Panhandle

Note

It is important to note to the readers that we did NOT enter these locations except where it was obvious the property owners allow access. Thus, no fences were climbed, we did not go around any barricades, and we obeyed all visible no trespassing signs. These images with Charly are COMPUTER ART using photos taken from legal vantage points as the background.

We do NOT condone trespassing or vandalism. This is strictly a fictional story. Or, to put it another way, “Don’t try this on Route 66 — or at home.”

August 14, 2019

Lunch and Dinner – Day 11

Lunch and dinner are always fun adventures on Route 66. Someone recently asked me, “Is there any healthy food options on Route 66?”

What?

Fast food is what a road trip is all about. While breakfast is usually a complimentary breakfast at the hotel or motel, lunch and dinner are an adventure.

Picnic

A picnic is a good way to relax and eat on your own schedule. Another bridge, another grassy area under the shade of a tree, and some snacks picked up earlier in the day create a nice way to have lunch without wondering when you’ll find a restaurant.

After eating Charly parked herself under the shade of a tree while I wandered around getting photos.

Another Picnic on Route 66 - Lunch and Dinner
Another Picnic on Route 66

The long bridge in the background is amazing. One truss after another on this bridge.

Back on the Road

I wish I had time to stop at every landmark. A month isn’t long enough. One could take an entire year driving Route 66.

“BRENT!” Charly shouts, “I want to get my cowboy hat.”

“Where is this coming from?” I asked before seeing the Western Motel sign.

We stopped and Charly struck a pose.

Western Motel
Western Motel

Lunch and Dinner Coming

We had a nice picnic lunch and dinner is coming. We decided to check in to our hotel first, and then find somewhere to eat. It’s always a risky thing because you don’t know what is open and what is nearby.

After making a lot of stops for taking pictures, we finally arrived at our hotel in Elk City, Oklahoma. The place was old, but the new owners were in the process of fixing it up. They had it very clean.

I checked in and washed up in preparation for going to dinner. I came out of my room and there was Charly.

Are We Going to Dinner?
Are We Going to Dinner?

“Are we going to dinner?” Charly asks.

She was dressed in a slinky dress as if she was waiting for a hot date. My first thought was, ‘She’s going to be disappointed because it is only me.’

“We?” I asked while spinning around on my heels. “I’m looking for your date.”

Charly giggled and added, “I just felt like getting dressed up.”

“Grab your shoes and we’ll find a place. Should I change? I feel a little underdressed,” I said.

We headed to the lobby where I asked about a place to go eat. I was told the nearest place open at this hour was the attached diner.

“Okay with going to the diner next door?” I asked.

“Sure,” Charly said with a smile.

“Do you want to change? You might be a little over dressed for these… these… locals,” I said.

“No, I’m fine,” she said.

“Are you sure?” I asked, and then added, “There’s going to think I’m some kind of dirty-old-man.”

Laughing, Charly says, “That’s the whole point.”

“Okay, but at least grab a sweater or shawl,” I said.

Charly disappeared in to her room and emerged with a silk shawl, and we headed to the diner. I still felt underdressed, but people will probably be looking at Charly, and not me.

August 9, 2019

Oklahoma Capital – Day 11

Oklahoma Capital was our next stop. I was still drying my eyes while we drove to the capital building. In many ways I want to shake this feeling. On the other hand, sadness and outrage helps us to remember we have a loving God who only allows evil so we can exercise agency. He will punish the wicked.

We parked at the Oklahoma Capital grounds and Charly was off before I could get my camera equipment. I made sure I had my batteries, spare memory cards and needed lenses.

“Hey, Brent!” I heard Charly yell, “What do you think is up here?”

Charly About to Get in Trouble - Oklahoma Capital
Charly About to Get in Trouble

Before I could tell her I don’t think she’s supposed to be there, two armed policemen were handcuffing her. I debated on whether to let them know she was with me, or just let them haul her off. I decided to do the honorable thing.

“Officers,” I hollered, “she’s with me and I’m sure she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to be there.”

The officers beckoned me over, and I walked over.

“Is this young lady with you, sir?” the one officer asked.

“Yeah,” I said expressing a look of innocence.

The officer turned to Charly and said, “How did you climb the fence, ma’am?”

Charly looked very surprised and replied, “Climb? I walked through the gate,” and pointed to an open gate.

“Officer,” I began, “if I may point out there isn’t a ‘No Trespassing’ sign over there.”

We walked towards the gate while the other officer stayed with Charly. Sure enough, the “No Trespassing” sign was only visible when the gate was shut.

Looking at me over the top of his mirrored Ray Bans, “It looks like it’s your friends lucky day,” he said.

We walked back to Charly and the other office.

“You can uncuff her,” he said to the other officer, and then looked at Charly and added, “Ma’am, our sincere apologies. While that gate is normally closed and a no trespassing sign visible, someone left it open today. You’re free to go.”

We stood and talked to the kind officers for a bit while they told us about the display Charly was about to climb on. Oklahoma City is a big oil town. The Sooners were to oil what the 49ers were to the Gold Rush. They also pointed out the capital building is undergoing renovation, but is open on the inside.

“And,” the officer smiled at Charly, “Please don’t let us have to arrest you for climbing on the scaffolding,” and then winked.

I saw his humor, but I think Charly was still a bit scared after the handcuffing incident. Visibly shaken, Charly just nodded her head showing she understood.

“I’ll keep her on a short leash officer,” I said in a stern voice, “Come on Charly. Oh, officer, can I borrow your handcuffs? I figure if I cuff her to me she can’t wander far.”

Charly took one big step away from the three of us, and the three of us men laughed, but Charly obviously thought I was serious.

“Come on, Charly, I’m only joking,” I said, “But stick close. I don’t have bail money.” Then, turning to the officers I said, “Thanks again for making this a pleasant experience.”

Charly Happy to Not Be In Jail
Charly Happy to Not Be In Jail

Oklahoma Capital Building Renovation

The Oklahoma Capital Building renovation didn’t stop us from seeing the beautiful interior of the building. Charly noticed her bright red dress went perfectly with the bright red flags flying around the exterior of the plaza.

Under the Dome Inside
Under the Dome Inside

We spent several hours inside looking at the beautiful displays and learning about the State of Oklahoma.

Oh, as a side note, they have the BEST gasoline prices in Oklahoma!!!

August 7, 2019

Sobering – Day 11

Sobering day today. We visited the Oklahoma City Bombing Site. Charly is hardly old enough to remember that day, but Brent remembers it well.

First Thing

The first thing Charly wanted to do is take a dip in the pool, however the night’s rain cooled the air and with the cloud cover things were a bit chilly. Brent met up with her down by the pool.

“Coming for breakfast?” Brent asks.

Charly, pinning her hair back as if she was about to get in the water smiled and said, “I thought I was going to take a swim, but it’s a little too cold.”

No Swimming Today
No Swimming Today

“Okay,” Brent said as he turned and headed towards the breakfast room, “I’ll see you inside after you get dressed.”

“Who said I was going to get dressed,” she yelled back at him.

“The sign in the hotel that reads, ‘No swimsuits in the lobby or dining room’,” Brent said without skipping a beat.

Charly only growled as she grabbed her towel and stomped towards her room.

The Sobering Drive

The sobering drive to downtown Oklahoma City wasn’t anything like the reality of the matter. After finding a place to park, we walked across the street to the memorial.

One first notices the empty chairs that represent those killed that day. Then you notice the chain link fence with momentos and tributes to those who died that day. Children, wives, mothers, fathers, husbands, sons and daughters gone in an instance in a blast and ball of flames.

Reminders of Those Who Died - Sobering
Reminders of Those Who Died

What kind of evil existed in the heart of Timothy McVey and his companions that they would do such an evil thing. This was cold, planned well in advance, calculated and without warning. Evil. It is the only word that describes their actions that day.

I stood there and wept. It is beyond comprehension as to why they would do this. Across the street is a statue. It depicts how Jesus must have felt that day too.

Jesus wept. Sobering
Jesus wept.

The reflecting pool is a beautiful memorial. At the end, on the other side of that gray wall, are remnants of concrete and rebar. To the right, empty chairs for those who died.

Memorial in Oklahoma City
Memorial in Oklahoma City

They blew up a daycare center! To me, that’s the most disgusting part of their actions. The very thought drags me into sorrow. Thank goodness for a God who accepted these children in to his kingdom and will exalt them.

I had to ask, “Why, God? Why?”

The comforting answer I got was God doesn’t interfere with men’s agency -(for evil or good), however, his compassion extends to those who die in innocence. They died as martyrs and their place in heaven is guaranteed, while those who did this will suffer in hell.

July 30, 2019

Automobiles – Day 10

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are also found in museums along the way. They are worth the stop. Charly and I had a fun time visiting museums.

My Maserati Does 185 - Automobiles
My Maserati Does 185

Heart of Route 66 Automobiles Museum

The Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum is a fun, clean museum with staff that is super friendly. We entered, bought our tickets, and proceeded down a hall that looked like Route 66.

“Hey, Brent!” Charly screams, “Look at that Ferrari!”

“Maserati. That’s a Maserati,” I said, and then started singing, “My Maserati does 185; I lost my license and now I don’t drive…”

“Okay,” she said rolling her eyes, “you’re making this up, right?”

“Joe Walsh. Former of the Eagles, broke off and went solo. Known for trashing hotels…” I rattled off as she continued to look at me like I was some sort of freak. “It was a popular song, okay! Look it up on Pandora, or whatever you listen to.”

We hung out at the museum for a while until there was nothing left to see.

Charly would have made a great model for a flying lady hood ornament.

Charly as a Flying Lady
Charly as a Flying Lady

Soda Pop

Also there in Sepulta, Oklahoma, was this huge Coke bottle sculpture. My wheels were turning because I had an idea of how to photograph Charly, but she disappeared, and then came back wearing a green fish scale leotard.

“PERFECT!” I shouted.

She just smiled as if to say she knew I’d like it.

Wondering Where Coca Cola Got the Idea for the Shape of the Bottle - Automobiles
Wondering Where Coca Cola Got the Idea for the Shape of the Bottle

Pops on Route 66 for Automobiles Too

Then in Arcadia, Oklahoma, we found the BIGGEST soda pop store. Pops is cool. Every flavor you can imagine. There were so many diet root beers I had a hard time deciding which ones to purchase.

Charly put on the leotard again, and struck a pose.

Again, There's that Shape
Again, There’s that Shape

And, I should show a wider view. Even the gas pumps (from the front) look like soda dispensers.

Pops on 66 - where to fuel your automobile
Pops on 66

You can fuel your automobiles and your thirst at this place. If there were room in the car I would have bought cases of the stuff. Too many flavors and not enough room to bring them home.

Inside, Charly purchased a cold one and began sucking it down.

A Cold One
A Cold One

Roadside Junk

You find more than just cars abandoned on the side of Route 66. Someone, sadly, decided to dump their sofa. I made the best of it. I’ve always wanted to do this.

“Hey, Charly, go sit on that sofa,” I said.

Surprisingly, she didn’t turn up her nose at the idea, but changed in to another leotard.

“I want to look like I’m lounging,” she said as she stepped out of the car wearing this black lace leotard.

Roadside Lounging
Roadside Lounging

We soon found an old service station with this sign…

Command or Statement?
Command or Statement?

I wasn’t sure if it was some sort of social command or statement, but I’m betting they meant ‘doesn’t work’, and they aren’t telling us to go on welfare and not work at all. We found similar signs along the way. They always put a grin on my face.

When all was said and done, it was another great day cruising Route 66.

End of the Day on Route 66
End of the Day on Route 66

July 25, 2019

Blue Whale – Day 9

Blue Whale is out here somewhere. I've got it on today's MUST SEE list. Charly is excited about finding it too.

Blue Whale is out here somewhere. I've got it on today's MUST SEE list. Charly is excited about finding it too.

Blue Whale is out here somewhere. I’ve got it on today’s MUST SEE list. Charly is excited about finding it too. When driving Route 66 you don’t always see signs directing you to landmarks. (By the way, if you see someone stealing a sign on Route 66, PLEASE get their description and report them to the police. Route 66 is there for EVERYONE to enjoy, and their thievery only makes things less enjoyable for others.)

Cars are strategically abandoned, or placed, along Route 66. Charly liked this cute coupe.

Cute Coupe - Blue Whale Day 9
Cute Coupe

Stuff like this make for some great travel photos. That’s 99% of the fun, in my opinion, of traveling Route 66.

Back on the road and suddenly Charly yells, “Brent! Can we race?”

Joplin 66 Speedway - Blue Whale Day 9
Joplin 66 Speedway

“It looks like it’s closed,” I stated hoping that will diffuse the situation.

“Let’s stop and check,” she said with the enthusiasm as a child expecting ice cream.

As we pulled in the parking lot it was clear it was not operational. So, instead we took a photo.

“Charly, you do realize in order to race your car has to meet certain safety criteria like roll-bars, seat harness, fire extinguisher, and so forth. Not to mention, you have to wear a fire suit and helmet,” I explained.

Here only reply was, “Oh.”

Change of Clothes for Blue Whale

Anticipating the Blue Whale, Charly changed her clothes into her swimsuit.

“I cannot understand how anyone can drive around in a car wearing a swimsuit,” I commented.

“I want to be ready to swim,” she bubbled as she said it.

We soon saw a sign and turned off the road. Charly grabbed her goggles and was ready to hit the water.

“Wait, go to the car and get those fairy wings I brought,” I said as I spotted a field of “mushrooms”.

Charly as a Fairy Poses on a big Man Made Mushroom
Charly as a Fairy Poses on a big Man Made Mushroom

No sooner as I snapped the photo the wings came off and Charly went running in the opposite direction.

“Where the scrud are you going?” I yelled.

“Swimming!” she responded.

The Blue Whale

The Blue Whale is a swim hole a guy made back in the 1970s as a gift to his wife who collected whale figurines. You can read more here.

Today it is a Route 66 tourist attraction. (NOTE: It is not open for swimming. The swimming is only part of this fantasy story. YOU CANNOT GO SWIMMING HERE. Again, it is only part of this story.)

Splash

Splash
Splash

Before I knew it she hit the water. It was about then someone came out and yelled at her, “Hey! No swimming!”

Picnic at the River

From there we found a nice grassy area under a tree for a picnic with some food we picked up at a small grocery store.

Picnicking Along Route 66 in Oklahoma
Picnicking Along Route 66 in Oklahoma

My advice for driving Route 66 is to take your time. Having a picnic near the old Route 66 can often provide a view you can’t find elsewhere. You might see a group of motorcyclist cruising down the road, or someone in a 1930s vintage car. It’s fun to relax and take in the view.

July 17, 2019

EnlightInn – Day 9

EnlightInn was our first stop after the drive-in movies last night. I dropped Charly off at her cottage and went straight to mine. We were both beat.

Knock – knock – knock.

No answer.

Avoiding being too cliche and knocking shave-and-a-haircut, I decided to do a Morse Code comma.

Knock — knock — knock-knock — knock — knock.

“Hold your horses,” I heard coming from inside Charly’s cottage.

A few seconds later, she yells, “You can come in, I’m decent now. It’s safe.”

I opened the door, but remained on the front step.

Charly Isn't Ready at EnlightInn
Charly Isn’t Ready

“WHAT! You aren’t ready to get breakfast?” I said trying not to get angry. “Put some clothes on and let’s go.”

“Whoa! I made an appointment to visit their sensory deprivation tank,” Charly said looking at me like I should understand.

“Sensory, what?” I said rather loudly.

“Sensory deprivation. They put you in a tank filled with mineral water and turn off the lights while you float in the darkness,” she explained.

“Okay, that’s sounding a little like stuff the C.I.A. does in war zones,” I said raising an eyebrow.

Charly started laughing which was getting me more irate, but before I could blow a fuse, she said, “You arranged for us to stay at a health spa, shouldn’t we take advantage of the amenities?”

I took a step back and realized I did reserve this nice cottages, and I did read that it was a health spa.

“Okay…” thinking of what to ask, “… what time do you think we should hit the road?”

“Chill, dude, and take a dip in the tank too,” she smiled.

“Uh, get in a tank, no lights… with you?” I said reluctantly.

“Heaven sakes NO,” she said glaring at my like I had lost my marbles, “To steal your words, that would be inappropriate. Go see if the sauna is available, or something like that.”

I closed the door to her cottage, scratched my head, and thought about what I should do while she pampers herself. Maybe I’ll go get breakfast… they do serve food here.

EnlightInn Charm

EnlightInn has quite the charm. In its day it was a motel for Route 66 travelers. The current owners remodeled the cottages and did an amazing job.

A couple of the buildings are dedicated to spa services, and the main building is the office and juice bar. It has a hominess to it. I could stay there for days.

I decided to get a smoothie.

“What do you recommend?” I asked the young lady at the counter.

“I personally like the Hippy Hippy Shake,” she responded.

Being a big fan of Tommy James and the Shondels, how could I NOT get the Hippy Hippy Shake.

“You convinced me,” I said, pulling out my wallet, “I’ll take a Hippy Hippy Shake.”

EnlightInn Hippy Hippy Shake
EnlightInn’s Hippy Hippy Shake

She handed me my shake and reading my expression she said, “Try it. I realize the color is a little off-putting, but you need to taste it.”

Telling myself its about the same color as a chocolate shake, I took a sip.

“Hey, this is REALLY good,” I said.

Back on the Road

Charly finished her spa treatment (which is about all she talked about for the rest of the day), and we hit the road.

We didn’t make it very far until we saw my friend Paul with another photographer setting up their MoLights.

“Hey, Paul,” I yelled out the car window, “want to shoot Charly?”

Landing a punch on my shoulder, Charly growled, “Nobody is going to SHOOT me.”

I pulled the car over and Charly ran over to greet Paul and his buddy.

Charly Showing Off to the Camera
Charly Showing Off to the Camera

After a discussion with the other two photographers about the great service and products at MoLight, Charly and I were back on the road again.

Special Thanks

A special thanks to EnlightInn. They were kind enough to put Paul and I up for a night when we did our Route 66 Tour. I HIGHLY recommend staying at EnlightInn when you travel through Tulsa. The cottages are cozy, but also loaded with home amenities. The staff is friendly and wonderful to talk to.

Another special thinks to Michael Mowbray, owner of MoLight, for providing some equipment during our tour. Not only does Michael service what he sells, but he USES what he sells. He doesn’t sell anything that he can’t support or offer advice on its use.

December 11, 2017

Day 9 – Fire Station and Railroad

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It's not often you're invited by a town dignitary to come visit. The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It's a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It's not often you're invited by a town dignitary to come visit. The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It's a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

Day 9 – Fire Station and Railroad

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It’s not often you’re invited by a town dignitary to come visit.

The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It’s a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

copyright 2017 db walton
Galena, Kansas, Fire Station

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Galena, Kansas, Railroad Station

A young man came out of the fire station curious as to what we were doing.  We told him his chief invited us to stop by (and about then, the chief pulled up in truck).  Paul asked the young man to pose for a shot.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Firefighter in Galena, Kansas

We’ve learned Galena was a big hub during the mining days.  Extracting galena for its lead and zinc made this a boomtown in the late 1800s.

Intersection of 66 and 69

Soon we came to the intersection of 66 and 69.  Enough said.  Keep your jokes to yourself.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
69 and Alternate 69

Baxter Springs

Baxter Springs has this cool Walgreens.  Now, this is how old businesses should be treated and revived.  I applaud Walgreens for keeping the old signage and adding value to Route 66 in Baxter Springs, Kansas.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Baxter Drugs

Downtown Baxter is a clean town with a turn of the century look.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Baxter Springs

And, here’s a modern oil change outfit that’s keeping the retro look deserving of Route 66.  Kudos to Quick Lube.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Route 66 Quick Lube

We ran in to a couple pulling this cool retro looking trailer.  It turns out they are from the San Francisco Bay Area, so we told them Bay Photo was one of our sponsors and the guy knew exactly who were were talking about.  We left them with a sample of Bay Photo Products.

copyright 2017 db walton
A Couple Traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area

And, another Tow Mater.

WILL THE REAL TOW MATER PLEASE PULL FORWARD.

copyright 2017 db walton
Another Tow Mater

Cool Antique Shop

We found this cool antique shop called the Hitch N’ Post.

copyright 2017 db walton
Antique Shop

Here’s what makes it so cool…

Yes, if you have a 1959 or 1960 El Camino, you can get a replacement door here.  They had much more, but this is just a sample.

copyright 2017 db walton
Need a Car Door

Inside the shop there are replica Route 66 signs, as well as old license plates.

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside the Shop

Route 66 Cookies

There’s a unique old drive-in that sells Route 66 Cookies.  Yes, they are cookies in the shape of a Route 66 shield.

copyright 2017 db walton
Route 66 Cookies

The owners made a big point to point across the street at the Conoco Station to tell us it is fake.  It’s never been a gas station, and is only decorated that way.  Again, it was a huge deal for them to point this out.

copyright 2017 db walton
Fake

December 11, 2017

Day 9 – State to State

Day 9 – State to State

Day 9 is the day we go from state (Missouri) to state (Kansas) to state (Oklahoma).  It’s odd that Kansas is not represented in the Route 66 Song.  Yet, there are some neat places to see in Kansas.  One of them is Galena.

You roll in to Galena, and make a 90-degree turn to the left and here’s what you see…

copyright 2017 db walton - state
A Cool Looking Garage

The top of the garage really caught my attention.  The turn of the century (19th to 20th) style architecture is craftsmanship you don’t see much of today.

copyright 2017 db walton - state
An Old Plymouth

Next to the garage was this beautiful Plymouth… just sitting there.  And, across the street was a famous movie star — Tow Mater.

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Tow Mater

Paul went across the street to check out Bordello Antiques.  Yeah.  That’s its name.

Evidently it was a bordello back in the day.  During the 1800s when this town was a mining town (hence the name Galena which is a metallic stone), patrons would visit the bordello only to be bludgeoned to death for their money.  Some believe it to be haunted.

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Bordello Antiques

I, on the other hand, wandered around Cars on the Route – a restored service station with a souvenir shop and some old cars (including Tow Mater) on the lot.

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Name After the Pixar Film Cars

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31 Cents a Gallon (Back then)

Galena

I remember a singing and dancing group in Sacramento, California, that called themselves Galena Street East.  (WOW, I just searched for them online and they are still performing!)  I digress… except for the name, I don’t think this has anything to do with Route 66.

There’s much to see here.  I liked the old panel vans.  It’s fun to try to make out the lettering that once advertised the owner’s business.  It looks like part of it said, “Doglicious”.  That’s about all I can make out.

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Route 66 Eye Candy

This was easier to read.  I’m tempted to do this on the back of my building just to cover up the ugly brick work.

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Billboards the way they Used to Be

As we head in to town this cool entrance to a bank caught my attention (as well as the old bus across the street).

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Bank Entrance

Inside the entrance I looked up and beheld this cool copper ceiling.  It’s probably paint that gives it that patina look, but it looks coo.

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Copper Ceiling Tiles

Mexican FOOD

As I was walking through town I caught a whiff of Mexican food.  Finding the restaurant, I poked my head inside…

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside Mi Torito

 

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Inside Mi Torito

If you missed our live interview with the owner, you can click here to watch it on Facebook.

October 9, 2017

Superlatives

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it? Well, let us list them.

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it? Well, let us list them.

Superlatives

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it?

Well, let us list them.

Best & Worst

Friendliest

The friendliest state was New Mexico.  I’ve never been to New Mexico before, but every single person we met was friendly.  We’re not talking about the tourists, but the people who live and work in New Mexico.  They score a 10 out of 10 for being friendly.

And Not So Friendly

California.  Yup, California.  I had one guy walk up and call me a “scum bag”.  Okay… that’s a first.  While we met friendly people, many of the businesses there could use a course in customer service.

Biggest Surprise

The biggest surprise along the way is the Los Angeles Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is right on Route 66.

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
A Family of L.A. Dodgers Fans Visiting the Temple Grounds

Best Food Superlatives

This is a very tough one.  I found it not too surprising that the beast meals were comped meals.  I guess when you are providing a complimentary meal to two journalists, you want it to be the best.

That isn’t to say the non-complementary meals weren’t good (well, some weren’t), we noticed a trend.

Burgers

I love a good burger.  The best burger is a tie – Santa Fe Grill in Santa Rosa, New Mexico and Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona.  Their onion rings… the same – a tie.

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
Mr. D’z Diner Staff

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Santa Fe Grill Burger

Mexican Food

Best Mexican food was at Jerry’s Cafe in downtown Gallup, New Mexico.  The food was good, authentic and they are the friendliest people you’ll meet.  If you like sopaipillas with honey… mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.  This is the place.

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Sopaipilla

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The Staff at Jerry’s Cafe, Gallup, NM

Funniest Place

The funniest place on Route 66 is in Seligman, Arizona – the Snow Cap Drive-in.  Just ask for half a cone and see what I mean.  You don’t go here for the food, you come here for the entertainment.

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside the Snow Cap

Saddest Place

I remember the Oklahoma City bombing vividly.  Any news like that is sad, however, I was not prepared for the emotions I felt when I visited the site. Consequently I cried a lot while visiting this memorial.

I wasn’t sad for the slain, I was sad because of the evil that exists in the world today.

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Sad Reminders

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Jesus Wept

Happiest Place

Oh, there are lots of happy places along Route 66.  It depends on what you’re in the mood for.  For me, it would be the nicely restored Corvairs this couple have.  Or, maybe it was the fun people we met along the way.  Well, it could have been the tongue-n-cheek humor in Uranus, Missouri.  Therefore, there are MANY happy places on Route 66.

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The Axe Hole at Uranus

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Young Couple Enjoying Frozen Custard

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Fully Restored Corvair Monza Wagon

Road Conditions

To say there are superlatives with road conditions on Route 66 is an understatement.  Hence, I’ll just share a few of photos that tell the story.

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Cobblestone Brick

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A Dead End Section

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A Big Drop Off (this was actually closed to cars)

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Washboard and Potholes

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Unexpected Road Closures

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Winding Mountain Roads

Hotels and Motels

We stayed at many great places.  All of the hotels who provided complementary lodging were clean and nice.  I can’t say that about all the paid rooms.

It’s best in this category that I thank those who comped us roomes:

  • Comfort Suites in Rella, Missouri – Clean and friendly staff and right on Old Route 66
  • Enlight Inn in Joplin, Missouri – Charming Cottages, I want to go back.
  • Fairfield Inn in Tulsa, Oklahoma – Clean
  • Broadway Inn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Off the beaten track, but close to everything
  • EconoLodge, Elk City, Oklahoma – Elk City is the middle of nowhere, but here’s the place to stay.
  • Quality Inn, Tucumcari, New Mexico – Treated us like family (in the good way).  The pool was ultra clean!
  • Holiday Inn Express, Gallup, New Mexico – Another clean hotel on Route 66
  • Ramblin Rose, Kingman, Arizona – Best Value for your money near the Grand Canyon!  Clean too!
  • Hilton, Pasadena, California – Best place to stay in Pasadena.  Service is top-notch
  • Special Mention
    • Fairmont, Santa Monica, California – Amazing view.  It’s a couple blocks off Route 66, but you can see it from the rooms that face south.

Not So Good

On the not-so-good side, I would not recommend Motel 6 in Normal, Illinois.  And, I would not recommend Budget Host Inn, Williams, Arizona.  The Motel 6 in Normal, Illinois, is filthy, and the Budget Host Inn in Williams is very over priced for what you get (or don’t get).  Don’t be fooled by Budget Host’s “free breakfast”.  It was a gallon of milk sitting on the counter, two sugary cereals and a couple of boxes of mini doughnuts (boxed, store bought kind).

More to Come

There is more to come.  Check back often for updates as we review our trip.

Thanks to Sponsors

Also, a very heartfelt thanks to all those who sponsored our trip…

  • Bay Photo Labs
  • Republic Wireless
  • Warner 5 Color
  • Walworth Animal Hospital
  • Alien Skin Software
  • Anthropics Software
  • ACDSee Software
  • Topaz Labs
  • On1 Software
  • Nataliacha Doodley Do
  • Fine Art by DB (Yeah, I personally put a lot of my business money in to this trip)