Route 66 2015


Day 9: Branson (Missouri) – Oklahoma City (Oklahoma)

We had a long trip today, about 600km. We left in Branson at 8.45am and arrived in Oklahoma City around 6.20pm.

After an extensive breakfast we started driving to Gary’s Gay Parita. Gary and his wife Lena used to operate a Sinclair gas station and their son, Steve Turner, is still maintaining it. He was at the gas station when we were there. He told us he would like to reopen the shop, together with his sister. We said it was looking great, but according to Steve a lot of signs and other things were stolen since his parents stopped operating the station.

Route66 Missouri 9 GarysGayParita

Next stop was a drive-in theatre that was still being operated. Every weekend you can enjoy movies from the comfort of you car in the theatre here in Carthage.

A little further we crossed the border into the third state of our trip, Kansas. But just 21km later we were already in the 4th state, Oklahoma. Our first stop in Oklahoma was the McDonalds in Vinita. The restaurant is housed in a former Glass House Restaurant, that spans I-44.

After we had lunch at McDonalds we drove to the Blue Whale of Catoosa. Hugh Davis built the concrete whale as a birthday present for his wife. Nowadays it’s one of the most recognised icons of Route 66.

Route66 Oklahoma BlueWhaleOfCatoosa

The last stop on our list was Rock Creek Bridge. This bridge was built even before there were plans for Route 66.It was part of the Ozark Trail. In 1926 this part of the Ozark Trail became part of Route 66. Close to the bridge you can see the remnants of the abandoned Teepee Drive-in Theatre.

We didn’t have any more stops planned for the last 160km of the trip, but we did see some beautiful gas stations and mainstreets.

After checking in at Best Western Saddleback Inn we had dinner in a nearby restaurant.

Day 10: Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) – Almarillo (Texas)

Because the trips of the previous days all took more time than planned, we decided to skip the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and immediately continued on Route 66. The end of our trip will be the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Amarillo.

We could add another state to our list today, Texas. Heidi was delighted when she saw someone with a cowboyhat and boots! We had already seen enough cows, so they weren’t that impressive.. 😉

After a short stop at Luccille’s Gas Station we arrived at the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford. Thomas Stafford came from Weatherford and was commander on flights of Gemini and Apollo spacecrafts for NASA. During the Apollo X mission he orbited the moon to prepare the moonlanding. The museum was small but very interesting. There were airplanes from different era’s and models of some spacecrafts. We met a German couple that was also travelling on Route 66.

At U-Drop-In we took time for some photos. The building is really beautiful. Some buildings in the Pixar movie Cars were based on U-Drop-In. We could see in the guestbook that a lot of people stopped here today. Also Belgians, from Antwerp.

Route66 Texas UDropInnRestaurantAndServiceStation

In Groom we saw the Leaning Watertower of, yes, Groom. It was built this way to attract people to the town. A little further we visited Groom Cross, the largest crusifix of the western hemisphere. The cross is 58m high and can be seen from 32km away.

Last stop of the day was Bug Farm. This is a parody of Cadillac Ranch. Five VW Beetles were buried nose down in the ground.

It was too late to go to the rodeo we planned to see, we decided to drive to the Big Texan Steak Ranch today instead of tomorrow. The Big Texan Steak Ranch is world famous for the legendary steak of 2kg. The steak is for free if you can eat it within the hour, together with a potato and a salad. If you can’t it will cost you 72 dollars and a walk of shame! The restaurant is very popular, with an average waitingtime of 45 minutes. While we were waiting someone from the restaurant showed us the rattlesnake that was kept in the giftshop.

Route66 Texas BigTexanSteakRanch

We saw people putting salt and pepper in their beer. The bartender said Americans put the stranges things in their beer, like salt and tomato juice. According to him they did it because American beer is no good. 😉 

The food was definintely worth the wait!

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