Category Archives: Religion

Oklahoma City does, indeed, look mighty pretty

The day began with bright blue cloudless skies in Tulsa and remained thus for the whole of our 250 mile journey.  Once again, we elected to take the fastest route to the first of our agreed points of interest, which meant we took the turnpike for 90 miles before turning off onto Route 66. We continue to be fascinated by the vastness of the scenery, which today took us through horse breeding country, cattle ranches and vast pasturelands. Equally there were plenty of “empty miles”, with fields, trees, lakes, and simple ponds.

Our first stopping point was a tiny gas station in Arcadia where we were clearly items of curiosity for a couple of good ol’ boys working on a nearby fence.  From there it was just a few yards to ‘The Round Barn’, which is a much photographed Route 66 icon. Looking around the gift shop/memorabilia exhibits on the ground floor was interesting but the vast upper floor was a jaw dropping moment. The huge expanse of ceiling was a work of art, as was the wooden floor.  They were preparing for a wedding later in the day, so, after enjoying listening to a “fiddler” warming up, we moved on up the road to “Pop’s”.

Just as the barn was quaint and old, Pop’s was an almost futuristic gas station/shop/restaurant with a modern sculpture of a bottle of pop declaring its speciality. For Pop’s sells just about every flavour of soda known throughout North America.  What an array.  People were streaming in for meals but also to buy carriers full of their favourite sodas.  Carolyn bought a vanilla one, so we will see what she thinks in due course.

An additional attraction was the long, long line of motorcycles and tricycles parked up. We talked to a guy driving a fabulous yellow tricycle to find that he was leading a long line of motorcyclists who were having a weekend fund raising trip for a colleague suffering from cancer.  It was quite a sight, and quite a noise too!

As we left, still on the old road, we agreed that whatever the lady in the sat nav said, we were going through and not around Oklahoma City.  Carolyn defied all instructions for turning around and executing U-turns and we had a lovely drive around the very quiet city on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Great buildings, friendly folks who waved as I took endless photographs and we enjoyed ‘beating the sat nav’ as we slid quietly back onto the route provided.  Chuckles.

We took another slight diversion to see two things: another ever so slightly rundown little town with historic landmarks and finally the rather wonderful Route 66 Museum at Clinton. This was full of exhibits from the various decades, all with music to match the era.  Just wonderful.

I said this morning that it felt a long way from the sea…and so it is. We are about half way across America and won’t see the Pacific until the end of the trip. Bizarrely, even knowing that, it doesn’t stop you scanning the vast horizon as you crest the brow of the hill. You can see for miles and miles, but not quite that many!!!

Carolyn’s Curios

The mile after mile of usually straight rolling road is often punctuated with churches. Today’s two most unusual ones were ‘Rock of the Resurrection’ and the ‘Infant Jesus of Prague’.  Interesting.

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Today started with another first for me… I made my own waffle for breakfast. Waffle is one of my specialities but that’s when I talk off subject!  My breakfast waffle wasn’t bad “who says it as shouldn’t”.

Food later at Pop’s had a very different flavour.

As Kath writes, I have a penchant for defying the Sat. Nav. and answering it back!  It didn’t help yesterday when she told us to go down a road which the police had blocked off; nor today when there was a road closed for repairs. However, most times it is simply we don’t want to go the quickest route – we want the most interesting. Armed with a good sense of direction, we try to outthink the algorithm – usually with success  We found the hotel last night that way and we found most of our Historic Route 66 highspots today… plus a few potholes! One of our finds was the Route 66 Museum – my favourite of the day in many ways.

Yesterday, we noted ‘Carolyn’s Cafe’ on a mural and today a sign to Carolyn Inn. A popular name but the latter, I found, was the scene of a double murder last year  maybe ‘CAROLYN’ will be less popular!

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Confession time: yesterday I committed a felony, apparently. Having purchased a Toll Pass for turnpikes when we hired the car, we drove through the Pass Lanes at speed in Oklahoma doing a realistic impression of Smokey and the Bandit or the Gumball Rally. However, we have found that our Pass applies here in almost all States… except Oklahoma! Whoops! Their website says doing that is a felony. I’ve written an email to them and am awaiting the reply! Update when available. My email was written in the first person singular so Kath can ‘post the bail money’ if needed  #onlykidding

Talking of Kath – laid back or upright – the Rainbow smile is consistent!

“Just take my way, that’s the highway that is best”

Any lingering rain clouds melted away as we left Springfield, Missouri this morning. We were still chuckling about the chat we had enjoyed with the lady who had served us freshly made waffles for breakfast. She was a veritable ‘Mrs Overall’, although we concluded she may have been younger than either of us. We did learn that instead of our cinema visit last night, we could have gone to a ‘Bare Back Bull Riding Rodeo’, where the winner lasted just 8 seconds!!  Gutted, not!  Poor bulls.

Our first stop was Joplin, Missouri. We found the town centre but struggled to find the promised Route 66 signs, murals, etc.  We did find a cup of coffee but Carolyn had views on that!  However, we now have photographs to prove we went to Joplin (following the song) and were determined to subsequently go “off piste” and discover the historic highways of the original route. What treasure we found.

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Ignoring the protestations of the sat nav, we followed the historic route to Galena. That took us on Kansas State roads where their signage pays constant homage to the historic route. Such a pity that the route only occupies some 30 miles or so of the state before disappearing off to Oklahoma. We both remembered the Cars movie and there, in Galena, we found ‘Tow Mater’ and friends at an historic filling station (now a memorabilia shop and a cafe).

The real Route 66ers were there on their motorbikes but we were loving the experience too.  The small town is 66 shades of fun, but sadly deserted and we just hope they can keep it all going.

We enjoyed more miles on the original route before resorting to the Tulsa Turnpike in order to build in some of the 250 miles or so.

Before arriving in Tulsa, we did take a diversion to Totem Pole Park at Foyil. More curiosities for the route and the centrepiece of this whimsical collection of concrete sculptures is a 90 ft behemoth that allegedly took 11 years, six tons of steel and 28 tons of cement to finish.  What can I say?  It was big!

So, here we are in Tulsa, a lovely city, but Oklahoma (on our route tomorrow) also looks mighty pretty….!

Carolyn’s Curios

Let’s start when we were 24 hours from Tulsa… One of us (not me!) decided a Jason Statham action film was the best way to spend the evening in Springfield. The film was violent, had a banal script but… the seats were extraordinary!

As Kath mentioned, Joplin deserved a visit and an apology as Mick Jagger missed it out of the Rolling Stones’ version of Route 66  Mick, it is not “down to Missouri”, it’s “Joplin, Missouri”. For the definitive version, listen to Nat King Cole, please

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Having been called ‘Sweetie’ and being told I had ‘super cute’ nails today, I had to get more serious. Are the extremes of weather a contributary factor to the plethora of different church denominations here? If nature is so strong, they need a stronger deity? Is the run down feel to significant areas of mid-America, the reason for Trump’s support. Having done religion and politics, I’ll leave it there, I think.

Less seriously was Galena where Kath finished in the jail!

I’ll post a few photos which I’ve liked from our most Route 66 type day, yet! We finished next door with a steak and, it had to be, a pint of Route 66 Amber.