Monday, May 31, 2010

Amarillo to Albuquerque

Heading west from Amarillo we stopped at an American road icon which was moved to its present location in 1997. "Cadillac Ranch" is the resting place for 10 road barges that used to glide across the highways in style. Graffiti artists have made this a very colorful place.

In Adrian, Texas we found the most hospitable cafe on the Mother road. The Midpoint Cafe is pure old-timey diner inside and out, where you can have a tasty piece of pie, buy a cookbook with its recipe and have it signed by the author! The YUM that keeps on giving . . . :)

Why do they call it the Midpoint Cafe? Now you know.
This old road warrior is parked alongside the cafe. If it could only talk.

Air conditioned cars were not part of the old Route 66 landscape. Seeing this sign was sure to bring cries of "I want some!" from the back seat.

Seeing Judy, Sam and Gloria, it looks like that cry is still heard today. (Later, when Judy mentioned over the walkie-talkie that her dog, Foxy, was licking the bowl, Oscar glowered at me for not having any ice cream myself and sharing it with him. You just can't win sometimes - sheesh)

I told him I did ask for a 5 cent hot dog, but they were all out.

Although the Blue Swallow Motel of Tucumcari, NM has lost a bit of its luster it still manages to draw a steady flow of bikers along the Mother road to fill its rooms.
Its mural on the side harkens back to busier times.

Gloria and Judy spotted opportunity at the Timeless Treasures antique stop and several of us pulled over to see what all the excitement was about.

As the ladies roamed the store in search of the-mother-find, the guys were entertained by Rodeo Ralph who told us about the good ole days.

Not every portion of Route 66 is friendly to RV traffic. But when you're pulling a Little Plastic Trailer, even the narrowest of tunnels is no problem.

In Cuervo, time marches on for this decaying mission whose wooden steeple still stands against the elements.

There is no shortage of museums to be found along the Mother Road. Santa Rosa has the Auto Museum where enthusiasts can drool over classic cars and hot rods.

To be continued . . .


Whew! We finally made it back onto The Mother Road and to the next gathering in Amarillo, TX. Oscar took great pleasure in telling everyone about my wrong turn and the lovestruck bull. I simply told them I wasn't lost . . . I was EXPLORING!

As you know, everything is big in Texas. This was not exception with the two limousines that picked us op for a trip the the Big Texan Steakhouse. Nice hood ornament.

Ladies love shoes and ours were taken with Big Texan's boot our front.

Us guys are sometimes full-of-bull and gravitated elsewhere for our photo. The ad on the side of the bull is about the FREE 72 oz steak . . . only catch is you must eat it all, along with a salad, baked potato, and three shrimp. Failure to eat the whole 4 1/2 pound slab of beef and its fixin's leaves you with a $72 tab and a stomach ache.

No one in our party went for the 72oz monster but, as you can see we were pleased with our meals.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

El Reno, OK to Amarillo, TX

During this Little Plastic Trailers on Route 66 adventure, travelers are free to overnight at the place of their choice. Getting from point A to point B is also our own responsibility. Sometimes we may have as many as 5 trailers in a close caravan at other times, there may be one or two. We know the destination city and that Lane & his grandson, Mathew will be at the KOA. Sometmes we're all there as well and other times we branch out to other locations. Many of us overnighted at Red Rock Canyon State Park in Hinton, OK. A picturesque valley lined with rock cliffs that showed off their color. A stream runs along the northern cliffs.

This stream was significant in the mid 1800s to folks traveling the California Road from Ft Smith, AR westward to California in search of gold. They carved a special ramp down a steep incline to allow the oxen driven wagons to literally slide down the rock to a point that would make it easier to fill up their water stores for the long trip ahead. One of those rock pathways can still be seen in the park.
Time to get on the road, we teamed up with Sam & Gloria for the day's travel. Here is a rural Oklahoma section of the Mother Road.

We soon came upon the little town of Erick, OK. Birthplace of Roger Miller, who composed King of the Road and Sheb Wooley, infamous for his Purple People Eater. A comedy act was in progress at the refurbished City Meat market, now a venue for new talent.

Artifacts from bygone days were strewn about the property. I wonder how many miles this old Plymouth hood went down the Mother Road.

Sam and Gloria said they were juse-a-relaxin on the porch, but I think they were getting lubricated! Check out the can on the table.

In Shamrock, TX the U-Drop Inn and Conoco gas station shared the same structure. Its now the location for the city's Chamber of Commerce.
This Mclean gas station was the first Phillips 66 in Texas back in the day.

Even water towers have trouble standing up to the constant force of the wind out here. (Actually it was designed that way to get attention - it works!)

Route 66 has had many changes over the years. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to find the original Mother Road. Then again, sometimes you just make a dumb mistake and head to the literal "end of the road" Here you have a case of being dumber than dumb and going beyond the end of the road as the Wonder Egg, followed by Sam and Gloria chart new territory. (Where no EGG has gone before . . .)

Oscar looked out the window and said "Hey Pete! That big old Texas bull is looking at the Wonder Egg with lust in its eyes . . . Lets get outta here!!!!!!!!!!!"

Will the Little Plastic Trailers ever find a place to turn around without getting bogged down in cow patties? Will Pete live down the shame of making a wrong turn? Will Oscar the Smiley Dog ever make it to Santa Monica?

To be continued . . .

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Joplin, MO to El Reno, OK

Oscar's full 13 pounds bounced up and down on me this morning as he said "Hey Pete . . . wake up sleepyhead . . . it's time to hit the Mother Road. It's gonna be another great day!"

The Eggs rallied and off we went, westbound on Route 66 entering Kansas. In Galena, we discovered 'Mater, from the animated movie CARS hanging out at the Kan-O-Tex gas station.

CARS is one of Oscar's favorite movies and 'Mater was his favorite character. He was thrilled to meet him in person.

Sometimes, you must be very observant to find the road signs for the Mother Road.

And then there are times you just can't miss it. :)

West of Riverton, the Eggs rolled across the Rainbow Bridge, the only remaining bridge of its type to grace Route 66.

While Kansas was the home of Dorothy and her dog Toto, Oklahoma was the boyhood home of Micky Mantle. His home is found in Commerce. You can almost sense he and his dad out on the lawn practicing hitting balls over the house.

Chris was inspired so much he thought he'd take his turn at bat. Great form, Chris!

Coming into Miami we found Waylan's Hamburger . . . home of the KU KU bird which appears to be popping out of the building like a giant coo-coo-clock.

During the hey days of the "Roaring 20's", a theater was conceived in Miami, OK. The exterior of the Coleman theater is Spanish mission style. Inside we found is a classic showpiece of theatrical splendor . . .

Gloria and Rich sat front row, center taking in the ambiance.

This Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ put out a magical sound for our enjoyment. WOW!

For lunch, we dined at Clanton's Cafe, in Vinita, OK. Jim Sharp, a member on the Casita Club Forum met us all for lunch as we dined on chicken fried chicken sandwiches, chicken fried steak, and other delicious delights.

Jim got us a very special hors d'oervre to commemorate the occasion . . . calf-fries, aka bull oysters . . . Jim said they were simply "battered and fried souvenirs of a radical bovine vasectomy." I told Oscar about these yummy morsels when we got on the road again. All he could say (after some gagging sounds) was "Ewwwwww!" If you pass these parts around Mid-September, be sure to stop in at the Worlds Largest Calf-Fry Festival and have you some. :)

Just 4 miles east of Foyil, on HWY 28A, is the worlds largest totem pole. A colorful display of folk art, it rises to the sky claiming its dominance over the totem pole world.

Oscar was impressed.

Next, we all circled the wagons to take in The Blue Whale in Catoosa.

Oscar asked me how the whale got there. I told him it likely swam in . . . after all, Catoosa is one of the largest, most inland river-ports in the United States.

Mathew went to check it out up close and when he returns home he can tell all his friends "It was THIS big."

To be continued . . .