Route 66 | Day 3
Maybe the most fulfilling day of our trip so far, as we had the opportunity to drive through 3 different States; starting from Missouri, slightly crossing through Kansas and ending up in Oklahoma!
In the 520 kilometers traveled, we counted numerous towns (and ghost towns) along the way, amazing attractions and countless photo opportunities!!!
After leaving Rolla we first approached the small village of Spencer, one of the few places where a segment of the original US Highway 66 still passes through. The vintage Phillips 66 Station immediately attracted our attention and our cameras equally loved it!
Our next stop was Carthage. Even if the Historic Jasper County Courthouse is no located on the road itself, its tall towers and arches stand out from distance and no-one can really resist a short walking detour to admire it from up-close.
Carthage turned out to be a historic gem itself, as it was here that some important battles of the two American Civil Wars took place. It is also the site where the Historic 66 Drive-In, one of the few still operating drive-in theaters on Route 66, is located!
Just around the corner, sitting atop a hill, a gigantic pair of hands have been praying over Webb City! The words below the hands read: “Hands in Prayer. World in Peace.”
Entering Kansas, even for a short while, was exciting! And the small town of Galena did not fail our expectations! Here we found the “Cars on the Route”, the most popular stop in Old US Highway 66. This place served as an inspiration for the director of the movie “Cars” and the reason is more than obvious!
On the other side of the street, you will see another interesting building; an abandoned warehouse that once served as a hideaway place for the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde!
Oklahoma is the next State in our list and we will be crossing it from the one side to the other!
Our first stop was at the vintage gas station of Conoco in the small town of Commerce. Probably the most photographed gas station along the route! At least by us!
Just across the street you will find another historic landmark of the town of Commerce; the Dairy King. Be kind an pay it a click!
Before arriving in Tulsa, our overnight destination for Day 3, we paid a short visit to the Blue Whale, a roadside Route 66 attraction in Cartoosa. This place has been pretty popular in the old days, attracting both travelers and locals alike who would stop to either swim, fish or have a picnic.
Route 66 | Day 4
The day we realized that 440 kilometers were not enough to take us out of Oklahoma State!
We started our day with an early morning stop at the famous Rock Cafe in the town of Stroud, a place praised not only for its interior decoration but also for the pastry selection on its menu. We picked up a pastry served with a hot rum sauce all over it, but truth is that we found it way too sweet for our European taste…
Our next stop was at the Historic Round Barn outside the small village of Arcadia. The upper level of the barn is nowadays used for all kinds of social events, while the bottom level serves as a vintage and souvenir shop.
We were honored to be welcomed by Mr. Sam, a true celebrity of the Round Barn! Mr. Sam is now over 90 years old but has the energy of a young kid! He told us about his 3 wives, shared stories of the good old days and even invited us to dance with him!!! If you are lucky enough to pass by on a Monday, you will definitely find him there… If not, you can at least buy his postcard as a souvenir!
Our visit in Oklahoma City was limited to the Oklahoma City National Memorial, a place honoring the victims of the bombing that took place on April 19, 1995.
Here you will find the Two Gates of Time placed opposite each other and serving as the main entrances to the Memorial. The one brings the time 9:01 on it, being the last moment of peace, while the other brings the time of 9:03, being the moment of recovery… 9:02 was the time of the bombing…
Inside the memorial, there is also a Reflecting Pool and 168 Empty Chairs representing all those who lost their lives in the bombing… The name of the victims have been engraved on the base of each chair.
Back to the car and without a plan for any further stop until we drove past El Reno. The beautiful Route 66 murals found here are simply amazing, and it was pretty hard to resist to a short stroll around the town!
Another interesting stop I can recommend to everyone is at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in the town of Clinton. However, we strongly recommend to not get over excited with the numerous road-side attractions found on this particular part of the route, as you can easily get out of schedule.
And this is exactly what happened to us! Even if our stops were limited to very selective attractions along the way, we soon realized it was impossible to reach Shamrock for our overnight and we decided to stop at Elk City instead…
You can find more pictures of our Day 4 on Route 66 here.