By: Maryanne Erikson
Tuesday September 9, 2014
I dedicated today’s journey from Joplin, Missouri to Oklahoma City to our dear friend Claudia Ainsley who passed away yesterday. When we gather in the morning for our meeting, there are always dedications read by Norm who is a pastor. People give him their tributes to share with the group for those who have been taken by cancer or are currently challenged by it. This morning we all bowed our heads for a moment of silence in her honor. I am deeply touched by the heart of this group. Claudia is now my angel and will ride with me all the way to California. Fly in peace dear friend.
It was going to be a very hot day today, so people prepared accordingly. Our first stop was just across the border in Galena, Kansas. What a fun little one-horse town! As we rounded the corner we were accosted and rounded up by a woman barking loud orders at us about where to park. It turns out she is the maven of this corner and has created a great little Route 66 business for herself with the tow truck that was supposedly the inspiration for the same character in the movie “Cars”! She has single-handedly turned what once was just a blip on the map into quite a popular stop for all travelers on the Mother Road tours!!! There were some really cool vintage cars around the property too, like this beauty.
The rest of the morning, we were present to how different the landscape was looking from yesterday. I have the distinct feeling we’re coming into the plains states as things are really flattening out and becoming more faded and much less green. Soon enough we’ll be in the desert – for quite a long time – so I’m enjoying the greenery whereever I see it! Enjoy these photos from the many small towns that dotted the route today.
Waylan’s Ku Ku Hamburgers, Miami, Oklahoma
Rest Haven Motel (abandoned), Afton, Oklahoma
Palmer Hotel, Afton, Oklahoma
Wish I knew more about the story of this place – only three units
EAT, Vinita, Oklahoma
The Blue Whale, Catoosa, Oklahoma
Pop’s, Arcadia, Oklahoma
This place is truly inspired! Someone very creative with lots of money invented a new and great roadside attraction on Route 66 just outside of Oklahoma City called “Pops”. This 66′ high LED bottle lights up at night (sure with I could have seen it!) in all sorts of great colors. The building and gas station are also futuristic in design and features over 500 different bottles of chilled sodas – all lined up according to colors! They also have a soda fountain, diner, gas station and of course a souvenier shop. Wow – very impressive.
It was a long day as were approaching our hotel for the night in Yukon, OK – a suburb of Oklahoma City. We passed this huge grain elevator / factory and I had to stop and take some shots. It seemed abandoned, but can’t be sure of it. Wish I could have come back to see if the neon sign was illuminated – it appears to be in excellent condition. Signing off to finally go to sleep. Tomorrow morning we will get an early start so we can visit the memorial site for the Federal Building that was bombed many years ago. And we will travel over 400 miles tomorrow and spend the night in Amarillo, Texas – that does seem far away! So glad to have you along on the ride, thanks for all your support.