Oklahoma, Sunday, March 23, 2008

Driving Route 66 across Oklahoma can be confusing to first-timers (and even experienced road-trippers). But it's worth the visit.

Crossing into the Sooner State in mid-afternoon, I checked out an old gas station that seems morphed into a karate business. In
Miami (pronounced "Mi-am-uh" around here), I'd hoped to eat at Waylan's Ku Ku Burger but couldn't due to the holiday. I made wrong-turns and was forced to attempt u-turns in (it seems) every town between Miami and Tulsa, attracting the attention of cops but snagging no tickets. Along the way I photographed lots of motel relics, including the Rest Haven, the Avon, the Country Court, and the Chelsea. As the sky glowed orange and pink, I photographed the Blue Whale, picking up some litter left by thoughtless travelers, and picked up speed for my destination.

By the time I arrived in Tulsa, the sun was setting down 11th street in a perfectly straight-line. And there it was, the Desert Hills Motel. For some reason, this place has always captured my imagination: an idealized version of "the West," complete with glowing cactus, in the middle of town.
I know that the next few days will bring me into some real deserts (though the cacti grow south of where I'll be driving) but for tonight, as the neon radiated under the stars I was where I wanted to be.

I ventured back east on 11th to shoot the Oasis Motel, grabbed a sublime meal at Tally's Cafe, and headed for bed. [Continue...]

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All text and photos copyright Andrew Wood