Oklahoma, Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I awoke after a series of nightmares inspired, I think, by the foul vibe I got from this motel. My mood brightened quickly enough when I stepped into the crisp, cool air. The weather folks tell me that it's going to get hot in this part of the country, and indeed I stored my warm jacket a couple days back. The rains are gone and the skies are almost painfully blue. I think tomorrow I'll break out the camouflage shorts, a staple of long drives for me: they have lots of pockets for my gear, they go with everything, and they hide stains well.

My first stop was the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. It's a somewhat small affair, but it's wonderfully done. Each room advances through the different eras of the Mother Road, complete with signage, clothes, advertisements, and music. Hearing Woody Guthrie's "Will Rogers Highway," I was dumbstruck that I've never put that song on my travel playlist. The tour deposited me to a gift shop where I purchased an enamel Campbell 66 "Snortin Norton" sign in honor of Rich Henry.

A few miles down the road awaited the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City. A much bigger place, with a huge neon highway shield marking the entrance, The National site seems to have a smaller Route 66 section, leaving much more of the complex dedicated to a collection of old buildings that approximate a small frontier town. It was kind of cool, but not as nice as Red Oak II. For my money, the Clinton, Oklahoma place is the best Route 66 museum I've seen yet (though visit Elk City's museum just to photograph the creepy "newly married" couple hitting a bumpy road to matrimony). Passing through Sayre (photographing the Western Motel) I said goodbye to Oklahoma and set out to cross the Texas panhandle. [Continue...]

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All text and photos copyright Andrew Wood