181 Photos - Aug 23, 2014
Photo: August 6, 2014-After a week of lugging boxes to and fro, there were but a few more to heft into the car.Photo: August 6-My sisters have total confidence in the situation.Photo: August 6-It fits!Photo: August 6-These fine folks turned up at Ted Drewes to see me off on the journey.  I can't tell you how much I love them for that.Photo: August 6-Photo: August 6-What luck that Route 66 starts at St. Louis' favorite frozen custard.Photo: August 6, 2014-The journey begins after torrential downpours west of St. Louis.  #66Kicks commences!Photo: August 6-The first "World's Largest" on my trip happened that very night when I sought out the World's Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning, MO.Photo: August 7, 2014-After spending the night in Springfield, MO, I finished some details of the departure and regrouped at the Dancing Mule Coffee Co.  I also just sat down for a few hours, which was a change from all the moving of boxes.Photo: August 7- Before leaving Springfield, I stopped at the only Steak 'n' Shake left that has curbside service. A car hop brought my steakburger and fries right to me.Photo: August 7-Mater outside SpringfieldPhoto: August 7-Truss bridge in between Springfield and Cathage, MO.Photo: Photo: August 7-The idyllic town square in Carthage, MO resembled a number that I would find on the route in various states of upkeep.  This one was among the best.Photo: August 7-Carthage Town SquarePhoto: August 7-This bank on the town square in Carthage reminded me of Gringotts.Photo: August 7-It was a hot day but not unbearable.  Iced coffee was definitely in order, though, once finding this place in Carthage.Photo: August 7-I did my best to follow the cities in the song.  Having started in "St. Louie", this afternoon, I poked around "Joplin, Missouri".Photo: August 7-The city has a number of murals.Photo: Photo: August 7-I went in pursuit of a mural by Thomas Hart Benton depicting life at the turn of the century.Photo: August 7-This mural, adjacent to the previous one, is by Benton's grandson depicting Joplin life in the fifties and sixties.Photo: August 7-A study for the Thomas Hart Benton mural.Photo: August 7-One of the displays in the Municipal Building showed where relief came from following the disastrous tornados in 2011.Photo: August 7-Kansas has the tiniest stretch of the Mother Road.  The Interstate bypasses it completely, but the original Route 66 has about thirteen miles.Photo: Photo: August 7-Camillo really enjoyed the trip.Photo: August 7-Some stretches of the Mother Road are still marked.  Others are in poor shape.  Large portions are underneath current section of Interstate 44 and 40.Photo: August 7-Rainbow Bridge near Riverton, KS used to be a three-span bridge.  This is the last remaining of the spans.Photo: August 7-Shortly after crossing into Oklahoma, I ran out of steam and settled in Vinita.  After dinner at El Cabrito, I walked down to the Center Cinema to see "Guardians of the Galaxy."  It was a good choice.Photo: August 8-Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park
This was the first of a lot painted concrete that I would see in the coming days.Photo: Photo: I could only presume this was "Grandmother Turtle" who carries the Earth on her back.Photo: Photo: August 8-One of the earliest pleasant surprises ("Oh, THAT'S on the route?!") was the hometown of Will Rogers in Claremore.  Though I can't say I knew a great deal about Will Rogers before visiting his Memorial Museum, I can now say that I admire this fellow.Photo: Photo: Hammett House Restaurant was practically in the shadow of the Will Rogers Memorial and was voted as the best comfort food in America.Photo: August 8-The lemon pecan pie at Hammett House was outta sight.Photo: August 8-Catoosa, OKPhoto: August 8-This kinda cool, kinda creepy cement and rebar structure was originally a dock and swimming structure built as an anniversary present.Photo: August 8-Inside the Blue Whale!Photo: August 8-This would not be the last giant painted concrete structure I would see today.Photo: August 8-The Golden Driller in Tulsa, OK outside the convention centerPhoto: August 8-Size 300, please.Photo: Photo: August 8-The Boston Ave Church is a fine specimen of Art Deco meets Prairie style.Photo: August 8-Some fine design mimicking wheat in the lamps surrounding the church.Photo: Photo: Photo: The Vickery Phillips 66 Station in Tulsa--which now houses an Avis office--is a restored version of the classic Phillips 66 cottage-style station.Photo: Photo: August 8-The Round Barn in Arcadia is a stunning sight.  Round barns were constructed because they were thought to be tornado-proof.Photo: Photo: August 8-The roof is like a giant basket.Photo: August 8-The owners used to host barn dances in the loft, and it is still available to rent for weddings, parties, and functions.Photo: August 8-Oklahoma is quite proud of its Native American heritage, boasting  that little over a century ago, much of Oklahoma was Indian territory.  The art around the State Capitol campus is in keeping with that pride.Photo: August 8-Oklahoma State Capitol "Oklahoma City is mighty pretty..."Photo: August 8-Plaza of Nations honoring the Indian nations included in the State of Oklahoma.Photo: August 8-Oklahoma City is the only state that has active oil rigs on the capitol grounds.Photo: August 8-"Spirit of the Wind" by Allan Houser at the Oklahoma State CapitolPhoto: August 8-Roberts Grill was a true Roadfood destination.  The onion friend hamburger and the chili cheese tater tots were simply scrumptious.Photo: August 8-The staff was particularly friendly too.Photo: August 9, 2014-Continuing on with the delicious food, I stopped at Daylight Donuts for a long john and a sausage and cheese kolache before leaving Weatherford, OK.Photo: August 9-The NATIONAL Route 66 Museum is in Elk City, OK.  It was kind of charming, but a bit underwhelming.Photo: August 9-Just like any guy, I appreciate a good looking caboose.Photo: August 9-Camillo arrives in Texas!Photo: August 9-There were a number of times when I thought, "This is straight out of the movie Cars." The deserted main drag of McClean, TX was one example.Photo: August 9-This is pretty much THE attraction in McClean, TX.Photo: August 9-They take this pretty seriously here.  Admittedly, there was more to know and see than I would have suspected.Photo: August 9-Ouch.Photo: August 9-Here is another one of the Phillips 66 stations in McClean, TX.Photo: Photo: August 9-"You'll see Amarillo" and on the west side of Amarillo is this curious place, Cadillac Ranch.Photo: August 9-I was a bit taken aback by the aerosol fumes coming off these puppies.Photo: August 9-Graffiti is not really my thing, but people were carrying in spray cans by the bagfuls, can empties littered the ground.Photo: August 9-Anything that is left of an actual Cadillac is entombed in inches of paint.Photo: Photo: August 9-Happily, the tires pealed into the parking lot of the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, TX right before closing time.Photo: August 9-Thank you, BLT and sweet tea.  This really was a welcome pit stop.Photo: August 9-The Midpoint is famous for their "Ugly Pies", but I thought the apple looked lovely.Photo: August 9-It's hard to tell in this picture, but beyond that sign is a field of wind turbines built by Jared.  With his own two hands.  In the rain.Photo: Photo: August 9-I was on the Mother Road for a good portion of Texas, and grasshoppers were on a good portion of Camillo.Photo: August 9-Just west of Glenrio, TX, which is literally at Mile Marker 0, Route 66 turns into gravel.  I wasn't about to chance it with Camillo and a car full of my worldly possessions.Photo: August 9-Glenrio is a true ghost town with eerily vacant cafes and auto courts.Photo: GlenrioPhoto: August 9-Two new states in one day for Camillo!Photo: I landed in Tucumcari, NM to search for a motel amongst the myriad of neon signs.  Though I didn't stay here, I scoped out the historic Blue Swallow Motel.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: August 9-Camillo got into a fight with the 8' overhang at the Palomino Motel...and lost. He was bald for about an hour. Miraculously the rack and bike (save for the left gear shift) were not damaged.Photo: August 9-Tucumari has a fine collection of neon.  These are just a few.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: August 9-Things seem to close up REAL early along the Mother Road.  As in, I finally found a place called the Pow-Wow that served "Late Night".  It was 9pm.Photo: August 9-They had a lizard motif.Photo: August 9-As happened a lot on the trip, I made nice with my server.  There must be a muralist who lives in Tucumcari.  Buildings were painted everywhere including the inside of the Pow-Wow.  My server was the face of this lizard woman type creature behind us.Photo: August 10, 2014-Camillo and bike are ready to roll!Photo: Photo: August 10-I took this for Dad.  This was next door to the Palomino Motel.Photo: Photo: Photo: August 10-I enjoyed sidling up to the counter at cafes along the Route.  This is the Kix on 66 Diner.Photo: August 10-Santa Rosa, NM has a curious natural spring called "Blue Hole".  Its waters are pristine and reach an eighty foot depth!  It is a hub for scuba divers to learn and practice.Photo: August 10-Anyone can dive off the rocks into the 61-degree water.Photo: August 10-Another great sign in Santa Rosa, NM.Photo: August 10-I almost didn't stop at Pecos National Historic Park, but I am so glad I did for a couple of reasons...Photo: August 10-For starters, I was able to go into a "kiva" (just out of the frame, actually) which was an underground spiritual place where Native Americans used to commune with their ancestors.Photo: August 10-Secondly, the ruins are on top of a mesa, and so the views were spectacular.  I watched a storm roll in.Photo: August 10-I got an up-close look at how to make adobe.Photo: Photo: August 10-In retrospect, seeing the ruins of this mission ended up being an insightful primer to Acoma Pueblo that I would see the following day.Photo: August 10-And finally, I sat down and wrote in this spot.  Hopefully I will be able to adapt it for Esther.Photo: August 10-As the storm rolled in, I went about my way to Santa Fe and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.  Though not large in scope, I thought it offered a great overview of her work and philosophy.  I enjoyed it.Photo: Downtown Santa Fe was a great place to walk around, but most vendors fell into two camps:  Native American crafts or super high end galleries and clothiers, neither of which appealed to me.Photo: August 10-St. Francis Basilica off the main plaza.Photo: St. Kateri Tekkawitha outside St. Francis Basilica.Photo: August 10-"St. Francis Dancing on the Water"Photo: August 10-I found the baptismal font at St. Francis Basilica to be quite striking with the four Gospel writers.Photo: August 11, 2014-After leaving Santa Fe, I trekked on towards Albuquerque, stopping in at El Camino Motor Hotel in Bernalillo, NM.Photo: Photo: August 11-Old Town Albuquerque.  Nothing was open yet, but I did gas up, hit the post office, and find breakfast.Photo: August 11-Huevos rancheros at Mac's La Sierra Coffee Shop.Photo: August 11-AlbuquerquePhoto: August 11-Departing Albuquerque.Photo: August 11-I had read about Acoma Pueblo or "Sky City".  Though it was a seventeen mile detour, it seemed like an intriguing place:  a tour of a still-habitable mesa.Photo: August 11-The visitor center was a study in modern interpretations of the pueblo building style.Photo: One of main points of interest on the tour was the Mission.  In an interesting real-life "Modern Family" situation, the two gentlemen on the right had their Asian daughter in tow.  They were a real-life Cam, Mitchell, and Lily.Photo: August 11-Some structures were adobe.Photo: August 11-Some had a stucco finish.Photo: Photo: August 11-The huge ladders led up to the kiva which the men could descend into from the roof.Photo: Photo: August 11-The mission in the backgroundPhoto: August 11-After the tour, one of the options was to climb down the mesa using the original path.  Sign me up.Photo: August 11-"Gallup, New Mexico..."Photo: August 11-Gallup was historically a huge trading town.  As in, trading posts everywhere.  Many still exist selling Indian art and Southwest apparel.Photo: August 11-Soldiering on to Arizona (after a caffeine fix in Gallup).Photo: Photo: August 11-Though I debated if I had enough energy left in me, I decided to veer south to go through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.  I was tired by the end, but I didn't regret it.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: August 11-Petrified woodPhoto: August 11-Another "Cars" inspiration is the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ.Photo: Photo: August 11-These inspired the Cozy Cone.Photo: August 11-As I pulled into Holbrook, like in any other town on my stop, I wasn't sure where I was going to stay.  Then I saw the sign.Photo: After a shower and shave, I bounded down the street for Joe & Aggie's Cafe for some country fried steak.  With chips and salsa.  Oh, a glass of milk was a welcome part of the meal too.Photo: August 11-And I closed this place down too.  I'm sensing a theme.Photo: August 12, 2014-Snapped a pic of the Rainbow Rock Shop before departing Holbrook, AZ.Photo: August 12-Back on the Mother Road, I stopped on the corner in Winslow to "Take It Easy."Photo: August 11-Pulling into Flagstaff, the landscape, temperature, and general vibe shifted dramatically in this mountain town.Photo: August 12-A solid breakfast burrito in Flagstaff.Photo: August 12-It had been a long couple of days of sun and driving.  I really did take it easy this morning in Flagstaff at the cafe and bar in the Hotel Monte Vista.Photo: Photo: August 13-In the largest detour of the trip, I headed due south out of Flagstaff towards Phoenix to visit my cousins in Tempe, AZ.  Along the way, I saw the beautiful red rocks of Sedona.Photo: Photo: August 13-After getting Mya off to school, cousin Eric took Isabelle and I up "A" Mountain.Photo: August 13, 2014-Eric rewarded our climb with BoSa Donuts...Photo: ...and Four Peaks beer!Photo: August 13-Also, not to be outdone on the Roadfood front, we had lunch at Los Reyes de la Torta.Photo: Photo: August 13-Cousins Mya and Isabelle.Photo: August 13-But I like this candid better.Photo: August 14, 2014-Departing Tempe, I shot back north and crossed over Route 66 to continue north towards the Grand Canyon.Photo: August 14-God makes beautiful things.Photo: August 14-I biked along the South Rim.Photo: Photo: August 14-I pulled into Kingman to discover the National Route 66 Festival was kicking off THAT NIGHT in the park adjacent to Mr. D'z.Photo: August 14-I had been craving pasta, but Mr. D'z seemed like the best eating option.  Fortunately, I was able to get the "Day Old Spaghetti", and it totally hit the spot.Photo: Photo: August 14-My final night of the trip, I stayed at El Trovatore Motel.  The owner and his wife are a stitch.Photo: Photo: August 14-Each room is themed differently.  I stayed in the "Rat Pack" room, although outside, Porky Pig adorned my portion of the mural.Photo: August 15-The final stretch of Arizona between Kingman and Oatman featured curving roads over undulating mountains.Photo: August 15-I was so happy to arrive at the Kassbaum homestead on Friday night. Hey, roomie!Photo: August 15-Safe and sound at "Casa Kassebaum"Photo: August 15-Ten days later, I arrived to a sweet welcome crew!