Sunday, October 19, 2008

Max & Diane's Adventure - Day 2

The day went something like this:

6:10 am. I heard "I'll be back. Gotta let the dog out." And then he came back in the room and went back to sleep. Hmmm. We're not leaving early today!

8:46 am. He heard, "Get up, Max. You went to sleep way before I did. You have to start first." He got up.

9:37 am. We're in the car. Max is setting up his iPod again. It's Beach Music to get us going in the morning! And ... we're off!

9:43 am. Max says, "Liftgate open." I say, "Alright. Pull over. I'll shut it." GoodNESS we have the hardest time moving in the morning.

10:22 am. Did you know that pecans are a major source of income for this part of Missouri? I had no idea. And I missed every freakin' store.

11:19 am. We're in Carthage. No, we didn't go to the Precious Moments extravaganza. And we didn't find the Marlin Perkins statue. There were hundreds and hundreds of people in town for their Maple Leaf Festival. We drove in just as the parade was ending and traffic was insane! We drove right back out again. And headed for the 66 Drive-In Theatre. So cool. It's closed for the season, but this has been really kept up nicely.

12:05 pm. Carterville, MO. Oh, so sad. The Route 66 Welcome Center is for sale. The Route 66 Diner here is for sale. There is so much of this highway's history that is deteriorating and then, so much that is coming back. People are passionate about the National Highway!

12:20 pm. Driving down the highway and we see this long quote - it seemed interesting, but unreadable at 65 mph. I got the author's name and Max got the first couple of words ... so, I found it on Wikipedia: “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace” by Alexander Pope. See? Interesting stuff.

12:23 pm. We just paid $2.38/gallon for gas. (Later input - the cheapest gas we saw was in Oklahoma - $2.25/gallon)

12:25 pm. Max just saw a 1963 2-door Impala hardtop driving down Route 66. That just made him happy.

12:45 pm. Drove into Galena. Saw a bunch of great old buildings. We pulled into a parking lot and Max started to check things out. He came rushing back to the Jeep, beckoning to me. I HAD to come see this. 4 Women on the Route Gas station and home of Tow-Tater, the inspiration for Tow-Mater in the movie "Cars." She made sure that we knew he was the authentic inspiration. There was much documentation and there was also a wonderful gift shop with a little 3 tabletop diner. We got lunch, stuff and a bunch of pictures. Probably the best stop of the trip so far. So much fun. Check out their website (click on the name). She is a passionate woman about Route 66 and is investing much time and money in restoration of buildings and the road itself. (and yes, Scooby got to hang out on Tow-Mater for a picture)

2:47 pm - Miami, OK (pronounced Mi-am-uh). We stopped at the Coleman Theater for pictures - amazing old theater. Gorgeous stuff. Max will be posting pics on Flickr as soon as we get decent upload. (not tonight). Off to Baxter Springs, KS and in to Oklahoma. Commerce, OK -Mickey Mantle Blvd and a soon to be built Mickey Mantle museum. No pics ... of what? the street signs? (hehe)

3:36 pm. World's Largest McDonald's. You have to know that I had to get off of Route 66 and pay a toll to get this picture. And that's all we did there - drive in, take a picture ... oh, and let Leica out for a quick run. Back off the toll road and onto Route 66 again.

3:49 pm. Just off the toll road. Back onto Route 66 and there's is a HUGE Indian standing there.

4:50 pm. World's Largest Totem Pole. Ok, just because we are in Cherokee, Sac and Fox country does not mean that these Indians make totem poles. Some guy in 1948 thought this would be a great way to use his talent. And there is a park filled with these weird painted totem poles.

5:15 pm. Blue Whale, Catoosa, OK. It's a big blue whale in a little pond. This is prime Route 66 Kitsch. It has slides into the water and ladders to come out. I think one of the big hotel chains is restoring it. Uh huh ... We have lots of pictures of this. The woman we spoke to in Galena said that she was surprised to see us traveling Route 66 because it is so late - the season is over. Well, she doesn't know me well. This is perfect. There was absolutely no one at the Blue Whale and we had the run of the park. Very nice.

7:40 pm. Davenport, OK. Great pic of a very old Phillips 66 sign. But, by golly, they managed to update it to 2008. Even Route 66 kitsch isn't exempt from politics. Are they kidding me with this?

We've decided to skip the Round Barn in Arcadia and head on in to Oklahoma City, but we discovered a couple of treasures along the way. First off, as I came around a bend in the highway there was an immense, lit cross which marked the "Successful Word Church." Yup, I just whipped off the highway to get a picture of that!

8:32 pm. I had a guy (or two) tailing me pretty hard and it was driving me crazy. I was looking for a place to just get off and let them pass me. Route 66 has a great reputation as a highway that is good for Mustangs and other cars that handle banking turns well. An old lady in a Jeep in the dark on an unknown highway does not handle those turns well. I was going as fast as my heart could take it - 55 mph was it.

As I was looking for a place to pull off, we saw this huge, lit soda bottle! It's just awesome. I probably should have put the camera in movie mode. The colors changed through the spectrum. It was a burger joint, gas station and NEW kitsch on the Route. Pops, just outside of Arcadia. Absolutely awesome.

I hadn't originally intended to go to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. I knew what my reaction would be. But, as we got closer and closer, I discovered that I needed to do this. We were running out of day, but I called the hotel and told them we'd be in late. We also sacrificed a decent dinner so that we could spend time here. Really wasn't a sacrifice - this was a wonderful stop.

As we drove up to the entrance and read the words overhead, I felt my throat constrict and recognized that tears were only moments away. Night had fallen, the lights of the city surrounded us and I felt deep sorrow. We drove around the memorial, wanting to see things from the outside first. We parked across the street. Since we were there so late, there were only a few people wandering the grounds.

Max and I walked to the reflecting pool and took it all in. The horror of that day in 1995 stands in vivid contrast to the peace of this evening. As Max photographed the space, I sat and waited. I wept and was thankful for the darkness that hid my flowing tears. 9:01 am, April 19, 1995 - everything was normal. 9:03 am, April 19, 1995 - everything had changed. The world was a different place.

It was another great day. I love traveling with my husband. We saw everything from the insane to the beautiful. I'm totally exhausted now. Max and Leica are already asleep. Tomorrow is another day!


kinnick72 said...

I love reading about your trip. I can't wait for further updates!

I have always wanted to see the Oklahoma City memorial. I lived in Fort Worth then... it was so scary.

Safe travels...

Bad Monkey said...

looks like a nice day! thanks for posting the pictures!

Discgolfer said...

Okie Dokie.. I'll put a comment here too!! 1st, sounds like you are having one heckuva time!!
2nd, do please let me know if you are traveling through, or staying in Amarillo, Texas for any amount of time! I would go nuts for a chance to be able to see you after all this time! *(Where does it go??)
3rd, You're in my prayers!
Hoping to hear soon!! John

tlksimpson said...

This is so cool....going on vacation vicariously!!! Thanks!

Steve's Aunt Cheryl (his Uncle's wife) her brother was killed in the Ok City bombing. Her family went down for trial and dedication and everything. That and 9/11 are still just unreal to me.