Springfield, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
25.06.2010 - 25.06.2010 95 °F
Day 5 on the mother road started early today to travel 328 miles from Springfield, Missouri, through Kansas, and into Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We began by driving through the town of Halltown, Mo before arriving at the "Gay Parita Sinclair Station" in Paris Springs, MO. Where signed their guest book and talked to older gentleman by the name of Frank who was filling in for the owner for the day due to a funeral. He told us how the owner, Gary Turner, were good friends who used to travel the road when they were younger, and how he bought and restored this station over the years. Frank also told us about another restoration project down the road, known as Red Oak II. Lowell Davis created Red Oak II , a site full of relocated and restored old buildings (including a cottage style gas station from rt 66). Http://redoakii.com . We continued on into historic Carthage. On the outskirts of town we found a large restored Route 66 drive in theater.
Afterwards we headed through Carterville where we crossed an old 1922 iron bridge. Next up were the towns of Webb and Joplin before crossing the State line into Kansas. The mother road only crosses a whopping thirteen miles of the Sunflower State. So don't blink or we'll miss it. After passing through Galena and Riverton, we came to Rainbow Bridge. This was the last of three Marsh (named after designer) that once graced the State of Kansas. And just like that, we were into the next State.
Across the Oklahoma State line we stopped in for gas, at a station that had its own "buffalo ranch" for tourists. The few buffalo that they had were keeping cool in the shade over an acre away. In the town of Chelsea we took a 1926 loop option of the road to find the Pryor Creek 1926 iron bridge with a partly graveled road. We then continued into Foyil, OK to visit Totem Pole Park; home of the world's largest totem pole. Reaching 90 feet into the sky, this concrete totem pole was built over several years by Ed Galloway during the 40s. On the same property was his "Fiddle House," where he displayed all of his handmade fiddles; each made from a different type of wood. Further down the road we finally came to Catoosa, OK. Where we found our highly anticipated Blue Whale on the side of the road in an old swimming hole.Hugh Davis built the Blue Whale in the early 1970s as a surprise anniversary gift to his wife Zelta, who collected whale figurines. The Blue Whale and its pond became a favorite swimming hole for both locals and travelers along Route 66 alike.
"Originally, the pond surrounding the massive Blue Whale was spring fed and intended only for family use. However, as many locals began to come to enjoy its cool waters, Davis brought in tons of sand, built picnic tables, hired life guards, and opened his masterpiece to the public." - Wikipedia
After another handful of small towns, we stopped in Arcadia, OK. Here we first visited the 1898 Round Barn, now fully restored to its original beauty. And next we stopped by a not yet historic site, but very unique roadside attraction. POP'S is a great new diner and convenience store with over 400 types of soft drinks. We swung in to pick up a 6-pack (variety of cream soda, root beer, and "dry sodas") then back onto 66 to head into Oklahoma City for the night.
Song of the Day: "Sh-boom" by The Chords