Jun 2, 2012

KIT™ Day 8

The first couple of pictures are actually from yesterday, I forgot to include them.  We first encountered a huge colony of Swallows outside of Foss, OK, and we had to stop and snap some pictures.  It was not as harrowing as our encounter with the Osprey, but there were so many birds I was afraid they were going to fly through the open windows on the car.  Over the next hour or so, we came across other colonies, it was amazing to experience.

This morning, since the Best Western we were staying in did not have a workout facility, I decided to really get my kicks on Route 66 and went for a 30 minute run.  I was able to get a picture of this oil rig at the entrance to downtown Elk City.

After leaving Elk City, we headed into Sayre, and even though there was one or two googie shoots for Beth, there was not really much going on.  Once we got beyond the city, there were some long stretches of the original road to our right, but they were not well maintained and we could not drive them.  Here is a shot of one of the stretches.

When we reached Erick, I was struck by the motels and their car ports, we actually turned around so I could get a shot of these since we saw several of this architectural style, that we have not seen yet on our travels.  There is even a Mustang in one of the car ports, but it is not for sale :o)

Today we entered our fifth state when we crossed over into Texas.  It was amazing to see how over the stretch of 50 miles the terrain changed from hay and wheat fields to scrub grass and ranching.

One of our first stops in Texas was Shamrock, where the U Drop Inn has been restored.  It was previously a Conoco gas station and cafe, with really cool neon.  Today, it serves as the Shamrock Chamber of Commerce.  The building was designed by architect J.C. Berry and is some great art deco style.  After snapping our pictures of this great icon of the Mother Road, we searched for a place to have a bite, and after searching all four points of the compass, ended up right a cross the street from the U Drop Inn at Vern's Steakhouse.  We learned that every thing really is bigger in Texas when we ordered our beers. We had the chopped sirloin and it was great, they certainly do know how to do beef here.

In McLean, we were pleasantly surprised when we decided to The Devil's Rope/Old Route 66 Museum.  We almost did not stop because Devil's Rope is barbed wire, and we were not sure that we really wanted to see that.  But as we have experienced, whenever we say we are not sure, we say we should because who knows when we will pass this way again.  It was amazing how much floor space they had filled up with the history and different patents out there for barbed wire.  Turns out that all the bigger ranches had their own barbed wire design and their own way of connecting new sections as they expanded.  Who knew that barbed wire was so complicated?  They also had a pretty good Route 66 section (better than the National Museum in Elk City).  They also had a couple of Burma Shave displays, these are fun and on the road are spaced several hundred feet apart so you can read as you go.

Also in McLean, in the downtown section, we were able to see this restored Phillips 66 station, the first one built in Texas.  The station was built in the 1920's and was operated for 50+ years. 

Once we got outside of McLean, we decided to traverse some original Route 66 dirt roads, sections of the road that were never paved.  This gave use a real feel for the topography of the area.  

The last shots I have for you today are of a restored 1930 "66" Super Services Station from Alanreed Texas.


  1. Love those old Deco gas stations.

  2. Lots of great scenery yesterday, both natural and manmade!

  3. Never encountered the colonies of Swallows. They would get my attention. Love the pictures, as I said before, not sure if I see enough old stations, I love 'em.
    Burma Shave signs. We traveled a lot as a kid, I looked forward to those, even if I had read them 100 times, I wanted to pass them again!!!
    Thanks, enjoying the ride!

  4. The swallows are amazing. Never saw that under a bridge before. Would be worried with open windows about them swooping inside. Love that scrub grass landscape. That is very interesting about the ranches having their own barbed wire design and unique way of connecting the sections. Who knew??? Those old gas stations are just something else, aren't they? LOVE the Burma Shave signs. There is a house in the woods near us that has them leading up to property. Can't wait to hear more of your adventure.


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