Sunday, June 28, 2015

Breather

 I arrived home this evening a bit late but fairly fresh compared to yesterday's complete exhaustion.  It's been a busy weekend at Afton Station, and a very good one indeed.

We  had 18 guests today, and they came from Salina KS, Virginia Beach VA, Bologna Italy, State College PA, Albuquerque NM, Chicago IL, Los Angeles CA, and Tulsa and Afton OK.

Our only foreign guests were this cute couple from Bologna, Italy.
According to their wall writing, their names are Fuffa and Furo.  And speaking of signing our walls, we have removed the giant billboard from the work room wall so now there is plenty additional space for your autographs now.  So come ahead and leave your mark on our historic building.
These four handsome gentlemen arrived on motorcycles, but very politely.  There was not  much roaring of engines as they came and left.  Our ears thank you, guys!  There was something about the day that called for calm and quiet.
Families were also well represented today.  Here are mom, dad, and son from Salina, Kansas.
A father and son fromVirginia Beach, Virginia rolled in with this tiny teardrop trailer.   They are heading for the end of the Road in California where they will be met by Mom, who chose to fly.  Love this little camper!
Another interesting vehicle was driven by artist Brian Gregory from Chicago. 
  His car is wrapped in Route 66 signs and symbols as he traverses the country introducing folks to his brand of art, best understood by going to his website at studiobrian.com.  Interesting, very large installations.  Check it out!

Have a grand week, Readers, and see  you in a few days!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Shorthand

No time.
Computer problems.
Operator error.
Mistakes.
Camera problems.
Long phone call.
Tired.

Just a few of the reasons (excuses?) why I will not be writing a formal blog post tonight.

It was a glorious day.  Perfect weather, lots of guests.  Thirty-four that I counted and many more.

I've run out of steam, however, and need a quiet evening.  So. . .

Here are some photos.   Tomorrow I will tell you all about them and about the intriguing people in them.

Forgive me.












Thursday, June 25, 2015

Selfie Stick!

I had never seen a selfie stick until this couple walked through the door of Afton Station this morning.
I'm not necessarily up on all the latest pieces of technology (an understatement!) but I'd been kind of curious about this device that allowed one to take a wider range of photos of onesself.   When this Claremore, Oklahoma duo arrived, I first thought she was carrying a putter.   I soon found out I was wrong, and they were nice enough to give me a short lesson on how to use one.  I don't take selfies (ugh... hate photos of myself) so I won't be running out to buy one, but it was a lot of fun to meet this interesting couple who have taken thousands of photos on their  Route 66 trip.
From Plain City, Ohio came these two bikers, traveling across the country in the intense heat. I have to hand it to folks in those leather outfits in this weather.  These two chose the cooler white shirt approach to the wrath of Mother Nature.  Anyway, they were happy and glad to hang around in our cool for a while.  

Four young men from Yorkshire, England signed the wall and signed the guest book.  
And from Kankakee, Illinois came this couple, who reminded me that their town was mentioned in Arlo Guthrie's song "City of New Orleans".  We told them about the Woody Guthrie museum in Tulsa and hope they will make time to visit it. It is an extraordinary paean to the whole Guthrie family.

There were also visitors from Cincinnati OH, Kettering OH, Sequoyah OK, New York City NY, Kansas City MO, Springfield MO, Wyandotte OK, and Pittsburg KS.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Great Race

The Great Race isn't a race in your traditional sense.   The 117 cars which enrolled this year were not expected to tear down Route 66 at breakneck speeds.   Instead, it's more of a rally, a timed event that shows off the mathematical ability of the navigator, the patience of the driver, and the reliability of the car. This year, the cars are traveling Route 66 from Kirkwood, MO to Santa Monica, CA.

Today, the Great Race came past Afton Station.  The cars came one at a time, about 90 seconds apart, being careful not to get to the next timing station even so much as a hair before or after the time they were expected to be there because that would mean a loss of points.  They didn't stop at the Station since they were headed to their next stop at Claremore, but it was fun to watch them anyway.  Jody Gardner from Grove came to cheer with us.  Her husband Rex's red 1935 Ford 3-window coupe  led the parade today since the course was coming through his home state.  It is his 20th Great Race.   Entrants came from all over the world. Here's Jody, cheering on her hubby
 Many cars followed, taking about 2 hours in all, as we watched from the cool breeze of our portico.  Michael Wheat came over from Pryor to take in the spectacle, and in fact most of the better photos are his.   I am decidedly NOT a good car photographer.   Ron M. was here too, and helped watch the store while the rest of us were mesmerized by the passing parade.  Several other folks stopped to watch, too.




Much can be said about the rules, regulations and history surrounding such an event.  To learn more, go to www.greatrace.com.  It's fascinating stuff, including the dispensation of the $150,000 in prize money available.   If you are west of Oklahoma City, where the fleet is resting tonight, you might be able to catch them later in the week at one of the Route 66 cities listed on the site.

Others came to Afton Station today, of course.   Betty came to watch the race with us, and several visitors dropped in as well.  Takai, a Japanese fellow whose last day as a exchange student in an Afton home, came to see our collection.   His whole American "family" came along, a nice Fathers' Day outing.

 A couple all the way from Grand Coulee, Washington were also very special visitors.
Ontario, Canada travelers stopped to check the Great Race cars, and others came too, wondering what we were all doing outside in the hot wind staring down the road waiting for the next car.  It certainly wasn't an ordinary day at Afton Station, but then who really wants ordinary?!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Warmth of the Sun

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, but summer decided to come a day early in Afton by turning the heat up to the low 90s.   Our little station was perfectly comfortable, however, so lots of people stopped in.  Joe Meeks was our guest from Tulsa today.  He rode up with us this morning and took charge of the camera for the day, so all the following photos are his.  Ron M. then had plenty of time to escort folks to the showrooms and tell them what they were about to see.

Here are some of our guests.
A group of amateur photographers on a class outing from St. Louis.  Their native land is China but they have been in this country for several years.  They had some big, enviable cameras!
A group of Christian motorcycle riders from around Grand Lake who weren't bothered by the heat at all.
A couple from Portsmouth, England. . .
. . . a couple from the beautiful Shenandoah Mountain area if Virginian, the town of Harrisonburg
. . . nearby neighbors from Chelsea, OK....
. . . and even someone who recognized Joe from  the past.  The lady was a librarian in the Tulsa Public Schools at the same time as Joe!
Here's the Pin Man from Prescott, Arizona.  He sold me some awesome hat pins.  You must come in and see them!
We even had a few who wanted to find out what this rumble seat thing was all about.  So, they gave it a try!

There are no photos of our final guests, from Amarillo, TX, heading home after a Route 66 trip.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

I Confess.. . .

. . . that I work with cheat notes.   I can't always remember everything that transpires during a busy day at Afton Station, so I jot pertinent facts and notes on a piece of paper and bring it home with me for use when fashioning my blog.  Well...... today I seem to have lost/forgotten those notes, so I'll be working from my mind, which is well known to have many holes in it through which facts and figures escape continually.  Just wish me luck.
 There were about 18 visitors who were intrepid enough to dodge raindrops and continue their Route 66 trips.  Actually, rain DROPS puts it mildly.  How about buckets!  As I'm sure you've heard from the weather-obsessed media, it's been coming down for days.   The alarm on my iPhone frightens me by periodically letting go with a deafening siren when it warns me of flooding.   And yet, Ron M. and I had no problem navigating the 85 miles from Tulsa to Afton and back without drowning.  But back to the story.   The above visitors are here from Aukland, New Zealand and seem to be adapting to well to the soggy season.
This couple from Seattle, Washington is disheartened by the weather.  Two weeks on the road thus far and not a single day without a drenching.  They brought their tent camping gear, but it has seen NO use as yet.  They reached Chicago by a northern route and are returning to the West Coast via Route 66.   We got smiles when we told them that apparently tomorrow will be start of a dry period.  I think that Route 66 will put them in a much better mood starting tomorrow.

There was also a large family of 9, tent camping at a campground on the lake,who came in to dry out and take a look at our cars.  So far, they said, their tent have kept them moderately dry. I also remember a nice gentleman from Arkansas and a couple from near Kansas City.  If there were more, I'll report tomorrow, and I apologize for those who feel left out.  We truly enjoyed your visits.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Meanwhile....

. . . we have by no means forgotten those travelers who dropped in during our exciting "wedding weekend".   There were many, making it a crazy busy couple of days.

Robin was kind enough to open the Station at 7:30 on Sunday morning to accommodate George Higgins's Mother Road Rally which stops very early in the day once each year.  It's a group of motorcycle riders who are heading for California on 66.   Robin snapped this photo.  This year there were 42 riders involved.

Besides those 42 intrepid bikers, we had another 39 visitors this weekend, making it one of our busiest in history.   They came from Bloomingdale IL, McAlester OK, Paris FR, Durban S. Africa, Indianapolis IN, Joplin MO, Coon Rapids MN, Moscow Russia, Manchester England, Durham England, San Francisco CA, Cologne Germany, Dallas TX, Enid OK, Melbourne Australia, Jefferson City MO, and Vici, OK.

This mother/daughter duo from San Francisco enjoyed the vintage DeSoto. . .
. . . although they arrived in their own unique vehicle, this rented camper which they are making their home each night as they cruise across  Route 66.  Way to go, Maria and Maggie!

 This handsome lad is from Enid, Oklahoma.
 And here is a jolly group of travelers from Melbourne, Australia.
 It was a long trip to Route 66 for Chili, this sweet dog whose home is in Russia.  He's fairly elderly, too, but seems to have made the trip with no problems.
 An avid collector of pressed pennies, this lady from Joplin, MO was mesmerized by our machine which produces four different designs.


 Shaun and Mandy are from Durban, S. Africa although they have resided in Florida for a bit recently.   His Hooters cap proves  that they have assimilated into American culture!
So much more to tell, and so little time.  We're in the middle of the busiest season of the year on Route 66, and please note that we have NO complaints about that!  Every day is still a joy and a surprise..