Sunday, June 28, 2009


When I was a kid, basically all I knew about hay was that Little Boy Blue was "under the haystack fast asleep". That nursery rhyme made a haystack seem like a romantic concept in my childhood mind. Living in the city, I didn't see too many haystacks, yet when I moved to Kentucky as a teen, I was outraged that baling machines had turned haystacks into big, rectangular bricks that sat heavily on the landscape. And then, not too many years ago, I was further offended by the emergence of those cylindrical bales wrapped in plastic that became a ubiquitous sight in just about every farmer's field. Well, I'm nothing if not willing to change, and I admit I've changed my mind on this issue. Except for that plastic (which I must research to find out if it's biodegradable), I've come to appreciate them and find them stunning when dotting an expansive field, like this one on Route 66 just outside of White Oak. I took these pictures on the fly, on my way home from Afton.

I left Tulsa for Afton before 6 a.m. today, thus it was still dark while I was in the city. That made for some nice picture-taking. Look what turned up this weekend on the front of a liquor store in east Tulsa, on 11th St. (Route 66). Although obviously airbrushed in haste, it's quite professionally done. It's a nice tribute, and it seemed to glow in the dark when my flash went off. It covers part of a building that is also airbrushed with other designs and is quite a head-turner.

Since I wasn't chased by the cops this time, I was able to stop for a better shot of the neon at the Oasis Motel, just a few yards from the Michael Jackson mural.

And the sunrise was even more spectacular than usual this morning!

Once at Afton Station, the morning was gloriously quiet. I had the chance to do a little cleaning, make a few more small buttons to sell, and take "inventory" of how many visitors we've had thus far this year. So far......1507 traveling souls have walked through our doors. I'm guessing we'll easily hit 3500 again this year. Our traditionally biggest months are yet to come.

Betty came for a visit, and then 20 more. They were from Jamestown TN, Wooster OH, Bentonville AR, Dallas TX, Ozark MO, Chicago IL, Elkhart IN, and Pryor and Oklahoma City, OK. Jerry McClanahan's wonderful "EZ66 Guide" was flying out the door today! I'm so glad that people are using it on their travels, because it's amazingly comprehensive and up-to-date, clearly the best Route 66 tour guide on the market. It was cooler today (high of 94), so those who arrived via motorcycle (returning from the OKC meet) seemed less likely to pass out on our doorstep. That's a very good thing.

My dear friend Judy Griffin from Orlando, FL is coming tomorrow to stay with me for a few days, so I may be AWOL for a while. I'll be back when I'm able.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Controlled Chaos

Tripper is gearing up for the Fourth of July with his flag and Uncle Sam hat!

Sometimes, there's just too much going on around me. Today was such a day. Let me explain. First of all, I should say that Ron M. came to Afton with me today, and Tattoo Man was there and had opened up even before we got there. So I wasn't doing this all by myself by any means. I did, however, have a nasty little headache all day, probably brought on by stress, 103-degree temps, and more stress. It was the first headache I've had in years, but after a couple of Tylenol and a neck rub by Ron, it started to improve considerably. But people coming and going all day was not conducive for taking even a moment's rest.

The local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans held its yearly fund-raiser today in the form of a Poker Run, and Afton Station was, as usual, one of the stops. Unlike last weekend, however, we were not responsible for handing out the cards and registering people's hands. Instead, a group representing the DAV set up a table outside of the Station for that. Because of the heat, we invited them to set up inside, but they braved the scorcher under our portico. I lost track of how many of the participants (all on motorcycles) actually came into the Station to look around, but when I stopped counting there were about 35 or 40 of the total 60-some who came to draw cards. Most of them just came in to get relief from the heat. Some of the riders looked like they were one cold bottle of water away from heatstroke.
Afton Station was all decked out in a patriotic theme today. Ron Jones' red,white, and blue 56 Chevy and the flags put out by the DAV folks made things quite festive.
The DAV folks had nifty shirts.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). We also had 29 of our own visitors, not connected with the Poker Run. I must say it was a pretty exciting roster of guests today. For one thing, we had our first visitors from Africa, a father and daughter from Zimbabwe! We've now had visitors from every continent except Antarctica. (If any Antarcticans are reading this, please come to visit so I can complete the roster!) We also had a father and son from Norway who were doing the whole Route. In addition, there were visitors from Sturgeon Bay and Racine WI, Redmond KS, Vernon CT, Pageland SC, Rochester NY, Joplin, Sedalia and Marshall MO, Mountain Home AR, and LaVerne, Vinita, and Afton, OK.

The folks from South Carolina and Vernon, Connecticut were on their way back from the National Packard Meet in Branson. We are longstanding members of the Packard Club, but didn't participate this year because David is recovering from eye surgery and there were no cars I could drive there by myself. It was fun to hear about the Meet, and the Afton Station visitors even knew some of the Packard people we knew in the past.

It's always fun to meet someone face-to-face whom you've communicated with via computer for some time. Today, I had a surprise visit from Abe and Vanessa Ezekowitz from Joplin, who were out for an afternoon drive. Nice to meet you, Vanessa and Abe!
Vanessa and Abe

Another couple arrived and indicated they were from Afton, two very nice people who moved there within the past 3 or 4 years, and who expressed the same concerns about the future of the town of Afton as we have had. We had a lengthy discussion about the problems, and Ron M. and I were buoyed by knowing that we might have co-conspirators in the attempt to bring a little of Afton back to life. I predict we'll be seeing more of these folks.

Ok, mind if I take a rest now? :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009


Around here, there are many reminders that the Fourth of July is coming. I can't remember living previously in a state where fireworks were sold. In Oklahoma, these stands spring up on every street corner a couple of weeks before the Fourth. I can't imagine that there are enough customers to make all the fireworks stands profitable, especially since a pretty large percentage of them are only open on a couple of weekends. Some are fundraisers for churches, schools, Scouts, etc. and others are commercially operated. I don't think I'll be buying any fireworks for myself. They're illegal within the city limits of Tulsa, and I'm kinda fond of my fingers and want to keep them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


After a very big, very busy day at Afton Station, to come home to the news that both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson have passed away and the TV news is, naturally, full of both, I think I'm on information overload. I'll begin at the beginning...

Ron M. came to Afton with me today, thank goodness, because I don't think I could have handled the crowds myself. The day started with two very lovely people, brother and sister, in our driveway with the hood of their camper truck up. The brother and sister, from Santa Monica CA and Temecula CA, respectively, were having a problem with the belt that ran the air conditioner, and believe me, this was NOT the day to be without air conditioning! He borrowed some tools from David's stash and got the problem fixed well enough to make it to Miami, where they would have several repairs made. I trust they were on their way east by mid-morning.

From then on, it was a steady parade of travelers. There's a big Ford/Mustang/Shelby gathering in Tulsa starting today (and I mean BIG!), and an equally big Harley-Davidson rally in Oklahoma City starting today as well, so we hosted several pilgrims making their way to those particular spots. An 11-person Harley group from Kalamazoo, MI sought shelter from the heat for a while enroute. Four folks from the of North Texas Mustang Club stopped by in their very nicely restored vintage Mustangs. In front of the Station, at one point, we had three big semis (amazing that three truckers visited at once... all heading in different directions), a passel of Harleys, a couple of Mustangs, and a trailer hauling a Shelby Cobra. It got so busy that I'm ashamed to say that I allowed a wonderful couple from Switzerland slip in and out without really giving them a proper welcome.

A Shelby Cobra peeks out from a trailer which the owner cleverly calls The Snake Pit.

So here's today's countdown: 36 visitors from Santa Monica and Temecula CA, Kalamazoo MI, Aurora IL, Kansas City and St. Louis MO, Dallas TX, Somerset KY, somewhere in IA (missed the city), Shawnee KS, Fairland, Vinita, and McAlester OK, and Switzerland.

Tonight, the hundreds and hundreds of Mustangs, Cobras, etc. are meeting here in Tulsa, actually about 1 1/2 miles from my house. I had thought of going to see the parade, but I think I'm just too tired. I'll stay home and watch what I'm sure will be endless TV coverage of the passing of two cultural icons on the same day.

This is a fraction of the cars at last year's Ford gathering. This is the 35th consecutive year that it has been held in Tulsa.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just peachy!

On Monday, I made a concerted effort to do all my chores that needed to be done this week, so that today after dialysis I could enjoy a whole afternoon to myself to do whatever I felt like doing. It's been many months since I've been able to do that, and I was feeling a deep need to see some new territory. No offense to Route 66, but as much as I love it, the scenery between Tulsa and Afton is starting to get a bit old!

So, off I went. When I left the hospital, I headed east with absolutely no plan in mind. As it turned out, I drove for about 10 miles before I realized I'd forgotten to go to the bank, which is directly across the street from dialysis. So, I ended up back where I started. After acquiring a little cash for the trip, I proceeded in a vaguely southeastern direction until I was out of the city of Tulsa. I was already thinking that I wasn't in the mood to go very far after all. It's so darn hot out there and the car A/C wasn't really keeping up with the oppressive humidity. But I plugged on, through the small towns of Coweta and Oneta. On the other side of Coweta, I realized that I was very near the tiny farm town of Porter. Porter is known in these parts for being the Peach Capital of Oklahoma. They hold a peach festival every year, and everyone looks forward to the annual crop. I had no idea if the peaches were ripe yet, but as long as I was that close, I decided to give it a try. The Livesay Orchard seems to be where everyone goes, so that was my destination. And I was rewarded when I saw piles of gorgeous peaches mounded in baskets everywhere. As it turns out, only their three earliest varieties had been picked, but I was given samples of each one, and they were awesome! So, I bought a half peck which is now sitting on my kitchen counter ready to be divided between a couple of friends and myself. There's nothing better than a fresh peach (unless it's a bowl of the incredible fresh peas I bought a couple of days ago at a farm store.) I love this season!

To get to the orchard, one must cross this creek. The name certainly discourages stopping for a long, cool drink!I found this sign in Coweta. The neon is all broken out, but it's a very cool sign and I hope somebody decides to restore it.
After buying the peaches, I drove home. So much for my long odyssey. My house is cool and dry, and I'm glad to be here. Back to Afton tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The corn is as high as an elephant's eye...

Well, almost. But don't you think it's at its most beautiful now, when the leaves are at the peak of their shine as they gently bend with the wind, and it is just beginning to tassel and set ears? This is when I start tasting it with my mind -- no butter or salt, please -- just barely steamed. This is when I start wishing I had a large enough property to grow my own, remembering the old days when we'd pick it young and toss it directly into a pot boiling on a Coleman stove set right next to the corn field. Kernels of Heaven! But, I digress...

With temperatures expected to soar above the 100-mark today, I arrived at Afton Station early in order to turn on the A/C and get things done that required physical labor before the heat descended. I wasn't expecting the four big, heavy items I found on my doorstep. I was able to wrangle bundles of the OK Route 66 Trip Guide into the Station because they're held together with bands I could use as handles, but the two extremely heavy boxes of unsolicited advertising materials will have to stay outside until I find someone to heft them for me, since I'm not supposed to lift heavy things with my right arm. (Note: Later, Betty brought them in for me. Thanks, Betty!)

I've done all my chores, and now I'm waiting for the room to cool off and guests to start arriving. In reading the mail, I have come across a note from an 85-year-old University of KY graduate who wrote to say she saw the article about Afton Station in the alumni magazine, and she sent me a program from the Auburn (IN) car auction with several beautiful Packards marked. How sweet of her!

My first visitors today were the kids from "Links", the little local monthly magazine published by persons with disabilities. It's always fun to see them, and they put out a darn fine magazine. Subsequently, there were visitors from a parade of states, including Paris TX, Maumee OH, Sarasota FL, Jasper IN, Loogootee IN, Orange Co. CA, Milwaukee WI, and Empire AL. Betty came and co-hosted with me for most of the day. I've noticed considerably fewer foreign visitors so far this year, although I do realize that their usual traveling times are July and August, so maybe I'm just being impatient.

I had my second complainer of the season today, and that's not so bad since I've had over a thousand happy visitors thus far. This woman (whose home state will remain anonymous) started complaining before she got the door open. "We got lost." "The signage is terrible". "We're getting off this road and getting back on the interstate". "There's nothing to see in these little towns." Fortunately, another couple was there at the same time, and they were first to remind the lady (before I even had the chance) that every wrong turn simply allows you to see something you wouldn't have seen otherwise. It's all an adventure, after all! I added that it would be a good idea to procure a guide book instead of trying to "do" Route 66 blindly, but she refused to buy one or even take the free OK Trip Guide. Oh well!

When I got in the car to go home, the outside temperature was registering 103 on my car thermometer. It remained there all the way home. (No wonder those visitors earlier, in a 40s-era non-air conditioned Buick Roadmaster, looked so hot! But they weren't complaining!)

My pic-of-the-day is one I took this morning of the remains of old Route 66 tourist cabins on 11th St. east of Tulsa. This one makes me sad. The photo makes them look much more well-maintained than they really are.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Scenes on 66

Today, a collection of photos I've taken in the past. I'm too lazy to be creative today.

The other day, I explained that I really don't like sailboats because I spent way too much time on them in the past. But ever since I've been driving to and from Afton, I've passed this sloop, high and dry in a farmer's field on Route 66 near Claremore, hundreds of miles from a large enough body of water to accomodate the space it takes to effectively tack a boat of that size. Wild vines are starting to take over, and it actually looked rather beautiful, anointed by the early morning light. I'd like to know it's story.

You've heard me talk about my dear friend Betty from Buffalo Ranch for about 9 months now. I dug out this photo of "Betty's Place", the drive-in she had for 41 years. The picture was taken just before the bulldozer turned it to rubble so that a truck stop could be built. The sign on top and some of the smaller signs now reside at Afton Station.

Motel at night, Claremore, OK. "We'll keep the light on for you." I love motels!!

I took this one a few years ago to be included in a Route 66 calendar I published. I photoshopped the heck out if it. It's on 11th St. (Route 66) in Tulsa. Since the time of this picture, the building has been painted and refurbished and the mural no longer exists.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our First Movie Star!

Laurel, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ron

I sat at Afton Station this morning jotting down some random thoughts to use on the blog, just in case it was a deadly dull day with not many visitors. Well, you can forget about that! This was one of the most interesting days yet! For one thing, when I got to the Station, I read the note left by the crew who took over for me when Ron M. and I left to go to the Volvo thing yesterday. The daily total of visitors was 96!!! That sets a new record for one day, and I couldn't be happier!

Just about the time the a/c kicked in and started chasing the humid muck out of the air, a parade of very nifty hot rods slowed and stopped in front of the Station. Fifteen people emerged, representatives from two separate car clubs -- Lake Country Car Club of Atoka, OK and the Fun Bunch from Sapulpa, OK. They were returning to their homes from a weekend trip to Lake of the Ozarks, and found Afton Station by chance. Great people driving some sharp pieces of iron. Here are two of them....

They left, and shortly thereafter a family from Eagan, MN came for a visit. Ron M. arrived too, as he decided to drive up in his own car today. Betty came a bit later, too.

And then..... and THEN, Afton Station's very first visit from a bona fide movie star! Jeanne Tripplehorn, the actress, and her cute 7-year-old son August are traveling the full extent of Route 66, for their own enjoyment as well as to do some public relations for the World Monuments Fund ( In 2008, Route 66 was named one of the 100 Most Endangered Historic Sites in the world by the Fund.

Jeanne is the star of the HBO series "Big Love", which happens to an absolute favorite of both Ron and me. She also portrayed Jackie Onasis in the recent production of "Grey Gardens", and those are just two of the more recent roles in her long list of accomplishments. ( ) She and her son were gracious and interesting guests, and Jeanne showed great interest in the Station and our lives. There's not a speck of "Hollywood" about her!
Jeanne Tripplehorn, August, me, Betty
Jeanne and August admire the cars

When they got ready to leave after about a half hour, Jeanne realized that August had locked her keys in her rental car, so (lucky for us but not so lucky for her), they were forced to stay for another half hour while we waited for the AAA to come and rescue her. We chatted and took photos until the truck arrived. And honestly, we didn't bribe August to lock up her keys so they'd have to stay longer. Well, at least she won't forget US at the end of her Chicago-to-L.A. odyssey!
Rescue arrives, in the form of a wizzardly locksmith from the AAA.

Dean Walker from Kansas stopped in shortly after Jeanne left. Dean is a colorful character, always full of interesting Route 66 gossip. He's known as "Crazy Legs" Walker, for his ability to turn his feet around totally backwards. He was even featured on Jay Leno for his abilities. Final guests were Bobby and Linda Allen from Allen's Fillin' Station up the road in Commerce. It's another restored gas station in the town in which Mickey Mantle grew up. The Allens were coming home from attending the Oklahoma Route 66 festivities in Chandler last night.
An interesting day, start to finish!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meetin', Greetin', and Speakin'

There are times when I sure wish I could sleep during the day! If I knew how to make myself nap, this would be the day. I finished my presentation at the Volvo thing a bit early and actually had most of the afternoon free at home. Working at Afton Station on Saturdays and Sundays curtails my "free time" on weekends, so this has been a treat. I'm pretty tired, but not tired enough to nap I'm afraid. Instead, I've been working on some buttons I'm making to sell at the Station, and catching up on email and snail mail (with the U.S. Open playing in the background).

I picked up Ron M. at 6 a.m. and we went off to Afton. We arrived at 8, got things opened up, and then Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones arrived. The Volvo folks came at about 8:30, five guys in vintage Volvos and another gentleman from Wisconsin pulling a cute little '70s-era trailer behind his later model Volvo. They didn't stay long, but I'll be seeing them later today in Tulsa.
The vintage Volvo lineup

Marly came just in time for the first wave of visitors from the Oklahoma Route 66 Cruise and Poker Run. We developed a "production line", with Ron M. counting noses and taking photos, Ron J. handing out the cards for the poker hands, Marly stamping and initialing the passports, and me making sure everyone signed the guest book and taking money for purchases.

Some of the vehicles which brought Route 66 Association cruisers to Afton

My friends Blaine Davis (l), owner of the iconic Blue Whale, and Mike Pendleton (r), my frequent visitor, officer of the Route 66 Assoc. of Kansas. "Car shirts" were the order of the day.

At 11 a.m., Ron M. and I had to leave to head back to Tulsa for the aforementioned Volvo presentation. When we left, there had already been over 60 visitors recorded in the book and it wasn't even noon! Betty had arrived shortly before we had to go, so I left Afton Station in the capable hands of Betty, Marly, and Ron J. I'm sure they had potentially the busiest day in the history of the Station, but I haven't heard from any of them yet. My dearly beloved, massively appreciated, and woefully underpaid (i.e. volunteer) crew. They were all there today!

It seemed surreal to be driving west on Route 66 before noon, because the sun was behind us rather than in front of us. I know it sounds odd, but since I drive east in the morning and west in the evening, the sun is always ahead of me. Thus, this small change lent an interesting quality of light to everything. By the way, it's hot, hot, HOT today -- in the mid-90s.

When we got back Tulsa and made our way to Jackie Cooper Volvo, the dealership where the festivities were taking place, we were about a half hour early so we were invited to partake of the buffet that had been set out for the attendees -- some fine barbecue, potato salad, and carrot cake.

My presentation went pretty well, although I heard my voice quivering a few times. I'm not really used to speaking into a microphone. They say that the sign of a good speech is when the Q and A period is long, but in this case I only took 5 questions, so maybe the talk didn't generate the enthusiasm I was hoping for. I gave a short history of Route 66, but since I'm not much into boring facts and dates, I tried to emphasize all the fun times one can have on the Mother Road, and all the great things a Route 66 traveler will see and experience. I'll know if it was a success if I find vintage Volvos lined up at the door tomorrow when I get to Afton. Hmm....
Lunch with the Volvo people
Me, attempting to appear knowledgable.

And that, thus far, is my day. Back to Afton again tomorrow for what I hope will be another crazy-busy day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Volvos and Bagels

Tomorrow is the Oklahoma Route 66 Association Cruise, although this year it's actually two cruises, one beginning in Quapaw on the east end of the state and the other beginning in Texola on the west end, and meeting in the middle in Chandler for a '50s-style sock hop at the Route 66 Interpretive Center there. As much as I'd love to participate, that won't be happening. Afton Station is a passport stop on the cruise (a place where cruisers stop to get a "passport" stamped, with prizes for those who make it to every stop), but I won't even be there for that part of it. Ron M. and I will be going up to Afton in the early morning to greet a group coming through at 8 a.m., then we will leave Afton Station in the able hands of Marly and Ron Jones because we must hurry back to Tulsa so I can get ready to give a Route 66 presentation to the Volvo Owners' Group which is in Tulsa this weekend. The theme of their whole convention is Route 66. I love to give presentations and speeches, although I don't think I'm that good at it. For one thing, I need notes to remember facts and figures. My memory stinks in that department. My style is very casual, but I get energized when I can talk on a subject I'm passionate about, such as Route 66. Wish me luck.

Absolutely non-Route 66 related: A new bagel place has opened in Tulsa, and at last (hallelujah!) real New York bagels are available here! I'm going a bit overboard, I fear. Ron and I went there for lunch today, and I brought some home and plan to have another one for dinner. I bought some smoked salmon, so I'm ready!!! I might even have another one for breakfast. I've missed New York bagels ever since moving to Oklahoma from the NYC area. Oklahoma has alway been one of the most wonderful places in the world. Now, it's perfect!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just a lot of good stuff....

I actually got home from Afton earlier than I expected so I have time for a short blog post before heading for my meeting (which, incidentally, takes place at my favorite steak house!). So, here's the day in a nutshell...

Ron M. rode up to Afton Station with me, and we had a surprise visit from Tattoo Man sporting his new "Clanton's" tattoo. I forgot to take a picture.

The morning was probably the dullest ever. We had no visitors until after 1 p.m. Tattoo went home and Ron M. was so bored that he decided to challenge a fly (who was probably also bored). Ron won. Way to go, Ron! President Obama has nothing on you!

When visitors started coming, we had folks drop in from South Lake TX, Seguero TX, Hemlock MI, and Joplin MO. We also had a souvenir salesman from I'm not sure where. Today they came by semi truck, motorcycle, car, and pickup truck.

The coolest part of the day -- and I'm not kidding -- was when two guys from Afton Public Works walked in with a huge, old, dirty "AFTON FILLING STATION" sign! Yes, they did! They found it in a field and brought it down to give to us. What a treasure!!!! An actual sign from our place!!! Excuse all the exclamation points, but I'm psyched!!!!! It'll need some straightening and cleaning up, but that's not a problem. Yippee!!!
And that was our day. Very hot and a bit lonely at first, but with a great finish.
Oh, here's a new sign that just went up on Route 66 a little east of Tulsa. There are no horses anywhere around there, so I don't know what it's all about. If I should see the horses, or if I should see anyone feeding the horses, I'll be sure to take action.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watch This Space

Due to several projects needing my immediate attention, as well as an unexpected 3 1/2 hour wait at Sears this afternoon while getting new tires, I will have no time for blogging this evening, nor will I have time tomorrow because I have a dinner meeting tomorrow night. Therefore, this is just a space filler so that my loyal readers don't give up on me. See you on Saturday!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and Fork Lifts, and...)

Well ok, no planes, except for those overhead. But today we had visits from a semi truck, several motorcycles, a couple of motor homes and of course lots of automobiles. All this as the trains kept whistling past. In addition to these, Afton has it's own in-town travelers. Ron M. and I call them Tractor Boy, Fork Lift Man, and Golf Cart Woman. Tractor Boy is a young kid, now on summer vacation, who spends most of his days driving up and down the road on his dad's John Deere. Fork Lift Man is a guy who spends tons of time moving things via fork lift from one storage place to another several blocks from the first. Golf Cart Woman is an elderly lady who drives somewhere (not sure where... perhaps the post office?) in her golf cart at least once a day. We're a virtual plethora of transportation media in beautiful downtown Afton! Here, for example are two bikers (one from Charleston, WV and one from Watonga, OK) discussing life on the Mother Road in front of a motorhome from Opelaka, AL. Another motor home, from Phenix City, AL also visited. The two are driving in tandem.

The trucker is from Warsaw, MO and has visited before. He spends a lot of time drooling over our '48 Packard Custom 8 Touring Sedan, because he had one just like it at one time.Those traveling by car were from Enterprise OR, Lewiston ID, Oklahoma City OK, and Plano, Sanger, and Abilene TX.

There was plenty of observation done today, since the weather made it possible to keep the A/C turned off and sit outside again. It was very nice until about 1 p.m. when it became rather beastly hot, but we stuck it out without the air conditioner, thus making me feel like a wet washrag by the time we left to drive home. Even so, sitting outside and observing is such a tempting thing to do in just about any weather. It's noisy, because semi trucks continue to roar past at a rate much above the speed limit. But the more we sit waiting for visitors and watching the passing parade, the more we learn about who's passing. For instance, pickup trucks are almost always local and rarely stop at Afton Station. Convertibles are a better bet than hardtops for stopping, and SUVs are the best bet of all. Motorcycles with packs are long distance travelers and often stop. Motorcycles without packs are locals out for a spin. Rental cars are far more likely to stop than family cars, and often carry foreign visitors. Motorhomes are somewhat of an enigma, since they're usually travelers and yet they rarely stop to visit us. I guess it must be because most of them are driving past to get to their destinations at the many campgrounds on the nearby lake. Big rig trucks stop quite a bit more often than one would expect. So, we're learning how to sit outside and predict, by the time they're a block away, who will stop and who won't. (NOTE: Our track record isn't that good!) But even on dull days, we try to make sure there's never a dull moment at Afton Station!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bar-B-Q and Bar-Ber-Shop

Today, just a couple of Route 66 photos I found in my files. . .

This is what remains of an old barbeque joint in Vinita. They still have quite a stash of wood, considering the place hasn't been open for years. Here's the Cowboy Cut Barber Shop in Chelsea. It's small and cute.
One of these days I'm going to run out of picturesque buildings to photograph between Tulsa and Afton, and I'll have to start posting pictures of McDonald's and Subway. No, not really.

I'll check in again tomorrow with Tuesday tales from Afton Station.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rain... then Sun... then People

Anybody need a wagon wheel? There are lots available in Chelsea.

I'm very tired. I've decided that it's because of the 4 hours of sleep I got last night, coupled with a long, hot day at Afton Station. Excuse enough? I think so.

After celebrating Pat Bremer's birthday at Local Table last night, and after I took them on an evening tour of the lights of Tulsa, including the new Meadow Gold sign, Jen and Pat came home with me and spent the night. This morning we were up bright and early and went to Jimmy's Egg for a hearty breakfast. After that, I picked up Ron M. and we left for Afton at 7:30. Pat and Jen decided to stop back at Afton Station on their way home to Indianapolis, so we met up with them again there. Here they are, with Ethyl. I trust they got back to Indy with no problems.
Tattoo Man arrived, a nice surprise, and spent the day with us. The three of us met and greeted an interesting array of 19 travelers, but first we had to wait out a pretty significant downpour. Once the rain let up, five hot, wet motorcyclers from Mokena, IL sought shelter under our portico. They stayed a while, dried out, and did a little spending before moving westward on Route 66. Motorcycles drip-dry while their owners take advantage of the time by perusing the old cars, using the restroom, and making quite a number of purchases. A nice, jolly group!

After that, the skies cleared, the sun came out, and so did the travelers, which included folks from Muskegon MI, Tonkawa OK, San Antonio TX, Topeka KS, Moline IL, Milwaukee WI, and a solo traveler from London, England. Nearly all of them were taking significantly lengthy Route 66 trips. I'm convinced that the "tourist season" on the Mother Road has officially begun.

This is a bad picture of the Chelsea Motor Inn in Chelsea. It's a great little 6-room mom 'n pop motel owned by friends of mine who are extremely interested in Route 66 and in maintaining a top-notch, clean, inexpensive motel. Just a hint... if needing a place to stay in Eastern Oklahoma, keep them in mind!

I need a nap!