Thursday, September 18, 2008

Go west, old woman!

Driving is my life, I guess.   Today, since it's my free day and I didn't have to drive 160 miles round trip to Afton Station, I celebrated by driving 130  miles round trip in the opposite direction!   I  hadn't been west on Route 66 for a couple of months, so I decided to pay a visit to the fairly new Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler and to check out a number of things along the way.  To my surprise, I started feeling a certain amount of sensory overload shortly after I left Tulsa.  There were so many places I wanted to stop, and so little time (since I had to be home relatively early to bake brownies to take to a meeting tonight). 

I made a quick stop for a picture of the old bridge west of Sapulpa, just so I could compare it to my pics of the bridge in Chelsea.  In the photo,  you can see the old drive-in movie screen just on the other side. 


 I wanted to stop at the recently-burned Rock Cafe in Stroud, but it was so early when I got there that the shop next door wasn't open and Dawn was nowhere to be found.  I did stop at the Route 66 Shoe Tree east of Stroud.   It looks a bit worse for wear since the last time I visited.   Much of it is still there however, although I don't think my own shoe survived the natural deterioration process.

When I arrived in Chandler, I went first to seek out Jerry McClanahan's new digs.  I had no trouble finding it, but nobody was there.   Striking out so far, I decided to just go to the Interpretive Center and postpone the other visits I wanted to make until a later date.

The Interpretive Center is GREAT!   I am so impressed.  I got a personal tour by lovely Angie Maynor, the director.  We're planning a November cruise there for one of the car clubs I belong to, so I wanted to see it before that so I could give a little personal introduction to it.  I recommend it highly.   Here's the only picture I took, which does it absolutely NO justice.  It's a little too dark for photography because the lights are kept low so one can view the multiple screen presentation.  The cool thing is the seating.... you get to choose from lying on a bed (to simulate an old motel), or sitting on Ford Mustang seats, Model A seats, old theater seats, etc.  Clever!


The aforementioned sensory overload made me decide to come straight home after that.  My feelings were mixed.  On one hand, there were tons of places I would liked to have stopped.  On the other hand, it was all feeling a bit too familiar.  I really need to take a Route 66 trip that's not in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, or Illinois, the four states with which I'm most familiar.  I need a trip out west.  Badly.   I drove home on the interstate.  Shame on me. 


Anonymous said...

The new center looks great--sounds like it's a must-stop for us in a couple of years! I LOVE the seating options they give you!

I've done none of the western part of 66, except for brief spots in L.A. (and all the original pavement is gone, of course). Cousin Shane has done pretty much all of it, and he loves the desert, so I think that's some of his favorite portions. He's written to me about Glenrio, Texas, and Oatman, Arizona (where all the burros roam!). As much as I love the Midwest, I'm looking forward to exploring places and environments with which I'm not familiar. But then it's ALL good, isn't it?!

Oh, and neat to see that a drive-in screen is still up. So many haven't survived.

Thanks for sharing these pictures!


Anonymous said...

Yes, the Interpretive Center should be on your must-see list when you come this way.
I last did the NM and TX segments of Route 66 a few years ago, but it's been at least 10 years since I did Arizona or California.  I'm definitely feeling the pull of the West, but I also love to explore other old roads.  I think I'm just going through a restless period.   Laurel