I finally left at about 2:30 and drove around town a bit. When they tore down the historic old Cities Service station (a National Trust property, I might add), they turned the concrete pad on which it stood into a town "park" (quotation marks denote irony) by adding a couple of chairs, some fake flowers, and even an umbrella for those who seek shade while watching the speeding semis roll past on Route 66. The "park" is right down the street from my Station, and when the Cities station was still standing it was one that we considered buying, until we realized it would be too small to meet our needs. For this reason, I tend to feel a touch of guilt about it. Could we have saved it? I hate to see historic properties demolished.
Here's the old Cities Service station before demolition. (Photo from "Along Route 66" by Quinta Scott). Looks a lot like Afton Station, doesn't it?
The town "park" today.
As I mentioned before, the old Buffalo Ranch tourist stop was also torn down and a truck stop built in it's place. At least the new owners continue to pay their respects to the venerable old tourist trap. There are still bison grazing out back just like in the past, and there's a bronze buffalo guarding the gate to the pasture. Today, I noticed that there's now a covered wagon out back, too. You can't get much more tourist trappy than that! Now, if they'd just add a rattlesnake pit and some Indian dancers.....
ADDENDUM: Just had a call from a couple from Norway that were absolutely crushed to find I wasn't open. They called from in front of the Station. It's 6 p.m. now, I'm almost two hours away, and obviously I'm not able to drive there to let them in. This frequently happens. I'm so sad.