Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy People, Happy Day!

As the days get shorter and cooler, I find myself dreading the upcoming weeks of winter with few, if any, visitors to Afton Station. That time has not yet begun, and yet I'm already feeling nostalgic for the super-busy days of July, August, and September. I'm reminded, not pleasantly, of the days 7 or 8 years ago when we were barely open, unrestored, with no signage or other outward clues that we were a budding museum. I'd sit at the window day after day and watch the big 18-wheelers roll by, grateful to have one or two curious visitors a week. I counted the trucks -- oh yes, I really did. I took notes of where they came from -- Greenwood Wisconsin, Lubbock Texas, Knoxville Tennessee -- and wondered where they were heading. It was something to do. My dream was almost, but not quite, ready to begin.

Once we got the old building painted and put up some banners announcing that we were "in business", people started arriving to fulfill my dream of becoming an amateur Route 66 ambassador. As my guest book started to fill with signatures, I turned into a megalomaniac, wanting more, more, MORE.... not power or money, but people! And now, years later, I still don't want it to let up, even for a few winter months. However, I will probably let my dream hibernate again this winter, going to Afton just on weekends (and whenever else I feel like it) in December and January. Meanwhile, I find myself insanely jealous of people such as Gary Turner who live right next door to their businesses and can visit with travelers year round without the crazy little 160-mile round trip I have to make. But, it is what it is, I guess.

This was another stellar day at Afton Station. I was alone there, with only a short visit from Betty W. But the visitors started coming in early and left late. What a cool bunch of travelers came today! The stars must be in a special alignment, because it's been a whole weekend of interesting visitors with much chatting and laughing.

Here's an absolutely delightful couple from Montgomery, TX who were heading for Joliet, IL., to a wedding, I believe. They decided to take Route 66. Smart people!

Still in love after 40 years!

Two couples from Washington State (Tacoma and Gig Harbor) stopped by on their Route 66 tour, and one of them had this very beautiful restored vintage truck which he's driving across the country. Parked there, it even made Afton look good!

I loved these three interpid bicyclers. They're from Sierra Vista, AZ and they're pedaling their way across most of Route 66. They told of headwinds yesterday slowing them down, but any problems they may have had weren't showing in their jolly outlooks. Clearly, they're having a ball! I'm glad they're decked out in neon outfits, because sometimes I worry about the safety of our cycling Route 66 visitors. There were also visitors from Long Beach CA, Cypress CA, Philadelphia PA, Miami OK, Bartlesville OK, and Mineapolis, MN. The Bartlesville father and son were taking advantage of a most perfect motorcycling day. The three from Minneapolis were a mother and grown daughter and son. The kids were accompanying their mother on her relocation from Minneapolis to Globe, Arizona.

I got some information today about a Harvey House that used to exist in Vinita. I didn't know about it previously, but I plan to do some research tonight and will likely post a little about it tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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