Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All Day, All Down Under

Due to my ridiculous and seemingly unbreakable habit of waking up between 3 and 4 every morning, I'm often much too early getting to wherever I have to be that day.  On the way to Afton on days when I drive up there alone, I frequently have time to kill.  Although I try not to shop much at WalMart, I do avail myself of the parking lot at their Vinita store, where I sit in the car and read the paper and eat my breakfast bagel from Braum's.  Generally, a semi or two and an occasional motor home are my only company.   Today, however, much to my astonishment the lot was full of big trucks, car carriers, travel trailers, etc.  It took me a moment to remember that the huge Vinita turnpike rest area (the giant McDonald's that spans the road) closes today for a one-year remodeling.  I guess the WalMart lot now becomes the new stopping place for big rigs.  There goes my morning peace and quiet!  Looks like I'll have to find another nook or cranny to pop into for my morning retreat.

I needed all the rest I could get to face today at Afton Station!   Holy Cow!   The whole world beat a path to our door, and it was one of the few days I've been alone up there.  Here are the facts and figures:  46 visitors, 32 of which were a big group of  New Zealanders from Noddy Watts' "Kiwis on Route 66" group.  Unexpected, but always most welcome!!!  After I left, Marly came and worked for another hour at which time he greeted another 14 visitors, a motorcycle group from France.

Those not from New Zealand today while I was there came from Margaret River Australia, Port Augusta Australia, St. Louis MO, San Jose CA, Mansfield OH, and Grove, OK.
Here are the folks from Port Augusta, Australia.
These are three of the 32 people with the New Zealand tour.   There would have been  more folks in the picture, but you know how hard it is to herd Kiwis into a group!   Ha ha...
One of the Kiwis, Malcolm Dean, is a Packard lover, and here is his car.   What a beauty.  He's a member of the Packard Antique Auto Club, as am I.  He also brought this cute little key chain, which he gave to me.
The fern is the symbol of New Zealand and the key fob is in the shape of a flip flop.

The St. Louis visitor was dear Jane Dippel, who always stops by on her frequent Route 66 trips.  This time, she's headed to Tucumcari for a festival there.  The Grove, OK visitor and his wife are railroad buffs and were headed out to check on train activity in the area.  While they were there, a train went by and the husband hurried outside to see it.

Michael Scruggs' photo show is almost entirely mounted.  By the weekend it should be ready for viewing. Hope some of you will come and check it out.  I'll try to shoot the whole display on Thursday so you can see how nice it looks.   For now.... good night.  ZZZZZZZzzzzzz.......

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