Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
May 24, 2003

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Eastern Texas Route 66


  Conway Bug Ranch Conway, Texas is a small Route 66 town that has been bypassed by the Interstate. Conway's claim to fame might just lie in its soon to be celebrated "Bug Ranch" an obvious parody of the famous Cadillac Ranch west of Amarillo on Interstate 40.

About a mile from the Interstate on Old Route 66 remnants of the hey-day of the Mother Road can still be found in Conway.

Old Gas Station in Conway



66 Court in Groom Groom, Texas is another railroad town that dates back to 1902. Its main industry was cattle, wheat and maize. Groom was named after Colonel B.B. Groom who established a prosperous ranch in the area. Route 66 kept the town going. In 1946 Rittenhouse gives the population at 475 with the tourist amenities being a small hotel, Wall's cafe and several others; gas; garages; stores.
  Another attraction for the Interstate traveler is the Groom Cross, visible for miles as you approach this panhandle town. Though it doesn't date back to the days of Route 66 it is an attraction that is definitely in the spirit of the old Mother Road. The Groom Cross, the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, is the dream of Mr. Steve Thomas who wanted to show his gratitude to God with a public symbol of faith.

Largest Cross

Christ & Pilate Sculpture

Stations of the Cross sculptures surrounding this symbol of faith lead the road wanderer down a reflective path.

  Today the town of Groom boasts of the famous and neck-turning "Leaning Tower of Texas. This is a water tank that leans precariously to one side. One leg of the Britten USA water reservoir is actually shorter than the others. This was done to catch the tourist's eye and get them to stop in Groom. A bit of marketing to help this old Route 66 town bypassed by the Interstate.

Caravan at Britton Tower

Darryl and Britton Tower

Darryl Holland tries to straighten out a few things in Groom.


Alanreed: Reptile Ranch

Just a few miles west of McLean is the old Route 66 town of Alanreed. The glory days are over for this Mother Road Town - the Interstate brought those days to an end. Now it is a quiet little spot on the old highway. There is a nicely restored gas station though thanks to the efforts of the Historic Route 66 Association of Texas.
Old Regal Reptile Ranch There was a time when Alanreed was the home of the famous - or should I say infamous - Reptile Ranch. This was a tourist attraction worthy of the best along the old Mother Road. Today only a grassy clearing and a few ruins remain. We stepped very carefully through the grass though, ever watchful for second and third generation creepy-crawlers.
  Jamie Hall

Becky Ransom

Now I consider myself quite a picker when it comes to finding old souvenirs left over from the hey-day of Route 66. You know tin cans, soda bottles and all sorts of road litter but today Jamie Hall and Becky Ransom out gunned me. These two ladies could have taught me a few things at the old Reptile Ranch.


West 66
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Go West down the Mother Road

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East 66
McLean, Texas
Go East on the Mother Road



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