Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
May 28, 2003


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In Search of Portland Cement

It was a beautiful morning as the 66 Caravan prepared to leave Elk City for our rendezvous at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton. I was driving my personal car and decided to take old Route 66 instead of the Interstate to our next destination. Route 66 in this part of Oklahoma is quite drivable and provides an enjoyable alternative to the fast paced super slab; that is if you pay attention to all the twists and turns of the old road. I guess somehow I didn't. I bid Jim and Kevin ado and started out through the historic district of Elk City, marveling at all the old architecture and unique structures to be found in this great Route 66 town. This was a drive through history. I followed Route 66 and had just settled in to my "driving mode" when the road turned to the left outside of town and I was forced right back onto the Interstate without realizing it. An 18-wheeler whizzed by me like I was standing still and I shook my head in bewilderment. Now how in the world had this happened? I could see old Route 66 to the right of the Interstate, gently winding through the plains. I had missed my turn! To be honest with you, I'm not quite sure how I did it either. Promising myself that I would be more astute in the future I took the Canute exit to rejoin Route 66. I was using the great map series on Route 66, "Here it is! Route 66" by Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan, two of my road wandering friends. Great as those maps are, I was wishing that one of those guys was sitting right next to me giving me personal directions! Evidently I needed all the help I could get.
   

Route 66 Outside of Clinton, Oklahoma
Route 66 near Clinton follows the contour of the land as it snakes across the green Oklahoma countryside. This is two-lane heaven!

 

 

   

I did find my way back to the old Mother Road and carefully navigated my way through the beautiful Oklahoma countryside. I was in search of Portland cement, that wonderful material that old Route 66 was made from. When I was on the cement and not the asphalt I knew I was on the historic highway. My car's tires made a strangely familiar sound as they rolled over the seams in the Portland cement slabs. This road rhythm brought back memories of my childhood and our family vacations. I would lay in the back seat of our family car and watch the telephone poles pass by one by one - all the while being lulled to sleep by the rhythmic thump-thump of our tires on Portland cement.
     
  Canute Gas Station

Castles and diamonds decorate the top of this old gas station in Canute, Oklahoma.

      
 

Kobel's Place, another old gas station and garage, is slowly being concealed by the lush (remember, I'm from desert country) Oklahoma forest near Foss.

Kobels Gas Station

 

Clinton's Route 66 Museum

Route 66 Caravan at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton The city of Clinton is proud of its Route 66 heritage and they have built a beautiful Route 66 Museum to show it. This is another must stop place for the avid Mother Road fan. Hampton Save-A-Landmark program wanted to recognize this road attraction with a site worth seeing sign. Hampton felt they deserved it - and they certainly did in my opinion.
     
  When we arrived in Clinton (Jim beat me to town, but I arrived on time, albeit fashionably late) Pat Smith, director of the museum and her husband Virgil gave us a warm welcome. Not only would the museum receive a Roadside attraction sign, but they would be dedicating their newest attraction. A fully restored Valentine Diner! Virgil Smith was instrumental in getting the restoration work done on it too.

Clinton's Valentine Diner

       
 

Route 66 Museum Diner Exhibit

Pat Smith (center) gave us a personal tour of the Clinton Route 66 Museum. Jaimie Hall and Jim look right at home in the museum's diner exhibit. Can you believe it, the food on the table is not real. But it looked real enough to fool my stomach into reminding me that it was getting mighty close to lunch time!

       

This cigarette calendar from 1958 illustrates just how much our society has changed in the last 50 years. When it came out Jane Mansfield caused quite a scandal! Today if this same calendar came out it would be the pack of cigarettes that would cause an uproar ~ and possibly lawsuits!

I've Been on the Road TOO Long

     

Route 66 Museum Exhibit

The Clinton Route 66 Museum has great exhibits that illustrate the many time periods of the Mother Road. It is like a time line of American history.

     

And I believe that the psychedelic 60s is one time line that Jim can relate to! What do you think of this classic VW "Hippie Wagon"?

Route 66 in the 1960s

      
 

Route 66 Museum Roadside Attraction

Clinton Mayor

Jim and Clinton's Mayor, Don Rodolph, prepare to unveil the new Roadside Attraction sign.

   

Acting President of the Friends of Route 66 Museum Suzie Simon (right) poses with Pat Smith and Jaunita Porter Snow (left) at the diner dedication. Jaunita's father owned and operated this diner years ago.

Friends of the Route 66 Museum

   

Route 66 Museum Roadside Attraction Sign

 


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

Road Log pages read like a book:

Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

East 66
Lucilles in Hydro
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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