Homer's Travels: Route 66 & California - Missouri, Kansas & Oklahoma

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Route 66 & California - Missouri, Kansas & Oklahoma

We left Missouri and headed into Kansas.  Route 66 cuts the corner of the state, staying in Kansas for only thirteen miles.

We stopped at a store in Galena, KS called 4 Women on Route 66.  They sell sandwiches, antiques, and souvenirs.  Besides being in an original Route 66 gas station, their claim to fame is an old truck parked out front.   The tow truck is the original inspiration for Tow Mater.  Apparently someone from the movies was driving Route 66 for inspiration when they were working on "Cars" and saw the old rusty truck.  The real truck is now called Tow Tater due to copyright issues (The truck was named by a little girl, the winner of a contest).

Inspiration for Cars' Tow Mater.
After Galena we drove across Rainbow Curve bridge, the last remaining Marsh Arch bridge on the route.

Rainbow Curve Bridge.
We left Kansas and entered Oklahoma.  I found the drive here interesting but the Wife soon got bored with the scenery and, for the first time this vacation, took a nap in the passenger seat.  This is very unusual.  I expected her to start napping the first day but she held out a whole three days before taking her nap.  She took her role as navigator seriously.

We stopped in Claremore, OK at Ron's Hamburgers and Chili.  This little place had some of the best burgers I've ever eaten.  They were so big and greasy that you had to eat them with a knife and fork (The buns were too soaked in grease to pick up).  I think I had a Double Jumbo Cheeseburger.

We drove by tiny gas stations, Dairy Kings, and bronco bulls on the way to our next stop: a big blue whale on an idyllic pond.  The whale was once part of an amusement park but was moved here when the park closed down.  Now it's just a roadside attraction.  We bought a magnet here.

The mouth of the blue whale.
The route takes you through Tulsa and Oklahoma City.  These cities confirmed that following the route through cities is not fun and often confusing and stressful.  In Oklahoma City we ended up going around this one loop of highway three times before we finally figured out where we had to turn.

We ended the day in Weatherford, OK.  We ate dinner at Lucille's Roadhouse - even more good food.  All this good food also contributed to my bad blood tests after I got home.

This day was a long driving day with a sprinkling of interesting things along the way.  Route markers were getting fewer and farther between but you knew you were on the right track because of all the businesses with Route 66 in their names.  Tomorrow goodbye Oklahoma, hello Texas panhandle.

These pictures as more have been added to my 2011-07 Route 66 Roadtrip Google Photos album.

Approximate distance driven this leg: 324 miles.


  1. Double Jumbo...making up for Camino weight loss?

  2. ^: lol

    Can the truck actually be operated? I know there are blinds behind the windshield but its overall condition doesn't look so bad.

    What about your Christmas balls by the way, have they already been blown off? :)

  3. KSam: Yep and it worked :-)

    Gany: I believe it can still be driven. They take it to carnivals and parades.

    Three have blown out of our tree. Two were returned to the tree. The third was obliterated by a passing car.