Day 5: June 18, 2007
Into Texas
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Elk City, OK Elk City, OK Elk City, OK Elk City, OK I've been to Elk City's museum complex a couple of times but was totally disoriented as soon as I entered today. Turns out it wasn't my fault - this time. A new building has been added to house a Transportation Museum, a small theater, and a gift shop. The Transportation Museum is small but is nicely done. Among the displays there are a couple of cars (actually parts of cars) in a simulated drive-in setting where you can watch trailers from '50s era movies like The Blob. In the real theater, the movie is an overview of American transportation co-produced by American Road Magazine. My first hint was when the familiar face of American Road editor Thomas Repp opens the movie. (For those who don't know, American Road Magazine was the first publication to print any of my words on glossy paper and I'm currently involved with the magazine in doing some articles for the National Road department. I've learned that American Road is also involved in producing the movie to be shown in the theater section of the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler.)

The Route 66 Museum is pretty much as I remember it and provides a look at many aspects of the road's history assisted by some automated audio. I skipped the indoor portion of the Old Town Museum today but did stroll about some of the outside "town". Most of that town is made up of store fronts with appropriate displays in the windows. The display at the drug store is livelier than most. Instead of the normal static display with maybe a mannequin or two, the drug store had Mary Lou & Carla sitting in a booth by the window. One is from the east coast (MA) and one from the west (CA) and were brought to the middle by their husbands. We had a great chat and took each other's pictures (OK, it's here) before they let me out the back door for a short cut to the Farm & Ranch Museum. I really liked the windmill display and there's lots of good stuff inside the big barn, too. In a few days I'll see if Clinton still has the better Route 66 museum but the overall complex here is quite impressive and it keeps on growing.

Cheyenne, OK Cheyenne, OK One of the things that Carla and Mary Lou told me about was the Black Kettle Museum and it sounded like a place I ought to visit. I had the time so turned off of Historic Route 66 for a fifteen mile side trip. The museum is only open Thursday through Sunday and looks a bit overgrown. I drove by it once without even seeing the name in large letters on its side. Oh, well. I was now within two miles of the Washita Battlefield so headed on to there. It was almost closed, too. A paving crew had the normal route blocked but it's on a loop and the other end wasn't far away. This is the win that gives George Custer an overall tie with the Indians. Black Kettle and his wife were among those killed in the battle but it's unclear how many other Indian casualties there were. A sign near the Black Kettle Museum says 153, Custer reported 103 warriors killed, the Cheyennes themselves say it was 13 warriors plus 16 women and 9 children. Maybe math was always a problem for George.

Sayre, OK Sayre, OK Sayre, OK After I spotted the Western Motel sign in Sayre, I stopped just beyond it at the Route 66 Bar. The motel picture was taken from there looking back east. I have no idea whether the mural painter at the bar was being cute with the "Root 66" sign of if he/she just failed to look around the corner of the building for a spell check.

On previous trips, I've just looked down the street at the court house that appeared in The Grapes of Wrath but today I decided to get closer and take a picture.

Sandhills Curiousity Shop, Erick, OK Mediocre Music Makers, Erick, OK I've probably read as many descriptions of the Sand Hills Curiosity Shop as anyone but I still wasn't completely prepared for the Harley & Annabelle experience. They call themselves the "Mediocre Music Makers" but the music's far from mediocre. In fact, Harley has been playing guitar since he was twelve and it shows. This guy is good. I and a couple from Texas were treated to a sweet rendition of "What a difference a Day Makes" and then Bobby Troup's "Route 66". If they put that much energy into entertaining us three I can imagine that they're off the scale when one of the large tour groups stops by. "We're the only bus stop in town", Harley reminds us.

Roger Miller Museum, Erick, OK Unlike the "Curiosity Shop", which is open even when it isn't, the other attraction in Erick seems to not be open even when it is. When I passed this way in 2003, the place had a "coming soon" sort of sign. It's now in operation but open only Wednesday through Sunday.

Texola, OK Texola, OK Texola, OK Watering Hole #2 and the No Place bar in Texola. Both, as Monty Python would say, are ex-businesses.

Shamrock, TX Shamrock, TX Shamrock, TX Shamrock, TX I've never been off of Sixty-Six in Shamrock before. Today I ventured into downtown to see the "other" restored station in town and to check out the museum. I also stopped at the playground where a piece of the Blarney Stone is mounted in a green pedestal. I expected a small nugget but this thing is a couple of feet wide. My curiosity is raised but my internet searches haven't revealed the stone's history yet. More research is required.

U Drop Inn, Shamrock, TX U Drop Inn, Shamrock, TX U Drop Inn, Shamrock, TX U Drop Inn, Shamrock, TX That first picture is kind of like a shot of the dark side of the moon. I was pretty sure that the U Drop Inn, Shamrock's pride and joy, had a back side but I don't believe I've ever seen it. I'm staying in McLean but returned to Shamrock to eat (McLean's only restaurant, Red River Steakhouse, is closed Sundays and Mondays.) and take that last picture.

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