Monday, April 28, 2008

Day Three

Three sub-optimal things have occurred.

On Saturday night I kept on driving too long and ended up staying in a shitty Holiday Inn, and then the next morning I missed one of my favorite Route 66 landmarks, the crazy whale thing in Catoosa. I guess I'm still adjusting to the pace of this trip, and I shall endeavor both to take my time for the rest of the trip and to do a little more research.

The third thing was sadder than both of those. Gary, who runs the pretty little service station from day two, told me that according to Crocodile Lile - chairman of the Route 66 Association - the best burgers in the world are to be had at Happy Burger in Sepulpa OK. With watering mouth and growling stomach I pulled in to HB at one in the afternoon yesterday, only to find it closed!

Gary had given me a signed picture of his gas station to give to the lady who owns it, so I wrote a little note on the back and slid it under the door. I included the address to this blog, so if you own Happy Burger and are reading this please know that you owe me a burger!

Anyway, after leaving the hotel in Joplin MO yesterday morning I made my way through the 13 mile stretch of Route 66 that runs through Kansas. In contrast to Webb City MO, right across the border, this corner of Kansas is pretty gloomy and economically depressed. Here is a former service station in Galena, now a liquor store.

Another cool stencil on the road.

Gloomy Galena.

An old tow trunk done up like Mater from Cars. This one's name is Tow Tater.

More gloomy stuff.

ULTIMATE gloominess. Could a house BE any more creepy?

Probably the prettiest gas pump I've seen so far, outside the little restaurant where Tow Tater lives.

Neat Pepsi and Mountain Dew murals.

Sign outside a little neighborhood along the road. I didn't want to investigate too much as I made a series of highly illegal traffic maneuvers to get the pic and then noticed the sign was right next to a cop's house.

The Marsh Arch Rainbow Bridge over the Spring River. This is the only remaining bridge of its kind along Route 66. I had a nice side shot of it, but forgot to bring a copy of PhotoShop so couldn't straighten it without fuzzing it up.

Sweeeeeet. That had to be one kickass ride when it was new. I can totally picture myself with three flapper chicks, a cigar, and my tommy gun chilling in the back of that.

I wonder what the kitten thinks of all of this.

More falling down cabins.

Happy Burger! Oh no! It's closed! Sad Burger!

This bridge lives along a section of the Ozark trail that became part of Route 66 in 1926, five years after the bridge was built. It remained part of 66 until 1952.

An abandoned drive in theater along the Ozark trail.

Here you go, dad.

An old service station in Davenport OK.

This is an interesting structure. It is one of the only stone service stations of this design left standing in this part of the country, but more interestingly it was the site of a $10 bill counterfeiting operation during the Capone years.

Nice flower box in the window.

Interior view. The little window in the back on the right led to the secret money printing shack behind the station.

A very old stretch of roadway. Main Street of America, now the road less travelled.

The famous and aptly named Round Barn in Arcadia OK. It is over 100 years old, but in '88 the roof caved in and it was moved from its original location and turned into a gift shop. I shot it from the only angle that doesn't show the obnoxious signs.

State Capitol in Oklahoma City.

Ah yes, this is what a little bit of planning will get you. A camp site before dark with a blazing grill.

Buffalo ribeye. Score.

A meal fit for a king with the addition of powdered four cheese mashed potatoes and a can of peas. Ka-bar makes a hell of a steak knife too.

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