Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Through Missouri, Kansas and into Oklahoma

Joe and Ned Conquer the Turtle

Leaving Meramac State Park we returned to Route 66. Just passed Cuba, MO, "Route 66 Mural City", we came across the World's Largest Rocking Chair. In Springfield, MO we stopped at the Bass Pro Shop. Springfield is the home of Bass Pro Shops and the store is huge. Our last stop in Missouri was in Carthage where we visited a farmers' market and the site of a Civil War battle. Unfortunately we wouldn't be in town to go to the 66 Drive-In Theatre.

One of the "Watertowers" in Bourbon, MO

One of the Murals in Cuba, MO

Joe and Ned Sit Under the World's Largest Rocking Chair

Roadside at the Devil's Elbow, MO

Route 66 Drive in Carthage, MO

After Missouri Route 66 enters Kansas for a short 13 miles. On a corner in Baxter Springs, KS there is a rusted old pick-up truck that was the inspiration for Mater in the movie Cars and down the road we met the man who was the inspiration for his personality and backwards driving ability, Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker.

Just outside of Baxter Springs is a old bridge over Brush Creek on Route 66. The bridge is a single-span concrete Marsh arch bridge and is the sole surviving bridge of this type on the entire length of the former highway. When we stopped to take some pictures of the bridge this guy came up and started talking to us about Route 66. It was "Crazy Legs". "Crazy Legs" got his nickname because he can turn his legs so that his feet are pointing backwards. We talked about travelling the mother road and he gave us tips on where to go.

The Rainbow Bridge Near Baxter Springs, KS

Crossing into Oklahoma we made a stop in Miami, OK to eat at Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger the sole survivor of a 200 store chain. Gene Waylan the owner was on hand to oversee the creation of great burgers. Down the road we stopped to view the Coleman Theater a beautiful 1929 Spanish mission styled showpiece that has recently been restored. We only got to see the outside since it was late and missed seeing the elaborate interior.

Another quick stop was made in Foyil, OK to see Totem Pole Park. Ed Galloway started building the totem poles on his property in 1937 completing the largest in 1948. It is 90 feet tall and is made of concrete and steel. There are other smaller totem poles on the site and a gift shop that was the Fiddle House.

The Coleman Theater in Miami, OK

Totem Poles in Foyil, OK

Totem Pole Face Detail

A Smaller Totem Pole and Ned

We ended the day in Claremore, OK. The town is loaded with memorials to its most famous son, Will Rogers including his grave and the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum. Unfortunately the museum was closed but we were able to visit his grave. Since it was very late we stayed in a hotel for the night.

Will Rogers' Grave

Meramac State Park, MO to Claremore, OK, 349 miles 10 hrs 6 min

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