Day 6-8: Oklahoma, Route 66

Heading west on the longest stretch of the old road in a single state…

DAY 6 PLAN:
DRIVE: Bennett Springs State Park, MO to Galena, KS to Tulsa, OK (estimated 350 miles / 10 hours) — stop to resupply en route
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: Visit Gay Parita Sinclair, Paris Springs | Drive Ribbon Road Sidewalk Highway, Miami | Visit Totem Pole Park, Foyil | Visit Blue Whale, Catoosa
ARRIVE: Tulsa

DAY 7 PLAN:
DRIVE: Tulsa, OK to Foss State Park, OK (estimated 475 miles / 12 hours) — stop to resupply en route
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: Visit Round Barn, Arcadia | Visit ghost town, Foss
ARRIVE: Foss State Park, OK

DAY 8 PLAN:
DRIVE: Foss State Park, OK to Amarillo, TX (estimated 300 miles / 8.5 hours) — stop to resupply en route
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: Visit ghost town, Foss | Visit National Route 66 Museum, Elk City | Visit Devil’s Rope museum, Mc Lean
ARRIVE: Palo Duro Canyon, TX

RESOURCES: DAY 6 PLANNING PAGE | DAY 7 PLANNING PAGE | DAY 8 PLANNING PAGE | BENNETT SPRINGS WEATHER | TWIN BRIDGES WEATHER | TULSA WEATHER | KEYSTONE PARK WEATHER | OKLAHOMA CITY WEATHER | RED ROCK CANYON STATE PARK WEATHER | CROWDER LAKE UNIVERSITY PARK WEATHER | FOSS STATE PARK WEATHER

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: A TASTE OF ROUTE 66 OKLAHOMA (entering Oklahoma on Route 66)

It was getting late by the time we crossed into Oklahoma, so we decided we would keep driving even after it gets dark, then look for a hotel somewhere beyond Tulsa. This way we could continue our slow exploration of the old road. Oklahoma’s 400 miles of Route 66 contain more of the original alignments than any other state, and we wanted to experience as much of that as we could … [ read more ]

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: THE ENDLESS HORIZON ON ROUTE 66 (Oklahoma Route 66, Tulsa to Foss)

The landscape has changed to the flat endless horizon we tend to associate with the great big West. And the animal of the day is the cow! Lots and lots of cows. And corn. Cornfields and Cows. Cows and Cornfields — occasionally interrupted by the even taller stalks of the wind turbines generating clean energy. … [ read more ]

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: GHOSTS ON THE EDGE OF ROUTE 66 (Oklahoma Route 66, Foss to Texola)

An amazing sunrise on the lake this morning in Foss State Park on the western edge of Oklahoma. But the heat and humidity made it less than comfortable to linger, despite the beauty. We broke camp and quickly loaded the jeep, heading out in search of Foss, the ghost town we had heard was nearby. We followed the directions, however, in place of a “ghost” we found a thriving -– if very small –- town. Apparently “ghosts” can be revived … [ read more ]

REFLECTIONS & OTHER THINGS: THE OUTLAW AS AMERICAN FOLK HERO (America’s fascination with outlaws)

Driving along Route 66 we often seem to come upon places that boast of association with one or another infamous American outlaw. Stories about Jesse James or Bonnie and Clyde get told and re-told, and it makes one wonder why so many of the folk heroes out here were outlaws … [ read more ]

REFLECTIONS & OTHER THINGS: IN SEARH OF GHOSTS (America’s ghost towns)

During our Route 66 trip we were intrigued by accounts of “ghost towns” that we’d heard about from other travelers who indicated where along the way we might find a few of these places. Attracted by historical curiosity and the opportunity for interesting photography, we decided to try to stop at a few. But we weren’t quite prepared for what we would find. Our ideas about “ghost towns” came from old films and stories of the American west … [ read more ]

PRACTICAL MATTERS: CAMPING ACROSS AMERICA (Camping options for a road trip)

Camping across America is a great way to really see the country up close and personal. It is also a very affordable way to travel. But camping is not for everyone. And not everyone has the same idea about what camping means. For some, it means minimal supplies, tent and sleeping bags, in a remote area where you can appreciate being relatively alone with nature. For others, it is a “traveling” house … [ read more ]

PRACTICAL MATTERS: CLANTON’S CAFE, VINITA (restaurant review)

It may be the giant “EAT” sign outside that draws you in, but Clanton’s is the real deal, and you see it as soon as you step through the door. Lively chatter between diners and the staff create an ambiance of familiarity. People know each other here. And yet, a stranger from the road is welcomed just like a neighbor … [ read more ]

PRACTICAL MATTERS: MUSEUMS ON THE ROAD (Choosing museum visits for a road trip)

In many ways, a road trip seems the antithesis of a museum visit — the primal idea of the road trip is to get out there and see and do things in the first-person, while a museum is a place we go to view what others have discovered and assembled into collections. But with so many quirky collections out there, certain museums make great stops along the way, offering visitors a bit of insight into unique aspects of the road, the region or the local history … [ read more ]

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: FOSS STATE PARK (destination information)

Foss State park is located in western Oklahoma, just north of Route 66, where the slow-moving Washita River winds through prairie and farmlands to merge with Foss Reservoir. The man-made reservoir, over 8,800 acres, is actually the largest lake in western Oklahoma. With 63 miles of shoreline Foss has a reputation for excellent … [ read more ]

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: PORTFOLIO: ROUTE 66 OKLAHOMA (images from Oklahoma Route 66)

Oklahoma Route 66 contains more of the Mother Road’s original alignments than any other state, and includes a very narrow section of the original paved route — the 9-foot-wide “sidewalk highway.” We were driving through a landscape of flat wide-open grassy plains with endless horizons and lots of cows. Small towns proud of their heritage, a mix of legend and history, that tells a nation’s story from the ground up … [ read more ]

OKLAHOMA ROUTE 66 THINGS WE LIKE:
Old, old road, original stretch of Route 66 near Miami, OK…
Clantons Cafe, for good food…
Totem Pole Park, because the totem poles are cool…
The Blue Whale, because its big and blue and a Route 66 icon…
The Round Barn, because its a round barn lovingly restored by volunteers…