Route 66 Day 4 Synopsis
Afterward, we got on the road in a very leisurely way. I drove lead car (navigator) with my two boys and Mom and Risa and Clint followed. We found a nice breakfast restaurant to start the day. It is the least expensive meal of the day and gets us off to a good start, so we always try to do breakfast instead of lunch. I had biscuits and gravy with mushrooms and grapefruit juice. Kind of odd for me I know, but the restaurant turned out to be a bit pricey and it seemed like a good way to fill my belly on a budget. It was actually very yummy.
Next we headed out of town. The beginning was pretty much the same as most of Missouri has been...winding roads through trees and hills and farmland. And here is where I must say that Route 66 in Missouri would probably be nearly impossible to follow if we didn't have the turn-by-turn trip guide (EZ66 Guide by Jerry McClanahan). The old Route is rarely marked almost entirely through Missouri and there are MANY turns through small towns. Every once in a while, we would see a "Historic Route 66" sign validating that we were on the right track, but we would have never been able to do it without the guide. Old Route 66 was awesome with many old roads that were bumpy and rocky and narrow. Hard to believe that this used to be the main bustling highway.
Shortly after taking off for the day, we came upon a big building with the words "Candy Factory" across its roof. We decided to stop and Mom was literally like a "kid in a candy store". She bought 2 1/2 pounds of various candies. The rest of us picked out a few things as well and then we were on our way. Springfield had a giant neon sign of a pistol which we had to get a photo of.
Next we arrived in Ash, MO and saw an old Sinclair gas station with asign reading 15 cent gas and below that another sign that said "GAS WAR". The station was very cute and we parked in front to photograph it like we had done with so many other vintage gas stations along the route so far. However, suddenly someone emerged from the front door and invited us in. Inside, he provided a wealth of knowledge and was an incredibly awesome individual. We had so much fun and I think we stayed there for an hour or more. He showed us cool route 66 era items and we took pictures with him. He even gave us a signed photo. The gas station was started in1931, although it burned down in 1955. The current owner, Gary Turner, purchased the land recently and built a very authentic looking and charming 30's style gas station. Mr. Turner was a very fun man who seems to really love the Route. Stop in and see him if have the chance.
After leaving there, we went through a few towns and photographed cool sites like the wagon wheel Route 66 welded sculpture in Maxville, MO. Mr. Turner had told us that we must see Red Oak II which was near a sculpture named the "Crap Duster" which we new about from our book. I knew we missed it when we discovered that we were heading out of town, so we turned back to see if we could find it. On the way we stopped to take a look at the old bridge that was washed away by the river and then found the sculpture at the Flying W Store. Just as we pulled in and got out of our cars to take a photo, I saw a man in an old vintage truck with the words "Red Oak II" written on the side. Being that I "love to talk to strangers" as my mom puts it, I asked him if he knew how to get to the town and he said "Of course! I built that town!". That was when we found out that we were talking to Mr. Lowell Davis who created the "crap duster" sculpture and he offered to escort us over to his town which he created when the original Red Oak was being "improved" with new buildings and he was just determined to preserve the history and over time moved many of the buildings and artifacts to his land and created the town of Red Oak II. It was incredible to say the least.. He moved these buildings board by board and brick by brick and his town includes a church, old gas station, cafe, many very old and cute homes, artifacts, and so much more. It is impossible for me to describe how magnificent it is. You will just have to go see it. Do take a look at the photos we took, however.
After spending probably a couple hours there, we continued on and through the next towns saw an old drive in theater still in business, some more giants, and the famous rainbow bridge, and then headed into Kansas which has 13 miles of Route 66 road.
In the first town in Kansas, Galena, we met the ladies who own the Four Women On The Route vintage gas station which houses the tow truck which was actually the inspiration for Tow Mater in the movie Cars (Disney/Pixar). The kids in the town have named the truck "Tow Tater". These women have purchased several old buildings in Galena and are working toward restoring them.
After the 13 miles of site-seeing in Kansas, we headed into Oklahoma.
We stopped at Waylan's Ku Ku Burger with its great 1965 neon sign and had dinner. It was fantastic!!! This happens to be the last Ku Ku Burger remaining.
We also saw the Coleman Theatre Beautiful, which is a magnificent 1929 Spanish mission-styled theatre.
We finally stopped for the night in Afton, Oklahoma to stay at the Route 66 Motel.