Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 7 Tucumcari (NM) to Sayre (OK) 24th June

We ambled out of Tucumcari around 0900 – with just over 250 miles today crossing into Texas and with a bit of luck into our fifth state - Oklahoma.

The 66 ran parallel to the I 40 all day at times running right alongside and others diverting away from what is now the most direct route. One of the magic things about this journey is despite the sameness about it just being a road between one side of America and the other it is different things to everyone who comes in touch with it. At the Ghost town of Glenrio we met Dave and his dad Sheril who had travelled from Sacramento to do the trip of a life time to Chicago. They’d seen our Mustang in Winslow a couple of days ago and figured we were going the same way... while we were using maps, guides and the iPhone route 66 app they were using another source - printouts from the internet. We joined forces and extracted the most out of the day possible. First stop, The Midway Diner... not surprisingly at the halfway point of the journey.

Here Robyn finally got a shot of the cute prairie dog that had thus far eluded her camera!

The famous Cadillac Range display is testimony to just what makes art, 10 Caddies buried to their fire walls in a paddock alongside Route 66. We were on our way to Amarillo... where Stanley Marsh III commissioned the ‘artwork’ four decades ago and has long since been considered the father of quirkiness that the Texan city is famous for.

We added our touch to the constantly changing art form and moved on into the city to find it littered with examples of unusual and intriguing art.

Amarillo’s main claim to fame though is being the home to 90% of the world’s helium supply... a lot of hot air! At 110 degrees that was exactly what it was today! 
 Everything is big in Texas and on the outskirts of town the Big Tex Hotel has a big Texan, a big Bull and a big swimming pool in the shape of the state of Texas!

Further out at Conway an ironic satire of Cadillac Ranch... a Bug Ranch - five VW’s buried nose down in the dirt... another canvas for those passing through.

The owners of the then Britten Truck Stop wanted to draw attention to their business at Groom and did so by installing their water tank on an angle for the whole world to see. Ironically the tank is still standing but the business has fallen right beneath the very symbol they had hoped would keep it alive.

There are plenty of trucks making their way across state lines with cars loaded behind. There’s no such luxury for trucks themselves, they’re just piggy backed across the country.

Alanreed clings to existence thanks in part to the restoration of the original gas station first erected by Bradley Kiser in 1930 when the train line ran through these parts providing the first commercial business opportunity. Old timer Glen’s been watching it from across the road for the last fifteen years and reckons it hasn’t been open for five before that.... but it’s brings in the tourists nonetheless..

McLean is the home of Phillips 66 fuel stops and the very first one has been restored on the original site. You can pull up, look and do just about everything at the gas station except extract refined oil from the pumps... and there’s two balls of ‘devils rope’ (barb wire) adorning the front entrance of the local museum down the road.

Just before Shamrock we found Gary and Renee cooling down their model A Ford... they are on their way to California.... from Ohio. Better them than us in these temperatures!

As we crossed into Oklahoma, the first port of call is Texola... and the first watering hole, (if it had been open) in our fifth state. Here the trees all point in one direction, thanks to the prevailing wind.

Sayre is the night stop in Oklahoma, tomorrow we change direction slightly, having lost yet another hour today we begin the trek north toward Kansas.


  1. I have made a comment or two but the system isn't very friendly and until you get the right "profile" nothing comes up. But you can't go back and try again - your comment is lost. But we're enjoying the read...


  2. Well, there I go, then. Ain't that something!