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Postcards from Route 66: The Ultimate…

Postcards from Route 66: The Ultimate Collection from America's Main…

by Joe Sonderman

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0760346119, Hardcover)


It was in the state of Oklahoma that Tulsa businessman Cyrus Avery conceived Route 66. There are still plenty of kicks on 66 here, the state with the most remaining miles of the original route. (Between Miami and Afton, a precious, original section of 9-feet-wide pavement can still be driven with care. ) In eastern Oklahoma much of Route 66 was once the Ozark Trail Highway. In the western part of the state, the route mostly follows the old Texas Postal Highway. Over time, however, the route has changed. Initially 66 in the west came through Bridgeport, crossing the Canadian River on a rickety bridge that was owned by a politician who charged stiff tolls. Bridgeport became a ghost town when the El Reno Cutoff took traffic away in 1934. In the east the Turner Turnpike bypassed the towns between Tulsa and Oklahoma City in 1953, and the Will Rogers Turnpike connected Tulsa and the Missouri line in 1957. Today Route 66 is used by locals who want to avoid the tolls.

Starting on the eastern section of 66, Laurel Kane’s restored gas station and collection of vintage Packards stand out in Afton. Claremore is the hometown and final resting place of Will Rogers. Phillips 66 gasoline coined its name near the oil capital of Tulsa when a car testing the new fuel hit 66 miles per hour on Route 66. At Stroud the Rock Café has been serving travelers since 1939. Arcadia’s landmark Round Barn has stood since 1898 (left).

In the middle of the state, Oklahoma City is the site of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the memorial to the victims of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing. In Yukon, the hometown of country musician Garth Brooks, there’s a giant flour mill with recently restored neon towers. West of El Reno is a wonderful stretch of old Route 66 that includes the 3,994-foot-long “Pony Bridge,” with its thirty-eight, Warren pony trusses (above, bottom). Farther west the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum is in Clinton, and Elk City has the National Route 66 Museum. Harley and Annabelle Russell, the “Mediocre Music Makers,” are waiting to entertain you at the “World Class, World Famous Sandhills Curiosity Shop” in Erick. The ghost town of Texola is at the state line. A sign on a bar there sums it up nicely: THERE’S NO OTHER PLACE LIKE THIS PLACE ANYWHERE NEAR THIS PLACE SO THIS MUST BE THE PLACE.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:52:37 -0400)

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