Observations from Route 66 in Oklahoma and Texas

I actually saw a sign advertising for tickets to a gun show. Hahahahaha!

At one of my motels in Oklahoma, the woman actually used one of the old credit card imprinting for my receipt.

I made it almost 1,000 miles without paying a toll: from western Pennsylvania to the interstate in Oklahoma.

Old gas station remnantas alongside Route 66
Old gas station remnantas alongside Route 66

I had a defective gas pump outside Oklahoma City. First it kept shutting off like it was done even though I had just started pumping. Next, after finally finding a position that kept it on, the thing actually overflowed my gas tank. A man who worked at the gas station who was talking to me said, “I’ve never seen that before!”

The speed limit is 75 in Oklahoma! Awesome…it’s like, I can drive the same speed I usually do but the risks go way down.

A sign on the side of the road on I-44 in Oklahoma said, “Hitchhikers might be escaped inmates.”

Lee Davis, one of 7 locals who keep up the Blue Whale Route 66 attraction in Catoosa, Oaklahoma
Lee Davis, one of 7 locals who keep up the Blue Whale Route 66 attraction in Catoosa, Oaklahoma

While watching TV in my room I came across Spike TV playing “movies that don’t suck.” This would have been great except they were playing Matrix 2…which definitely sucks! (and yet I watched it)

After three straight days of gray skies and rain, I was thrilled to start my day in Claremont with the sun shining, blue skies and slightly warmer weather.

Why is it so cold in the south?

The middle of the country really does lead a simpler life. It’s very apparent in the signs, stores, towns and on advertisements. For example, one billboard for online banking said, “e-statements…you don’t have to be extreme to go e.”

Large segments of Route 66 in Oklahoma are built on top of the original road and are two lanes in each direction. This means much faster speeds and far less turns than on the old roads.

In the early days of Route 66, people had to caravan in order to ward off bandits.

I wonder what runs through people’s minds when they see that the car tailgating then passing them because they are doing 10mph under the limit think when they look at my plates and see New York. I’m really not doing NY stereotypes any favors.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, Texas
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, Texas

I can’t count how many Main Streets I drive down. Fitting, since I grew up on Main Street.

People are so friendly on Route 66. While stopped on the side of the road in Oklahoma taking a photo of a Route 66 gas station, a cowboy in a pickup truck stopped to let me know that there were a bunch of murals in the downtown area, off the Route, that I had to go see.

Amazingly, considering how many there are back home and abroad, I have seen amazingly few Starbucks so far.

“American Owned” is a very popular thing to put on any business’ sign.

Staying on 66 becomes something of a guessing game at times.

The Rose Bowl on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Rose Bowl on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma

After getting a manager’s special price to check into a Quality Inn in Amarillo, Texas, the woman looked at my license and said, “why did you need a cheaper price? You’re from New York. You must have money!” Where am I, back in Bali with that thinking?

The continental breakfast at my hotel in Texas had biscuits and gravy, sausages and eggs. Mmmm.

Shortly after entering Texas, I saw a road sign saying “Don’t mess with Texas. Obey posted speed limits.”

Northern Texas is not quite the desert but not quite a tree-filled area. Not sure what it is exactly.

When driving country highways in Texas it feels like I have the world to myself.

A Texas roadside sunset on Route 66
A Texas roadside sunset on Route 66

Route 66 in Texas is completely different than in the other states I’ve been in so far. Most of the Route is only the interstate and every now and then an exit will have a “Route 66 here” notice on it. Even then, the historic road is usually only a few miles long then it’s back onto the interstate.

There are giant metal windmills all over the landscape providing wind power.

A lot of towns only have one, if any, stoplight.

Many of the towns along Route 66 dried up when the interstate bypassed them and are now shells of their former self. I get this. What I find crazy is that people still live there and raise their families.

Railroad tracks run alongside much of Route 66 and at one point I saw railroad ties being placed using cranes on railway cars.