Overland Expo Road Trip, Day 17


It was hot when I found camping, but cooled off. While the national ‘forest’ I’d camping in didn’t offer much in the way of facilities (or trees) there was a state park with showers on the way to Clinton, so I stopped there for 30 minutes to shave and shower. I felt better afterwards.

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I reached the Oklahoma Route 66 museum just before opening, so took the time to eat breakfast. Despite begin there early, I wasn’t the first guests, with a couple being let in early after they stood peaking in the doors. Then the sign as flipped to open and I went in.

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Nice car in the lobby.

The museum focuses on the road as it passed through Oklahoma, but there were only a few places this history didn’t seem to reflect the road as a whole. The $5 didn’t seem too much of a rip off either, since the interior was clean and well done.

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Each room took a different decade, discussing the road, and the political and economic (and environmental in the case of the Dust Bowl) forces that shaped Route 66 and the things along it – and eventually brought about its end.

The end of the museum was a movie about the road, and it was probably worth the admission by itself. Watching it made me reevaluate some assumptions. All the memorabilia for sale wasn’t a new thing, since most businesses along 66 were there to make a buck. There had even been resistance to paving the road, since people were earning money towing stuck vehicles out of the mud.

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One other thing I learned, well I guess I knew but just didn’t want to admit, was that 66 was the interstate of its day. People still traveled as fast as they could, cramming as much as they could into their vacations. Route 66 went away not because we changed, but because the interstates were faster – they didn’t have stop signs.

So there wasn’t some historical 66 where the pace of life ans travel were sedate, or where friendly cafes were everywhere (they are now because new owners and new locals are using them). And it was discarded, deliberately, because we had something better.

If you want to travel like that, anyway.

Sadly, I pretty much do from here on. I did get caught in a bit of rain today, and am sad to report the only bit of gear that states waterproof were my pants. At least it wasn’t too cold afterwards.

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