Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Beeline to Amarillo

I didn't feel like messing with Route 66 today for whatever reason. I didn't fight my impulse to get on I-40 and head straight for Amarillo.
Early on in the trip, I saw a sign pointing me to take Route 66, but I didn't want to. I just wanted to drive fast and straight for a while. And there was another sign just outside of Oklahoma City that indicated the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. And I passed on that. If it were Missouri, I might be more inclined, but based on how scant the markers are in Oklahoma, I'll pass.
I was going along until somewhere around Elk City, OK when I saw a sign pointing toward the National Route 66 Museum. So again, I have no explanation for my actions, but I pulled off the speeding Interstate there and got on a town road doing 35 MPH between stop lights.
At least, Elk City does Route 66 up right. They had banners (plural) on every block and at least as many highway signs in Elk City leading up to the National Museum as I'd seen in the rest of the state, combined. There was even one street where the full black and white iconic Route 66 badge was painted on the two lanes that were so designated, going forward.  That got me excited, and I nearly interrupted traffic trying to get a picture of it (I didn't get it).
I did stop and get a picture of Babe parked in one of the ubiquitous abandoned gas stations. You can almost see River poking his head out the drivers door window.

I finally got to the National Route 66 Museum and there was a first part where you could pull into this side 'street' with makeshift old fashion stores and a huge Route 66 street sign in the grass on the other side of the driveway. It was the biggest Route 66 sign I've ever seen.
I tried to get a perfect picture of the cool 60's faux business fronts and the giant sign in the background, but I guess there was some oil on the lens and it came out all dreamlike:
National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, OK
On the other side of the museum the frequency of the signage returned to typical OK standards (AKA no more signs). So I got back on the highway and headed for Texas.
Texas uses a different method for marking Route 66. The brown sign is attached to the appropriate green exit signs from the highway to indicate the Route leaves the highway there. All the other states I've seen so far would have had a separate sign.
There was plenty of time that I was driving on the highway, and I could clearly see the frontage road alongside. I'm pretty sure it was Route 66, but I watched for signs and didn't see any. Again the only evidence of it was in the commercialization of it along the way.

Here's a laugh. Siri, who butchers all of the street names in Santa Barbara with her not-even-trying Spanish accent, finally gets one right. She pronounces Amarillo, TX (which is pronounced exactly how it's spelled) with a perfect Spanish accent. She doesn't roll the r, but she hits all the vowel sounds of the way they say yellow in Spanish.

While we're at it, also fun to here to give me a direction containing an Oklahoma highway in it because it sounds as if she's making it up as she goes along. "Turn left onto....OK, ...235 south."
I think you had to be there on that one. Sorry.

I got into Amarillo and put an ad on Craig's List to find someone with clippers so I could cut my hair. I had luck finding someone the last time I was in this motel so it popped into my head to do it again. I found someone nearby who had clippers I could borrow and wouldn't mind doing my back and neck, or watching me so I don't miss anything.  Now my hair is short again.


When he left, I got some BBQ from the place next door. It was close enough that I could leave River in the room, walk over to the BBQ joint, order and bring my food back and River was cool when I got back. Definitely interested in the brisket, though.

We've been back in Texas for six hours and already River is scratching obsessively. I'm convinced he's allergic to Texas.



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