Thursday, July 7, 2011

Getting our kicks on Route 66

Last night we stayed in a hotel with a not-so-great internet connection, so we couldn't blog about our day. So, I'll be covering both days in one post. Let's go to it.

Day Two

We left Indianapolis pretty early Wednesday morning and went directly through the rest of Indiana and Illinois (not much to report from that state) and cruised into St. Louis sometime in the afternoon.

I have to admit, St. Louis is one of the nicest cities I've ever been to. We both felt very relaxed and hung around for about an hour. The only down side was how sad it was knowing how devastating the Mississippi floods were in the last two months. In fact, the river was still flooded.

Pretty crazy. But after walking around for a little while, we hit the road again and decided to just drive until we were tired. We made to one more of our roadside destinations before calling it a night... The world's largest fork.

It was.... Well.. It was the world's largest fork. But it was definitely cool. We decided after stopping (the fork was in Springfield) that we would try to make it to Oklahoma before finding a hotel. So we got into the wonderful Miami, OK as it was starting to get dark. The town was run down and only featured a small casino that looked like it was in a barn. We got some food and called it a night. Which brings us to...

Day Three

Today was definitely my favorite so far. We left Miami early and in about an hour we were at our next attraction...

We drove along 44 and 40 today, both roads rode parallel to Route 66 and would actually join up with 66 for a while. Along the old Route 66 was the semi-famous Blue Whale. It's an old tourist attraction on a small lake that someone built as a gift for his wife in the 70's. It's fairly run down, but is still really cool to see, especially after you've been on the road for a while. So glad we stopped to check it out.

The rest of Oklahoma was pretty uneventful. It got up to 106 degrees and was very tough to deal with at times. It was kind of cool to see the land slowly turn into desert. The grass went from green to yellow, the dirt went from brown to red, and the rivers kept looking drier and drier.

That's the almost completely dry river along Tulsa. Crazy to think it's only a few hundred miles from the soaking wet state of Missouri. 

We passed some interesting tourist desinations. Random indian museums, trading posts, caves, and even a vacuum cleaner museum. We also went underneath the world's largest McDonald's.

Someone wasn't impressed by these amazing sights..

A few hours after crossing into Texas we reached one of our coolest destinations, the Cadillac Ranch!

The Cadillac Ranch is right along Route 66 and consists of about ten or fifteen old cadillacs buried in the dirt. It's also really cool because it's the only place that encourages you to really leave your mark. They tell you to go ahead and draw or spray paint whatever you want on the cars. People do it so much that you can smell paint about fifty feet away and there are half used bottles of spray paint laying everywhere. So Lauren and I picked a few up and went to work.

I might have helped someone out with theirs..

So cool. We left the ranch around 6:00 and decided to push on for a few more hours. The rest of Texas was really the start of desert country and was cool to see. We found it interesting that there were giant flashing signs that said "Warning! Extremely Dangerous Wildfires!" but offered no details at all as to where they were. Oh well, we're not on fire so we did something right. Anyways, we got into New Mexico and decided to stay the night in the only town we would find before Albuquerque. And yes I mean the only town. There are no exits for the first 80 miles in New Mexico and no more exits afterwards for over 200. It's a very tiny but cozy little town called Tucumcari. We found a hotel, got a bite to eat, and went in for the night around sunset.

It doesnt look like much of anything, but in person the desert is absolutely beautiful. We're both really looking forward to getting deeper into it tomorrow. We're, hopefully, going to meet up with Hal tomorrow evening at the Grand Canyon, so needless to say, we're really excited. It's been an amazing trip so far, and it looks like it's just going to keep getting better!

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