Kansas and Oklahoma
05.05.2007 - 06.05.2007 27 °C
We checked out of the nasty motel early and got back on the road, driving through Joplin and striking West out of Missouri and into Kansas. Only 13 miles (1%) of the route is in Kansas, but we passed through a couple of little towns. Almost every few miles there is a building, or sign, or even a lampost or shelter to show that you are on the 'Main Street' of America. During the 30's and 40's the Route wound along these Main Streets, clogged up with traffic bumper to bumper all the way. Kansas has the Rainbow bridge as a reminder, as well as a few tumbledown garage forecourts and motels. Before long we crossed into Oklahoma and the landscape slowly changed from hilly mining country to open fields. A great bit of the old route is in Oklahoma, when during construction a certain county could only muster around half of the funds needed to pave it's section of the route. So, as the small print didn't specify a required width, they paved a single track roadway the entire length. And it's still there, with gravel either side to help passing cars!
We motored through Tulsa, full of 30's deco towers and buildings (Oil was discovered and the Route passed through during the 30's).
On the way to Oklahoma City the Rte passes through Warwick. Unfortunately, Warwick was so small it didn't have a sign (no cheesy photo op - unheard of!) or any cluster of buildings. All we saw was a junkshop, and motorcycle accident and a funeral procession. Hmm. We moved on...
We stopped for the night in Oklahoma City, and watched the local weather stations report on the outbreak of tornadoes in the West of the state. Yikes! Dave watched constantly for around three hours as the storms moved slowly along the Texas/Oklahoma border, flattened a Kansas town with a 1 mile wide twister, and generally scared ourselves. But the States is a big place, so this was happening 150 miles away. Or where we were going to stay the following evening, in other words...
The following morning, Sunday 6th, we drove West (as normal!) and called into a Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK. Was really good, with different rooms filled with the history and memorabilia of each decade of the route. We carried on and got into Elk City as the skies began to darken. The local radio told us that there was a storm to the South moving slowly toward us, we had been in tornado watch all day, and then it belted down with rain and lightning. We sat out the storm in the car in a carpark of another Rte 66 museum, then looked at the maps, plotted the tornado warnings, jumped on the Interstate and legged it out of Oklahoma and into Texas!
There was no real danger, as the storm was pretty weak, but we felt a bit more at ease in another State. The skies went from grey to blue as we crossed the State line (literally) and we stopped for the night in Shamrock, TX. We the settled down to watch 'Twister' on telly. The irony.
Dave and Sarah XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX