Day 3: June 15, 2010
Reordering the Plan
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The recent change that allowed me to leave home a day earlier meant that I was able to meet Laurel Kane for breakfast. Laurel was already at Clanton's when I arrived and the roadie chatter began immediately. This was my first visit to Clanton's though it's been sitting beside Route 66 since 1927. I recalled that Laurel had praised Clanton's omelets in the past so that's what I ordered. Here's what a great omelet looks like. This panel closes with Laurel generously paying for our tab...

...and this panel opens with Laurel in her natural environment at Afton Station talking with star all-around helper Marley. I've stopped here before but this was my first time inside. That's the mascot of the 2004 Tulsa Route 66 Festival standing next to a DeSoto Airflow -- a model I didn't even know existed until Laurel told me about this one. Most of David Kane's collection of cars is in the "back room". The supercharged 1958 Packard Hawk was one of the few that could sort of be photographed by itself. It's also a personal favorite.

The pumps out front are believed to be the actual units that stood here when this was a working station. When she first acquired the pumps, she joked about replacing the "REGULAR" label so that the pumps would be known as Fred & Ethyl but she didn't. I, for one, am just a little bit disappointed.

My original plans for the day were to head out on a loop whose farthest point would be near Arcadia, OK. Over eleven inches of rain fell on the area Monday. A news video here shows the result. Near the beginning it shows Pops, a place specifically on my agenda, made into an island by the water. I had also plotted a loop through Bartlesville that I planned to follow sometime this week if time permitted. Today time permitted and water insisted. When I left Afton Station, I headed toward Bartlesville rather than toward Arcadia.

I was clued into this stop by RoadsideAmerica. Yes, it's on a dirt road but it's a good dirt road and just over a mile of it gets you to "Chris & Amy's Bowling Ball Yard Art". There is a lot more here than these pictures show.

ADDENDUM: Jun 29, 2010 - Even though this was partially planned, I wasn't at all sure I'd get to it. It wasn't part of the locator map for the trip and the drive to Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was an add-on to what I'd planned, anyway. Therefore, I've added a map of this day's drive here.

I got a note from Don "Road Dog" Hatch letting me know I had placed Bourbon in the wrong state. I've since corrected it but originally gave Illinois. He also mentioned a pair of water towers on US-54 that are labeled "HOT" & "COLD". I told him I had something from Bartlesville that would one-up that. Here you go Road Dog.

The painted buffalo and big sixes are in a parklike area by Price Tower. The sixes are not for Route 66, which never came within thirty miles of the town, but for Phillips 66 gasoline which was founded here. Price Tower is Frank Llyod Wright's only high-rise.

I had never heard of Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, but Laurel Kane calls it her "favorite place on earth" and visited it as recently as last Sunday. Laurel spoke of inching her way toward bison standing in the road as they ambled on at their own leisurely pace. Things started promisingly. I spotted the first group of four not far beyond the cattle guard. When I pulled over to read a marker, I saw them head across the road behind me. The marker I stopped to read is here. It says the park headquarters is ten miles away. You'll notice that the road the bison are crossing is paved. That is almost the last asphalt and they the last bison I see before completing that ten miles. The pavement ends not far beyond the marker and, until I saw the pictured group near the cattle guard approaching park headquarters, I saw just two bison heading away from the road and two more a long way from it.

I'm not very finicky about where I drive and I enjoyed, for the most part, driving through the preserve, but... There were sections where the sandy center ridge was a bit too tall for me to clear and things could get a little squiggly when I placed my decidedly not-all-terrain tires atop the sand pile. It was not, in this car, my favorite place on earth but I did enjoy it and definitely appreciate Laurel pointing it out to me.

This is the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma. Tom came to Dewey because -- surprise -- of a woman but I've not yet sorted out how he got from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma. I've also not quite sorted out my late life fascination with the man. Maybe someday I'll work on both of those mysteries.

The C. M. Condon Bank in Coffeyville, KS, was just a couple years old when the Dalton Gang came into town to simultaneously rob it and the nearby First National Bank. That plan was a little too ambitious and some well armed citizens really ruined it. When the shooting stopped, four of each were dead. The First National is now a parking lot but the Condon still stands and helps celebrate the event with a mural on its side. The four dead outlaws are painted on the sidewalk below the mural just as they were displayed back in 1892.

The combination Cafe on the Route and Little Brick Inn supplied Tuesday's dinner and lodging. Dinner is here and lodging is here. It really started to seem like a Route 66 gathering when a group of familiar roadies walked in. That's Ohioan Brenda StClair standing behind Kansan Carolyn Pendleton. Carolyn's husband Mike is to her right and friend Dennis to her left. Sharon and Mike Ward from Arizona round out the group.

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