Day 3: June 16, 2003
A Visit Plus Two More States



Immediately heading for the largest city in the area each morning was getting old so this morning I just shuffled off to Buffalo; Buffalo, Missouri, that is. It's not on Route 66 but only a few miles off and is a convenient place to meet my uncle who lives a bit farther away. On the way, I passed through Long Lane and, having a couple of items to mail, stopped at the local post office. There are 61 mail boxes on the wall inside. Then onto Victoria's for breakfast and a very enjoyable visit with Uncle Wayne.

This whimsical sculpture is sitting high in the air right at the city limits of Carthage. Named "The Crapduster", it is the 1997 creation of Lowell Davis. Apparently Carthage residents like their automotive artwork up where they can see it since the flat tired truck and a couple of more mundane elevated vehicles can also be found here.

ADDENDUM: I have subsequently learned that artist Lowell Davis (I originally had the name as Lewis.) is responsible for all of Carthage's "elevated vehicles", additional outdoor advertising in the area, and lots of other art work, including a full size town, "Red Oak II, Missoura".

In 1999, a very blurry picture of this sign was the only evidence I offered that I had actually visited Kansas. I tried to get something a little more in focus, this time. Another problem in 1999 was that some Monday closing tradition in Baxter Springs thwarted my idea of having a beer in each state I passed through. I took no chances this time and got that out of the way at the Green Parrot, known from this day forward as the First Honky Tonk In Kansas, in Galena. I also visited the Galena museum where the area's mining history is on display. Dortheabell (No, I didn't actually check the spelling but she did tell me it was one word.) was filling in for the regular guide but did a fine job. Here she is demonstrating what she called her favorite museum toy - a 100 year old coin sorter.

I don't really know what a Marsh Arch bridge is but I do know that this is the only one remaining on Route 66. The bright orange writing visible on the bridge deck is clear evidence that the bridge is still in use. It is readable in the third picture although, since the bridge is now "one way", the reason for the bi-directional lettering is not clear.

It looks like my decision to stop at the Green Parrot was a good one. The sign on the front of Spunky's, the only such establishment I spotted in Baxter Springs, says "CLOSED DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST. THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT."

Just beyond Miami, OK, the Buffalo Ranch opened in 1953 but did not quite make it to its 50th birthday in its original form. A new Buffalo Ranch is al set to open on Thursday and looks sufficiently complete that I entertained some of the workers by trying to find an open gas pump. After the chuckles, they introduced me to Terry Addington, the current owner and Terry showed me around the place. In addition to gasoline, the new ranch has a restaurant and convenience store and offers souvenirs with a Buffalo Ranch theme. Some pretty nice looking shirts. Terry grew up in the area and remembers the ranch from years past. He will be keeping a connection to that past and will soon have real buffalo back on the ranch.

Stroud is my first end of the day repeat. I checked into the same motel, the Sooner, as 1999, and once again visited the Cue & Brew. The 99er, where I ate in 1999 is gone but the Rock Cafe has reopened and is a true 66 landmark. The Rock's history is a bit spotty with its high point being Mamie Mayfield's 1959 to 1983 reign. I don't believe it was even operating when I came through in 1999 but it's happening now. Dawn Welsh is running the place herself, now, and doing a nice job of it. Dawn was napping (cafe owners have to grab sleep when they can) but I did meet her husband, Fred. A worthwhile stop on the old route.

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