Day 9: Wednesday
Awoke after a perfect nights sleep at the Shamrock Country Inn, really can't sing the praises of this Motel enough. It's a perfect stop on Route 66 and top things off, Breakfast was a freshly made waffle in the shape of Texas - you couldn't ask for anything more - It was also the cheapest night we had at only $43!
So before we left Shamrock, a visit to the visitor centre at the U-Drop Inn was called for. We were greeted warmly as we walked in and offered coffee to drink whilst we looked around. After Route 66 was decommissioned in 1984 the U- Drop Inn fell in disrepair until the son of the original owner began to restore it back to its original colours, however it closed some years later before The First National Bank of Shamrock brought the bank and deeded it to the town where it has now been restored to all its original glory and serving as the towns tourist information centre.
The original building cost $23,000 back in the 1930's, the restoration was completed took 3 years and cost $1.7 million in funding. It's a beautiful piece of Art Deco architecture and rightly earned its name as "the swankiest of the swank eating places".
After our history lesson we were back in the car and into Oklahoma. We were able to drive all day on original Route 66, though numerous towns and past old Route 66 buildings. When we got to Clinton we pulled in to the Oklahoma Route 66 museum, we felt we should visit at least one of the museums along the route. The museum followed the road from its beginnings as the dirt road through to the 1960's where I found my perfect mode of transport - a decorated VW Camper - incorporating tableaux of antique vehicles, photos and memorabilia.
Outside in the grounds sits a restored 66 Diner. These buildings were brought for $4000 including all the fittings and dropped into place. There was sitting for about 5 at the counter and if you couldn't afford to buy it outright, you could leave 10% of you takings in an outside Dropbox to be collected until you paid $5000. I would just love one of these today to turn into and espresso bar selling coffee and fresh baked goods, it would be just lovely.
Anyway enough of dreaming, we've a road trip to be getting on with, so back on the road to our next stop, Fort Reno. Unfortunately, the museum is closed on Wednesdays, so we could only view this old fort from the outside. Fort Reno began life as a military camp in 1874 in the Indian wars era, the success of the camp lead to a permenant military camp here cover nearly 10,000 acres . During World War 2 it was used as a German POW camp, there is lots about the history on the website if you want to find out more.
We were whilst there able to visit the oldest building on the site which holds the US Cavalry Association museum with lots of great period exhibits from the plains war through modern conflict in Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Continuing on from there, we passed by many roadside curios, the massive grain elevator emblazoned with the words Yukon best flour at Yukon, a big metal globe at Bethany to name but a few, until we got near to Oklahoma City. We decided to take the belt-line option following 1931 - 1953 Route 66 round the city, over the Canadian River, stopping at Lake Overholser towards Arcadia where we stopped for coffee and to pick up some sodas from 'Pops', a newer roadside attraction with a 66 foot illuminated pop bottle outside and hundreds of sodas to purchased. We obliged by purchasing a black cherry cream soda an another of cherry and coconut.
Damn, the oil light in the Buick came on showing at 5% oil-life left, we will have ring Hertz when we get to our Motel, luckily we didn't have very far left to go until we reached the Skyliner motel at Stroud.
Checking in to this original Motel we noticed a big difference to the others we had stayed on the route. Whilst it was very clear and the original features had been kept - hello gas fire in the bathroom - they really hadn't been made the best of and the room appeared tired rather the retro. We called Hertz who told us we would need to go to our nearest airport in the morning which was Tulsa, and swap cars.
We had heard about the Rock Cafe in town, the owner was the inspiration behind Sally from Disney's Cars. We walked the half a mile or so down there and proceeded to order far to much! The menu wasn't great for vegetarians so we decided to share the fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles and Rock Cafe spaetzle - a German noodle dish with vegetables and covered in cheese. Far too much for us to finish, the pickles alone could be shared by 4! So admitting defeat to the lovely waitress, we paid our bill and headed back to the motel to settled down for the evening, stopping briefly to take a photo of the Motel's neon sign.
Todays miles: 250
Total miles: 1738