Day 10: Thursday
Seeing as we were awake and needing to get to Tulsa Airport to swap cars, we thought there was no point hanging around in Stroud. Quickly packing up our things, we got in the car and made the decision to head directly to the airport rather then spending the time going through the city and trying to figure out were Route 66 went through Tulsa, whilst navigating rush hour traffic. Our journey was uneventful, only stopping for petrol and a McDonald's coffee for breakfast.
In just an hour we were pulling into the Hertz drop off point and explaining the situation we were told that we could leave our luggage in the car whilst we got allocated our new one. The gentleman that sorted it was very apologetic and offered us an upgrade for the inconvenience, erm a Hyundai no thank you, we've had one of those before and never again. No worries he said we could have a Nissan Versima.
Very quickly, we were on our way again picking up Route 66 heading out of Tulsa and towards Catoosa. We passed the giant Blue Whale sculpture on the other side of the road but didn't stop. Passing through Claremore, Foyil and into Chelsea. We were looking for the vintage Seers catalogue mail order home. During the period 1908 - 1940 you were able to choose one of over 400 designs of homes to be delivered, they included everything you needed flooring, paint, fittings even the nails. If you get a chance, have a read about them it's fascinating. The only information we had was that it was at 10th and Olive St, well on arriving there we noticed that a house stood either side of the road and we wasn't sure which one it was, so we took pictures of both and planned to google search a picture to see what one it was.
Turns out it was neither, goodness knows what the owners of the houses would have thought if they saw us! Continuing on out of Chelsea we notice the town hall which was a little different to the one I'm used to seeing back in Chelsea, London.
As we neared Vinita, we were on the look out for some pecan groves, we never did spot them but we drove the tight curve of Dead Man's Corner and just after we spotted the Miller Pecan Company. Of course we pulled in, the lady serving us told us that her daughter would have loved hearing our accents and would be sad to have missed us. We made some purchases including a huge bag of pecans and some fudge for our journey, and we were back on the road.
Realising that it was 11.30 and we hadn't had breakfast, we stopped at the neon EAT sign and home to Clantons Cafe, the cafe having been in the same family since 1927. The menu didn't hold much for us vegetarians so I decided to have a jacket potato with sour cream and Paul choose homemade lemon meringue pie, both were very good and extremely reasonable in price.
Road side alert coming up in Miami, a giant Ku Ku posed as if it's popped out the building of Waylan's Ku Ku burger, we only saw this as we had stopped at Walgreens opposite to use the restroom and get some cash out.
It wouldn't be long before we were out of Oklahoma and onto the short 13 mile stretch of road in Kansas. We had done quite a lot in Oklahoma but the drive had been just ok, nothing spectacular like previous landscapes we had passed through.
Entering into Kansas first brought us to Baxter Springs and the restored 1830's era Phillips 66 Station and site of some Confederate treachery during the civil war.
We took the short loop over 'Bush Creek' on the historical Rainbow Bridge, the last of three Marsh Arch bridges that once graced 66 in Kansas.
Continuing onto Galena where the restored Kan-O-Tex gas station sits and the inspiration for Matter from the 'Cars' movie. Meet Tow-Tater at CARS on The Route.
Stopping to grab some photos and buy a postcard, we notice a restored Victorian house opposite, home to the 'Galena Murder Bordello'. In addition to this being a house of prostitution, it was were the madam and her accomplices robbed and killed many clients in the 1890's .
This was it for Kansas, and we were onto our penultimate State on Route 66, Missouri. Just over the State Line we past the now abandoned 66 Carousel Park, into Joplin where they seemed to enjoy enlarging items - big coke bottle at Woody's, big crayon at the local school.
Very soon we came across a diversion in the road, we seemed to go for miles before we returned to our route, never mind these thing are bound to happen and very soon we were driving into Springfield and to the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, just in time for our four o'clock check in.
We had been recommended this Motel by the couple we meet at the Blue Swallow back in New Mexico and as well as by the EZ Guide by Jerry McClanahan that we were using to plot our route. It didn't disappoint, first built in 1938 on Route 66 and expanded over the years. It had kept the earlier charm with classic cars parked outside the reception and a diner inspired breakfast area, the rooms had been updated without losing the nostalgia of the place.
We were offer cookies and coffee on arrival and as our room was opposite the pool area, after dropping off our luggage we headed straight there. It was good to arrive somewhere early, we first tried out the very warm hot tub before needing to cool off in the pool, wow it was like getting into an icy plunge pool, we soon got use to it.
After showers and sprucing ourselves up we prepared to head out for dinner for tacos, but before that we were going to 'Mothers Brewing Company' first. Unfortunately they were at the other end of town and too far to walk, so we took the car passing some lovely buildings in downtown Springfield MO that reminded us of San Francisco.
What a lovely little find Mothers Brewing was, a nice garden area where they had a couple of musicians playing. Inside the tasting room felt similar to the Junkyard back in Nottingham UK, only with a bit more space. They offered a good selection of beers, we decided on their 'year round flight' and also a glass of the peach sour.
We both could have stayed there much longer then we did, but our stomachs were calling to be fed, so sadly we departed but not before availing ourselves off some of the merch displaying the great logo. Off to the other side of Springfield and to 'The Great American Taco', we didn't know this was a chain but never mind we went in anyway. We started with a house margarita on the rocks and a corona followed by chips and 2 of the 4 salsas they offered.
As the tacos we were ordering came with avocado on them we declined the guacamole in place of a cup if queso. So far so good and we were looking forward to our mains, the vegan taco and vegetarian taco to share. These were big messy tacos, but yummy.
We passed on desert opting to stop at Braums for ice cream, we had seen quite a few of these the last couple of days and lured in by the special of the day - double dipped chocolate fudge Sundae - we placed our order and in return given a large sundae with the works! Heading back to the Motel, with the booze, I seemed to have morphed into Mickey Flanagan, which prompted Paul to fire up You Tube back in the room, where we watched many classic clips until we feel into the land of slumber.
Todays miles: 285 (58 in the Buick 227 in the Nissan)
Total miles: 2023