Since leaving our hotel Monday morning, we have traveled through the high desert of Arizona, the panhandle of Texas, grasslands of Oklahoma, touched the state of Kansas and are now in the wooded hills of Missouri. It’s been a lot of terrain in two short days. Route 66 between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK is exactly how I pictured the “Mother Road”: A broad two-lane tarmac winding through the heart and soul of America. Towns along this portion of Route 66 seem to have fared far better than those bypassed by the interstate in the Southwest. One of the primary differences seems to be that in this area, Route 66 is still a heavily used road.
Downtowns still appear decimated, but this time, I believe it is due to the Walmart located at the edge of town. What is also interesting is that in the Southwest, the abandoned buildings slowly crumble back into the earth from once they came. In Missouri, the buildings are overcome and enveloped by the surrounding woodlands. Someday future archeologists will come upon the remains of what appear to be a former fueling station. Digging through the rubble, a plastic wrapper will be found. It will be determined that previous civilizations survived on something called a Pecan Log Roll from Stuckeys. Perhaps it was world famous.
Just west of Rolla, OK (our destination for the evening) we passed a cheese outlet. I desperately wanted to stop and take a look. What exactly is sold at a cheese outlet? Is the cheese defective? Are the holes in the Swiss too large or too small? Is the Brie too runny? Is the cheddar not orange enough? Alas, my thirst for knowledge of defective cheese will go unquenched. They were closed when we arrived. In solace, we stopped at Redmon’s Candy factory and the world’s largest gift shop. The Bro wanted to buy the world’s largest gift but the gift shop too was closed. We settled for buying a bag of taffy from the candy factory.
We had been chasing a storm rolling through the area all day. Just outside Lebanon, OK we finally caught it by its tail. Light rain turned to heavy rain and then it was over. We were prepared for the rain; however, it did wash away the bug splatters I had been collecting on the windshield of my motorcycle. Days of collecting gone in a flash. Like a sandcastle built at the beach, one good wave and it’s gone. All that is left is to rebuild. I must now re-splatter my windshield.
Social Note: The town of Bristow, OK is having their Tabouli Fest this Saturday. Be sure to arrive early to find parking and you don’t want to miss the crowning of the Tabouli Queen. A tip for those who plan on participating in the Tabouli eating contest: DO NOT inhale whilst your face is planted in a plate of the Middle Eastern salad. Couscous inhaled into the sinus cavity can be very uncomfortable.