Sat having breakfast in the Route 66 Rail Haven hotel which is a re-vamped old motel. Outside the front door is an old red UK Phone Box and the jukebox inside was playing the Beatles so I really did wonder whether I was abroad. We had 280 plus miles today so set off early. It was very easy to stay off the interstate and we were soon out of Missouri and into a small corner of Kansas. Only 13 mile of R66 in this state. The landscape switched back to farmland. We found a very friendly cafe in Galena where we had a coffee and I found a little gift for my friend Fiona who was supposed to be with us on this trip (hope she’s reading this). The fact that we are in Indian country is much more explicit here, with signs telling us which nation’s land we are entering or leaving.
Near Miami, we found a section of R66 described as ‘Ribbon walk sidewalk highway (last paved in) 1922’ and drove a few miles round this detour on a 9ft wide road complete with potholes and gravel. There are numerous roadside attractions and establishments and it is impossible to visit them all. Another eccentric was Ed Galloway who built the world’s biggest Totem Pole (why?) and others now enshrined in Totem Pole Park near Foyil. There are other totem poles and an 11-sided house (now the visitors centre) which has racks constructed of violins he made out of as many different kinds of wood that he could get hold of. Clearly a man obsessed.
Made our way through Tulsa (Dean Burgess, thanks very much for the music!). Oklahoma has a few more wooded hills and where it has been ploughed, very red earth. There are roadside stores selling septic tanks and above-ground tornado shelters. I have never seen so much scrap lying around. Every car and piece of machinery no longer needed just lies there in heaps or rows. Too rusty to be of any use for spares and certainly not getting recycled.