Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Day 3 ...Joplin, Missouri... Oklahoma City Is Mighty Pretty...

We started the day in heart of the Ozarks, Springfield, Missouri. The terrain is not that dissimilar to home (the Irish Hills area of Michigan) -- the hills are just higher. As we drove, Missouri turned from a Midwestern state to a Western state. The hills flattened and the surroundings began to have a look of the west to them.

Navigating along Route 66 can be hard work. Constant vigilance is required. There's no sitting and knitting or reading -- you need to keep your eyes on the road and the road signs pretty much all of the time. We're trying to read "Wicked" aloud in the car but seem to only be able to do it in little bits. The road isn't always easy to find -- we backtracked several times today. I long for those wonderful signs back in Illinois that actually directed you along the road.

Tommy is working on a project for school -- recording theaters we see along the way. There were two spectacular -- but very different -- ones along the way today. The 66 Drive-In in Carthage is a beautifully restored drive-in. Further along is the Coleman Theater in Miami, Oklahoma, a Spanish Colonial revival-style theater built in 1929. Both are restored and in use today.

After leaving Missouri, we spent a few minutes in Kansas. The 15 miles of Route 66 that are in Kansas cut across a tiny corner of the state. While in Kansas we drove across (and stopped at) the Marsh Arch bridge. It was built in 1923 to cross Brush Creek near the Kansas/Oklahoma border and is used by an early alignment of Route 66. It used to be nicknamed the Graffiti Bridge because of all the inscriptions left on it by motorists, but is now restored, thanks to the Kansas Historic Route 66 Association.

Wanting to keep on schedule, we pushed through the first part of Oklahoma, driving the last hundreds miles or so in the darkness (it's getting darker, earlier now). So we missed seeing much of what was along the road between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. We stopped at Oklahoma City for the night...


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