Last Updated on 17 December, 2020 by Veronica
We carry on with our series about Route 66. Counting with today, there are 5 days left to get to Chicago… Today we have a relatively short section, 160 miles within the state of Oklahoma. You are in a state where storms are common and also tornadoes. We got caught by a storm, and the sky went really dark, almost black, but nothing serious to panic about.
Route 66, from Clinton to Bristow
Clinton – El Reno
If you arrived too late to Clinton and yesterday, you didn’t have time to visit the museum of Route 66. Then, it should be your first stop of today. Otherwise…. have a good breakfast, and let’s begin. We’ll have to drive on I-40 until we pass Weatherford; from there, we can take Route 66.
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You arrive at your first stop today, Weatherford, which is about 15 miles from Clinton. Here’s an open-air museum dedicated to Paul Thomas Stafford, who was a native of this city.
Paul Thomas Stafford was famous in the United States. He is especially known for being the commander of Apollo 10. He ended up as a senior military pilot for NASA.
Hydro, driving on original Route 66
Next stop, Hydro. We drive for the original route. A little further, we will find the station of Lucille Hammons. Lucille Hammons was born in 1915 and died in 2000. She was the owner of this gas station and ran it for almost 60 years.
She became well known in Route 66, and her establishment became known as Lucille’s. She became well known for her kindness and good treatment of tourists. Thus people used to call her “The mother of the mother road.”
Watch out! the gas station is located before Hydro on the left side. You can get confused because in Weatherford has opened Lucille’s Roadhouse (you can stop here just to know).
The original which opened in 1929 is here.
We drive on the original Route 66. It is the service road for I-40 and keeps parallel it until entering Oklahoma City. There are a couple of tricks to keep on Route 66, but don’t worry! I’ll tell you in detail.
You keep on driving parallel to I-40. The original Route 66 is slightly separated from it. Your next stop is Reno. At one point, the road swings toward the north. You are about to cross the Canadian River through 38 Span Camelback Bridge. It is a self-supporting bridge yellow-colored that has 38 arches and is quite long.
El Reno is a city with a lot of influence on Route 66; you will see numerous references. In El Reno was (it was demolished) Big 8 Motel where it was filmed some of the scenes of Rain Man. It is also famous for its beef and onion burger (50% beef, 50% onion).
This burger was born because, during the crisis of the 30s, the meat was expensive, and people had little money. Ross Davis was a burger owner, and he decided to add 50% onion to the meat to make the burger bigger and cheaper. He didn’t know, but he was creating a classic in the United States.
The fact of adding the onion made the burger much tastier. A festival was created about this hamburger with onion in El Reno and made the world’s biggest burger of about 250 kg. The festival is on the first Saturday of May, and about 25,000 people attend it.
You also have Fort Reno, a former military installation where the US military horses were raised. Some parts are open to visitors, and there is a cemetery with fallen during World War II.
Between El Reno and Yukon
Between El Reno and Yukon, you may see references to The Chisholm Trail. It is a cattle route that became well known because it was used in the old west and ran from Texas to Kansas. There are some museums on the way, one in Kingfisher north of El Reno. We left El Reno and continue on Route 66, which runs parallel to the new I-40 towards Yukon.
Yukon has the Yukon Motel. Once had one of the typical signs of huge neon Route 66, but due to a change of ownership in 2001, they took out the signal inexplicably.
And gentlemen, we are entering Oklahoma City. Do not leave the road you are driving !! You have a field on each side of the road. At your right hand, you’ll have Lake Overholser, which is big and beautiful. You can stop by for a while to rest if you like.
Once you pass the lake on your right, the road crosses the Canadian River again. You will see again by the right side of Route 66, another typical self-supporting bridge. We had to stop and get a picture.
It’s the Overholser Bridge. Continue along the road you’re going, and you’ll see Ann’s Chicken Fry House, a typical restaurant of the route. Then, we keep going to our next destination, Tulsa.
In Oklahoma, you can see the First Church and school built in Oklahoma. They were on the sideway of Route 66.
If you like, you can visit Oklahoma City. You have museums and parks, but I would highlight the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in memory of this city’s famous attack in 1995 with a van loaded with explosives that killed nearly 170 people.
In Classen Avenue, you will see the famous bottle of milk. It is a triangular building with a giant bottle of milk over it. Many businesses have gone through this venue, but sometimes in one color, there’s always the milk bottle, sometimes in another (they paint it from time to time).
Leaving Oklahoma just before arriving in Arcadia on your right hand is Pop’s 66. It’s a modern business, but very original. Following the tradition of Route 66 has a huge sign like a soda bottle. It is worth stopping for a while; the walls are all glass and shelves filled with soda bottles.
Arcadia on Route 66
We continue to Arcadia, and we will see a Route 66 classic. It is a red barn with a round form dating from 1898. Also, it has been used as a stable or community meeting place. When Route 66 was built, it passed right next to this point and quickly became a popular place and one of the most photographed of Route 66.
We keep driving along Route 66 toward Chandler. We leave the I-40 forever to head north. In Chandler, you can see the Museum of History of the Pioneers and a gas station called Seaba Station dating back to the 30s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Then, in Davenport, you can drive a stretch of Broadway Street that still retains Portland’s original blocks of concrete. You will also see red brick buildings with nice murals, a Post Office dating from 1891, and a service station built by Magnolia in 1929.
We leave Davenport behind and head to Stroud. At Stroud, you can stop at the Rock Cafe and, if you can, have lunch there or dinner. It will depend on your timing. The owner of the Rock Cafe is Dawn Welch, and in her based Pixar, the character of Sally Carrera.
If you decide to go there, I recommend the Fried Green Tomatoes and the Alligator Burger. We leave Stroud and continued to Depew; we are close to Bristow.
In Depew, you’ll find a charming village but nothing to remark. And we have reached Bristow. It was initially a Cherokee Trading Post.
In Bristow, there are many references to the subject of ghosts; in fact, they have The Ghost Tour, to see ghosts, presumably.
As landmarks of Route 66 that became well-known, you have the building of the former Bristow Motor Company (500 North Main), a workshop and store wheels (115 West 4th), an old gas station at the beginning of the village as you enter and Russ Ribs for a few roasted ribs (223 S Main Street).
Well, I think that is already quite enough for today. Tomorrow there’s also a long stretch of 213 miles. We definitely orient ourselves toward the north to Chicago.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”. – Mark Twain
Route 66 Itinerary day by day
- Where to begin Route 66. Chicago or Los Angeles?
- Day 0. Planning and Budget.
- Day 1. Travel preparation. Malibu, Santa Monica, Los Angeles.
- Day 2. Los Angeles. California – Amboy. California. 209 Miles.
- Day 3. Amboy California – Kingman. Arizona. 143 Miles.
- Day 4. Kingman. Arizona – Holbrook. Arizona. 239 Miles.
- Day 5. Holbrook. Arizona – Grants. Nuevo México. 157 Miles.
- Day 6. Grants. Nuevo México – Santa Rosa. Nuevo México. 247 Miles.
- Day 7. Santa Rosa. Nuevo México – Amarillo. Texas. 172 Miles.
- Day 8. Amarillo. Texas – Clinton. Oklahoma. 176 Miles.
- Day 9. Clinton. Oklahoma – Bristow. Oklahoma. 160 Miles.
- Day 10. Bristow. Oklahoma – Springfield. Missouri. 213 Miles.
- Day 11. Springfield. Missouri. – St. Louis. Missouri. 216 Miles.
- Day 12. St Louis. Missouri – Bloomington. Illinois. 162 Miles.
- Day 13. Bloomington. Illinois – Chicago. Illinois. 134 Miles.
- Day 14. Chicago Illinois. Visit Chicago
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