Oklahoma!

Wait, I was just in Missouri. What about Kansas? Yes, we passed through there, too — all 13 miles of Route 66 through that state. That’s how we hopped two big states in a single day — by massively cutting a corner, just like any true racer would. After a morning’s work, we left the Joplin Walmart. Minutes later, we crossed into Kansas.

Route 66 in Kansas.

Kansas may have the shortest section of Route 66, but they are extremely proud of it. On top of that, Galena is the town that Radiator Springs in the movie Cars is based on. So they have every right to be proud.

Galena, Kansas mural.

Reminders of the movie pop up all over town. Since I got a picture of the Bluesmobile on a pedestal, I had to get a matching one of Sheriff.

After Galena, I went over the Rainbow Bridge. Don’t worry, Lister is fine! “Crossing the Rainbow Bridge” is one way pet lovers say that their furry friend died, so I assure you this is not the case. I crossed the Rainbow Bridge — and lived.

Before we knew it, we were out of Kansas and on to Oklahoma. That’s two new states for me in one day. Soon we landed in the town of Miami.

Miami is home to the Coleman Theater, which has operated continuously since it opened in 1929. Numerous big names have performed here.

A Ferrari Testarossa in Miami!

I almost missed this one, hence the lousy picture. A Ferrari Testarossa went by. It was only later that I realized that it was the car from Miami Vice, IN MIAMI! Okay, so it’s Oklahoma instead of Florida, and the car in the show was white instead of red. It still counts in my book, mainly because Crockett’s Theme is now stuck in my head.

Finally we got some miles under our belt, heading to Claremore and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. I’ll be honest, I’ve never known much about Will Rogers. He was long before my time, and from a very different culture than my native New England. Here, though, I gained a much greater appreciation for him. I can see why this area is still so proud of him calling this home.

Will Rogers’ portable typewriter, salvaged from the airplane crash that cost him his life.

He was a writer, like me. He was a early adopter of radio, like me (him in broadcast, me in amateur radio). He was an early adopter of any new form of media, really. If he was alive today he’d probably be blogging and tweeting, like I do. He also had a unique sense of humor that I unintentionally resemble.

It also just so happens that the museum is a Harvest Hosts site, and we arranged to spend the night there. We got a great sample of Oklahoma hospitality from the women at the front desk, who not only told us all about Will Rogers and the museum, but also all the best local places to eat, including who had the best country fried steak.

Country fried steak.

I’ve learned to trust the locals when they offer advice, and we ended up at Hammett House Restaurant where I did, in fact, try the country fried steak. As promised, it was delicious. This is one of Trisha’s favorite dishes, but this time it was all mine. It was also so much better than any version of it I’ve seen in the north.

On a sad note, my WiFiRanger Spruce mobile router, which has quickly become an integral part of my online experience, is dead after just three months. I can still get my devices online, because I have redundancy, but it’s not nearly as convenient. Support told me to ship it back to them for a reflash to get fixed. So after dinner I went to the local library and printed the paperwork to include in the box. Ten cents to print the one page I critically needed. Libraries are super valuable, especially to travelers like me, so we should support them. Anyway, while I’m in Tulsa tomorrow, I’ll ship it out to them. How and where I’ll get it back, I have no idea, but I can’t worry about that now.

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