We actually got a fair bit past Tulsa before calling it a day yesterday. Our original plan was an overnight at Chateau Walmart in Sapulpa, just west of Tulsa. It was pretty busy, though, and there was no good place to park out of the way. So we continued on to another Walmart in Bristow, and found exactly what we wanted there.
We saw several sights as we drove along, like the Rock Café where the writers of Cars spent a lot of time, and the large stone Ozark Trail marker. My first actual stop was the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, because motorcycle.
Although a rather small former repair shop and gas station, there are a LOT of old motorcycles in here! I could’ve spent all day cataloguing them all if I felt like it. If I was still writing for RideApart I would’ve. Countless brands are represented, including a few even I’ve never heard of.
I especially liked this little gem, a GI Joe toy motorcycle. Look familiar? My Kawasaki KLR650 is painted up the same way. When I lived in New Hampshire, it even had the license plate GIJOE.
Lister tried to take a tour himself, but I wasn’t sure if they allowed cats inside.
Out back sits a historical building of another kind. It’s the original outhouse for the old gas station. What’s unusual is that it’s one of the first ever outhouses with plumbing. They’re old, but there are actual toilets inside, not just a hole in the ground.
Moving down the road to Luther I stopped at this unassuming looking building. The Threatt Filling Station doesn’t look like much today, but it was an important Route 66 oasis back in the day — particularly for people of color. It was owned and operated by Allen Threatt, an African American who understood all too well the trouble and discrimination that people of color encountered in their travels. He catered to them specifically, and enabled them to continue their own treks down Route 66.
Down the road in Arcadia, the Round Barn is probably the most photographed barn on Route 66. By pure chance, Birgit and Tom arrived soon after I did, despite leaving me on my own at the motorcycle museum. It was open when I arrived, so I checked out the gift shop and museum inside. I also had a nice chat with the volunteer working there, who is a big fan of John Adams and wants to visit my native Massachusetts to see his home.
It’s more fun when I can actively exchange information with people, rather than listen to or tell a one-sided story. She asked about the Boston Marathon bombing, which happened when I worked down the street (I wasn’t working that day). I also heard about the post office shootout where the term “going postal” originated, which took place in Edmond, the next town over.
My next stop was the Pops 66 Soda Ranch, home of a giant neon soda bottle (it doesn’t look as impressive during the day) and more than 500 varieties of soda. I like sweet fizzy drinks, but the place was absolutely mobbed when I went inside. I couldn’t even maneuver through the crowd to check out the selection. So I moved on to Oklahoma City.
By another coincidence, I pulled into a parking lot to look at the Capitol building and found Birgit and Tom already there. It’s like we’re psychic, or something! Lister was getting restless, and not much in Oklahoma City was calling out to me as a “must-see,” so I took him to the Route 66 Park to stretch his legs a bit. The flocks of birds swarming just above the van captivated him.
We stayed a while, then moved onto our overnight stop, a Cabela’s across town. It took half an hour to get there. Traffic was light and moved along just fine. It was just that far away from the park, despite being in the same city. I’d heard that some cities in Texas are like this, so I’m not surprised that nearby Oklahoma resembles this.
After enjoying tacos and a margarita for dinner, then a wonderful sunset, Birgit suggested I take a walk and check out the nearby park in Chisholm Creek. There were sitting areas and games for kids and adults scattered around a shopping area. It was pretty neat, especially since lots of people were out enjoying the facilities. One couple played cornhole, while another was deeply involved in a giant game of chess. I’ve never seen anything like this in New England. It looked like fun. It would’ve been a lot more fun with someone to share the experience with.