Route 66 - Part 1
Day 19 Hinton, OK to Elk City, OK
64.2 Actual Elevation / 2,371 Actual Elevation
Red Rock Canyon State Park
Martha gazes at the rock formation before taking a picture
Lucille Hamons[1915-2000] - Proprietress of a gas station and tourist court business at Provine, a highway junction just south of Hydro, OK, on US 66. Lucille ran what eventually came to be known simply as "Lucille's" for nearly 60 years, beginning in 1941.
Lucille's - Common name for the small store operated by Lucille Hamons, aka Mother of the Mother Road.
Thomas P. StaffordMuseum - [580-772-5871] A native of the Route 66 town of Weatherford, OK, where there is a museum dedicated to his career as an astronaut. See a Russian MIG and other cool planes and space stuff, including moon rocks.
Heritage Park– Has Thomas P. Stafford’s space-suited statue.
Cotter Blacksmith Shop – 208 W. Rainey – In the same building since 1910, For generations have plied their trade here.
Cherokee Trading Post -
Named for Judge Clinton Irwin and not for former President Bill, Clinton started life as a trading post for local Cheyenne Arapahoe people and is now the home of the Official Oklahoma Route 66 Museum 2229 W. Gary Boulevard [580-323-7866]. This museum is not just another souvenir stand – it is a true showcase. Funded by a variety of state and local sources, the museum reopened in late 1995 after undergoing a massive, million-dollar expansion and improvement. Collectors from all over the country, including Clinton’s own Gladys Cuthbert, whose husband Jack Cutbert, was the primary promoter of Route 66 throughout its glory years, donated signs, artifacts, and memorabilia which have been organized into a comprehensive exhibition of Mother Road history and culture.
Mohawk Lodge Indian Store – established 1892, (here since 1940) It is the first trading post in Oklahoma.
Cheyenne Cultural Center – 2250 NE Route 66 – crafts and dances
Jack Cutbert [19?? - 1978] - also known as "Mr. 66," Jack Cutbert was a resident of Clinton, OK, and extremely active in US 66 associations at both the state and national levels. When the Interstate Highway System began to sound the death knell for Route 66 in the 1950s, Jack Cutberth lobbied in Washington to limit the number of towns that would be completely bypassed by the interstates without access. Those efforts were partially successful, thus saving many communities from near-certain extinction.
McLain Rogers Park- A city park beside an early alignment of Route 66. The park is noted both for its neon-illuminated arched entryway and for its Depression-era outdoor amphitheater.
Pop Hicks Restaurant - Ethan "Pops" Hicks took over the Bradford Cafe in 1936 and after a few years changed the name. The restaurant continued to do business for several decades under a variety of ownerships, and achieved landmark status among those in the know. Sadly, a fire claimed the building in 1999, and the restaurant has never reopened. The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum elsewhere in town has information and memorabilia regarding this lost icon.
Jiggs Smoke House[580-3235641] - is a tiny cabin selling barbecue sandwiches but specializing in travel-friendly beef jerky.
Trade Winds Courtyard Inn - 2128 Gary Boulevard [580-323-2610] The Trade Winds stands on Gary Boulevard, a later alignment of Route 66 that skirted the periphery of town. This motel's claim to fame stems from having hosted Elvis Presley a number of times (at least 4) in room 215 on several of his trips between Tennessee and California. His room has been“preserved” as a mini-shrine.
A T-33 Jet guards the airport entrance east of Elk City.
Home of “Suzanne Powell, Miss America 1981.”
Long before Elk City had its Route 66 heyday, it was a wild frontier town along the cattle trails from Texas to Dodge City, Kansas.
Old Town Museum - 2717 West Third Street [580-225-6266] The area’s cowboy and pioneer history is recounted here. It is an expanding complex of vintage buildings (some original, some reproduction) including a doctor’s office, schoolhouse, tepee, and rodeo museum, comprising a historical village. Adjacent to this is the Official National Route 66 Museum (3rd and Pioneer) which has a huge Route 66 shield plus two Giant Kachinas from the Old Queenan’s Trading Post outside; inside there’s an old pickup truck decorated to look like the one from The Grapes of Wrath, and lots of other old road-related memorabilia. The city was working on this collection even before the 66 museum was conceived, and it includes a gas station, drug store, teepee, caboose, barber shop, water driven mill, and more.
“Parker Drilling Rig No. 114” - 107 E. 3rd St – During the 1940s oil and gas were discovered underground, and the town experienced another short boom, a time remembered by the towering “Rig 114”, a record-breaking, 180-foot-tall drilling rig, installed after its retirement in the Anadarko Basin
Museum of Natural History Park
Billy’s - 210 N. Madison [580-225-3355] Okie-style onion burgers.
Country Dove Tea Room - 610 W. 3rd Street [580-225-7028] French Silk Pie (butter, sugar, and vanilla served in a graham cracker crust).
Tomorrow we will finally cross into the Texas Panhandle. Hopefully the weather will be better than predicted. Only time will tell.