Thursday, October 18, 2012

Route 66 - Day 21 - Shamrock, TX to Groom, TX

Route 66 - Part 1
Day 21 Shamrock to Groom
--- Actual Mileage / --- Actual Elevation

The ride today started a little cooler and the winds were not quite as strong as yesterday only 10-20 mph headwinds....

Lela – Founded in 1902 as a rail station.

            Once known as the “Uplift City” for the ladies undergarment factory which now houses the Devil’s Rope/Old Route 66 Museum..
            Founded around the turn of the 20th Century by an English rancher, Alfred Rowe, who later lost his life on the Titanic in 1912, McLean is now perhaps the most evocative town along the Texas stretch of Route 66.
           McLean is headquarters of the State’s Historic Route 66 Association, and efforts are being made to preserve the town in prime condition.
Phillips 66 Station - Cottage-Style--a type of gas-station that proliferated in the 1920's and 1930's in response to popular tastes. Prior to the development of the cottage-style station, many fuel vendors were housed in little more than shacks, and they were considered undesirable as neighbors. The larger oil companies--notably Pure Oil Company and architect C.A. Peterson--responded with a design that attempted to blend into a neighborhood by mimicking residential construction. There is a former Phillips 66 station in McLean, TX, that exemplifies the breed.
Devil's Rope Museum - 100 S. Kingsley Street [806-779-2225] A nickname for barbed wire, the invention of which was a true milestone in the history of the American West, as it allowed for fencing inspire of the lack of plentiful timber required for more conventional fence construction. There is a museum dedicated to Devil's Rope in McLean, TX, which shares a building with a Route 66 exhibit that is most entertaining and educational. The Route 66 Exhibit houses a Giant Cobra and a big Bull.

Marie Foundations - Undergarment company that used to operate in the building now occupied by twin museums celebrating Devil's Rope and Route 66.
"Rattlesnakes Exit Now" - Well-known sign displayed high above I-40 exhorting travelers to use the next exit in order to experience a reptile display. The aging sign was partially downed by a storm in 2006, and is being repaired for display in nearby McLean, TX.  
Cactus Inn – Refurbished
            McLean-Alanreed Area Museum - 117 N. Main – houses panhandle history exhibits as well as artifacts relating to the prisoner-of-war camp here during the war years.


            Eldridge - An early name for the town of Alanreed, TX. The original townsite is north of the current Alanreed. By going a few miles north on highway 291, and then west on County Road X, you can find the old Eldridge cemetery.

Gouge-Eye - A former name for the community of Alanreed, TX, said to have originated with an ugly brawl.
Regal Reptile Ranch - Long gone, this tourist stop was located on a bypass section of Route 66 on the north edge of town. A large, crudely made snake's head, which formerly advertised the place, is now part of the collection at the Route 66 Museum in McLean, TX.


            66 Courts - A now-demolished motel court with an adjacent gasoline station designed with subtle Art Deco influence and clad in stucco. The 66 Courts were an inspiration in the design of one of the new rest areas on nearby I-40.
Britten Truck Stop (Leaning Water Tower) - Long closed, what remains to be seen is a water tower that was placed at the site as an advertising ploy (marked "Britten") during the time the truck stop was in business. The water tower was never properly installed in the ground, causing it to lean markedly, and thereby adding to the visual spectacle. It is marketing in the best roadside tradition and also made its way into Cars.
            Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ” Stainless Steel Cross - 19-stories tall and weighing nearly three tons, this cross was erected by a religious group in 1995 and is just shy of 200 feet tall. This was the largest cross in the Western hemisphere until a copycat erected a slightly taller one along I-70 in Effingham, Illinois. The complex also includes statues of the “Stations of the Cross.”
  Route 66 Steakhouse (old Golden Spread Grill) - 407 East Front Street

Tomorrow is our last day of riding as we will arrive in Amarillo,TX at the Big Texan Steakhouse and Motel. Tomorrow will complete our ride of Part 1 of Route 66 (Chicago, IL to Amarillo, TX). 

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