Thursday, June 21, 2012

day 11: don't stop believing!

{we had to keep singing this as we kept getting lost on the confusing roads}
this morning everyone kinda rolled out of bed gradually and wandered down to the beach a few feet away to write their name before leaving for a few more states.

we moved onto Sapulpa {a name mom can not pronounce to save her life} where there was an old bridge. we safely made it across and saw the old drive in movie theater which is falling into disrepair. 

after seeing the old bridge our next destination was the Blue Whale! over the last few years Blue has gotten new paint and some upkeep and looks much better than some of the photos floating around. we got to climb up into the loft and up the tail where there used to be a diving board. the fins which are slides were covered with netting but that's alright the water was full of growing greenery so swimming didn't look like a blast. but the Blue looked cheerful as ever and the grounds were really nice. 

pretending to be eaten
after visiting Blue in Catoosa we thought we might want to stick to the highway because the roads can be a little backwards around these parts and we had done enough turning around that morning. we passed through a few smaller towns which had some things to look at but we kept moving until Afton. Here was the Palmer Motel {now out of business} and Afton Station turned museum. it was a free museum which had a bunch of restored Packard automobiles. it was run by a sweet older couple who were more than willing to talk to us about all sorts of things! 

one of the first motor homes from 27 i think?

after touring more cars we continued to follow the route 66 through Miami which didn't have much into the little town of Commerce. Here we found a little gem in the hometown of Mickey Mantle. we first stopped because of this cute Conoco station with a sweet mobile home sitting nearby. 

then we looked just a few feet further and saw this Dairy King. it was run by a sweet lady who had been working there for years. we got a few ice creams cones and route 66 cookies {which apparently her son has a trademark on} and chatted with her and the two other older people that were sitting in there. they had all sorts of stories to say about their town and the people they see coming through their little shop.

sitting next to the shop was also the house that Mikey Mantle and his wife first lived in. it was up on blocks because they had moved it away from the mines and weren't sure what to do with it yet. 
after this yummy cool treat we made a couple of entrances into Kansas. we got a little lost trying to find the entrance that would keep us on route 66. but we managed to find where we wanted to be! 

the Rainbow Bridge was one of the few sights on the 13 miles of route 66 in Kansas. it is the last remaining bridge of this style. 

we tried to visit the route 66 visitor center but they had closed just a half hour ago. 
we also had to make a stop at 4 women on the road which has the tow truck that inspired tow mater in the film Cars. they had already closed for the day {why does everyone close so early??} so we snapped photos by the truck and may have peered in the windows because it was really cute inside and then headed for the next state!

we came to Missouri fairly easily and passed through Joplin which didn't have much for route 66. many of the larger places tend to have less for original route buildings or signs or anything especially as we get further east. so we kept moving to Carthage which we could not figure out for the life of us! we got lost somehow in the small downtown which a roundabout circling a whole building. we couldn't even find any of the sights we had listed but when we finally figured out how to get out of the town we did! we moved through a couple little towns with little to no sights and finally made our way just before Springfield where we were camping for the night. we enjoyed dinner and relaxing. later that night we saw fireflies! we caught a couple and let them go of course but that was pretty cool to see. i hear there are more and bigger fireflies as we get more into the Iowa area so we can't wait to see them! 

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