Route 66: Oklahoma to Texas…

DAY FIVE: An amazing sunrise on the lake this morning in Foss State Park, on the edge of Oklahoma. But it is HOT and HUMID!!! Still the campsite was amazingly beautiful, and we had a nice relaxed evening last night making our BBQ lakeside…

Back on Route 66 today and we were still chasing down some of the “landmark” sites the road has become famous for, as well as discovering some details for ourselves…

The town of Texola wasn’t supposed to be a ghosttown, but it seemed one step away from Ghost status when we drove thru… We couldn’t help but get out and walk around, exploring what happens when a town is on the verge of extinction but still holding on…

It was kind of eerie. It was hot and the sun was high in the sky and the streets were deserted and some of the buildings were in ruins while others were simply abandoned, as if someone had left for work in the morning, locking the door, and then never returned… everything was left as it had been that day… looking just as if nobody was home… but it was clear that “nobody was home” for a very very very long time already… in the distance a dog barked, attesting to the fact that some folks hadn’t given up on the place, even if many of their neighbors had…

On the edge of town, a boarded up saloon front was painted with the surreal sign “No Place Like Texola”… a small town’s pride surviving the town itself…

posted by Blue Coyote in On the Road and have No Comments

Route 66: Oklahoma

DAY FOUR: We made it as far as Tulsa last night… the landscape has changed from Missouri’s rolling hills to the flat endless horizon we tend to associate with the great big West… And the animal of the day is the cow!

Lots and lots of cows… and lots and lots of corn… Cornfields and Cows… Cows and Cornfields… occasionally interrupted by the tall stalks of the wind turbines generating clean energy… wind farms and traditional farms all in the same place…

The clean energy windmills dotting the landscape made it seem as if the nation is hedging its bets… still believing that oil is king, but solidly investing in alternatives as well…

And so the windmills stood starkly in the flat fields defining the horizon like so many mechanical scarecrows… the cows paid them no mind!

posted by Blue Coyote in On the Road and have No Comments

The flash flood thing….

Well, we just heard about some flash flooding in Oklahoma on Route 66! That is not where we were expecting to see that kind of issue… So it is a bit of a heads up that we’d better pay attention to our “weather on the road” info. Here is some of the video of a rescue:

and here is a clip that shows how high the water got in an urban area:

posted by Blue Coyote in Other thoughts and have Comments (2)

St. Louis to Tulsa to Amarillo camping options

After discussion the other day, we decided that we will try to split this segment of the trip with shorter drives over a few days rather than trying to do St. Louis to Tulsa in one day, then have a rest day, then do Tulsa to Amarillo in one day, followed by a rest day, as our original plan indicated (and we can always go back to that formula if we come across something super interesting to do in a specific location).

So, on Day 5, we are spending the day canoeing at Meramec state park, then visiting the Meramec Caverns. The ideal scenario would be, if after visiting the Caverns, we can get a start on the next day’s drive by moving forward about an hour and a half or two hours (not sure how far we can get, depending on hour tired we might be, but any mileage we can do will make the next day a bit easier).

We have the great list of campgrounds put together by the folks at Route 66 News, but i decided to research the National Forest and State Park campgrounds in Missouri and Oklahoma as we might prefer more primitive camping options.

Was able to come up with a workable list of state parks/national forest areas that could make good stopping points along the way (none are that far off the Route 66 itinerary, though they may not exactly be “on” the route itself).

state park locations along the segment from St. Louis to Tulsa to Amarillo.

state park locations along the segment from St. Louis to Tulsa to Amarillo.

Here’s the best scenario (with some options):

The first possible National Forest stop is near Rolla MO, about an hour and a half west of Meramec state park. At the Mark Twain National Forest, dispersed camping is allowed. According to the main campsite page for the forest:

<< Dispersed Camping areas have few, if any, amenities or other facilities. Primitive Camping is allowed throughout the forest except in day use areas, administrative sites, within 100′ of springs, stream, caves and other natural features or archeological sites, or where otherwise prohibited. Follow Leave No Trace principles and protect the forest resouces. >>

Depending on time, we could try to find our own spot, but might be best if we head for the Cole Creek Trail, which is actually for horses, but hikers are welcome and primitive camping is allowed along the trail. The reason i suggest this, is because we have written directions to the trailhead, and if we tried to find our own location, we might spend a lot of time driving around looking for an entry point, etc. If we chose Cole Creek Trail, we will have to leave the jeep at the trail head and hike in a bit…

If we can drive a little bit further, about 2 hours west of Meramec (and a little bit east of springfield MO), is Bennett Spring State Park, in Lebanon MO.

So we sleep at one of these locations, then pick up the route in the morning of Day 6, with a goal of reaching the Keystone state park near Sand Springs, OK, which is just outside of Tulsa. If we need to stop sooner, there is a state park, Twin Bridges State Park, which is not that far off the route a bit east of Tulsa.

Then, on Day 7, we head for Crowder Lake state park, which is a good halfway point between Tulsa and Amarillo. But also has some interesting activities. We have some other alternatives for that night, too. Either Red Rock Canyon state park, which is a little closer to Tusla side, or Foss state park, which is a little closer to Amarillo.

Then Day 8, we get into Amarillo as planned, but a little more rested (hopefully) and ready to explore!

posted by Blue Coyote in Planning and have Comments (2)

Videos, Slideshows and Podcasts by Cincopa Wordpress Plugin