Thursday, November 15, 2012

Route 66: Tulsa to Stroud, Oklahoma

The Route Defies Itineraries

Skyliner Motel sign in Stroud, Oklahoma just screams 1950's

We Drive on to Stroud, Oklahoma

The Blue Whale of Catoosa was a peaceful respite.  It is funny how the spirit of a place can live on beyond the lives of those who created it.    The sun was going down, and we still didn't have an idea where we were going to stay for the night.  I wanted to have brunch at the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma, so if we stopped anywhere along this area it would be fine.  However, I wasn't able to get much good information on any motels.  Maybe next time I will be better prepared.  We drove into Catoosa.
Arrowood Trading Post, across Route 66 from the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma
To get there, we left the Blue Whale, and took a right on Ford Street.  We then took a left on South Cherokee Street, which took us into Catoosa, and past the MKT Depot musuem of Catoosa.  You drive through Catoosa and come to an intersection where you are facing the Hard Rock Cafe.  This road passes under I-44 and eventually becomes S 193rd Street/N 23rd Street.  We stopped at the Quicktrip on the southwest corner of the interchange for Fuel and kawfeee.  We also found the cheapest fuel we would find anywhere on our trip.  It starts going up from here.  

- 2012/10/19 Friday 18:25
1 (918) 266-7218
18 S 193rd E Ave, Tulsa, OK 74108

QuikTrip, by the way is our favorite convenience store.  It is always consistant, has a good selection of things to eat, the cheapest gas anywhere, but most importantly -- QuikTrips always consistantly have clean bathrooms.

Friday, October 19, 2012 18:24:14
Parked at Quick Trip for Gas -n grub
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:41:46
We headed down e 23rd/s 193rd in rural eastern Tulsa on route 66
On this alignment of Route 66, which I believe is an older one on the east side of Tulsa, you drive south until you hit East 11th Street.  You take a right and head west into town.  As you travel this way, you see some remains of some old cabin courts.

Friday, October 19, 2012 18:45:25
East 11th Street (route 66) heading westbound into Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The interstate highway (I-44) is to the north of you this whole way.  Then it cuves to the southwest, and you pass under it.  I-44 through here also has a secondary route designation of 66.  It was route 66 for awhile in the 1950's.  This part of interstate preceeded the US interstate system by about 3 years.  Oklahoma was one of the first states to build a four lane limited access divided highway when it created the Turner Turnpike through here.

Friday, October 19, 2012 18:52:38
After crossing under the turnpike, some great Tulsa googie appears.  Hitting it at night is the right time because it is all lit up.
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:53:37
Ah the 50's
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:55:59
We passed the Rose Bowl which has recently been sold, at dusk.
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:56:02
The Rose Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:58:58
The Desert Hills Motel on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:59:07
Googie that now serves a used car dealership on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:59:17
More car dealer googie in Tulsa, Oklahoma on route 66.
Friday, October 19, 2012 18:59:31
Tally's Cafe on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:00:11
A googie vector pointing towards yet another car lot in Tulsa, Oklahoma on route 66
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:00:20
Another car dealer googie sign and a space age googie church on route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:00:22
Another car dealer googie sign and a space age googie church on route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:00:25
Googie era christian temple.
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:03:11
Coney Islander googie sign on route 66 in TUlsa Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:07:38
Restored Meadow Gold neon sign coming into downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma on Route 66
When you cross under the Cherokee Expressway (US 75), you are in downtown Tulsa on west 10th street.  
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:10:34
We have arrived in downtown Tulsa on Route 66
We took a little detour north into downtown Tulsa to see what is down there.
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:10:54
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:11:09
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:11:50
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:12:32
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:13:52
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:14:56
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:14:59
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:15:57
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:16:37
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:17:15
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:17:33
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:18:07
Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
10th street merges onto 11th street just before you veer to the left on North 5th street to cross over the highway (75, 64 and 51).  As you do so, the road changes its name again to 12th street.  You follow this west for a couple of blocks paralleling the highway until you come to a T intersection.  You turn left and head south on Southwest Boulevard.  Here you cross over next to the Cyrus Avery Bridge.  Cyrus Avery was the father of route 66.   A sculpture in his honor, called East Meets West was just unveiled. 
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:19:26
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:20:57
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:22:52
At the north end of the bridges crossing over the Arkansas River
After you cross over the Arkansas River, you will find yourself in an industrial area of Tulsa on Southwest Boulevard.  The road heads south, then bends to the right heading southwest, then bends to the right again at Billy Ray's Bar BQ and Catfish, which seemed to be jumping when we went by, taking a more southwesterly track.  You cross under the Okmulgee Expressway and drive parallel to the Red Fork Expressway (I-244) before crossing under it and veering to the right and passing by Ollie's Station to the right side.  You continue on Southwest Boulevard, which also becomes East 38th Place and are to the north and west of the Red Fork Expressway (I-244).  The road is also taking on the character of an outer road with motels and strip malls.  We crossed under the Gilcrease Expressway which is part of a mixmaster interchange to the east of us.  We turned south as we were beginning to look at our motel options.  There was one mom and pop type motel but it looked like it was turned into apartments.  We tend to want to avoid any place that advertises "extended stay."  There were the usual Motel 6 type places but if we go chain, we tend to gravitate towards Best Western, as we have had good luck with those and they tend to be locally owned franchises with a little bit of history behind them.   I knew when I roughly planned our itinerary that this stretch might be hard to come by a good motel room.  I originally wanted to stay in Sapulpa and explore the downtown a little in the morning before having brunch at the Rock Cafe.  However, what I found advertised on the internets wasn't much in the way of rooms.  We ended up getting back on the route and heading for Stroud.  Our little detour took us on the outer road which is south 55th west avenue before turning north on south 58th West Avenue.  I tell you, the road designations leave a lot to be desired out here in West Tulsa.  Also, the highways came through this area early on (1953), so route 66 has many alignments through here, really, and there is a lot of 1950's era architecture everywhere off the main highways.  If you like old signage and restaurants, Tulsa is a gold mine.
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:31:21
I love the Arby's signs.
We headed north, then intercepted southwest boulevard and turned left, and headed west towards Sapulpa.  When we first came through here, there were really no signs to guide us, and we swore we went off route.  We even pulled over to consult the maps and guides before finding a hint just shy of Sapulpa that we were on route 66.  It gets worse at night, as we traveled this time around.  There are no lights out here and this road gets really rural.  However, this time, we had the purple line of the garmin to guide us on the route, and we also had our previous experience.  If you take the later alignment to the south, you will end up on the south outer road of the interstate.  Soutwest Boulevard curves to the south and becomes Old Sapulpa road.  One reason this road may not have much indication of the route on it is that it was bypassed early -- probably back in the early 50's.   Thre are also some railroad tracks to the north of the road, which, I beleive, belong to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.  This road through here, in addition to being known as old State Highway 66, is also knowsn as Frankoma Road.  Frankoma was a pottery factory with interesting history. 
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:40:21
Old Sapulpa Road/Old State Highway 66/Frankoma Road is a dark rural place after dusk.
You pass the old Frankoma Factory on your left, then cross under I-44 and join up with the newer alignment of 66, which is the south outer road for the highway and is known as New Sapulpa Road.  Here we are in Sapulpa, and route 66 will take a left hand turn at East Dewey Avenue, which will take us into downtown Sapulpa, which is quite pretty.  Someday we will get a chance to get out and walk around here.
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:50:43
Route 66 is a strip road in the north part of Sapulpa, with some interesting neon.
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:57:53
Downtown Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:58:05
Downtown Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 19:58:34
Downtown Sapulpa, Oklahoma
There is a short line railroad here, which I find interesting, and we found ourselves waiting on at the crossing into downtown...
Also, someday, there is a place I make like to try...
Apparently, the Boomarang Diner is a small local chain.

Heading west out of Sapulpa on West Dewey Avenue, you have a choice of an interesting older alignment of the route, which is called the West Ozark Trail.  It being dark, and getting late, we opted not to take it as we wouldn't see much at night anyway.  However, the description of the route is interesting, as you cross over an old bridge and past a the Tee Pee drive in theater.  US 66 continues to the southwest and towards Barstow, passing the small town of Kellyville, Oklahoma and crossing under I-44 one more time.  We had to stop at a gas station in Kellyville, so Suyen could take care of some "bidness."  Interestingly to railfans, yet another shortline railroad is to the south of the highway -- that is the Stillwater Central Railroad...

The speed limit was 65 through here, but Suyen thought I was driving too fast doing the speed limit at night.  In the old days, route 66 was considered dangerous in many areas, and there are a lot of ghosts on the highway.  Think about that.

Before long, we are in Bristow, Oklahoma.  There is a great art deco Ford Dealership on the right, which seems to have a modern addition.  The town also seems to like bikers a lot.  Route 66 is also known as Main Street in Bristow.  At 4th Avenue, you turn right.   The road takes you to a T, which is South Roland Street/route 66.  You head south from here, then curve to the right and head west, towards Stroud, Oklahoma.
Friday, October 19, 2012 20:25:31
Passing the Art Deco Bristow, Oklahoma Ford dealership at night.
Friday, October 19, 2012 20:25:59
Downtown Bristow, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 20:26:05
Downtown Bristow, Oklahoma
Friday, October 19, 2012 20:30:21
Downtown Bristow, Oklahoma
Before reaching Stroud, you pass through Depew.  Depew has an interesting two block, by about 5 block detour that is interesting to take.  It takes you downtown.  We did it the last time we came through here in the daylight, and were amused that there were signs telling us that route 66 was that way.  Depew has sort of a forgotten timeless quality to it, and if you want some good photos, take the detour.

The route curves a few times before you come to Stroud, Oklahoma.  The motel choices were not great.  Some of the local ones were really appealing to us, but the reviews were bad.  So we went for our default, which was the Best Wesern off the Highway, on the north side of town.  I hope we didn't break karma with the road too bad by doing this.  The motel was a good one and was priced right.  It also set me up for a good morning run into town the next morning for my exercise.  On the way in, it being halloween, we glanced over at a building that had a pretty scary looking spider blow up decoration hanging by the doorway.  It was life sized and animated -- the head moved from side to side.  It was actually scary looking at a glance, and amused me to no end.  Suyen was too tired by now to be amused.  Our dog was out of it.  I tried to scare her in with it on our morning run.
Friday, October 19, 2012 20:50:18
- 2012/10/19 Friday 21:21
Best Western Stroud Motor Lodge
1 (918) 968-9515
1200 North 8th Avenue, Stroud, OK 74079

- 2012/10/19 Friday 23:41
Settled in the room
A big Stroud landmark is the Skyliner Motel sign on the west side of town

Maybe next time we pass through.. the neon beckons...

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- 2012/11/14 Wednesday 14:26
1 (816) 753-4567
Kansas City, MO
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012 15:40:54
On this day when I came in, GVA called me and told me we needed to hurry up to go to Topeka, as our interview had to leave.  I thought, Good, I love road trips.
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 15:47:58
Topeka skyline.  The Kansas State Capitol is completely encased in construction latticework.
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 15:48:05
I saw on a map that Topeka is among the reddest of metropolitan areas.
- 2012/11/14 Wednesday 15:49
Kansas Department of Education
1 (785) 296-3201
120 Southeast 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66612
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 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:24:21
Kansas Board of Education building in Topeka, Kansas.
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:24:35
Yet another victorian functional building -- an irreplaceable antique, is being destroyed in downtown Topeka, Kansas.
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:25:29
Downtown Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:25:34
Downtown Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:25:55
Downtown Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:26:10
Downtown Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:26:19
Downtown Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:26:43
Interesting bank building in Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:53:55
Heading east on I-70 towards Kansas City, Missouri from Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 16:56:21
Heading east on I-70 towards Kansas City, Missouri from Topeka, Kansas
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 17:19:00
Downtown Kansas City Missouri
 Wednesday, November 14, 2012 17:19:38
Downtown Kansas City, Missouri
- 2012/11/14 Wednesday 17:24
1 (816) 753-4567
Kansas City, MO

- 2012/11/15 Thursday 00:07
1 (816) 468-1883
601 Northwest 68th Street, Kansas City, MO 64118
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June 4, 2009 at 8.06am PDT
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