Saturday, August 16, 2008

Route 66 Trip - Days 1, 2, 3, & 4

If you own a motorcycle and ever have a free week, I strongly recommend taking a trip down old Route 66!! Gene and I left at 6:30 am on Sunday, July 13th to head to Amarillo, TX. We went with some good friends of ours, Steve and Jennie Wherenberg. The plan was to drive straight to Amarillo the first day and we were going to gradually work our way back home on Route 66.

On Friday the 4th, Gene and I rode over to Steve and Jennie's house in Farmington so that I could get a little accustomed to the bike. I will say I almost fell off once!! Gene didn't put the sissy bar (passenger backrest) on so I HAD to hold on to him to keep from going backwards. We had just pulled up at a light as it was turning red and I reached back to fix my shirt when off we went again! And no....I was not holding on and ready for it! My feet shot up in the air and I barely was able to grab hold of Gene before I fell to the asphalt! It was a little scary, but then we were both laughing about it. We hung out at their house for a little bit talking about the trip and discussing what things we wanted to do. We had decided to meet in Greenland at Tobo's at 6:00 and leave from there. So....that's what we did!

We made several stops throughout the day Sunday so it wasn't bad at all. It was cloudy and yucky looking all day, and we were so afraid we were going to get rained on. The temperature was actually perfect though, and Jennie and I wore our rain jackets pretty much the whole way. We did get sprinkled on once but when you're driving 70 mph down the interstate it's hard to feel it! We stopped in Sallisaw and ate breakfast, and my rear was already sore by the time we made it there. I was afraid I was in for a world of trouble!! However, we usually didn't ride for more than about 50-70 miles at any given time and we'd stop again, so about every hour to hour and a half we'd take a break and after I walked around for a few minutes I was good to go again. You just kinda start to go numb after a while because you don't have any room to move around! We ended up making it to Amarillo at about 6:00 that evening.

Steve had started talking about trying to find a campsite and Jennie and just looked at each other like "we are tired, hot, and sore...we want a shower and a bed!!!" So...we all then came to the decision that we would find a room and soak up some air conditioning. Thank the Lord!!! Ha!

After we got settled into our room, we were hungry and decided on eating at the Big Texan, which is the home of the free 72 oz steak! Yes, you get a free 72 oz steak if you can eat it and all the fixings in an hour. Crazy! While we there eating there was a guy trying to do it....he failed!! Our food was really good though. After dinner, we went back to the motel, took showers and crashed! We were exhausted.

The next morning we ate breakfast, loaded up, and headed to the Cadillac Ranch! Actually, we stopped at Wal-Mart and bought some spray paint so we could grafitti the Cadillacs!! It was really windy, so we had to be careful not to get it on us. The picture I posted below is of Gene and I in front of it, but you can't see the cars.

Steve was having some issues with the mufflers on his bike. By the time we made it into Amarillo, he had lost the baffles that go inside his mufflers so his bike was really loud and was starting to run a little funny. After we left Cadillac Ranch we went to Tripp's Harley Davidson dealership to see if they could fix Steve's bike. Long story short, all the mechanic guys were jerks and not willing to help us. They ended up selling us some take-off mufflers to do a temporary fix, but Gene and Steve had to change them out back behind their shop. It was a mess, but it just added to the adventure!! We ate lunch at Olive Garden once he got the bike fixed, and then headed out to the Paulo Duro Canyon in Canyon, TX (just south of Amarillo).

It was gorgeous, but it was HOT!! We stopped at the lookout first and you could see across and down into almost the whole thing. It was really neat. Then we decided to drive down into it, because you can tour it in your own vehicle and it's a 16 mile round trip. It was hotter than Haites down there!! We could hardly breathe because the air was so hot. We didn't waste much time down in there and we got the heck out of there!

After the canyon we headed back to get on 66. Once we caught up to it, we travelled through some old towns in OK. I'll spare you all the details and stops because it would take you and I both forever to make it through! We did stop in Erick, OK, which is where Roger Miller is from. It was about 8:00 Monday night when we stopped in Erick and we had originally stopped to find a place to eat but stumbled across the Roger Miller Museum. Gene had gone to their police station (literally a metal shed) to ask about a diner or cafe to eat at and Steve, Jennie, and I were walking downtown just looking at things. We saw the museum, but it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. A lady stopped in front of us and asked if we were wanting to see the museum. We told her sure, and she told us to just hold on a minute and she would go grab the keys from her house!! No joke, that woman could not have been gone for any longer than 7 minutes when she was back with the keys and giving us a tour!! She was such a sweet lady, and knew a lot about Roger Miller. She didn't even charge us the fee to take the tour. It was awesome!!

After the museum we drove on to Elk City, OK, which is actually where Steve is from and grew up. It was already after 10 by the time we made it into town and were looking for a place to eat dinner still. We decided on Denny's....mainly because it was the only thing open that late!! Steve called his son, Nathan, to see if he was in town because he still lives in Elk City. Nathan ended up meeting us up there, and Gene had gone next door to check on a room but every room in the town was full, because all the oil crews were in town (it's a huge oil town). So, Nathan offered to let us stay at his house! We saved some money that night...thanks Nathan!! We took showers after we made it there and crashed once again!

The next morning we ate breakfast and visited the Route 66 Museum in town. It was really neat and they had part of it set up like the way the town used to be in the "old days". After we saw the whole museum, we headed out. Our next stop was in Clinton, OK where there's another Route 66 Museum, so we stopped in and checked that one out. It was neat, because it was set up differently than the one in Elk City. We did a tour of it, then headed out of Clinton.
This was all on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday evening after leaving Clinton we jumped back onto 66 and just enjoyed the scenery! We stopped in Yukon, which is the home of Garth Brooks, and ate dinner at a neat restaurant that had pretty good food. After dinner we went in search of a room. We checked a couple that were close to the interstate and they were all full. Our best option was going to be driving on into Oklahoma City, which was only about 20 miles further east. So, we hopped on and rode on! We ended up finding a room, and settle in again. Notice...still no camping!! Love good running water, electricity, and a soft comfy bed!
Wednesday morning we got up and ate breakfast then headed to the Oklahoma City Memorial. If you have never visited it, you must. It's worth the 4 hour drive from NW Arkansas just to see it. It was so incredibly moving and also very heart breaking. We spent almost 2 hours just seeing everything.
After the Memorial, we met Steve's other son, Steve Jr. for lunch at Toby Keith's Bar & Grill! Steve Jr. lives and works in OK City, so it was cool that we got to meet him and they got to spend some time together. Steve Jr. bought our lunch with his company credit card. It was a "business lunch"!! Thanks Halliburton!! The food was excellent, and they actually have a fried bologna sandwich on their menu. How funny is that?!?! Think maybe we're in the South? Ha! Steve ordered it and said it was really good.
After lunch, we visited the National Cowboy Museum, and it was really neat also. It was beautiful inside there and we got to see a lot of cool things. We visited our fair share of museums throughout the week! For dinner that night we ate at a place called Trappers, and it was really good too. It's a cajun style restaurant and they're specialty is alligator.....yuck! Needless to say, that is NOT what I got! The food was good though.
After dinner we went over to Steve Jr.'s house to visit for a while. We got to meet his wife, Mandy, and their sweet baby girl, Danee! She was born in May, and the most precious little thing (except for my sweet girl of course!). We stayed and talked for quite a while until we were all so sleepy we could hardly hold a conversation, so we headed back to the rooms. We crashed for the night after a hot shower!
That pretty much sums up Sun - Wed so I'm gonna take a break now, and I'll wrap up the end of the week in a later post! It's been a long day, so I'm headed to bed now.
Good Night!
P.S. - The picture below is of Steve, Jennie, myself, & Gene in front of the Big Texan in Amarillo. You can tell by looking at all of us that we were so tired!


Brandon and Nikki said...

Hey!! Awesome road trip. Brandon wants a bike so bad!! They scare me though...hehe. Brooklyn is big isn't she?! It blows me away. She'll be 4 in March. (9th to be exact) Heidi's due Nov. 30th. We're gonna be having her at home!! I'm really excited about it!! Some people think I'm crazy but we're pumped! I had Brooklyn 2 weeks early, more like a 1 1/2 weeks, we'll see. I guess we'll see when the time comes! :-) I need your cell phone number cause we'll probably send out a text to everyone when I go into labor!! That way everyone can have a heads up.