|Joe Loesch at the Galena, Kansas concert.|
Even though we had been fortunate enough to hear Joe Loesch and the Road Crew play in Galena and Joplin, we were a bit disappointed the schedule prohibited us from enjoying their concert at Afton Station, in Afton, Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon. So, after visiting with Laura, and checking out the latest additions to the collection (including the 1917 Packard motor home), we bid adios and hit the road as the destination for the day was the Chalet Inn in Groom, Texas.
Over the years I have learned that if one wants to explore the heart of big cities with minimum frustration resultant of traffic congestion, Sunday mornings are best, the earlier the better. Tulsa was no exception. As an added bonus, the weather had cleared and we had a sunny day.
We rolled through the city on Route 66 from end to end with fewer traffic related issues than we encounter in Kingman on a week day. As a result we were able to enjoy some of the sights missed on our previous adventures.
These would include the kiosk with restored Meadow Gold sign, and the sculpture on the banks of the Arkansas River at Cyrus Avery Plaza. As a resultant of time constraints, we had to put exploration of the Blue Dome district on the schedule for the next trip.
The highlights of our tour were the plaza and lunch at Tally’s. Both were exceptional stops that I highly recommend.
Tally’s is a roadside classic. It is a bit worn around the edges but the food was good, service excellent, and the atmosphere was invigorating.
The detail in the plaza sculpture that portrays a meeting between Cyrus Avery in a new Ford, and a farmer in a horse drawn wagon was absolutely astounding. The raised white letters on the tires, Ford script on the Model T hubcaps, mirror in the car, license plate and other indications of extensive attention to detail added an incredible sense of realism.
This is truly the crossroads of history. Ample evidence is found in the bridges spanning the river that represent the period from 1916 to the present.
From Tulsa, in motoring west we flirted between the past and the modern world by making Route 66 detours when we tired of the generic, mind numbing travel on the interstate.
In years past I could justify use of the interstate highway when the schedule demanded that we make time. However, on the past few trips the seemingly endless highway construction made Route 66 almost as practical, and on several instances we actually made better time.
Still, as the afternoon hours were quickly waning, and as we still had miles to drive, we skipped detailed Oklahoma City exploration, but did cruise Route 66 through Yukon and a few of the small communities to the west. Supper was savored at what has become one of our favorite restaurants in western Oklahoma, Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford.
Over the years we have been privileged to stop here for lunch, dinner, and supper, and have yet to have had a bad meal. As a bonus the prices are rather reasonable.
On this visit we tried Lucille’s Teriyaki Chicken (seasoned chicken breasts on rice pilaf, grilled pineapple, and a baked sweet potato with a sprinkle of brown sugar) for $10.99. Excellent coffee and blackberry cobbler rounded the meal off quite nicely.
In cruising through Erick, it was impossible not to think about Harley and Annabelle. It is our sincere hope that her recovery will be speedy as the old road just isn’t the same without this zany but loving duo.
The sun was sinking fast toward the western horizon when we arrived at our haven for the night, the Chalet Inn in Groom, Texas. This is another establishment I can endorse with confidence. A bit wore in places but very clean, this bare bones little place offers an exceptionally quiet stay at a very reasonable price.
In the next posting I will share a few of the highlights about the drive from Groom to Gallup, and talk a bit about Groom.