FROM THE ROAD, AGAIN – PART TWO

Last evenings post was a bit truncated but it had been very long day and I was behind on correspondence.
The drive from Tucumcari northeast on U.S. 54 will never make a top ten list for scenic wonders. Still, there is a stark beauty to the featureless hills that roll toward the distant horizon like swells on the sea.
Dalhart is a bustling community but it has a feel of a rough and tumble, worn at the heal sort of place. Guymon was just the opposite and we enjoyed a pleasant lunch with the locals at Marla’s.
We crossed into Kansas at Liberal, and rolled across the high plains on our eastward journey. For years my dearest friend and I have had a running joke about the world’s largest hand dug well at Greensburg. That joke continues.
On my last visit the well was in a little park covered by a wood shingled gazebo. Now it is housed in a stunning shrine, that closed ten minutes before we arrived.
Greensburg itself is no joke. The community was almost erased by a tornado several years ago but they had the grit to pull together and rebuild.
By the time we made Pratt, the landscape had transformed into a beautiful green tapestry dotted with interesting old towns peppered with an array of architectural gems. Wait until you see the photos of the theater at Iola!
The late day ended at El Dorado just east of Wichita. Dinner was a simple affair of microwave food from Walmart, and a couple of beers.
The following morning kicked off with a hearty breakfast at the El Dorado Chop House and a stop at the oil museum that dominates a beautiful park. The next stop was to explore historic Fort Scott, the city as well as the military outpost. This should be added to every adventurers list.
From Fort Scott we rolled through the Ozarks with a stop for lunch at El Dorado Springs, and stops to take in the fall covers. The days destination was the Waters Edge Motel at Gravois Mills on the Lake of the Ozarks, a special treat for my dearest friend and an opportunity to visit with our friends Bob and Robin.
This is a short but scenic drive north of Route 66 and if time allows it should be added to a list of detours. Stunning scenery, an excellent dinner, and wonderful conversation rounded a perfect day of adventure on one of America’s wonderful two lane highways through the heartland.
Today, we head south, pick up Route 66 near the Devil’s Elbow, and head for the festivities at Cuba. 

NOTES FROM THE ROAD

NOTES FROM THE ROAD

Okay, here is a quick summary of the fall 2014 adventure. Photos and details will follow soon(working on a laptop and have a photo download issue to resolve).
Day one and two were a rushed affair as there was a need to put some miles under the wheels to keep to the schedule. With the day one destination being Santa Rosa we were forced to take I-40 with plans to follow Route 66 on the return trip.
Still, we made time for an enjoyable lunch at Joe and Aggies in Holbrook with David Heward. With positive reviews for The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas (enter sigh of relief here)filtering in, the steadfast old Cherokee is becoming a rolling book store with a few copies of this and other titles selling at stops including Holbrook (enter second sigh of relief here).
We ended a long day on the road with a delightful dinner at Joseph’s in Santa Rosa shared with an old friend, Dean Kennedy. Day two kicked off on a great note; breakfast with Dean, a quick visit with the Mueller’s in Tucumcari, and a fruit smoothie at the excellent coffee shop at the Route 66 Motel. Then came U.S. 54 and a long drive across the vast empty plains of the northern Texas Panhandle, the Oklahoma Panhandle, and western Kansas with a break for a very good lunch at Marla’s in Guymon.
We wrapped up the day just east of Wichita. In the next post I will fill you on a great visit with Bob and Robin at the incredible Waters Edge Motel in Gravois Mills, and other highlights.