The night at Boots Court was a pleasant one although there’s not much to do in the town of Carthage since much of the local shops are shuttered and there is an air of hard-times that permeates the area. The Courthouse is a massive and ornate structure that sits in the center of what was once a busy downtown. We managed to find a run-down deli for breakfast that was trying a little to embrace the RT66 experience.
Just outside of Carthage is Lloyd Davis’ artistic recreation of his hometown; Red Oak called “Red Oak II”. As we pulled in the gate, Lloyd followed behind us in his vintage pickup truck. As we parked and made our way over to him his dog Duke (whom Lloyd now calls Duchess after his ex neutered the dog)ran over to welcome us. Lloyd also welcomed us and sat us down in the shade and told us of the story of his little town. Seems he created the town and its adornments over the last 25 years. He sees it as an art project. His welding work also adorns various shops in the nearby town (the real one). The vintage homes and cars were collected from across the country and are being restored at an amazing pace for one elderly guy. On a hill in Red Oak II sits a simulated grave-yard with only one real but vacant plot – the one for Lloyd. Several of the cottages are available for overnight rentals but sadly the Cafe, owned by someone else, is never open much to the disappointment of Lloyd. A recommended stop if you are in the area.
Our first stop for craft beer was in the town of Joplin MO. The area was devastated a few years back by a horrific tornado and we were told there are still signs of the damage in the area. The downtown has some evidence a resurgence. Stopping in to “Club 609” for a bathroom break we discovered this was actually a fairly good craft beer bar. Just over the Kansas border we stopped in at the former gas station previously called 4 women on the route. Now called Cars on the Route due to it’s tow truck being featured in the Disney film “Cars”. This attraction includes a small cafe with a couple Belgian beers and a gift shop and very talkative shop keeper with a nickname of “motor mouth”. It was at this stop we were joined by Baktash Botoorabi and his 1967 Giulia Super for the balance of our 66 adventure.
We continued westward via 66 passing through quite a number of small towns, with the majority of them populated by shuttered shops and very desolate. Again, 66 twists and dips North and South of I-44 as it makes its way through the mid-west leaving a trail of rusted bridges as its clearest marker.
The nights stop in Tulsa OK is a difficult place for decent affordable lodging. From on-line reviews the historic Desert Hills Motel would not be welcome place to sleep and in truth – it’s not. But it was late and no wildlife was visible in the room so we dealt with the adventure. Fortunately we were situated only a few miles from downtown Tulsa and it’s plethora of bars and nightlife. We decided to imbibe at James E McNellies bar that included a vast craft beer selection following by a walk around Tulsa.
Total distance: 247.93 km (154.1 mi)
Total time: 9:05:11
Moving time: 5:06:20
Average speed: 27.28 km/h (17.0 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 48.56 km/h (30.2 mi/h)
Max speed: 114.47 km/h (71.1 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.20 min/km (3.5 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 1.24 min/km (2.0 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 0.52 min/km (0.8 min/mi)
Max elevation: 347 m (1140 ft)
Min elevation: 145 m (475 ft)
Elevation gain: 1043 m (3421 ft)
Max grade: 36 %
Min grade: -23 %
Wonderful photos. Thanks.