Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Are We There, Yet?

Route 66 Museum - Elk City, Oklahoma – January 27, 2007

You walk in and slide behind the wheel of a pink ’56 Cadillac convertible. The leather seats are surprisingly comfortable and roomy. The signature “bullets” are on the front bumper. No seat belts, of course. Step on the gas pedal and a video of a two lane road unfolds though the windshield. Engine and tire bumping noises accompany the slow road trip. After about five miles, a loud child’s voice from the rear asks, “Are we there, yet?”

Route 66 is the symbol of the freedom to go anywhere you want to go anytime you want to do it. The small towns along the route allowed people to meet each other and experience exotic locations like the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. After the Interstates were built it became entirely possible to drive from the Atlantic to the Pacific and never see anything at all.

Here you can also watch parts of “The Blob” from the back seat of a red’59 Chevy convertible with the strangely curved fins. There are drive-in theatre speakers.

Next you watch a 15 minute video that traces the development of transportation and highways in America. Route 66 earned the nickname, “The Mother Road” It leads from Chicago to Santa Monica.

Motion sensors note your presence and tell you stories as you walk though the extensive museum. There are stories about the Oklahoma dustbowl and about the “Jackrabbit Café”, last stop for 177 miles in the Arizona desert. There is an old recreational vehicle from 1929, a marvel of airy woodwork and windows.

There is a large agricultural museum in the complex with old tractors, washing machines, combines, farm trucks and many windmills. This is not surprising since Elk City is clearly an agricultural center with many tractor dealers and other businesses that exist to support farming.

Here are a few
Route 66 Museum pictures
.

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