Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Continental Divide

Continental Divide

We crossed the continental divide this evening.  It was golden hour, and guess what?  We took pictures of it as the sun started its final descent.

I’m going to start off with shout-outs to our partners and others…

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Hawthorne Suites, Alburquerque

We spent a great evening at the Hawthorne Suites in Albuquerque.  They treated us very nicely.  The rooms were clean and nice.  There are many services, restaurants and stores nearby.  They provided us with a very nice room.

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Tonight’s Hotel – Holiday Inn Express, Gallup, New Mexico

Tonight we are staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Gallup, New Mexico.  We’ve been treated like royalty since arriving here.  They provided us with a great recommendation for dinner.  We thank them for the room.

We took the front desk’s advice at the Holiday Inn Express and went to Jerry’s downtown Gallup.  The gave us a wonderful meal.  I had chili rellenos, enchilada and a taco plate, and Paul had pork covered with green and red sauce (Christmas, as they call it).  They brought out a basket of sopapillas and a bottle of honey.

I was in food heaven.

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The Staff at Jerry’s Cafe in Gallup, New Mexico

Thank you to Bay Photo Labs.  We met several photographers today and provided them with press printed book marks, and highly recommended Bay Photo Labs.

Republic Wireless came through today too.

Geology

Today we saw more geology than we did old wrecks and abandoned buildings.  It is a nice change.  Some of the country Route 66 passes through is beautiful.  We saw buttes, cliffs, mesas, mountains, rivers, lava beds and high plains.

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New Mexico Landscape and the Continental Divide (with train in the foreground)

New Mexico

While I was disappointed in Albuquerque’s vagrant problems, overall, the people of New Mexico are very friendly.  There is a scam going on here.  A man comes up and tells you he was on his way to ___ and from ____ and his truck broke down.  He then asks for money.  We’ve seen this twice in 24 hours.

Other than that, once we got away from the big city, we got away from the drug pushers, prostitutes and scammers of Albuquerque.  Somewhere along the way, we stopped at a small burger joint and everyone said, “Hi”, to us and welcomed us to their restaurant.

The people at the Holiday Inn Express and at Jerry’s Grill have been especially friendly.

 

 


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Reunion

Reunion

I had a sweet reunion with a cousin whom I haven’t seen in years.  Living near Route 66, her and her husband met us at the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We had dinner and caught up on old times.

We were trying to figure out the last time we saw each other.  It was probably sometime in the late 1980s.  It was a fun reunion on Route 66.

Leaving Tucumcari

I honestly hated leaving the Quality Inn in Tucumcari.  The room was nice, clean and comfortable, and the swimming pool was impeccable.  I could have stayed there just to go swimming all day.

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Quality Inn Pool

The breakfast was good.  True to New Mexico, there was green and red chili sauce next to the eggs.  Plus, they had cheese, onions, jalapenos and chopped tomatoes available to put on your eggs.

If you are traveling Route 66, stay at the Quality Inn when you get to Tucumcari.  Tell them Brent and Paul sent you.

As we headed west on Route 66, we noticed Tucumcari has a lot of motels, some out of business.  We stopped at the museum on the other end of town.  We noticed in an old picture of Route 66 in Tucumcari that at one time it was a bustling place.

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, New Mexico, was my favorite part of the day.  We visited another car museum there, and then we spotted a diner.  Both me and Paul said, “Nah… let’s wait.”

We then saw the Santa Fe Grill. It looked clean from the outside, and so we went in.

After meeting the owner, we were promptly seated.  Our waitress, Anna, was very attentive to our needs and provided excellent service.

I had the BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger and it was a perfect burger.  The onion rings were also perfect.  Paul had the turkey sandwich and love it too.

The things that made my burger perfect were a) the bun was toasted, b) it had a slice of onion (not diced onion), c) a slice of tomato, d) the burger was cooked just right, and e) it had ample lettuce too.  The onion rings – crisp on the outside and moist in the middle.

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Perfect Burger and Onion Rings

The place was clean and has a nice southwest feel.  They are located at 2249 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435.  Pay them a visit as you motor down Route 66.

Car Museums

We visited two car museums today.  One in Tucumcari and one in Santa Rosa. The one in Tucumcari is a general museum with lots of cars.  The other, a car museum.

In the Santa Rosa car museum I found the ultimate photographer’s road trip vehicle.  Here it is…

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Ultimate Photographer’s Road Trip Vehicle

Photographers in the cab, and equipment in those back doors.  It’s the perfect road trip vehicle.

The other must have come from Rochester, Buffalo or Syracuse…

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An Edsel Made for Western New York


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Sunrise Tagging

Sunrise Tagging

Nothing like a little sanctioned vandalism first thing in the morning.  Sunrise tagging is the thing to do at Cadillac Ranch where 10 Cadillacs are buried with their butts sticking in the air.

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Before the Sunrise

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After Dawn

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Sunrising

Heading West

We’re heading west to Tucumcari, New Mexico.  On the drive I talked to my cousin Kimberly Little (author of several books).  Her and her family live near Albuquerque and we’re hoping to meet when we travel through town.

We stopped at the midway point of Route 66.  It’s just east of the New Mexico State Line.  There’s a diner and a gift shop next door.

The lady at the Sunflower gift shop was the inspiration for Flo in the movie Cars.  We took a picture with her and she signed a postcard I bought.

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Me, Paul and Fran (aka Flo)

Tucumcari

We got to Tucumcari sooner than we expected.  We gained an hour because we went from Central to Mountain time.  While having an extra hour sounds great, we’re beat.  The day has worn us out.

Our motel Quality Inn is VERY clean.  While it’s a very old hotel, it has recently been going through updates.  My room as new carpet and is one of the cleanest rooms I’ve ever stayed in at a motel.

The staff here has been great too.  I HIGHLY recommend Quality Inn here in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

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Room at Tucumcari Quality Inn

The pool was nice an refreshing giving it reached about 100 today.

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The Pool at the Quality Inn in Tucumcari, New Mexico

Old Cars, New Friends

I spotted this place with a bunch of old cars, mostly Ramblers, behind a chain link fence.  The sign warned it is private property and guarded by a dog who will bite.  There was a phone number on the fence.  I was about to call it when a man in a big pickup truck pulled up and his front plate read, “Rambler”.

He was on the phone, but he opened the gate, and beckoned us in.  He motioned as if to say, “take pictures”.

We did, and later he got off the phone.  He was so nice.  He invited us to have a bottle of water or soda, and let us take photos of whatever we wanted to photograph.

I had to get a picture of this AMC hood ornament.

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American Motors Hood Ornament

I never knew AMC had hood ornaments.

We had a fun time visiting with him.

Lots of Thanks

A lots of thanks to day to…

  • MoLight – for great lighting products that can be used on location
  • Bay Photo Labs – We had fun placing Bay Photo stickers where allowed
  • Republic Wireless – great coverage today!
  • Quality Inn – for a couple of very nice rooms for Paul and me, a nice clean pool for us to refresh ourselves in, and great recommendations for dinner (Dell’s Diner)
  • Danny – for the cold bottle of water on a very hot day.

 


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Another Walker

Another Walker

We ran in to another walker this morning.  This guy is 79 and walking the full Route 66.  He expects to complete his walk around Thanksgiving time.  His name is Sonny.

Sonny brightened our day.  He has walked nearly every major path in the USA. He walked the Lewis and Clark Trail east to west and then turned around later and walked form west to east.  Pacific Coast Trail?  Of course, and many more.

After leaving Sonny just outside Elk City, Oklahoma, we ran in to a couple of ladies from Scotland riding motorcycles across the U.S.A. on Route 66 – Rachael and Katrina.  We not only ran in to them at a Route 66 Museum, but then again at Slug Bug Ranch, and again at dinner tonight.

Last Night’s Stay

Our stay last night was courtesy the Econo Lodge in Elk City, Oklahoma.  Connected to the hotel is a small dinner.  We decided to walk across the lobby for dinner.  The food was great, and the place was BUSY!

This morning, breakfast was included with our room, so we ate at the diner again.  The biscuits and sausage gravy was the best I’d ever tasted.  It must be that southern touch.  Again, they were busy and PACKED.

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Lobby of Our Hotel We Stayed In Last Night

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Last night’s Hotel = Econo Lodge, Elk City, Oklahoma

Goodbye to Oklahoma

Western Oklahoma is pretty desolate and depressed.  Many of the towns along Route 66 look like Ghost Towns already (and are close to it).  It’s sad people are moving to big cities and metropolis areas.  There’s a lot of pretty country out there where one could live cheaply.

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Miles of Road

Hello Texas

It was funny.  There was a Welcome to Texas sign, but no “Leaving Oklahoma” sign.  On the other side of the road, there was no Welcome to Oklahoma sign either.  Later, there was another Welcome to Texas sign.  We decided it must be no-man’s territory.

Here’s a gallery of images from Texas from Texola to Amarillo…

PPA Affiliates

Paul and I have a great presentation about our findings on Route 66 and how they relate to photographers.  We’d love to come to your PPA Affiliate to present our show.

Thank You

Thank you Bay Photo.  We continue to give out sample cards.  Thank you Republic Wireless.  The service is working great.   And, a special thank you to Econo Lodge for the room last night.

 

 


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Squirrel

Squirrel

One of the speakers at church today talked about distractions.  He illustrated his point using the dog from the movie Up as an example.  I found it too funny.  Paul and I the last two weeks have been driving along and you’d then every 1/4 mile one of us was shouting, “Squirrel!”

Today is a day of rest so we’re not driving or taking many pictures.  I did take my camera to dinner and took a couple of pictures of my dinner.  That’s about it.

 

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Combination Plate

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Rosa’s Café

Postcards

I got caught up on mailing postcards to my grandchildren.  With the exception of one, all of them will get postcards from Route 66.

Why the exception?

Because she was just born today at 3:31 p.m. Mountain Time.  Jonet Allena.    As a result, I didn’t have a postcard purchased for her.

Tomorrow

We live Amarillo tomorrow, but before we do we’re going a surprise shoot.  I won’t give any hints, but if you know people who are not members of our Facebook group, now might be the time to invite them.

Speaking of Facebook.  I’d like to see us break 500 tomorrow.  This is big stuff.

We’ve driven over 1,000 miles, and we’re not even to the 1/2 way point.   Share our Facebook page with all your friends.  Ask them to join the group.  (Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/2017route66tour/ and click on Join.  There are three questions, but you don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to.)


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Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

Today we went to the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.  My heart strings have never been pulled like this.  It is a somber experience to see the void created by the bombing 22 years ago.

A chain link fence has mementos placed by loved once, friends and strangers.  Seeing a teddy bear zip tied to the fence made me cry.  Then, seeing the empty chairs with the names of the victims completely did me in.  I had to just stop and pull myself together.

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Honoring Two Children Who Died.

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Perhaps this honors a wife or a mother.

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Perhaps this represents a Jewish child who died.

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Ranger Ian Took Time to Answer Questions for Us

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You can still see where the Federal Building attached to the building across the way.

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Empty Chairs – Each one representing one of the victims who died.

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Reflecting Pond at the Memorial

It’s hard to call this the highlight of my day, but it had the most impact.  While I’m deeply saddened by what happened on that April day in 1995, I know God is loving and kind.  Those people who died that day are in God’s tender care.

Other Sights Today

Retelling about my experience at the Federal Building Site has left me a little sad tonight.  So, I’ll share a few photos and let them do the talking.

 


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Rock Café

Rock Café

“Oh, you’ve got to eat at the Rock Café,” people tell us.

People are bragging about the food, the atmosphere and what a cool place it is.  So, we’re driving down the road and here’s this stone building – Rock Café.   We got out of the car to take some pictures, but it looked like it was closed.  There was an Air Stream trailer in the parking lot, but not much else around.

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Rock Café

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Side Yard at Rock Café

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Entrance to the Rock Café

On the side of the building is a sign that says, “Enter Here”.

It’s open.  We walked inside and there were people cooking in the kitchen.  The waitress greeted us and we decided to stay.

At first we were just going to try the bread pudding (we were told it is the best), but we ended up ordering dinner.  I had the Buffalo Bunless Burger.  IT WAS FANTASTIC.  AMAZING.  GOOD.

Of course, we ordered the bread pudding for dessert.  It was amazingly good.

On the wall in the hall, besides many signatures of visitors, is a picture of Guy Fierri from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  That impressed me.

I signed the wall with, “route66photographers.com db walton”.

Railroad

That’s not how our day started however.  Leaving Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a nightmare.  Google Maps had us going all over the place.  Finally, I found a Historic Route 66 sign and I followed the signs.  (I swear, my Google Maps App is passive aggressive.  I yelled, “Google, YOU SUCK.”  To which my phone responded, “I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand.  So, thinking I would throw it for a spin, I said, “Okay, Google, does ontogeny recapitulate phylogeny?”  She actually had the answer, but that didn’t help us any getting on Historic Route 66.)

We saw this railroad car and stopped to take pictures.  I thought it might be a tiny railroad museum.  It turns out it is a small 4-engine operating railroad.  A guy named Kevin came out and gave us the grand tour.  (Everyone we meet is so nice!)

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Railroad Engine

Old Stone House

Next I see this old stone house and stop.  A guy comes out and asks if he can help us.  I told him we were driving Route 66 and wanted to know the story behind this cool looking house.

The next thing we know his son is giving us a tour and telling us the history, showing us photos, and explaining how they restored the house from a shell of 4 walls.  The place is now beautiful.

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Stone House

The building is used for their food distribution business.  They sent us away with a honey bear and a packet of chili mix.

Car Museum

Joe Walsh may have a Maserati that does 185, but this is one sweet car.

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Maserati

There is a small Route 66 Car Museum here in Oklahoma.  While it doesn’t have a lot of cars it is only $5 to get in (plus tax), and the cars that are there are in perfect condition.

We toured it and I took pictures of EVERY car there.  Every car they had was perfectly restored.  I fell in love with a 1957 Chevy convertible.  The ultimate Route 66 cruise car.  (Okay, the Maserati was nice too, but not for Route 66.)

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Inside a ’57 Chevy

Round Barn

We saw the historic Round Barn on Route 66.  They were closed, but we at least saw it.

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The Round Barn

Thank You to Some Special Companies

Thank you to the Fairfield Inn in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the nice clean room last night.  I especially loved the breakfast – bacon, eggs and sausage.

Thank you to Republic Wireless.  Our coverage for data has been great.  We’ve been able to do live broadcasts because of Republic Wireless.  I hope you watch them on our Facebook page.

Bay Photo has been great.  We’ve given away LOTS of samples.  If someone has a camera, we tell them about Bay Photo Labs.

Warner 5 Color, the mirrors are a hit.  We gave two away today and both ladies looked at them and commented, “How cool!”

While we didn’t get a chance to use much software today or our MoB.D., a special thank you to Alien Skin, Anthropics, ACDsee, Topaz Labs and On1, as well as MoLight.

And, one more time Walworth Veterinary Hospital comes through for dinner.  If you are in the Rochester, New York, area, and have a sick pet, take them to Walworth Veterinary Hospital.

Tonight’s Room

Tonight’s room is courtesy of Broadway Inn in Oklahoma City.  They’ve provided us with a very clean roomy room with free WiFi.  It’s hospitality like this that helps make this trip possible.

Here are some parting shots…


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MO KS OK

MO KS OK

MO KS OK in one day.  We went from Missouri, through the corner of Kansas and ended in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We covered a lot of miles.

Our stay last night at Enlight Inn.  I had the Hippy Shake for breakfast (because I’m a fan of Tommy James and the Shondels).  Kale and spinach in a shake never tasted this good.  Again, if you find yourself in Joplin, Missouri, you should stay at Enlight Inn.

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Paul tries out the Virtual Reality at Enlight Inn

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Owner of Enlight Inn (left) talks with two of her sisters at breakfast.

Driving Along

We’d stop when we would see anything interesting.  This old roadster was almost upstaged by a MG VW kit car, but this obviously is more authentic.

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Old Roadster

Inspiration for Disney Pixar Cars?

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Tow Mater

Or, was this the inspiration?

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Another Tow Mater

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Even Calls Himself Tow Mater

And, I can spot a Corvair for miles around.  Here is a coupe…

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ANOTHER CORVAIR

 

Blue Whale

We found the Blue Whale just before it got to dark.  What a cool creation.  This guy made it out of concrete.  It was originally a water park.

This iconic concrete whale is a landmark people think of when they hear Route 66.  It has an upper deck inside for viewing out the multiple blow holes.

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The Blue Whale

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The Blue Whale

Photo Shoot

We’re driving through Joplin, Missouri, this morning and we see a photographer with a light stand and flash.  We stopped.  It was so cool.

He was using MoLights!!!  He said he just bought one from Michael Mowbray.  I asked if he’d like to try the MoBD.  So, we got it out and set it up and had a fun time photographing his model.

Danny let us use his flash with our MoBD.  We brought our own transmitters (I used my TT350 MoLight) and Rachel posed for us.

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Rachel, Paul and Danny

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Me, Paul and Danny

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Me, Rachel and Paul

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Rachel and the Jimmy Johns Guy

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Using the MoBD

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Danny and Paul Shoot Away

Great Mexican Food

Mi Toritos in Galena, Kansas, smelled so good.  I told Paul, there’s a taco in there with my name on it.  So, I went in and ordered a chimichunga.  Paul came in and ordered the same thing.  We had a great talk with the guy running the place – Rafael.

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Mi Toritos

Tulsa, Oklahoma

A special thank you today to Fairfield Inn in Tulsa for putting up… I mean putting us up tonight.  Our room is clean, neat and roomy.

Other Mentions

A special Thank You to MoLight and owner Michael Mowbray for the MoBD.  Our surprise impromptu photo session with the MoBD went great.

Thank you to ACDsee, Anthropics, Alien Skin, Topaz Labs and On1 Software.  Without your products, our pictures would be bland.  (And, I wish we had more time for post processing, but we will after we get off the road.)

Thank you to Bay Photo Labs.  We told Danny all about you today, as well as a photographer we met from Santa Cruz.   (I think he was impressed that two guys from New York had contacts at Bay Photo Labs.)

 

 


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Corvair Heaven

Corvair Heaven

I died and went to Corvair Heaven today.  My first car was a Corvair Greenbriar, and I traded it for a Corvair Monza Station Wagon.  I found both today on Route 66.

This couple, John and Teresa, gave us a personal tour of their collection of Corvairs.  I died and went to Corvair Heaven.  Monzas, Corsas, 500s, Greenbriars, and more.  95 hp, 110 hp, 140 hp, were all their.

It was the highlight of my day.

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Monza Station Wagon (just like my 2nd car)

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The Spider Engine

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Isn’t this hardtop coup gorgeous!

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Inside a Greenbriar (just like my 1st car)

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Two scheduled to be restored.

Bridges and Long Roads

We drove some long lonely stretches on Route 66.  Beautiful rolling hills. They are fun sections to drive on, but in places you don’t see much except trees and farms.

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A Long Rolling Stretch

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Another Old Truss Bridge

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A Long Stretch Across a Bridge

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One of Three Bridges in a Row Just North of Joplin.

We found several old bridges.  One was out and we had to take a good 30 minute detour to get around the washed out bridge.

Other Fun Stops and Sights

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Frozen Custard in the Making

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A Smile and Some Custard

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Sharing a Bite

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Mmmmm Good

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Andy’s Custard

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Route 66

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Our Server

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College Students from Florida Escaping Irma

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Enjoying Frozen Custard with Friends

 

Wings and Rings

We ate dinner at Hackett Wings.  Great wings and onion rings.  All of the food was great.

 

Our Lodging Tonight

A very special thank you to Enlight Inn in Joplin, Missouri.  They’ve provided us with a VERY CLEAN little cottage for the night.  This place is really cool.  Several old cottages with a wellness spa included. You can come spend the night, get a massage, a healthy smoothie or snack.

We will be posting pictures, but right now, we need to get some sleep.


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Across America

Across America

Here we are driving across America and we run in to a guy going the other way walking across America.  I had heard about him somewhere.  I can’t remember where, but he was the second guy I heard about.  The one is in his 70s, and this guy, a younger guy.

So, we’re driving down Route 66 and he pass this guy pushing a car, draped in the flag.  I spun the car around and we drove up to him.

“Hey, are you the guy who is walking all of Route 66?” I yelled.

He responded that he was.  I asked if we could interview and photograph him.  He was more than happy to oblige us.

 

 

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G. and His Flags

G.

We’ll call him G. (he said we could) because it was hard to catch is name.  We talked for a while and he told us about the 3 flags he is carrying – The US Flag, the flag of England, and a Native American flag.  He’s asking people to sign his flag, which we did.

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Paul, G. and Me

Before we parted company, G. asked if we could pray together.  He asked me to say the prayer.

Uranus

We stopped at a place called Uranus.  The owner has one weird sense of humor.  There’s the “Axe hole”, they thank you for “picking Uranus”, and more.  This is for real.  The is the place that has the motto, “The best fudge comes from Uranus.”

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Axe Hole

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Uranus Police Car

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Welcome Sign

We were met at Uranus by a photographer named Jax.  She showed us around, took pictures of us, and then treated us to lunch at Nona’s in Waynesville, Mo.  The owner Julie and her daughter Kaylynn showed us great hospitality.

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Julie and Kaylynn at Nona’s

There at Nona’s we met several locals — mostly women with husbands serving in the military at a nearby Army Base.

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Brittany and Her Labordoodle

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Mother and Child

Special Thanks

A special thanks today to Bay Photo for samples to hand out, Walworth Veterinary Hospital for dinner tonight, Topaz Labs for the software I used to process a picture of a bridge on Route 66, ACDsee because that’s what I use every night to prepare these images, On1 Software, Alien Skin Software and Jax for treating us to lunch and giving us the grand tour of the area.

We also want to say that Comfort Suites in Rolla gave us the best room we’ve seen yet.  Plus, breakfast was included. The place was clean, no odors or smells, and had great amenities.  If you’re ever in Rolla, I recommend you stay at Comfort Suites.