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route66Sign.gif (1961 bytes)Route 66 Trip '99        Alex, Baker, John, and Rachel
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   e-mail us on our trip!
Day 1 - Illinois
Day 2 - Missouri
Day 3 - Kansas/ Oklahoma
Day 4 - Oklahoma
Day 5 - Oklahoma/Texas/New Mexico
Day 6 - New Mexico
Day 7 - New Mexico/Arizona
Day 8 - Arizona/California
Day 9 - California
Day 10 - California
Day 11 - California
Day 12 - California
Day 13 - California / Nevada / Utah / Wyoming
Day 14 - Wyoming / Colorado
Day 15 - Colorado / Nebraska / Iowa / Illinois

day3_postHug.jpg (11318 bytes)Day 3 [7/23/99]
From: Carthage, MO
To: El Reno, OK
Total Miles: 200 < X < 300 
Sites Seen: Kansas, Murrah Building, A Tank, A Sullied Swimming Pool, Joey
Today's Entry By: Rachel Caplan

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We woke up this morning in the Boots (not Booth) Motel. We then got in our van and rode down the street for 50 feet till we arrived at our breakfast destination of The Breakfast Hut. Here we ate pancakes, all of us except for John who had his long anticipated mushrooms and his morning dose of cottage cheese. We enjoyed our $15 meal (for four), and continued on for the day.

We left our lush state of Missouri and headed into my favorite little stretch of Kansas. While in Kansas we spotted the Route 66 signs painted on the road every hundred feet. We also stopped at a teepee for a photo op. I am up in the top. It’s hard to see me cause it’s kind of dark, but I had to climb onto Baker’s shoulders so I could be seen. So look closely 'cause I’m there. My favorite spot in Kansas was the little grocery store that we had seen the day before in the post card we sent to Kathryn Carr. They "have an open Produce Porch on the front, with French doors, and a few tables and chairs where you can eat or just rest." About two miles later we left Kansas, cued up the Oklahoma C.D. and entered the fabulous, south central state of "O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma, OK."

route66Sign.gif (1961 bytes) Our first stop in Oklahoma was at an old and apparently empty Buffalo ranch. Alex bounded about looking for actual buffalo, but had about as much success as Linus searching for the Great Pumpkin. Alex had to settle for giving us a show of her best buffalo impression (see photo). Our next stop brought us to another old, apparently abandoned water hole. The main feature of the small lake/pond is a large fiberglass(?) whale with a water slide coming out of him (see photo). We wanted to get closer to the whale but signs posted on the property that said such things as, "No Trespassing: You will be shot" were a little too formidable for us make an attempt at disobeying them. So we got as close as we could, took a picture, and got out of there.
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Authentic roadside store in Kansas
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Your average, run-of-the-mill roadside teepee
Thanks to John Ackenhausen, president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, and the brochures he sent us, we found our way to the J. M. Davis Gun Museum in Claremore, OK. Here we learned all about J. M Davis. He received his first gun as a little tyke for taking his medicine. He later received three more when his father died. While we were deeply engaged in the 20,000 guns, knives, and animal heads, our attention was most captured by the huge WWII-era tank located in front of the Museum.

We stopped in Oklahoma City for dinner. Before we ate we had a sobering experience at the memorial site of the Murrah Federal Building bombing. We visited the fences covered with pictures and dedications to all the victims of the bombing. Most of the dedications were sad, and somber poems, and accounts of who the people were and what they should have lived to become. Some of us were moved to tears. On the whole we were glad that we visited the site, but we weren’t quite as chipper when we left.

route66Sign.gif (1961 bytes) Soon, however, we had to be quick on our feet. Included amongst the card, flowers and other mementos were many bracelets with the letters W.W.J.D. inscribed in them. I, being curious, decided to ask a passing officer what the letters stood for. I soon realized that I had completely blown my cover (as a Jew) when he looked at me for a moment and replied, "Most of the kids like to ask themselves `What would Jesus do?’ in unfortunate situations." We hurried back to the car and went on to dinner.
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Alex discovers her inner buffalo
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Dispite their smiles, Rachel, Baker, and John are trying to avoid getting shot.
For dinner we ate at the Rib Crib, where they had live outdoor entertainment. This was an exciting event for me because I consumed my first bite of red meat in the past ten years. I had a rib of my own and maybe ate half of it. It wasn’t as good as I had remembered from my childhood, but I enjoyed it just the same. I still got my fare share of BBQ from my Chicken and Cajun fries.
route66Sign.gif (1961 bytes) Our traveling concluded for the night in El Reno, OK at the Best Western. Alex and I had been long awaiting the opportunity to swim at this night's lodging. While checking in I asked the lady at the front desk, who we did not take much of a liking to, what the hours of the pool were. She told me that it was closed for the night because it needed to be cleaned due to an "accident" that occurred earlier that day. Luckily the mini-Big-Toy was still open so I could exert some stored up energy. While I had lots of fun swinging and sliding, we still had a little bit of a rumble back in the room. Unrelated to the above, Alex and I built a tent in our room and had a secret meeting. Meanwhile John and Baker were outside meeting Joey, the son of the scary racist from Ada, OK. Baker and John entertained Joey with golf balls and the "didi" (digital) camera.

After concluding the evening with one last rumble, I crawled into my tent and fell asleep. Whatever happened after that is a mystery to me too.

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Pvt. Caplan liberates Claremore, OK.

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