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Report 2041: Driving the Great Mississippi River Road

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2012

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Page 2 of 33: Day 2-Amarillo, TX To Guthrie, OK

photo by Alan Firestone

Guthrie, Oklahoma

After a typical mid-range hotel buffet breakfast, we set out into the rain and fog. On the advice of a friend who saw our Cadillac Ranch blog posting, we stopped about 20 miles east of Amarillo in Conway, Tx. and saw the VW Slug Bug Farm. This “farm” seemed to be pretty much all there was left of Conway, Tx. The “farm” consisted of five VW bugs buried just like the Cadillacs and covered with graffiti. There was also an old broken down jalopy, an old shack, and a great piece of farm equipment. This, coupled with an abandoned service station was Conway, as far as we could see. Slug Bug Farm is really a great parody of Cadillac Ranch and we thank you, Lisa, for telling us about it.

We continued down a truly boring stretch of I-40, the highlights being a gigantic cross which can be seen from great distances (Alan says it looks like the Washington Monument with arms) and a great grain elevator complex. We stopped at one of the most interesting rest stops ever, complete with tornado shelter and scary pictures of tornadoes. Alan had noticed a sign on the side of I-40 advertising the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Ok. So we stopped there for an hour or so. It is a really cool place if anybody is ever in the area, the best part being sitting in the back seat of a ‘56 Cadillac at the “drive-in” watching trailers for “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

We had a very good lunch in Elk City at Prairie Fire and then drove to Guthrie, OK, taking back roads when we could. Guthrie is a wonderful surprise. It has a 1890’s downtown area. However since we got there at 5:05, all the museums were closed. We wandered around, taking pictures and looking through windows, until 6pm when we took a trolley tour of downtown and many, many of the late 19th century homes around Guthrie. That was well worth the time and money ($3 each) as we saw a lot of the town we would have missed. Guthrie was in the forefront of the Oklahoma Land Rush, had a population that went from 0 to 15000 people in one day, was the first state capital of Oklahoma and was called home by such people as Tom Mix, Carry Nation, and Lon Chaney. Guthrie should definitely be on anyone’s list if they are in the Oklahoma City area.

We are now snug in our Victorian B&B. On to St. Joseph, MO tomorrow.

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