I think we’re not in Kansas anymore
Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
290Trip End Nov 20, 2011
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We managed to miss breakfast at McDonalds, so headed to a supermarket for supplies. Elwood, who must have been starving by this point, ate a cheese sandwich and bucket loads of fruit salad. Noah and I stuck to our staple of bagels, fruit and cawfee.
First stop was Springfield Missouri which was about an hour's drive. It was absolutely beautiful and I could have spent the day there, but the weather was beautiful and we wanted Elwood to get a good leg stretch. So we found the most fantastic park – with caves, a lake, a stream, and rocks for climbing – just amazing. We went on a 'bear hunt’ – thankfully unsuccessful - and played in the caves
We got in the car for about another 40 minutes for a fantastic drive to Carthage. We were going there because I thought it was the place they filmed Back to the Future. However, when I re read the guide book it actually said ‘A perfect little town, looking for all the world like the model for the idyllic though fictional town of Hill Valley from the Back to the Future movies’. So, I guess it was not the town I thought it was, but bared a resemblance to it. That will do us anyway!
We stopped at the Carthage Deli and were just going to get a takeaway, but when I went inside you could eat in a Pink Cadillac and it had loads of signs. So both father and son were catered for so we dined it. Check it out http://www.carthagedeli.com/
The owner came and chatted to us which Noah and I thought he must get loads of Route 66 people coming though but he seemed so interested and was just a lovely fellow. He gave Elwood a Woody the Cowboy Pez dispenser too – so that was extra lovely. Elwood hoovered up his Mac and cheese and they put everything non-flesh based they could find into a sandwich for Noah. I had a fab salad.
I have had a few salads on this trip and the surprise winning salad ingredient of the holiday is the corn chip. It is my new favourite thing
Back in the car, we drive a little further to the town of Joplin Missouri, which the guide book describes as ‘not an especially photogenic place’. Well, tell that to ‘The Signman’ – he loved it. I did too actually.
And then, rather excitingly, we were in Kansas. Just like that. For some reason – this caused much elation.
At this point, I will share with you some of the ‘banter’ that goes on in our travels, and why it is good that Noah and I found each other (as few others could cope with such nonsense). Me: ‘I dare you to make an offer on a property.’ Noah’s reply’ I am not sure I have enough ID on me as I needed 2 forms of ID just to buy a beer at the bowling alley.’ Later, ‘I dare you to buy a RV ‘ . And Noah’s repartee is just as fascinating. ‘ What do you think is the ideal number of bagels to eat in a day?’ says he. Poor Elwood, listening to us two.
On Route 66, iIn my head I was thinking, but I did not say out loud, ‘Maybe if we bought one of these closed up shops we could...’ Not really an option, we are both crazy excited about oz, so these abandoned route 66 towns make me feel both saddened and inspired
Our next stop in Galena, Kansas. We were in Kansas for just 13.2 miles today – and I must say – we loved every bit of it. Galena was tiny and full of character. Everywhere you turned there was something run down and beautiful. There is a fast food outlet there, which used to be a service station , called Four Women on the Route. Apparently, this used to be called Kan-O-Tex. And so the story goes, ‘The old tow truck that apparently inspired the character Tow Mater (in Cars) is parked outside, although they have had to change it’s name to avoid the wrath of Disney’s lawyers.’ The truck looks exactly like the truck from the movie and indeed the whole town is reminiscent of the movie. If the story is right – it is such a shame Disney did not let the town trade on this, as it may have changed the fortunes of a whole town.
Still in Kansas for a little bit longer we drove through Riverton and stopped for photos in the gorgeous Baxter Springs. And folks, that was it- Kansas. We had somewhere to be and that place was Oklahoma. (Noah kept singing this one word, the only word he knows from the whole musical, over and over again
So, after a stop at Wal Mart we are in a fab hotel in Miami, Oklahoma. (The brochures stress the pronunciation ‘Miy-am-uh’. From chatting to folk in the pool (alas, it’s not guitar shaped) there is a strong American Indian population here, and in all of Oklahoma.
And that is it for today people. Noah and I are working our way though a massive bags of crisps. We have a an even bigger list of good intentions that we need need to make a dent in tonight – we are hoping the crisps will keep us awake /motivated. Right now, the wine and beer is winning and sleep is beckoning – we’ll see how we get on. Good night from My-am-uh, Oklaholma.