Thursday, August 12, 2010

Leg 3: Joplin, MO to Shamrock, TX

Miles traveled: 382 miles
Time traveling: 9 hours
Average speed: 43 mph
States traveled: Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas

After two long travel days, we decided to make today a bit shorter. We slept in a little at our too-nice hotel, had a relaxing breakfast, and hit the road. We got back onto route 66 so that we would pass through a little bit of Kansas on our way to Oklahoma.

We were in Kansas for about 13 miles, and let me tell you: It. Was. Thrilling. There were a few more cornfields and a few little towns that looked like this:

We crossed over into Oklahoma but must've taken a wrong turn at some point, because our "historic" road transitioned pretty suddenly into gravel. Now, I know some of you country-folk readers are used to such "off-roading" in your hometowns, but we city-folk were a little surprised by this.

See? Surprised and confused. Suddenly, we were IN the cornfields we had been admiring for all those miles. We looked at the map on our GPS and tried to head back to the highway, but our little road turned into an overpass and went straight over the highway instead of onto it. Eventually we found our way out of the crops and got back on track.

My guidebook informed me that pretty soon we would be close to the world's tallest totem pole. How do you pass that up??

It was pretty strange and pretty cool. There were lots of other smaller totems on the property also. It really amazes me what interests people and what they choose to do with their passions. These totem poles were literally in someone's backyard.

See the little bit of house on the left? And this is not even half of the totems. There were no stairs inside the big totem, but you can look up through a shaft up to the top. It seemed that a family of birds had made their home inside. There was also a sign with some totem facts:

There was also a small gift shop on the property with, inexplicably, a fiddle museum inside. I kid you not, check it out:

We talked to the woman inside, presumably the owner, and signed her guestbook. She seemed interested in our travels, but probably hears the same story every day. I should've told her I'm a famous blogger.

We continued on without much to see but billboards. After seeing about fifty billboards advertising the "Cherokee Trading Post," we decided to stop. We needed a bathroom break anyway. I highly doubt that any actual Native Americans were involved with this establishments, but there were lots of fun photo-ops and interesting things to see.

A bit later, we passed right through a wind farm. Marcus and I are both big "fans" of these windmills, and this was the most I had ever seen in one place (there were about four times as many as are in this photo).

When planning our route for the day, Marcus read in my book about Texalo, Oklahoma, which was described as a ghost town with a delicious bbq joint. Well, we didn't see any ghosts, but we did see some horses. We got out to say hi and Marcus took some pics with his new camera. Blogger will probably destroy the quality of this photo, but it's a fantastic shot.

As for that bbq joint? It appeared to be deserted, so we decided to move on.

We made it to Shamrock, Texas and stopped at the first place we could find for dinner. It was full of locals and local flavor (Marcus is still smiling every time he hears someone with a southern accent). We (again) had not booked a hotel in advance, though we read a few reviews online. We had pretty much decided to stay at the motel next to the diner we were eating at, but I decided to ask the waitress what she recommended. She told us to definitely not stay at that motel and directed us to another around the corner. Thanks waitress!! This motel is nice enough, and has pretty snappy internet, so it's fine with us. Tomorrow we'll be heading through much of the state of New Mexico, and I expect it to be hot hot hot! Stay tuned for more Twitter and blog updates!


  1. Great entry Kir. Can't believe that Mr. Galloway worked on his totem pole for 11 years. That's CRAZY!...(said in my best Tracey Morgan voice). And, a bonus fiddle museum to boot. Guess Ed had some pretty diverse hobbies. Can't wait for tomorrow's blog. And, please take a photo of your Shamrock diner and motel.

  2. Whew, I don't know how you can handle all that adventure!

  3. cool kir!! looks like you're hitting all the "hot" spots :)! miss you and marcus

  4. Gotta love those corn fields and dirt roads!! :) What an adventure you are having...

  5. on the road again, you just can't wait to get on the road again.....(sung in a very southern voice)