Saturday, June 9, 2012

Spring Break 2012 Road Trip Day 9 Oklahoma City, OK to Joplin, MO

Of all the attractions along Route 66 which we stopped to see, I have to say that the famous Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma, was somewhat of a disappointment to me.  It has been around for a long time, and used to be a great swimming hole for families that were traveling.  Now no one is allowed to swim there, but people still stop to see it.  In fact, not too long ago someone held their wedding there.  Can you imagine?  Oh well…that was our first stop on this Friday, day 9 of our Route 66 Road Trip.  We left Quail Springs (north Oklahoma City) after having breakfast at the motel.  We didn't have far to travel today, with a planned overnight stop near Joplin, MO, stopping to visit our granddaughters’ other grandparents. 

We had lunch at McDonald’s before arriving at their house in mid-afternoon.  However, this wasn't your typical fast food drive in.  In fact, this is the largest McDonald’s in the world.  It straddles Interstate I-44, with traffic flowing underneath.  I opted to wait in the van with our younger granddaughter, and only later did I find out that the restaurant had a huge gift shop.  So sorry I didn't go in and browse…but I guess I was getting tired by this time in the trip…losing all my pent-up energy…winding down as the trip was winding up.

Oh…we did stop one other place that was sort of silly to me.  It was in Foyil, Oklahoma, at the Totem Pole Park. That probably even outdid the Blue Whale for non-interest to me.  The girls enjoyed it, however, but the guys stayed in the van.  I would just say that it’s not worth the time to take the side roads to find it.  Looks like it was losing its “flavor”.  What you see in the picture below is pretty much it.

We arrived at Poppa and Nana’s place early afternoon and then headed to Carthage, MO to Precious Moments, and took a strolling tour of those grounds and the chapel.  (The guys stayed in the van).  This is one time my camera lost its charge, so I didn't get many pictures.

Then we drove out to Red Oak II, which is a totally fascinating place to me.  It’s a “park” that’s full of old relocated buildings set up to resemble a little village of a by-gone era…when life was simpler.  There’s a blacksmith shop, general store, church, diner, filling stations, some house/residences, and lots of vintage vehicles.  Here are a few pictures of this “village”:

Even had a portable outhouse!! 

We had supper at the Golden Corral…finally getting our “veggies” and meat…good solid food, and lots of it!!  Then we drove around Joplin for a while, observing all the unbelievable damage from the Joplin tornado that occurred just over a year ago.  It was the worst tornado in US history in the last 60 years.  Thousands of homes and buildings destroyed, over 150 lives lost.  Still, a year later, you can see the path of the storm.  It was wide and it was long, and they are still rebuilding.  Even Extreme Makeover has come in and built some homes. I did not take pictures of the damage, but I was saddened by what this city endured.  We drove out to a pretty spot in the river, Grand Falls, our last stop of the day before heading to Nana and Papa’s for the night.

Think I was a little nervous???

That’s it for Day 9…only two more days left in this trip.  See you next time!!

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