By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team
I travel all over Oklahoma producing stories for News9.com. Most of the time, I take the old Oklahoma highways to get to my destinations.
It never fails that the old roads always introduce me to something new and something I didn't know existed.
Recently, I made my way up the mother road, Route 66. The magic feeling that enticed people from across the nation to drive Route 66 years ago still exists. Winding through small towns and communities is a lot more enjoyable than the constant passing of exit signs.
I even stopped by a site I have always passed but never knew what it was. The remnant of this building is probably one of the last that is still around. A little sign placed on a rock wall at this location explains that at one point in time, this was the only gas station along Route 66 for quite a few miles.
I ventured inside the little building and the rock walls are filled with autographs of people who have stopped along the way. There's nothing rude written anywhere, just people's names and the places they're from. (There are several ‘somebody loves somebody' like inscriptions inside as well.)
While heading to another story, I traveled along another old highway and saw people riding their horse into one small town. I stopped to get some gas and the horse rider yelled out to me as he passed, "You need to get you one of these," as he pointed down towards his horse. We smiled at each other as he kept riding.
It was at that point that it dawned on me that people in small towns are even friendlier than the people from the big cities.
The entire time I was driving that day on the highway, everybody who was going the opposite direction than I was, waved at me as they passed. And it wasn't the typical one finger salute you get during the 5 o'clock traffic jams in the cities.
Another neat thing about driving the back roads is the lack of tolls.
Also, it seems to me that the old highways are a lot smoother than driving on the turnpikes. The complete drive to my destination was smooth and bumpless. I didn't encounter one pot hole.
The next time you have to drive somewhere in Oklahoma, throw away your GPS system, grab a map, and take the forgotten roads. You won't regret it!