Summer Staycations: Trip Down Route 66 Filled With Worthwhile Oklahoma Stops


Tuesday, June 30th 2020, 4:43 pm
By: John Holcomb, David Payne


MIAMI, Okla. -

Route 66 is known as America’s Mother Road, and it runs right through Oklahoma. John Holcomb and David Payne took a trip down the historic highway.

Loaded up in an RV, Holcomb and a few of his buddies started their trip in Miami, Okla.

The first stop was the Coleman Theater. There's a lot of history inside this once-upon-a-time vaudeville theater. People come from around the world to visit it and to hear the "Mighty Wurlitzer" pipe organ. The 91-year-old theater still puts on shows and is in the process of being restored.

Then they met up with Miami native and OSU Cowboys stadium voice Larry Reece at Waylan's KuKu Burger.

“I want to welcome you guys to heaven on Route 66,” said Reece as they walked in the door. He was even nice enough to order for us.

“You need the double giant cheese burger. You need a large fries,” he says.

Then it was time to continue down the road. They checked out Ribbon Road, the only remaining 9-foot wide segment of Route 66 but didn't stay long because they had to get to the famous Blue Whale in Catoosa. Then it was back to Tulsa, where they took 66 by the University of Tulsa's campus. Their final stop was at the Route 66 monument in Tulsa.

David Payne took over the trip from there. They gassed up in Stroud at the famous Rock Café and then it was time to hit the road.

The first stop was in Warwick at the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum. Jerry Ries runs this museum that started as a filling station in 1921.

“Most people are drawn to their first motorcycle. Everybody comes in, and they try to find the bike that they had the first time,” he says.

The museum attracts people from around the world every year. Some of the bikes are relics. Others have never hit the road. Ries has a motorcycle still in the crate. Other surprises include a motorcycle that was actually used in a Captain America movie.

The museum also has one of the first plumbed outside bathrooms.

“(I’ve) been told that this was the first one this side of the Mississippi,” said Ries. “I do find that a little hard to believe, but that’s what we’ve been told.”

The trek continued down the road to Arcadia, known for the Round Barn and Pops, which features great food and more than 700 types of soda.

Then to the Route 66 monument in El Reno and the Cherokee Trading Post to check out some of the Indian-made gifts and more.

A few miles later, David made it to the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford. It's named after famous astronaut Lt. General Thomas Stafford. The museum partners with NASA and others to feature early-day aviation all the way through Gen. Stafford's space flights. And it's only getting bigger.

“We’ve added 20,000 square feet. We’re going to have three separate new galleries,” said SASM Operations Director Teresa Schoonmaker. “We’ll have the Apollo gallery, the shuttle gallery and we’ll have the F-117A stealth.”

The final destination is perfect for our trip: the Route 66 Museum in Clinton.

“We have thousands of visitors that stop here because they love that the museum tells the history by decades from the inception of the road in the 1920s to the end of the road in the 1970s,” said museum director Pat Smith. “We did completely refurbish an old diner that was actually used along route 66.”

A few celebrities have stopped in, including Cher and a certain Beatle who loves history.

“I said ‘you’re one of the Beatles aren’t you?,'” recalls Pat. “And he goes ‘yes, I’m Paul McCartney, please don’t tell anyone that I’m here.'”

With people traveling more in cars this year, this is another perfect place to visit.

“I feel like for generations to come we’ll have more and more people who will love Route 66 and love to travel the mother road.”