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Day 33 – Thursday May 31st: Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

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<– Day 32 – Wednesday May 30th: Little Town, Big Ideas | Day 34 – Friday June 1st: The Route of Confusion –>


This section of Route 66 between Miami and Afton, Oklahoma, is the last surviving section from 1922, though this probably is better put: the last surviving easily accessible section. It’s 9ft wide and bordered by cement curbs (though the curbs are even with the road.

Day 33: On Thursday we drove from Ellisville, Missouri, to Claremont, Oklahoma.


Our drive from Ellisville, Missouri, to Claremore, Oklahoma, part of which we did on Route 66.

Late Wednesday night, we repacked our jeep, as Ann and Jim had done a deal for some sewing items. A big thanks to Jim and Tracy helping my wife forget all about our day-1 trials (and for dinner).  Thanks also to Jim for the tour around west St. Louis and along the world’s longest strip mall. Whether it’s true or not, I can attest it is long. I was also impressed with the variety of local restaurants and grocery stores. For example, Lion’s Choice, which I test on Thursday afternoon, served a much higher level of roast beef on a hoagie bun. Even better, they offer a gluten free bun with roasted turkey, perfect for my celiac and beef-protein sensitive wife. We hope to return to St. Louis and explore that city in the future.

On Thursday morning, we continue our journey west, following Jim out to Craig “Mr. TheFcConnection“‘s place. It turns out his home is the kind of place that would make Daniel Boone happy, deep in the country. First, it was out a country highway, then we ventured down a long gravel road. Next, we had to cross the kind of cement bridge that might make a city dweller nervous.


Finally, we had to climb a long, steep driveway that only jeepers could love. It was at the top of said driveway that Craig had prepared a welcome of his own for us.



Once there, Craig spent some time showing us his old shop and some of his projects.

I also hadn’t tracked some of Craig’s finished FCs, which are very nice. 2018-05-31-craig6 2018-05-31-craig7

Then we went to his new shop, where I got to see the Jeepney named Phillipe, his newest piece. It’s a strange conglomeration of parts that suggest it was cobbled together from whatever parts someone shop had leftover from other projects. For example, it had a CJ engine, but an early spicer transfercase. The transfercase crossmember looked to be from a CJ-3A or later. The spring shackles were only welded, not riveted onto the frame. It’s curious for sure. Craig hopes to being working on it once his shop is finished.


Me, Craig, and Jim … Marilyn (the FC behind us) can be a little shy sometimes:


After we said goodbye to Craig and Jim, we began to trek south along country roads where our phone GPS disappeared. It’s times like these that I’m happy we have the satellite connection in the jeep.

We made our way to the Exit 11 Workspace and Coffee House (which had a great Yelp rating by 6 users — not a great sample size) in the town of Washington, Missouri. It is a curious venture that appeared to have a coffee shop, meeting tables, and leasable workspaces. This was particularly of interesting to me, because around 2005 I helped launch a venture called Vagabonds, which was intended to be a coffee shop for mobile professionals, with comfortable workspaces, a meeting room, and coffee/food items. We had a prototype store running just in time to have it taken down by the crash of the economy. I always thought the idea held promise, but I’d never though of combining coffee with rentable spaces. I agree with the Yelpers: the iced latte I had here was excellent!


We spent the rest of the day cruising southwest towards Claremore, Oklahoma. When we reached Joplin, we decided to follow route 66. As we neared Route 66, this beautiful mural caught our eyes:


This set of murals was our first real sign of Route 66, pun intended.2018-05-31-joplin1

Not long after we crossed into Kansas, we spotted this odd building.
2018-05-31-kansas-route66-4 2018-05-31-kansas-route66-5 2018-05-31-kansas-route66-6 2018-05-31-kansas-route66-7


We drove a little farther, quickly reaching Galena. This little town has embraced Route 66 better than some other small towns. 2018-05-31-kansas-route66-8


A little while later, we discovered this unique sign:


This old bridge made for a great photo:



We drove quite a ways before finding something else worth photographing. It wasn’t long after Miami, Oklahoma. We passed it, but then decided we’d better check it out. I’m glad we did. This section of Route 66 between Miami, Oklahoma, and Afton, Oklahoma, is the last surviving section from 1922 (though this probably is better put: the last surviving easily accessible section, per Dan Horenburger). It’s 9ft wide and bordered by cement curbs (though the curbs are even with the road.

2018-05-31-oklahoma-oldest-part1 2018-05-31-oklahoma-oldest-part2

It really surprised us that more businesses weren’t in many of the small towns weren’t doing more to use Route 66 to their marketing advantage. Eventually we found another historic bridge, one we almost passed. 
2018-05-31-oklahoma-route66-bridge3 2018-05-31-oklahoma-route66-bridge4
Another twenty miles or so, and we landed in Claremore, hometown of Will Rogers. We didn’t make it in time to see the Will Rogers museum on Thursday, so we’ll see it Friday morning.

<– Day 32 – Wednesday May 30th: Little Town, Big Ideas | Day 34 – Friday June 1st: The Route of Confusion –>


7 Comments on “Day 33 – Thursday May 31st: Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

  1. John North Willys

    are those wide whites standard on that Jeepster ? it would be a shame to soil them ?

  2. John North Willys

    the m678 is nothing more than a vw flufelwagen with 4WD and a 3 cyl oil sipper .

  3. John Heiskell

    Dave, if you are still in Claremore you might take the J. M. Davis gun museum, lots of history there,
    not only firearms but all kids of historical artifacts.The history of Mr. Davis is very interesting.


  4. David Eilers Post author

    John H: Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time for that.

    John NW: I’d say the M-678 is more than that. Craig didn’t seem to worried about the white walls. I would liked to have those on the DJ-3A.

    Bob: If they paid me, I’d consider that. I use Yelp quite a bit.

  5. Steve E.

    Drew, what appears to be an M-678 is an FC-150 Swedish Forestry Van, imported from the USA in 1957 as an FC-150 with an F4-134, and converted into a van body by the Swedish government for use as a forestry vehicle. This unique FC-150 van is even more scarce than the coveted M-678. Craig brought her back to the USA in 2016, and promptly names her, Marilyn.

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