Friday, May 8, 2020

Auto tour of Route 66

Breezy and a little chilly today so we decided to take an auto tour of Route 66 near Carthage,  I wanted to see some of the old businesses that are still there, although many are "repurposed."  I had heard a lot about Red Oak II and hoped we would have time to see what it was about.

We began the tour on the east side of Carthage at the Junction of Old 66 and 71.  Started in 1927, the Red Rock complex had a cafe, gas station, garage and a couple of  cabins.  In the 1940's it was known as White's Court and today it is the Red Rock Apts.

Red Rock Apts., formerly Red Rock Complex

Across Old 66 is the Kel Lake Motel, sporting it's original sign.  It was built in 1954 where the newer route 66 met the older route 66, across from Kellogg Lake.  It had 8 rooms and advertised 7' beds.  It still has it's original sign.

Further down the road was Dazy Courts Apt., formerly Dazy Motel.  Next, about 3 blocks off Route 66 was Whistlers Drive-Up. A charming little Hamburger joint.  No inside eating, no bathrooms.

Dazy Courts Apt. Office, formerly Dazy Motel

Dazy Court Apts.

It wasn't listed on this tour, but we went past Boots Court on Route 66.  It opened in 1939, advertising a radio in every room, with each room having a covered carport.  It was a streamline modern and art deco style.  The roofline and walls were accented in black Carrara glass (pigmented structural glass) and neon green.

The tour took us by the Court House which I wrote about when we first arrived in Carthage.  It has such a great clock tower.

We went up tummy tickling Whee bridge the other day and again today.  It isn't long, but its steep--straight up and straight down.  Pat took it easy.  Said he didn't want to bottom out!

Finally the Route 66 Drive-In Theater which opens tonight.  It opened in 1949 and the poles that originally housed the speakers are still there.  It closed in 1985 but reopened in 1998.  The movies showing tonight are Dr. Doolittle and I Still Believe.  Low tonight in the mid 30's,  so they recommended bringing a blanket! They said new movies won't be released until later in July.  If it's not too busy (they have distancing rules in place fortunately) we will try to go tonight or tomorrow night.  The first one starts at 8:40pm so the question will be, will I be able stay awake even through the first movie???

Finally we drove through Red Oak II, not on Route 66, but something I wanted to check out.  It is an open aired museum that is free to drive through,  Lowell Davis grew up in the little town of Red Oak, originally 23 miles from Carthage.  His father ran the General Store where he learned to paint and sculpt.  His Great Grandfather practiced his trade in the Blacksmith shop there.  Lowell went on to Texas and had a lucrative art career.  He sold his artwork in stores and galleries world wide.  He has been called the Norman Rockwell of rural art, with his art showcasing the simple times of past.  He moved back to Carthage in the late 1980's. Like many little towns, Red Oak, was basically a ghost town.  He bought the houses and businesses and moved them near the farm he lived on close to Carthage,  Mo.  Today many of the houses and buildings are owned by others.  

Red Oak II complex

Working water sculpture in Red Oak II.

Courtesy of Pat, and the grill, tonight lemon/pepper salmon and asparagus.  Now I need to pop some popcorn for the movie and find some blankets!

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