Kyle and I arrived 45 minutes too early for the opening of The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma, so I walked around taking photos while Kyle typed in his journal. The museum was O.K.—more of a museum to motor travel on the Mother Road than a museum about Rt. 66. It was underwhelming compared to what awaited us in Shamrock, Texas.
The U-Drop Inn stands at the junction of old Route 66 and Route 83. Not much traffic goes by and the dry wind eventually becomes a white noise in your ears, but you can always feel it caressing your exposed skin. I don’t know what it is about the place, but I am so in love with the U-Drop Inn. On my first visit, it was waiting to be restored, which it eventually was by the town of Shamrock and an architecture firm called Architexas. The restoration has since turned into one of America’s must-see wonders—true monument to design and to America. It inspires me to dream. It makes me admire the man who wanted his gas station and diner to be a not-so-simple place. This is a place of inspiration—a corner of the world where artists can still dream.
I walked around and took about 5 rolls of film as Kyle tended to the sunburn on his driver’s-side leg. We jumped onto the highway and both decided that the kitschy wonderland of the Big Texan Motel was going to be our stomping ground for the day/night. The outside is designed to look like an old western town, if Clint Eastwood had run out of paint and decided to grab whatever Sherwin-Williams was on sale.
Across from our room was The Big Texan Steak Ranch, where neither Kyle nor I took the challenge of eating a 72 Oz. steak and all the fixin’s in one hour. We were lucky enough to see a guy about our age vomiting up his entire meal next to his Ford Truck in the parking lot.