Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Route 66

Old Route 66 near Shamrock, TX
We ate lunch at McDonald's in Shamrock, Texas, today. The road past McD's and the Conoco station next to the freeway, Interstate 44, is the old Route 66, and from the McD parking lot you can see the old tower of a historic Conoco station and just the top of a sign for a cafe, also in the sort of Art Deco design that's considered iconic Route 66 style.

Well, I'm glad we have a modern road that could take us from Tulsa to Albuquerque in one day. I bet it was at least two very long dusty and tiring days when the two-lane 66 was the only choice. Not that our day wasn't tiring, but we covered a lot of ground when that was what we wanted to do. Now we have time to explore some birdwatching sites and other natural areas around Albuquerque, look at some historical places, and so on. We had a choice!

Also, I admit that I'm glad to know, when I go to McDonalds, that I'll get the same hamburger and Diet Coke I had the last time I ate there. I know there's a lot of nostalgia for the good old cafes and their supposedly wonderful cooking, but I suspect that more often than not, it wasn't really very good. Not to mention whether it was really clean, whether the food was really fresh.... That's what I remember from childhood trips, anyway. A mom and pop diner could be good, but wasn't usually better than today's McDonald's!

We also stopped at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas, that's on the list of historic Route 66 locales. Lots of tourists stop there if they are making a Route 66 pilgrimage, not usually when simply trying to get from one point to another (like Tulsa to Albuquerque, which we were trying to do). We only had a coke and a nice conversation with the owner, but the pies looked very delicious. The owner mentioned that fast freeway travel destroyed America's small towns. I wonder. Maybe it was creative destruction!

The Midpoint Cafe, Adrian, Texas. The owner has a major collection of Route 66
memorabilia, including vintage formica tables and matching chairs.
For more of today's trip see "America the Beautiful" at my travel blog.


Cakelaw said...

I have been to these places! I loved the chocolate cream pie at The Midpoint Cafe - I long for it.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Don't tell me you came through Tulsa!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Jeanie said...

OK, now I KNOW we'd road trip well! I love diners and of all the fast foods, I prefer McDonald's. More than Burger King, Wendy's or Arby's or Subway (unless I'm feeling a bit more virtuous.) I remember Julia C. saying the fries there were the best and I have to agree. But the diner -- just perfect!