MEMORIAL DAY the day that we remember those that paid the ultimate price for our Freedom-Thank You.
We stayed at home most of the day and watched all the weekend campers pack up and head for home. Then later in the afternoon we decided to go into Checotah for dinner. But on the way we were going to find the Honey Springs Battlefield.
The battle of Honey Springs was in 1863 Civil War. It was an important and interesting battle. The Union wanted to take control of this frontier land again and knew if they could capture the supplies that were here it would finish off the Confederate soldiers. Now there were about 3000 Union troops and the majority of them were escaped slaves mostly from Arkansas. The Union leadership was not sure how good of soldiers and fighters they would be. They found out they were some of the best they had ever commanded.
The Confederates also had very few white soldiers. They were 6000 strong and mostly Native Americans. From the 5 civilized tribes in what is now Oklahoma.
Long story short-the Union won and captured the supplies and guns that were stored here. A turning point in the war. The visitors center was closed when we got there but we did see these monuments and while the signed are pretty weather beaten we could read a lot of what they said.
There is also a cemetery on the battlefield land but there are no graves from those that died during the battle, mostly Native Americans. However there is a Confederate soldier there that died from old age.
We decided to head back to town to eat. We did pass this place on the way.
Now the Oklahoma House of Blues, next festival is Labor Day if you are in the area. Of course it was closed when we got there.
Once in town we went to 5 or 6 restaurants but they all had closed early. It was looking like Pizza Hut or McDonalds. But alas Charlie’s Chicken was open so we pulled in there. They were not busy just one other patron. But they were super friendly and nice. We each had the 3 chunk specials. Three pieces of white meat, two sides and a fresh roll. It was very good and filled us right up. Next stop the coach. Change of plans Bonnie wanted to drive through the Corp of Engineers campground Belle Starr so we did that, someday we may stay here.
Back at the coach I did some of my pre-checks that I usually do the day before we travel. Check the tire pressures and set the routes up in the GPS’s. Then checked for where I wanted to get fuel and wrote that down. It looks like it may rain toward morning so I dumped and rinsed the tanks. I brought the fresh water up to just over 50 gals and then unhooked the water hose and the drain hoses. Now in the morning we unhook the power and we are ready to go. Earlier today I made reservations at a Pass Port America park at the Texas border, so we should be good to stay there tomorrow night.
It has cooled off nicely and we have the windows open, so nice after the hot humid past few days. While our plans are still not set our next goal is about 1000 miles away. That would be near Flagstaff where we will catch the train up to the Grand Canyon. Of course there is a lot to see between here and there. Tomorrow we hit Route 66.
I set the alarm for 8am this morning and we were able to get up, eat, and finish packing up the coach by 9:45 when we hit the road. We headed west on I-40 and took the I-240 bypass around Oklahoma City to the South. Then back on to I-40 which follows the Route 66 path. There are still a few small stretches of Route 66 and we hope to visit a couple of them tomorrow.
Just past Oklahoma City we fueled up at Pilot, only took on 66 gallons. While I pumped diesel Bonnie made lunch. I pulled forward out of the way and we ate our lunch. Bonnie offered to drive for a while and I said sure. So the Co-Pilot became the Pilot.
She does a good job driving but refuses to take the time to learn what all the different switches do.
We got to exit 1 just before the Texas border around 3pm and pulled off into the Windmill Restaurants parking lot. Which is also the entrance to the Double D RV park. There is almost nothing here and the restaurant is open 4 days a week afternoons and early evenings. But its full hookups and 50 amps for $14 a night. The power seems good so we should be good to go. Reviews say the Windmill has good food and fry cakes so we will test that tomorrow. We get 20 TV channels but Fox is the only network. So Hulu and Netflix it is. Oh no WiFi so hotspots. Glad our T-Mobile binge on does not count against our data.
So tomorrow we Explore.
So today we took a drive first through Texola and then Erik. Texola is almost a ghost town. Back when Route 66 was the main route from Chicago to Los Angeles there were over 500 people living here, now sadly there are less than 40. There is no store or service station, I am not sure what people do to make a living here. The houses are pretty run down and the old business buildings also.
This was once the thriving Magnolia service station started back in the 1930s.
I actually think the grill and store may still be open.
Quite a few places like this. The interstate bypassed these towns and they just went broke.
This is the historic jail built around 1910.
An old Dodge Power wagon not sure what the truck was used for.
Another old business.
From here we headed east on Route 66 to Erick, OK to explore and pick up some groceries. Route 66 is 4 lanes and 65mph but there is not enough traffic on it anymore to even keep the grass from growing in the cracks. They don’t even paint the lane markings.
Erick is a town of about 1000 and has quite a few businesses. But lots of closed ones also.
The old City Meat Market now a sign museum.
Another sign place. Many of the signs bring back good memories.
Once a thriving motel it even had a pool.
This section of the road near the 100th meridian is called the Will Rogers highway and this is the spot it was dedicated back in June of 1952
We picked up our supplies and headed home. We passed this old barn, cotton fields, big bales of hay and lots of cattle grazing.
Our campground is out behind this old service station, last place or first place to buy fuel in Oklahoma.
It has rained off and on all day but the temperature and a nice breeze has made it comfortable to have the windows open. We can hear the traffic on the interstate but it is not very loud. The birds are much louder which is nice.
We walked up to the Windmill Restaurant for dinner. The chicken fried steak and BBQ port ribs were very good. The potato salad and coleslaw were home made and very good. We brought a couple fried pies home for later. One apple and one apricot. Looking at the weather we decided to stay here another night so we paid for that while we were up there. Its supposed to rain tomorrow and be nice on Friday.
We talked to the owner about the restaurant, gas station, and campground. Her and her husband have owned the Windmill for 25 years, her brother-in-law owned the gas station and closed it the first of the year. They own the campground together. This is a nice, pretty quiet spot so I am glad we found it.
Well thats about it for the first part of this week.
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