Monday, October 26, 2015

Route 66- Quapaw to Afton


  While most casinos allow overnight RV parking, this is something we don’t find often. The Quapaw Casino has a free RV park with hookups and grass between the sites! It’s free for 3 days then $10.00 a day if you want to stay longer. A cow pasture and a train track are along the back. The cows aren’t a problem but the train whistle might be if you’re a light sleeper.

  The paved sections are narrow and have a drop off at the edges so it might not be possible to deploy a wheelchair lift at the site.

The casino is pretty small, moderately smoky and the machines are tight. The chairs are easy to move. Casino

  Crossing the border into Oklahoma has brought us back into farm country with small towns every five or ten miles along the route. Commerce was Mickey Mantle’s hometown and a little park with a statue is located near the high school. The parking lot is large enough for RVs.


  The town also has a couple of cute little former gas stations. The Dairy King which serves hamburgers, ice cream and Route 66 cookies is housed in a 1925 era Marathon station. There’s room for RVs in the side lot.


  Right across the street from Dairy King is the tiny Allen's Fillin' Station. It was built in 1930. The new owners, who restored it, open it on weekends and sell souvenirs and candy.


   It was a surprise to see the Newell factory in such a tiny out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere town. I knew these were expensive motorhomes but I didn’t know how expensive until I looked at their website. Each of these RVs is worth somewhere between 1 and 2 million dollars!


  Ku-Ku Burger was a fast food chain in the 1960s and now Waylan’s in Miami is the sole survivor.  The little bird at the peak of the building used to pop in and out but remodeling has made that impossible.


   The fancy Coleman Theatre was built by mining magnate George Coleman in 1929. It was owned by the Coleman family until 1989 when they donated it to the city.  Check out the four way stop sign in the middle of the street.


    Miami also has a small museum of local history. It’s mostly assorted collections with little historic information. There’s no admission charge. RVs will fit in the lots on the opposite side of the street.


  The Miami Marathon Station, built in 1929 has been completely restored.


  In the tiny town of Afton the Afton Station Packard Museum, formerly a D-X filling station, now houses 18 restored Packards  and Route 66 memorabilia.


Unfortunately it was closed and so we had to satisfy our curiosity by peeking in the windows.


   Afton population has never reached much over 1,000 people but during the years when it’s main street was Route 66 there were five motels, two cafes, two stores and two bars. I-44 bypassed the town in 1957 and except for the Packard Museum and a couple of antique stores the street is lined with empty buildings.




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