Tiny Canute was bypassed in 1970. A few signs are all that is left of the businesses that served Route 66 travelers for years.
A few miles down the road Elk City, with a larger population and more diverse economy, fared much better. The community and the road are both celebrated in the National Route 66 & Transportation Museum. A recreated town and a farm and ranch museum are located on the same site and included in the $5.00 admission. It’s well worth the price but even if you don’t like museums at least stop to see the grounds. Walking the grounds and peeking in the windows of the old town displays is all free of charge.
Displays in the museum buildings range from a large collection of Popeye memorabilia to antique furniture.
Most of the buildings in old town are false fronts with window displays and can not be entered.
The Farm and Ranch Museum has collections inside the buildings and on the grounds.
A large kachina doll made of oil drums and scrap metal by Johnny Grayfish stood in front of the Queenan Trading Post which closed in 1980. The kachina was refurbished in 1990 and now stands at the entrance to the Route 66 Museum.
Most of the museum is accessible. The second floor of the Victorian house in old town is not accessible. Some of the boardwalks in old town have steps and no ramps.
Small RVs will fit in the lot if backed up over the grass. Larger RVs can be parked across the spaces.
The 17 story Parker Drilling Rig #114 built in the mid 1960s was one of the biggest rigs at the time. It was built to drill deep shafts for atomic bombs which were test-detonated underground. It was also used for conventional oil and gas drilling. It was moved to Elk City and reassembled in 1991 as a tourist attraction.
Elk City Lake Park, located a few miles south of the city, has a nice camping area with electric and water hookups where visitors can stay for four nights at no charge. :-)
We didn’t need the hookups and stayed in a different parking area so that we had a good view of the lake.