Route 66 parallels the interstate most of the way through Texas. It’s not very scenic but it’s still nice to meander along a traffic free highway.
The Tower Station and U-Drop Inn in Shamrock is the most unique and beautiful gas station on Route 66. It was built in 1936 and was a working business until 1997. The city was given the station in 1999 to use as a chamber of commerce and visitor center. It’s been restored inside and out to it’s original appearance.
Shamrock is also the home of the Pioneer West Museum, housed in the Reynolds Hotel which was built in 1928. Each room contains exhibits about a different aspect of the area’s history. We were given a free, personal tour by a very enthusiastic volunteer.
The restored Magnolia gas station, a lawyer’s office, a doctor’s home, and a building with farm and ranch equipment are located on the same corner as the museum and included in the tour.
The first floor of the museum, the gas station and the farm and ranch building are accessible. The second floor of the museum, the lawyer’s office and the doctor’s home are all accessed by steps only.
RV parking is available along the street.
On our way out of town we spotted this inexpensive RV park and stopped for the night.
A strange park which I don’t recommend. The sites are not marked very well and something was wrong with the electrical box at our site. Payment is made by pushing money through the slot in a collection box – no envelopes and no manager on site.
Unfortunately the Devil's Rope Museum in McLean was closed for the season so we didn’t learn any new fascinating facts about barbed wire. :-D
Much of the rest of McLean is crumbling away however a few buildings have been patched up.
The facade of the Avalon Theater, built in the 1930s, was restored by the Old Route 66 Association of Texas.
This cute little gas station was the first Phillips Petroleum filling station opened in Texas. It opened in 1929 and operated for over 50 years.
The Cactus Inn Motel, the only motel still opened in McLean, has been in business since 1956.
The restored Kiser Super 66 Service Station in Alanreed was built by Buddy Kiser in 1930
Jericho was a mail coach stop, a water stop for trains and, for a few short years, a gas and motel stop on Route 66. With a population of less than 100 people it soon became a ghost town when Route 66 was moved a mile north in the 1930s.
Ralph Britten, the owner of Britten’s Truck Stop in Groom, installed this leaning tower to attract business. An electrical fire closed the truck stop but the tower is here to stay.
A giant cross and wind turbines compete on the west side of Groom. If you drive to the base of the cross (we didn’t) there’s a gift shop, life sized statues and a parking lot large enough for RVs.
A few graffiti covered buildings still stand beside the Slug Bug Ranch, a mini copy of the Cadillac Ranch, but there’s no clue about who buried the VWs.
It’s easy to breeze right past the Peace Park. There are no signs pointing to it and no parking lot – just pull off on the grass, plenty of room for RVs. The park has signs with dates, signs with quotes and signs honoring veterans and only one sign with the name of the builder but nothing else about him. I did find some information after searching a bit. Richard D Baker is a local farmer and retired telephone repairman who invited a group of friends to help build the park and contribute a date that had historic significance. It is left to the traveler/visitor to figure out what each date represents.