Route 66 - Texola

Old, apparently abandoned motor court
in Texola.
Drive west on Route 66 from Erick  and you will come to little Texola, the last town before Texas. It was established in 1901 and sits near the 100th Meridian. Back in the day, the 100th Meridian was designated as where the American desert started and banks would not lend money for farms beyond this line. For that reason, the town has been surveyed eight different times over the years. Many of its few citizens have lived in both Oklahoma and Texas without ever having moved!

In the early days, the town changed names when the newest survey was finished - from Texokla to Texoma, and Texola. A town election finally chose the permanent name of Texola and that's how it has stayed no mater whether the town was located in Oklahoma or Texas.

Long-abandoned service station on
Route 66 in Texola
At one time there was a big sign with the town's name which welcomed travelers. In 1936 though, unknown pranksters changed the "T" to an "S" and within a couple of hours, hundreds of strangers were stopping in "Sexola" asking for directions to the cathouse. That didn't go over very well with the conservative Baptists that made up the majority of the town's citizens and they quickly took care of the situation. Only the foundation of the old sign remains.

Today, there are a number of interesting ruins to see and lots of photo opportunities, but even the old territorial jail has no customers.

There ain't no place
Like this place
Near this place
So this must be the place

Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state:

Route 66 - Erick & The Mediocre Music Makers

Coming into Erick, Oklahoma
Putting Sayre and the site of The Great Indian Uprising of 1959 behind us, we cruised a few more miles west on Route 66 to Erick, Oklahoma, just seven miles east of the Texas state line and site of numerous interesting stories and people. 

Erick is the boyhood home of Roger Miller, Mr. "King of the Road" himself. Roger used nearby Texas as a source for his first guitar - he borrowed it from a pawn shop while the place was closed. This incident led to Roger's stint in the military in the early 1950s. The stretch of Route 66 entering Erick from Sayre has been named the Roger Miller Memorial Highway and the road through town is named Roger Miller Boulevard. This is also home to the Roger Miller Museum. We had plans to visit the museum and I would like to tell you all about it, but it is only open Wednesday through Saturday and we didn't come through on one of those days so, here's the outside pictures and if you tour it, let me know how it is!

Roger Miller Memorial Highway
Erick is also the birth place of Sheb Wooley, related to Roger Miller by marriage. The name "Sheb Wooley" may be familiar, but likely you just can't place him or figure out why the name is kind of familiar. Well, Sheb Wooley was the real deal - cowboy, rodeo rider, country & western singer, songwriter, actor and comedian. Perhaps he is most famous though for a little ditty he wrote and recorded in 1958 - One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater. Now that one most folks remember! Some of his movies included High Noon and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Appearances on TV included Rawhide, The Cisco Kid, Kit Carson, and repeat performances on Hee-Haw. The town also has named a street after him and yes, there is an intersection of Sheb Wooley and Roger Miller - and if you go to that intersection on a Wednesday through Saturday, you can visit the Roger Miller Museum and tell me all about it.
The 100th Meridian is close to Erick. Except for Erick being the location of the 100th Meridian Museum, that fact doesn't mean anything today, but it certainly did in the 1800's. Back then, the 100th Meridian was designated as where the American desert started and banks would not lend money for farms beyond this line because you can't farm in a desert!

Erick used to be one of the most notorious speed traps in America. Officer Elmer had a very fast, black V-8 Ford that enabled him to catch most anybody he wanted to catch. Bob Hope drove through Erick just a couple of miles per hour over the speed limit one time and he was busted by Officer Elmer. During his next national TV show, Mr. Hope said the only way he would go through Erick again would be on a donkey. Eventually, the tourist business dropped off so drastically that the town's business owners rose up in protest, threatened to close their stores and leave town. The town council soon put an end to the traffic ticket terror by Officer Elmer. To this day however, stories continue to be heard about an old black Ford mysteriously appearing in the rear-view mirrors of those who speed through Erick in the dark of night.
Downtown Erick on a busy weekday afternoon

Mural in downtown Erick

Entrance to the Sandhills Curio Shop
No place along the length of The Mother Road exemplifies the uniqueness of Route 66 businesses better than the Sandhills Curio Shop (201 South Sheb Wooley) and nobody exemplifies the uniqueness of the interesting people who make their home along the route than its owners, Harley and Annabelle Russell. We were lucky enough to stop at just the right time for a small musical performance by Harley and Annabelle, the self-proclaimed Mediocre Music Makers. Interesting, funny, very outgoing and unique in the extreme, meeting them was a true experience and browsing their shop crammed from floor to ceiling with thousands of   Route 66 memorabilia, signs, and, well, tons of junk, was fun as well. By all means, this is a must stop on your trip!

Harley &Annabelle Russell - owners of the
Sandhills Curio Shop

The Mediocre Music Makers in action!
The totality of the "stuff" within the
Sandhills Curio Shop is truly astounding!
It was getting on in the day when we finally pulled ourselves away from the Sandhills Curio Shop, but there was still some light left and we had a couple of more stops we wanted to make before looking for a place to park our heads for the night. Our next stop would be our last stop along Oklahoma's section of Route 66.

Harley & Annabelle with Lil Dude, our traveling
troll. Check out the pics at "Where My Troll Goes"

Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state:

Route 66 - The Great Indian Uprising of 1959

Leaving Clinton, Oklahoma, continuing west on Route 66, we passed by Foss, an official ghost town in spite of several people who still live there, and Canute, a ghost town in the making. After a nice drive of about 30 miles, we slowed down for Elk City. In 1901, the first lots were sold and Elk City became a town. As far as we could tell, even though there are almost 12,000 people who call it home, nothing much has happened there since. And then we came to Sayre, a small town of just 4,000 happy souls, but the place of several stops we wanted to make.

Downtown Sayre on a busy weekday.
 In 1901, a new rail line was built from Weatherford, Oklahoma to Texola, Oklahoma. When the railroad crossed the North Fork of the Red River, the town of Sayre sprung up. A year later, the town had almost 1,000 citizens and that's the way it stayed until the 1930's when Route 66 came through and gave the town new growth serving the travelers of The Mother Road. In the 1970's, Sayre would benefit from the natural gas and oil development in the Panhandle-Hugoton field, the largest volume gas field in the United States and the world's largest known source of helium. Between 1973 and 1993, it produced over 8-trillion cubic feet of gas.

Sayre does have one somewhat famous native son, balloonist Maxie Anderson. Maxie, Ben Abruzzo, and Larry Newman were the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon, the Double Eagle, in 1978. But this sleepy little town may be best known for an incident that happened in 1959.

Site of the Great Indian Uprising of 1959
The Great Indian Uprising of 1959 took place at the Route 66 bridge on the edge of town. The bridge itself had suffered fire damage during a brush fire so it had been barricaded off by the highway department and a detour route marked for getting around the damaged structure. With Route 66 being the major highway through town, there were numerous out-of-state cars full of tourists on the road that Saturday. As each car bearing out-of-state license plates slowed down for the detour, a group of the local high school kids would rush up and excitedly tell the naive tourists to roll up their windows and head west as fast as possible because Indians had burned the bridge and were on the warpath! For almost an entire day, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had its hands full stopping all of the speeding cars headed west to safety from all of those rampaging Indians.

The only Red Uprising at the bridge nowadays
are the numerous Red Ant beds beside the
roadway. DO NOT mess with these things!
Like Elk City a few miles away, not much has happened here except for the high drama of the Indian uprising over 50 years ago. Oh, there were 2 days of excitement in 1939 when John Ford filmed a part of his movie, "The Grapes of Wrath" here. In the movie, there is a 30-second appearance of a courthouse. Most folks think it is the capitol in Oklahoma City, but it's not. It is instead, the Beckham County Courthouse right here in Sayre, but since few people know this, there's no tourism from it. Sleepy, quiet Sayre - an opportunity for a little bit of fame passed on by. But maybe that's exactly how the friendly citizens of this Small Town America want it. After spending a little time in this nice, clean little community, I sure can't say I blame them.

The Beckham County Courthouse, famous for
being in the movie, "The Grapes of Wrath."

Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state:

Route 66 - Humped-back Ghost & The Clinton Museum

Map of Route 66 - displayed in the Route 66
Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma
Leaving Hydro and Lucille's, even though it was in the early afternoon, we kept our eyes peeled just in case we saw an elderly humped back man walking along the road. There has been a persistent rumor  for years that this portion of the Mother Road is haunted by just such a man. Said to appear in a brown trench coat wearing a Bogie-style hat pulled down over his eyes, he supposedly has been spotted walking along the old highway, especially on foggy or rainy nights. One story is that one of the locals picked him up one wet night, but the eerie little man wouldn't talk to him. Just a short distance down the road from where he had been picked up, the man tried to jump out of the moving car. The good Samaritan pulled over to the side, let him out and drove away. Two miles and only 3 minutes later, the driver passed the same man walking beside the road again! Another driver reported seeing the vagabond who suddenly appeared out of nowhere right in front of his car. He was so startled he failed to pull over far enough and hit the man. The driver slammed on his brakes and came to a stop, but when he went back to check on the poor victim, there was nobody there!

From Bridgeport, east of Hydro, to Clinton, the road has a number of dips and there are stretches of gravel, but most of it is concrete with little half-curbs that at one time were very innovative. The highway engineers claimed they would improve drainage, but in reality, they could turn a small hill into a solid sheet of water during a hard rain. If you got between two hills with these half-curbs on the road, you would be stuck there until the weather cleared. Worse yet, other cars would often come sliding to the bottom too, making it even more dangerous to your health and well-being. A 2nd purpose of these curbs was to redirect errant vehicles back onto the road. They did manage to do that, but many cars were flipped over in the process. Not surprisingly, you don't often see these kinds of curbs anymore.

The Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma
under threatening skies.
So we made it to Clinton without running up against a curb and flipping over or spotting an eerie, hunched-back little man in a Bogie hat, but clouds had started to build up while we dinked around at Lucille's and by the time we stopped at the Route 66 Museum, the wind had come up and it looked like a nasty storm was headed our way. There were a few cars in the parking lot as we arrived, but as we pulled in, a car that was parked in the first slot next to the door pulled out and we grabbed it. Feeling lucky today! Well, actually, "grabbed" may not be the right word as there wasn't anyone else pulling in at the same time so there wasn't exactly a lot of competition for it and also, the 3rd slot from the  door was vacant, but still...

Old truck from the Dust Bowl era complete with
the desert water bag for overheated radiators.
The Route 66 Museum in Clinton is definitely worth a stop and is probably one of the best museums on the whole route. The displays are well done and take you on an historical journey from the beginning of the route to present. Youngest-daughter and I walked through it together, looking at the pictures and artifacts, reading the informational signs and I told her a few personal stories of how things were in the 60's & 70's. We both enjoyed it a lot and it certainly brought back memories for me. The gift shop was most impressive - big and clean with a lot of items for sale at a reasonable price. The two ladies working the check-out were friendly and charming; asking where we were from and other small talk. Youngest-daughter and I both made several small purchases, things we couldn't possibly live without and left with smiles on our faces.

Now there's a Dr. Pepper of just
about the right size!

The perfect car for traveling Route 66!

Youngest-daughter shopping for something
she just can't live without.
The Trade Winds Inn - an old Elvis hang-out.
It hadn't rained yet when we emerged, but the clouds were still dark and angry.  I strolled to the end of the parking lot and took a couple of pictures of the Trade Winds Best Western Inn across the street. Definitely showing its age. At one time though, it actually was "THE" place to stay in this area. As a matter of fact, Elvis Presley used to stay there every time he was going through on one of his concert tours and everywhere Elvis stayed, other famous musicians stayed. There wasn't any tour buses in the parking lot and there probably haven't been for a good long while.

It was time to put Clinton in our rear view mirror and that's just what we did. We were headed to Sayre, more Grapes of Wrath history and an amusing story about the Great Indian Uprising of 1959.

Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state:

Route 66 - Lucille

(historical photo)
West from Fort Reno is, to me, where the "Grapes of Wrath" historic Route 66 really starts. To the east is grasslands and big cities. In the middle is the oil producing area. But right in here is where the farming and ranch lands begin; the home of farmers and small town citizens who, Beverly Hillbillies style, packed up everything they had and with nothing left to lose, headed west to what they hoped was the promised land.
In Chapter 12 of John Steinbeck's epic novel, "The Grapes of Wrath," he eulogized Route 66, giving it the enduring nickname of "The Mother Road" while describing the route and the plight of the people traveling west on her.

"Highway 66 is the main migrant road. 66 - the long concrete path across the country, waving gently, up and down on the map, from the Mississippi to Bakersfield - over the red lands and the gray lands, twisting up into the mountain, crossing the Divide and down into the bright and terrible desert, and across the desert to the mountains again, and into the rich California Valleys.

66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert's slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there. From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads. 66 is the mother road, the road of flight.

The people in flight streamed out on 66, sometimes in a single car, sometimes a little caravan. All day they rolled slowly along the road, and at night they stopped near water. In the day ancient leaky radiators sent up columns of steam, loose connecting rods hammered and pounded. And the men driving the trucks and the overloaded cars listened apprehensively. How far between towns? It is a terror between towns. If something breaks - well, if something breaks we camp right here while Jim walks to town and gets a part and walks back and - how much food we got?

Listen to the motor. Listen to the wheels. Listen with your ears and with your hands on the steering wheel, listen with the palm of your hand on the gear-shift level, listen with your feet on the floor boards. Listen to the pounding old jalopy with all your senses, for a change of tone, a variation of rhythm may mean - a week here? That rattle - that's tappets. Don't hurt a bit. Tappets can rattle till Jesus comes again without no harm. But that thudding as the car moves along..."

And this part of the road seems to be the start of where most of the Route 66 "different" people make their homes. The "odd," the "not exactly normal," the "interesting" - the eccentrics that seem to be in more abundance making their home along 66 than possibly anywhere else in the world. It's they who brought Route 66 back to life after the government decided she was no longer useful, no longer worth keeping. It's almost as if the folks who live along The Mother Road are one big family. Sometimes very dysfunctional, but family nonetheless. If I had only a week to travel and see Route 66, this is where I would start and west is the direction I would go.

The small town of Hydro was founded in 1901 and was named for the good well-water found in the area. Hydro has always been a small, agriculture town, but when Route 66 came through, the town prospered by providing services to the travelers. When the interstate was opened, most of the Route 66-based businesses went under and Hydro reverted to being a small, sleepy agriculture town.

Not all of the Route 66-based businesses closed though. In 1941, Lucille Hamons and her husband Carl purchased a gas station that had been built in 1929 along with 5 tourist courts behind the station. Located along a rural stretch of Route 66 just outside of Hydro, the station included a small convenience store and rooms above the gas pumps where the Hamons made their home. Soon, needing to bring in more income to take care of the growing family (they eventually had 3 children), Carl purchased a truck and started hauling. Lucille was largely left alone to mind the station and tourist court and to raise the children.

In an interview, Lucille said, "After Carl got a truck to earn more money, I was alone here to run this place. During this time, people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and eastern Oklahoma were traveling the road to the West Coast to find jobs. Many times I would have people stop that were completely broke and I would feed them and give them gas in exchange for some appliance or other articles of small value they might have. Sometimes I would just buy their old broke-down cars and then they would catch the bus and head on west looking for work."

The motor court rooms behind the station.
When I-40 was completed in 1962, it cut off access to the 5 motor court rooms so the Hamons closed them. Carl passed away in 1971, but Lucille hung on and kept the station open.

In 1997, my wife and I had the fortuitous pleasure of happening upon Lucille's while traveling from one place to another, stopping for a soda and met Lucille in person. We browsed her little store while she kept up a constant chatter of stories of the old days. We had not conducted any Route 66 research at that time and didn't actually realize this was a rather famous lady. We purchased our cold drinks and ended up spending some time listening to her. She was a heck of a character, so friendly and welcoming and full of energy. Before leaving, I spotted a glass bottle of Route 66 Root Beer so I bought it just to keep as a souvenir. Lucille rang it up and then asked if I wanted her to sign it. I didn't want to hurt her feelings and it didn't matter to me so I said sure, that would be right nice of her. After we arrived back home, I did my research on her and found out we had spent part of an afternoon visiting with one of the true icons of Route 66.

Historical marker at Lucille's.
Lucille spent 59 years living on Route 66 and serving and caring for thousands during that time. With her story, the longevity of her little place of business, and her outgoing personality, but mostly because of the countless times she had fed a hungry traveler and given them a place to spend the night for free, Lucille Hamons became known all across the land as The Mother of The Mother Road. Lucille passed away in August, 2000. Hundreds of people from near and far came to her funeral to pay their respects and many a tear was shed by people whose lives she touched. And I still have that bottle of Route 66 root beer autographed by Lucille Hamon.  It's one of my most prized possessions. Thanks for the memories, Lucille.

Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state:

Route 66 - Red Barn to Fort Reno Ghosts

Not finding any $10 bills floating around the old gas station ruins, we headed west to Arcadia and a famous round, red barn which promised some shopping for Youngest-daughter. She hadn't purchased anything for more than a day and she is so concerned about the country's financial problems, you know. She was just itching to help the economy.

That is one, big, red, round barn!
Built in 1898 by local farmer William H. Odor, the huge, red barn in Arcadia (N35 39 43.4 W097 19 34.9) is 60 feet across and 43 feet high. Heading west on 66, it sits on the right side of the road and is hard to miss. It was constructed with burr oak that was soaked in the Deep Fork River and then bent into shape. Why was it built round? Nobody knows for sure, but some old-timers said it was believed back then that round structures were tornado proof.  It was built to shelter farm animals and store hay and grain, but from early on, it was also used for social events. The barn had fallen into disrepair by the early 1970's, but the Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society completely restored it in 1992. The bottom floor is a sort of Route 66 museum and gift shop and the upper floor is a popular venue for dances, large meetings, and weddings.

Wash tub "swimming pool"
The gift shop did indeed have a large selection of items for sale - some cool stuff, some cheap touristy stuff, and some higher priced antique's along with a large number of books. Youngest-daughter ended up only buying a little knick-knack and I bought a couple of vintage Route 66 post cards. I found an old galvanized wash tub like my grandparents had which was my "swimming pool" when I was young enough to fit in it, but old enough to remember it. They would put the tub in the vegetable garden or next to my grandmother's flower beds so any water I splashed out would not be wasted. I thought pretty hard about buying it, but the price was rather steep and I would just be buying it for the memory with no idea what it would be used for or where to put it when I got back home. I passed it up and don't regret it.

Exposed ceiling inside the big red barn.
The ceiling above the 2nd floor was exposed wood and  presented an interesting pattern. I have no idea how many people that cavernous space will hold, but it sure is big!

On a side note - be sure to obey the speed limit signs in Arcadia. I had heard the local law enforcement folks  are rather free with writing speeding tickets and sure enough, I saw two of them, doing the classical hiding routine behind the side of a building and behind a tree with their radar guns out. I didn't get a ticket and now you shouldn't either!

Youngest-daughter in front
of Pops
After making use of their clean restrooms, we stashed our new goodies in the large plastic tub we had brought along to keep our souvenirs safe and dry in the back of the truck and after grabbing a couple of bottles of water from the ice chest, we continued our journey. Just outside of town, we came to Pops (N35 39 31.2 W097 20 06.5), an excellent diner, gas station, and convenience store with over 400 kinds of soft drinks! Opened in 2007, you can't miss this site either as it has a 66-foot high modern art pop bottle in front of it. Unfortunately, we were not there at night, but after dark, the structure is illuminated with LED's that light in sequence, changing color and giving the impression the bottle is being filled. We spent a fun 30 minutes inside just looking at all of the different kinds of pop they carried.

I have no idea where they get some of
these drinks, but they are very cool!
It took a while to make up our minds, but we finally purchased 6 bottles of soda - a Dr. Pepper made with real sugar the old fashioned way, a Coke in a glass bottle just because Youngest-daughter had never had a Coke in a glass bottle and 4 other cool soda's that I didn't even know were made; Route 66 Orange, Freaky Dog Grape, Grand Teton Grape and a Blue Whale soda. Unfortunately, I placed the carton on the back seat and when I opened the door at a later stop, the carton fell out onto the concrete and the Blue Whale soda shattered. Thankfully, the others survived the fall somehow and after carefully packing them away this time, made it all the way back home.

We soon ran into the suburbs of Oklahoma City - housing developments, road construction, strip shopping malls, and the beginning of rush hour traffic. There are few remnants of pre-1953 Route 66 in Oklahoma City and given my aversion to the hustle and bustle and overcrowdedness of large cities, this is the one spot where we deliberately veered away from the route and took the freeway to get through as quickly as possible. Thankfully, we were jut ahead of the stop-and-go traffic of everyone trying to get home from work and it didn't take all that long to get to the small town of Bethany, another suburb of Oklahoma City, where we rejoined Route 66.

Lake Overholser
After crossing the North Canadian River, the route curves around the shores of 1,500 acre Lake Overholser. Today, it serves as a reservoir for a water treatment plant and offers water-based recreation-type activities, but in 1941, this was the first and only body of water in Oklahoma to be officially designated as a seaplane base.  Transcontinental seaplane travel on Pan American Airways' "Clipper ships" was considered to be the best and most luxurious way to travel. There were high expectations this area would become the very profitable hub of a busy, commercial airlines business, but then World War II began and those dreams were put on hold. By the end of the war, government and civilian construction crews had built thousands of miles of long, straight, concrete runways all around the country and the era of seaplane travel was dead.

There are many stories of ghosts and haunted places on Route 66, but passing through Yukon (boyhood home of Garth Brooks), we came upon what is reputedly the most haunted stretch of the old highway, from El Reno to Fort Reno and on to Hydro. Fort Reno was built in 1874 and it's soldiers helped suppress the Indians, escorted cattle drives through the area, and guarded 1,335 German prisoners of war (they had been part of Rommel's forces captured in North Africa) as well as a few Italian prisoners during WW II. It also served as a Quartermaster re-mount depot until 1947. Horses continued to be raised and trained here even after 1947. Black Jack, the riderless horse used for President John F. Kennedy's funeral was born and raised at Fort Reno. The facility is now used as a grazing lands research center, owned by the government, with some of the buildings, but not all, restored for tourists.

Entrance to Fort Reno
There were many deaths in Fort Reno, attested to by the cemetery located about a mile down a lonely gravel road from the site - accidents, sickness, and at least one suicide. 62 German and 8 Italian prisoners are interred there along with a number of the fort's soldiers. In the Visitor's Center, formally the Commandant's Quarters, in the green-tiled bathroom, is where a Major Konat committed suicide in the 1930's after his wife left him for another man. The Major's spirit supposedly still roams the house, his medals rustling, his presence felt on the staircase landing where motion detectors are set off in the middle of the night in the locked facility. The Major changes television stations from soap operas to game shows the employees say, and they hear his heavy boots thudding across the floorboards upstairs when they are completely alone in the building. Lights go on and off after the facility is locked for the night. Water turns itself on and off in sinks. Pictures fall off walls when nobody is near them. There are cold spots you happen upon as you walk around the building.There is the unsettled spirit of Bill Stockwell who carries on eternally in the old guardhouse. He was being held prisoner in one of the basement cells in 1885 for a crime he adamantly insisted he didn't commit. He became very sick and the post's doctor prescribed treatment, but the bottle of medicine he was mistakenly given contained strychnine. His final words were to curse his accusers and insist they had not heard the last of Bill Stockwell. To this day, the sounds of someone sick and groaning are often heard in the guardhouse, chains rattle, and cold spots are felt.

There are other buildings on the grounds; buildings locked up tight so nobody can enter them due to their unsafe floors. There is still furniture in some of the rooms and the guides say the furniture is often moved around, but the locks remain undisturbed and there are no footprints in the dust on the floors. There is the story of the flickering light sometimes seen floating around the grounds. It appears to be flames moving from one location to another that quickly disappear whenever someone brave enough tries to approach. Some think it is the ghost of poor Hans Seifert, a prisoner of war who accidentally set himself ablaze while trying to light a natural gas stove just the night before he was to be released and sent back home after the war. He died trying to run away from the inferno that engulfed him. And then there is the documented story of the post's minister's funeral. His horse-drawn hearse was carrying his body to the cemetery when a bolt of lightning struck it, killing one of the 4 horses pulling it. Another horse was brought up and hitched to the hearse, but before arriving at the cemetery, another bolt of lightning struck the hearse, killing another horse and causing the hearse itself to begin smoldering. Men in the procession, as quickly as they could, hand-carried the coffin and the body of the minister the rest of the way to the cemetery,  threw him into the hole and ran back to the safety of their barracks, quickly passing right by the still smoldering hearse with the dead horse laying beside it.

We didn't see or hear any ghosts and we made it through without incident. I was hoping to maybe feel a ghostly tapping on my shoulder, but Youngest-daughter was fine with our lack of a paranormal experience. Maybe we would have better luck at our next stop, Hydro, and the apparition that appears to be an elderly humped back man doomed to walk the Mother Road forever.

Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state: