Route 66: Amarillo, Groom, Elk City, El Reno, Olkahoma City
Straight across the Texas panhandle and into Oklahoma, that's how our day was spent. A couple of stops in some almost ghost towns along the way to look at what would have once been in their place. The Indian influences have just about disappeared now, although we still saw a few tourist tepees out by trading posts. We've spied some real-deal rednecks though, the pick of the day being the fellow on a dirt motorbike, wearing denim overalls, cowboy boots, a backwards baseball cap, no helmet AND smoking a cigarette while riding. His multi-tasking skills alone were impressive!
The first stop today was the tiny town of Groom, just outside of Amarillo. They're famed for the giant metal cross erected off the roadside, with biblical scenes depicted in sculptures around the base of the cross.
Onward through a few more towns, many of them so small that there's hardly anything left to see now.
Into Oklahoma and a pit stop at Elk City with a Route 66 museum (with a huge sign, just so you don't miss anything) and some cute little cafés. We spent most of the day looking for a donut roadside shop, but everytime we found one it was closed! Apparently Americans don't eat donuts except for breakfast, so most of the stores are open from 6am til late morning.
The best stop of the day was in El Reno, just a few miles outside of Oklahoma City, and a great little Route 66 town with diners and old shop fronts dotted between a couple of roads. We ate at Sid's Diner, a teeny place that seated maybe 30 people, and with burgers made to order right in front of you. On the recommendation of the very fast talking waitress we ordered a 'Coney' (a handmade hotdog with the house made slaw that they've just started selling, and only 3 people know the recipe of) and a cheeseburger, and split a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. The girl knew what she was talking about! A great stop in!
Continuing on to Oklahoma City, we did some grocery shopping nearby. American supermarkets are equal parts terrifying and amazing. I walk around the aisles completely horrified at some of the things on offer, and at the same time amazed at what is in there. We went to a Wal-Mart with a McDonalds inside the supermarket! And to a Super Target with sugar cereals sold in dog-food sized plastic bags, it's so full on. We caved and bought some snacks we don't have in Australia (like exotic pretzel flavoured m&ms) and put in a bit of effort in the hotel gym to try and compensate a little!