Route 66: Oklahoma City, Fort Smith, Little Rock
Although there weren't really many Route 66 sights to see on our travels today, we snuck in a few fun buildings in Oklahoma City to start the morning and end our Route 66 travels for the next little while.
The Milk Bottle building has been used for lots of different things since it's creation, and in more recent history was a Vietnamese Sub shop (with $2 banh mi!) but has since closed down again. It's plopped in the middle of an intersection, without even a pathway around it to access it. The roads were quite quiet so we had a good stickybeak anyway, such a small shop had me scratching my head how they fit anything in there!
The Gold Dome is one of my favourite buildings so far (mainly because it's gold, yes), with it's shiny geodesic dome roof and being such a bright spot in downtown OKC. It was used as a bank for a short time, the perfect job for all that gold! Built in 1958, it was the fifth geodesic dome constructed in the world (crazy!) and the first to be used as a bank.
Leaving OKC and passing through Oklahoma and over the border into Arkansas. We stopped at Fort Smith, a 'wild west' city just by the Arkansas river. Amazing brick buildings, pristine green parks, and lots of wildlife - we spied a few squirrels by the trees around the parks which never gets boring. Parking for an hour for 25c, we walked around to admire some buildings.
Driving on to Little Rock, we travelled through a portion of the greater city that has been affected by the recent tornados. Ruined houses, trees, and car wrecks in the middle of the highway, it was quite a sad sight, and made it clear just how unpredictable tornados are, and the damage is totally luck of the draw.
Into Little Rock for a very muggy Saturday afternoon. We visited Little Rock Central High school very briefly, to see the historical site of the Little Rock 9. The school is beautiful (and enormous) but we didn't stay for long as we weren't sure of the safety of the area. Another stop to see the State Capitol Building, a beautiful and imposing building smack bang in the middle of the state of Arkansas. Huge bronze doors (bought in the early 1900's from Tiffany's for $10,000) shine out from the base of the building. Sculptures in the gardens nearby depict the Little Rock Nine, as a tribute to the huge role they played in desegregation.