Category Archives: Route 66

The Blue Whale on Route 66 for Blue Monday

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A few weeks ago I found myself with a few minutes to spare in the Tulsa suburb of Catoosa. So, of course I went to the Blue Whale of Catoosa. Right on Highway 66. A tradition since 1972 when it was built.

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So, you will just have to grin and nod like I do when people talk about how they used to stop here in in the 1940’s, 50′, and 60’s when the old timers (“most of whom are younger than me!”) used to stop here when travelling cross country with their parents. I have yet to mention that it wasn’t built until 1972. And they in turn are supportive my illusions. Live and let live is my motto.

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It is free. I don’t know how, but the place is well maintained, but they don’t really want you swimming there anymore.

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Even the restrooms are sparkling clean. In over 1800 posts I have only posted the inside of a restroom once and talk about the uproar. You’d have thought they had actually found a live Democrate in Oklahoma. So you’ll have to take my word for it.

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They stock the pond with fish. This guy came trotting through, all “excuse me sir” and of course I was all “excuse yourself sir.” Catch and release only.

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I didn’t spend long, but I always love a trip to the Blue Whale. What is your favorite Route 66 attraction?

Blue Monday

I have posted several Blue Whale posts including:

Our World – The Blue Whale of Route 66

Scavenger Hunt Sunday Cooling Off

Weekend Reflections – Blue Whale

And several others.

Our World – The Blue Whale of Route 66

The New Year is almost here. Have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

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Just before Christmas SuperPizzaBoy took a one day road trip. As previously reported we went to see the World’s Tallest Totem Pole. On the way back we stopped at the Blue Whale on Route 66 in the city of Catoosa.

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The Blue Whale was built by Hugh S. Davis, a former Tulsa Zoo employee, starting in late 1960’s and finished in 1972 as a gift to his wife.

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(SuperPizzaBoy Photo)

A welder friend of his welded the pipe framework and Mr. Davis applied the concrete one five gallon bucket at a time.

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He built slides off the whale into the pond and a diving platform off the tail. He opened up the whale and pond up to the public for swimming, picnicking, and fishing. Mr. Davis is gone now and the property is owned by his children.

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(SuperPizzaBoy Photo) – Notice the potbellied, bald headed, old man that looks like he is getting swallowed by the whale? That is SPB’s father.

It is now maintained by the Catoosa Arts and Tourism Society. It is free of charge and they allow catch and release fishing but they don’t really want you swimming there.

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Mr. Davis also built other attractions on the property that are in disrepair and off limits but the remains can be seen from the parking lot.

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This is the Ark that he built, he also had an alligator ranch and a praire dog village. Stuff like this intrigues me.

So if you are ever in the Tulsa area check out the Blue Whale in nearby Catoosa, right on Route 66.

Swimming Hole

Our World

Our World – Road Trip to see Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

Sunday, SuperPizzaBoy and I loaded up and headed up Route 66 northeast from Tulsa to the little town of Foyil, Oklahoma to check out the world’s largest concrete totem pole.

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The totem pole is 90 feet tall and is made of concrete over a metal and sandstone base. He started working on it in 1937 and finished in 1948.

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The exterior has many bas relief native American inspired designs.

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Apparently when asked why he built it he just said that he needed something to do when he retired.

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The base of the tower is a turtle. He fashioned it from a sandstone outcropping that was already in place.

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There is a small room inside that contains more artwork and an informative sign. If you start googling you will see find that there are lots of totem poles taller than ninety feet. So maybe this is the tallest concrete totem pole.

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(SPB photo)

SPB brought his camera. Of course a self portrait was in order.

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(SPB photo)

Hmm, this is also a pic of his, That is the scariest face on the Totem.

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(SPB photo)

SPB also captured images of some Galloway’s other pieces. I love the arrowhead below.

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(SPB photo)

I’m guessing this is a tree trunk.

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The park has a gift store inside the “Fiddle House” that includes a variety of fiddles carved by Mr. Galloway.

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This was my favorite

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The park has a short nature trail which of course we tried.

Galloway died in 1961 and the park fell into disrepair until rescued in the late 1980’s by the Rogers County Historical Society who runs the facility today.

We’ll post the second half of our road trip next week, unless of course we decide to do something else.

National Park Service Article on the Totem Park

Roadside America Link on the Totem Park

TravelOK.Com article on the Totem Park

Our World

Where East Meets West Sculpture by Robert Summers on Route 66 in Tulsa

Where East Meets West is a newly installed sculpture by Robert Summers at Tulsa’s Cyrus Avery Plaza. Cyrus Avery  is considered the father of Route 66 and interstate roads in general. Cyrus Avery Plaza is right on Route 66 right on the Arkansas River just outside of downtown Tulsa.

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The sculpture done at 135% life size depicts a horsedrawn wagon from the oilfields of west Tulsa encountering an autombile driven by Cyrus Avery. It depicts the transition from the old to the new.

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Avery is shown getting out of his car to deal with the situation.

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While his daughter tries to hold onto the terrified family cat without getting clawed to shreds. Of course being the good blogger that I am I neglected to get a picture of Avery’s wife.

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There are numerous details on the piece that show the care that Summers took. This is Avery’s shoe.

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My favorite detail is the dead grasshopper on the grill.

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He did a lot of research also. The oilfield tubing in the back of the wagon has special joints called upset tubing. I don’t think your typical artist would know what that is.

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More detailing on the wagon. Notice the wood grain and the screw and fitting. Very impressive.

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I had never heard of Robert Summers before but it turns out that he has several well known works to his credit. The Dallas Cowboys commissioned him to create the likeness of Tom Landry, pictured above, that is placed just outside Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

So if you driving on Route 66 stop and spend some time at Cyrus Avery Plaza and admire the sculpture installation. 

Our World

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Tulsa Route 66 Neon Signs

Who doesn’t love neon signs? What used to seem cheap and tacky is now cool.

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I’ve loved the Meadow Gold sign here in Tulsa since it was put back up a few years ago. I didn’t realize until last night that I had never seen it lit up at night. I can’t believe it. I’ve been thinking of a good reason to not be  on daylight savings time during the Winter all my life and now I finally found one. Do you happen to have another?

Meadow Gold Sign

This is what it looks like during the day, nice but not the same.

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Right down the road is El Rancho Grande. I’ve never eaten there but if the food is a good as the sign them I’m missing out.

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What a sign! I love that long looping lasso that also forms the “El” part of the name. And the Arrow, just in case you are wondering where the restaurant is the arrow is telling you that it is right next to the sign. I wonder how the margaritas are?

Corrgated Metal Reflection

And a bonus, right where I parked my car while taking pictures of the restaurant sign, an out of luck edgy business using corrugated metal in their storefront. Not as cool as neon, but I love the neon reflections.

Have you seen any good signs lately?
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ABC Wednesday – Lightning McQueen

The letter this week is “Q” and so I am featuring Lightning McQueen from the movie “Cars.”

Lightning McQueen at Rock Cafe

This was taken from the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma right on Highway 66. The boy on the right is son SuperPizzaBoy. I took the pic during a Road Trip last September.

The owner of the cafe is Dawn Welch and she was the inspiration for the character Sally Carrera in the movie.

ABC Wednesday

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