It is a bright sunny morning as we have a quick breakfast in Tucumcari, New Mexico before heading further east toward our destination, Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was going to be one of the longer days of driving. As we neared Amarillo, Texas, we could see a build up of clouds ahead of us. Was this going to be the start of a weather build up that would spoil our eclipse viewing in three days?
We are now three days into our adventure to view the Total Solar Eclipse and I’m still feeling fine. Two year earlier we went to the Netherlands and to see the first two stages of the 2015 Tour de France. Our son and his family would be with us and my wife’s sister and her family was going to join us also. We arrived after the 11-hour flight and drove to the old farmhouse my son had rented. We got there just about dinnertime and our son and his two daughters were there to meet us. Their mom would be arriving in a couple of days. Here sister’s family would be arriving in a couple of days.
The next few day were very busy sight seeing and exploring our surroundings. Wouldn’t you know it, the Netherlands was having a heat wave. If the temperatures are in the mid 80’s F, that’s warm for the Netherlands. We were stay just south of Utrecht, and temperature for the start of the tour was 100˚ F. As we waited for the 2nd stage of the race to come through Montfoort, we had a mice rain shower, even as the temperature worked its way to 100˚ F.
After six days of being very active, it had definitely had taken it’s toll on me. I should have known to slow down a little because the MS kind of rose up and told me to rest. After of taking an easy day, thing began to feel better. Now I was wondering what might happen on this trip. The temperatures were great so and I was making sure I wasn’t going to push myself to hard. I had also planned an easy day for the 5th day as we would be awaiting the eclipse the following day.
After Amarillo, the clouds began to look like they might be building. It was a beautiful sky as we drove that morning.
We exited of I-40 in Shamrock, TX. I knew that there was an old filling station in Shamrock. Driving down the I-40 Business Route through town, I found and old arrow sign for the K&K RV Park, for my collection.
Next we came upon the old Conoco Service Station and along with it the U-Drop Café. It was getting closer to lunch, but the cafe wasn’t open. It is a well-restored complex. To bad we couldn’t have had lunch there. You can see that there was getting to be more clouds in the sky. A constant discussion of would or wouldn’t we get to see the eclipse kept us entertained.
Entering Oklahoma, we stopped at a Welcome Center for the state. It was time for a rest stop and it would allow us to check out the center. It was a very good decision to visit the center. We had a long talk with the personnel. After informing them that I’m a photographer and working on a few projects, they had many suggestions and tip where there would be subjects for me. I only wish we would have more time in Oklahoma to explore some of thee tips. We would have time to stop at a few. They also had old-fashioned road maps to give us. All you old timers know what they are, but for you youngsters, they are what we used before we turn-by-turn instructions on our phones. But, they do provide you with a way to find somewhere to go when you have no set location. Nothing is better than spreading out a map on the hood of a car and scanning the map to find an interesting destination that you didn’t know you wanted to go to. I hope we find a few more welcoming centers in other states.
When we got to Elk City, OK, we were looking for the large Route 66 road sign the welcome center had informed us about. Well, it definitely was a large sign. Right next to the location of the Route 66 sign, we also found a large Kachina Doll and an old sign with a great arrow.
Once we got to Tulsa, we had to find the Golden Driller: Titanic Oil Man. We decide that we stop by the bank on the way to the driller to pickup some cash. We looked up the location of the nearest branch on the to the driller using the banks phone app. We couldn’t understand why it said that the branch was closed since it was on 4 PM. When we arrived at the location, we understood why it said closed. The bank and a few other businesses where closed. It then hit us, this is where the tornado from a couple of weeks had touched down.
We hit the next branch on the way to the driller and got our cash. When we turned into the parking lot at the fair grounds where the driller is located, it was obvious that he definitely a Giant. He stands 76 feet tall and with oil derrick next to him, he is certainly an imposing figure
Tomorrow would be our last day traveling to Jefferson Coty, MO. We would be at our location for the eclipse. We would have a rest day as we got ready for the eclipse. But looking at the photo driller, you can see that the sky is clear. Maybe luck will be with us.