America Family Travel Oklahoma Route 66 Texas Travels

Route 66: Day 2 – Blue Whale of Catoosa, Cadillac Ranch

Goal: Albuquerque, NM
Day two of our road trip started with a little bit of a back-track. We arrived at our destination (Tulsa, OK) a bit too late last night to visit the Blue Whale of Catoosa, so we asked the children if they wanted to travel back 15 minutes to explore it. The Blue Whale was one of the sites we researched ahead of time to prepare for our trip. Both the children decided that it would be important for them to see the Blue Whale in the daytime, as this was part of their original plan. So backtrack we did. Though no longer a site for water fun, the Blue Whale has been lovingly restored. Make sure to leave a donation so future visitors can enjoy this simple attraction that, in person, has the power to transport you on a brief journey back in time.

Route 66 Blue Whale Catoosa
Blue Whale of Catoosa, Catoosa, OK

We also stopped by the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler, OK. The Interpretive Center had many nice video exhibits that helped the kids understand a little more about Route 66 and the history associated with it. And it had a nice little gift shop. Definitely worth the stop. Also, Jerry McClanahan who wrote the Route 66: EZ66 GUIDE For Travelers, the book that we relied on so heavily throughout our entire trip, has a gallery in Chandler. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying so much attention to the book and didn’t realize that we missed it until we were on our way out of town.

We continued on our way through Oklahoma, making sure we didn’t miss what Jerry McClanahan, in his EZ Guide, calls “the western end of one of the BEST drives on all of ’66: the 1930’s route from EL RENO to HYDRO.” We cruised this portion of the trip while listening to one of the best versions of “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” I’ve heard, sung by Natalie Cole and Diana Krall.

Our journey took us onward to Amarillo, Texas, where we stopped at Cadillac Ranch to add our mark to this odd piece of public art. Against my better judgment, I allowed the children to pick up one of the random cans of spray paint that had been strewn about (or caringly shared – to put a positive spin on this environmental irresponsibility) and have fun adding a little color to the layers and layers of paint that are sprayed upon these old caddies.

Learning how to spray paint. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX


Caddy Ranch 2016, Amarillo, TX
What happens if you stay still too long at Cadillac Ranch…. you get covered in spray paint! Amarillo, TX

At the end of another long day of driving, we pulled into our motel in Albuquerque, NM long after dark.

Day 2 Goal: Accomplished

Janette DeFelice, MD, MA is a writer currently focusing on how the changing environment affects our health. Her essay collection Resistance Essays from the Heartland and her new novel Delia Rising: A Ballet in Three Acts are both available now. She has also published at Be The Change Mom, ChicagoNow, and She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Chicago Medical School and a Master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where her major essay was Hegel and Ibsen: The Evolution of Consciousness in Ibsen’s Prose Play Cycle. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University. A former professional dancer, former adjunct Humanities professor, and former lecturer in Medical Clinical Skills, as well as a mom of 9-year-old twins, she currently finds herself at a career/life crossroads at which she is trying to figure out how to use all aspects of herself (her art, her medical and scientific knowledge, her philosophical explorations, her interest in popular culture as a teaching tool, and her unique perspective) for the good of humanity.

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