Carthage to Oklahoma (240 miles) 9 hours 'Kenneth we're not in Kansas anymore'

Published: April 8th 2014
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Kerry's 1st entry. I have a day off the driving today so it's a chance to have a little snooze in the back of the car and enjoy the sights out the window. We left boots court motel in Carthage just before 9am after little sleep, the room was a little bit too cold for my liking but then I'm always cold. The motel was lovely very small and authentic 1930's style. We drove down to Kansas state briefly which Katie got very excited about as it's part of some wizard of oz quote. I'll take her word for it! The next part of the drive was via a bridge called rainbow bridge it was a good photo opportunity and then on to the worlds largest McDonald's. I was looking forward to this immensely, not only because it would again be a great place to say I've been, a quick photo and something to eat but Also McDonald's have wifi and I was eager to make a skype call home. Sadly the mcdonalds was clearly shut and part of it appeared to be missing, but thankfully there was another mcdonalds just down the road, crisis over!!!

At this point Kerry fell asleep in the car so that's all we have from her so I'll pick up where she left off. We avoided the usual hour of getting lost trying to find out way onto Route 66 this morning as we had stayed right on it so no excuses this time. When we set off the weather was overcast and cloudy but again soon turned to sunshine and blue skies. The weather is definitely getting warmer as we drive south. And to explain Kerry's wizard of the oz comment she's never heard if the quote 'toto were not in Kansas anymore' which I took delight in ensuring was said in Kansas. I actually think Kansas is my favourite state o far even though we only drove 13 miles in it. I was pleased to see they made an effort!

We drove through Joplin, Cartoosa, Arcadia as well as many other smaller towns. Most of today's drive was on faster roads which was good as we were able to make good time. One thing we've realised is that we really haven't left enough time to do this trip justice. Whilst 240 miles on paper seems about 4 hours its actually about double that just to drive it down the various roads. We are going to have to crank things up a little later on the trip and do some dawn starts as we really want to go hiking in the petrified forest and the painted desert.

However today we saw all the things on our list. There was a giant coke bottle which to be honest we didn't even bother stopping for as it was pretty rubbish! But we did make the effort to drive four miles off the route tthese the worlds largest totem pole. This was quite nice if not a little eccentric as there was no one else around.

Next up in Cartoosa we stopped at the famous blue whale. This was built by hand by a guy in the 70's (I think?!) as a present to his wife. The lake there used to be a swimming lake so there are slides going into the water although swimming is no longer allowed. We got some great photos and used the 'facilities' which were a little strange as there was one big room with two toilets in it (See picture of Kerry in there - there was one but she didn't like it and made me take it off). I went into the gift shop and saw one of the volunteers there and had a friendly chat. She advised Paul McCartney had been there once and asked me to sign the guest book. Not sure what it is about Americans and the Beatles But whenever they hear British people think the Beatles! We chatted for a bit about the visitors they come and how most are from the uk or Australia and that they get busy in the summer months. Kerry then came to find me as her and steph had been waiting in the car. I bought a vintage postcard that shows the whale used as a swimming slide and donated $10 to the upkeep of the whale :-)

We then drove on into what looked to be storm clouds as we headed further into Oklahoma state Then we came across other famous pops. This is a cafe type building where they have over 600 kinds of soda pop for sale. We sat down, ordered some fries a cookie and went to choose our pop from the fridges. They were all organised into flavours. Kerry chose a black cherry one where as I tried to choose some stranger flavour. I decided on chocolate soda and also to a fizzy raspberry to take out. Steph chose a grape soda to drink in and a peach one as take out. I took a sip of mine and it was nice although after a few more sips I couldn't drink anymore as it was quite rich and non 'pop-like' and had to leave half of it. Kerry loved hers nd steph liked hers at first but just managed to finish it.

We got in the car and carried on for the last 30 miles to Oklahoma where it started to rain heavily but managed to get to the motel were staying in about 6pm. We've got a room overlooking the pool but its too cold to swim but the balcony is nice.

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8th April 2014

The blog is very good and we are enjoying it immensely, the photos too are great - it certainly seems a long drive each day but its such a great experience!! keep em coming

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