Oklahoma City was the halfway point on our Route 66 adventure through Oklahoma, although we didn’t stop there. We have spent a lot of time in Oklahoma City over the years and decided to skip it for the sake of saving time. Though for anyone who has not visited Oklahoma’s capital, we highly recommend spending a few days checking out everything this wonderful destination has to offer.
Trivia: The world’s first parking meter was installed in downtown Oklahoma City in 1935. Additionally, shopping carts, bread twist ties, and aerosol cans were all invented in Oklahoma.
Now, back to the route…
Inside the city limits of Edmond, Oklahoma lies the one square mile town of Arcadia. The tiny town is home to two favorite Route 66 stops: Arcadia Round Barn and Pops.
Arcadia Round Barn
The unique round barn was built in 1898 by William Odor. The reason he went to the trouble to build a round barn: he thought if it was hit by a tornado, the tornado would go around it instead of through it. By the 1970s the structure had almost collapsed, but volunteers in and around Arcadia came together to restore the old barn. Restoration efforts were completed in 1992 and the round barn has been a beloved Route 66 landmark ever since. Admission to the barn, which also features a gift shop, is free.
Pops is a convenience store, restaurant, and gas station located just around a curve from the round barn. Its claims to fame are its thousands of bottles of soda pop in hundreds of varieties and its landmark pop bottle sign.
Having only been open since 2007, Pops isn’t one of the vintage Route 66 stops, but it has become a very popular one. While there, we opted for a grape soda and a root beer. We don’t usually drink sugary sodas, but when in Rome… Would you try a spaghetti or blue cheese dressing soda?
One of the Route 66 nicknames is the Will Rogers Highway. Oklahomans are passionate about the label because Will Rogers was, and probably still is, their favorite native son. Will Rogers was born a citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory (about half of Oklahoma before it became a state) in 1879 to parents of mixed heritages. In his lifetime, Rogers wore many hats: cowboy and rodeo star, humorist, world traveler, and actor. He even took a brief turn as Mayor of Hollywood, California. Rogers was best known for his acting career which found him first in vaudeville shows then in Hollywood where he appeared in seventy-one movies. He also wrote a humorous political column that was syndicated in over 4,000 newspapers. Rogers, along with fellow Oklahoman and aviator Wylie Post, died in 1935 when Post’s plane crashed in Alaska Territory.
As we made our way along Route 66 in Oklahoma, we found impressive granite “Will Rogers Highway” wayside markers at many of the landmarks. The one above outlines the history of Lucille’s Filling Station near Hydro, Oklahoma.
Our only stop in Clinton was at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum which should not be confused with the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.
We found this museum to be exceptional as it truly does tell the story of the route through Oklahoma. Carefully curated displays take visitors through the decades of the Route 66 era complete with vintage vehicles, multimedia presentations, and plenty of other sights and sounds. Click on any image below for full views.
We spent about an hour and a half here, though we could have stayed longer. The Oklahoma Historical Society has done an outstanding job with this museum, and we believe it is a stop that any traveler would enjoy.
Traveling on, we skipped Elk City and Sayer because we had visited those cities on a previous trip.
Continuing on the route, we arrived in Erick just after noon on a Saturday. Erick is a neat little town surrounded by ranch land and farms. Sadly, its main street and downtown appeared to be completely deserted when we were there. Erick is the hometown of singer-songwriter, Roger Miller, of “King of the Road” fame. The town once had a museum dedicated to Miller, but it is now closed. We found the mural below featuring Miller on an empty building that may have once been the museum.
Erick’s other claim to fame is that it is also the hometown of singer and actor, Sheb Wooley. Wooley’s hit song “The Purple People Eater” hit number one on the Billboard pop charts in 1958. He also co-starred as Pete Nolan on the TV series “Rawhide”, among other acting roles. We didn’t find a mural of Wooley in Erick, however, we did find the Sandhills Curiosity Shop, another source of inspiration for Disney Pixar’s movie “Cars”.
Trivia: Sheb Wooley recorded the Wilhelm Scream sound effect that has been used in hundreds of movies and TV shows since 1951 and is still being used today. Check it out here: Wilhelm Scream.
Route 66 between Sayre and Erick was a divided highway and one of the nicest parts of the Mother Road that we experienced on our trip. The four-lane road continued to Texola, Oklahoma (a ghost town) and went back to two lanes just past the Texas border.
Thanks so much for cruising Oklahoma’s Route 66 with us! One more post covering our Mother Road stops in the eastern half of Texas is coming soon.
If you love American road trips as much as we do, check out these other cool places:
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Antietam National Battlefield
Abilene, Texas Road Trip: Things to Do
Safe travels, y’all. We’ll see you on the road!
Mike & Kellye
As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.
40 thoughts on “Route 66 – The Adventure Continues”
Pops’ 66-foot bottle really caught my eye, and I think for some odd reason I’d actually have to try both the spaghetti and blue cheese dressing sodas there. The info on the Wilhelm Scream was really interesting since I am an avid movie-goer, and really didn’t know it had been used in so many movies and shows. Enjoyed the great tour on this stretch of Route 66.
Thank you, Bruce! If you ever do try those sodas, we would love a full report. Somehow, I bet they’re not really those flavors. Those weren’t the only weird ones we saw.
What fun! I hadn’t thought about Bucky Fuller for years, but your post sent me hunting for more of his history. His sleeping habits were as fascinating as other aspects of his life.
I have been to those parts of Oklahoma and now I want to go. What a cool post. Thank you so much!
Oops, that was supposed to say I haven’t been to those parts…
Route 66 clearly has much to offer for authentic Americana aficionados. I have vague memories of a family road trip over this road at age 5. Interesting that the same scream has been used in movies for decades.
Thank you, John. We were surprised to find out about the Wilhelm Scream too. We’ve added that to our bucket of useless information in case we ever play Trivial Pursuit again.
How fascinating to learn about all the inventions that started life in Oklahoma such as the parking meter, shopping trolleys etc. We just take them for granted and never give it a thought of where they came from so thanks for that. The Pop Soda centre with that huge bottle outside looked fun. I’m not a fizzy drink lover apart from an occasional ginger ale but would have been tempted to try the blue cheese dressing soda as it’s one of my favourite dressings! Hope you have a good weekend.
Thank you, Marion! Isn’t it interesting to find out where something so mundane came from?
I’m really enjoying following you along Rte 66. I can’t say that I fancy the Blue Cheese soda (I love blue cheese but …). however everything else looks great, just as I imagine it to be 😀
Thanks, Sarah. It was fun to see everything on the Route. I have one more Mother Road post and then we will go somewhere else.
An amazing post Kellye. It just goes to show you every place (and every person) has a story. We just have to stop long enough to listen. That museum looks well worth the stop and I am with you on the soda flavours. The phrase “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” comes to mind. Happy Saturday. Allan
What an interesting post about an iconic part of the United States. I learned so much here! I might try spaghetti soda but I think I would have to pass on blue cheese dressing.
No blue cheese for me, Donna. Thanks so much for reading our post and for your nice comment.
Thank you, Allan. It was a fun trip and fun to relive it while writing the post. Happy Saturday to you too!
What an unusual building the Gold Dome is, like a large gold golf ball. Like others I was surprised and impressed to read of all the great ideas that were born in Oklahoma. The soda flavours are crazy. If I had to try one I’d go for the spaghetti, as even the smell of Blue Cheese makes me retch. I’m just a little proud that I already knew about Will Rogers and would’ve been able to make that connection in a pub quiz. But I certainly hadn’t heard of Clinton, the museum looks and sounds awesome. What a pity Roger Miller’s museum didn’t stand the test of time, he deserves better. I watched the Wilhelm Scream video, which gave me a few giggles. Wonderful piece Kellye.
Thank you, Leighton! I’m with you on the blue cheese – can’t stand it. As for the Roger Miller Museum, it went by the wayside as did so many of the towns on Route 66.
That round barn was something. I hope it defied the wind. The tall Pop Soda shop looked interesting too.
Thanks, Sandy. I don’t think the round barn would deflect a tornado. I think it has just been lucky not have been hit by one considering it’s in one of the most tornado prone areas of the US.
Nice of them to try something. It brought good luck!🤣
It sure did!
It’s so nice to see different sections of Route 66 which I haven’t seen before. It looks great – and that stat about the parking meter is one piece of useless information I’m strangely delighted to know 🙂 Thanks for sharing your roadtrip with us.
Thank you, Hannah! We love really enjoy collecting information. One of our friends tells Mike he’s a treasure trove of it!
What a fun virtual road trip, Kellye!
Another FUN post and no thank you to spaghetti and blue cheese soda!!!!! My husband has decided to retire early so we will be figuring out where to go first. You are a fantastic reference Kellye and Mike!
Oh, how exciting for you two! I will be so excited to hear about your travels.
Loving these posts, the landmarks on the Route, well known and otherwise, are so fascinating – and varied too, which means endless fun. Some of these stop offs are high scores on the quirkometer…!
Quirkometer, I love that, guys! Yes, there are certainly some quirky things to see. Thank you!!
Thanks for another entertaining Route 66 installment!
Great stops! It’s amazing how they can think of so many flavors of pop. I guess there’s something for everyone 🙂 I have yet to visit Oklahoma.
I love the look of the Round Barn. Glad to hear that the structure has been restored by a group of volunteers. I can see why it’s one of your favourite stops along Route 66.
Great post! I have never been to Oklahoma so I really enjoyed seeing these classic spots along the iconic route 66. I love the look of that round barn and the road side stop with all the signs on it. Interesting to learn about Will Rogers! Great piece all around 🙂
Thank you, Meg!
Love this post! We’ve never had a strong yen to visit Oklahoma, but maybe we need to rethink that. I enjoyed how you captured the quirkiness of some of these places, like the bizarre soda flavorings, the round barn, and the Route 66 Museum. Nice job!
Thanks, guys! There are definitely some quirks on Route 66 – as you know.
The first parking meter ?, well that turned into a global pandemic.
It did, and we absolutely abhor the ones now that require a credit or debit card. What a flippin’ money grab.
Antique signs and murals! Heaven! Its a good thing I don’t drink soda. Spaghetti soda? I am guessing that is tomato flavoured? Not really appealing.
I don’t know what flavor that would be, but I’m not going to try it to find out. Thanks for reading our post, Sharon!