Hank and Marilyn Coast to Coast 2017 travel blog

Our last post was written on Saturday morning and we drove through the day to arrive in Oklahoma City that night. We wanted to be OKC for Sunday worship. On our last visit to this thriving capitol city we attended a UCC church, The Church of the Open Arms, and we were anxious to worship there again. Open Arms is an inclusive church with a multigenerational congregation. What interested me is the layout of the Sanctuary. No pews, the people sit in chairs set up in a large semi-circle long ways in the room. The Communion table, instead of being at the front of the Sanctuary is part of the semi-circle, the "center" where all eyes can see it. Prayer candles now fill the space at what once was the 'front' of the Sanctuary. During the Prelude, children collect pocket change for a mission project they have chosen. Other than those differences the service followed "regular" steps. Oh, and when the time for the children's message came, Pastor Kayla, with the help of some of the children, laid a quilt on the floor and all the children gathered around. After our time of Worship, we hit the road, again.

Still driving Route 66 we are now retracing our 2013 journey. Revisiting "old" sites and looking for signs of change. And there are changes. Sections of 66 have been repaved, some even widened! An obelisk marking the beginning of "old" 66 has gone missing and a bridge that was located to the side of the interstate has been dismantled and, most likely, sold for scrap. We revisited the Round Barn, which was hosting a Ford Model A car show, and drove by a commemorative marker noting the eastern boundary of the 1889 homestead land rush. We had lunch at The Boundary Restaurant, named for that marker. Hank had a pulled pork sandwich, Marilyn a hot link with chili and cheese. Umm, good. Refreshed we returned to the road.

We drove on paved 66 and dirt 66. There are 3 incarnations of 66 from 3 different decades, so depending on time and willingness you can choose how rugged you want to be.

While driving we saw a 66-foot high LED soda bottle outside Pop's Restaurant which sells 270 different kinds of soda, a giant replica of an antique gas pump, the new motorcycle museum, abandoned bridges, gas stations and motels. We revisited the Blue Whale, a giant plaster whale that sits in the middle of a pond. Slides attached to the whale once allowed children to splash into the water but now no swimming is allowed and the blue of the whale has faded in four years. But the rainbow bridge is as pretty as ever although someone's been using the sign for target practice.

We stopped at George Washington Carver's National Monument 30 minutes before closing so we had no time to walk the trails and explore the birthplace of Dr. Carver. Hank was disappointed because rain prevented us from exploring this place 4 years ago. We may go back on Tuesday (tomorrow) morning.

So now, we are in Carthage, Missouri, sitting in our room at the Boots Motor Inn. It's a restored 66 motel that advertises "a radio in every room". We have the radio and wi-fi but no tv. Hank is watching the baseball scores on the MLB website. He's doing very well. No signs of withdrawal. The sky had been getting darker through the day and at 7:57 pm we have rain. Temp was close to 90 today and should be 30 degrees cooler tomorrow. (Hank checked the temps at our former campsites. They're in the 40s and 30s. Both glad to be at the Boot.) Marilyn may finally need a long sleeve shirt. Hank's been wearing one already.

Well, dear friends, we've finally decided on an ending date for this marvelous adventure. October 20 is the target. Hank wants to be rested for worship that Sunday, and then he needs to head to visit Long Island to see a friend in need and to attend the Nassau/Suffolk Classis meeting. He may be retired but he's still Reformed.

But, we still have eleven days! More later.

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