Family Reunion Road Trip

The Courtright Family Reunion was this past weekend. I am a Courtright on my biological mother’s maternal side. Mrs. Okierover normally attends this yearly event with me. This year a church carnival demanded her time. So traveling solo gave me an opportunity to drive the Big White Bus to Stillwater, Oklahoma and as you can imagine, I took the “back roads”.

I’ve had recent trouble with the Range Rover’s normally trouble-free 4.2 motor. She doesn’t want to idle correctly. That normally means the air idler valve is dirty. Saturday afternoon I went about cleaning it. It was indeed filthy. I was kinda happy about that. If this maintenance fixed my problem I’d be even happier because it meant I diagnosed and repaired the problem.

While I was at it, I cleaned out my flame trap. Apparently you can Australian Land Rover Forum Post. “Templ4r” has Land Rover UK Forum of what this emissions item does for you on Land Rover UK Forums. I started with running some parts cleaner/diesel through her. This was not dislodging the crap as I hoped it would. I did not have a can of brake cleaner but my neighbor Nick had a can of carburetor cleaner. I used the entire can to clean it out. Chunks of nastiness came out. I reassembled it and hoped for the best.

She seemed to idle well in the driveway. Good enough for me/close enough for government work/redneck repair complete.

Sunday morning I took off. My plan was to drive I-35 to the “Mother Road”, Interstate 66 to interstate 177 to Oklahoma highway 51. This route has some fun names of roads and creeks you will pass along the way.

You will pass Triple X road, sometimes Triple XXX road. You will pass Wild Horse Creek. This is one of the three Wild Horse creeks in Oklahoma I am aware of. You will also cross over Bell Cow Creek. Yes, Bell Cow, not Cow Bell. 

There is lots to see on the back roads, especially in Oklahoma. As you have read, I try to always take the path less traveled. These are well traveled highways in Oklahoma. This was a Sunday which meant I would have most of these roads to myself.

As I had a timetable to abide by on the way up I didn’t stop for pictures. There would be ample time on the return trip. I had a good time with my family and head south.

I picked up highway 177 in the town of Perkins, Oklahoma. Its a nice town and home to the cemetery where the Gates and Courtrights bury their family.

I love the architecture in these turn of the 20th century towns.

I can guarantee you if I lived in one of these towns and owned one of these buildings, I would renovate and live on the second floor.

Epic small town living.

As a lover of most things automotive you must stop at the 4 Corners. Oklahoma highway 177 and Oklahoma highway 105. Womack Trading Company has some interesting things parked in their lot. A pile of Jaguars, some 1940s and 50s lead sleds, at least one Volkwagon Westfalia, and this…ummm Stutebird? Studebaker?

It has the classic front but the side panels were nothing I’ve ever seen.

They had an early motocycle with an odd trailer attached on the porch.

I would love to hear the stories about these autos.

After you have finished driving through the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma you will finally intersect back with Route 66. This road is legendary. There have been songs written about it. There are well over a hundred (nearer 200 than 100) listed on this Route 66 blog entry. There have been so many movies directly featuring or set along it it might be impossible to count them. Jim Hinkley has a great blog post about it. Even a television show, Route 66.

Along the way you will encounter a former filling station just outside the city of Arcadia. I was nearly eaten alive by a swarm of mosquitoes taking this picture.

I’m surprised there weren’t any mosquitoes on the lens in this photo.

I found another photo in the Round Barn showing the station when it was still in use in the 1940’s.

Lyle Melton and Red Abbott, great names. Yes that is an 8 track with a photo of the filling station on the left.

Just past the historic filling station is Arcadia’s Round Barn. A truly iconic site which was saved from destruction by a dedicated group of volunteers. The reason for it’s round shape? Tornadoes. Ironically it was nearly lost when a tornado hit it in 1972. It was rebuilt after that with help from the Oklahoma Historical Society and many, many dedicated donors.

The city of Arcadia has seen better days. It is close enough to Edmond and OKC that commuting to a job in the “big city” would not be terrible if you chose to live there.

Again, I’d live on the second floor or perhaps the entire building of the bank in downtown Arcadia.

I really liked the window in this old shoppe in Arcadia.

Looking south out of the Round Barn. The humidity made the place seem like a sauna.

West of the Round Barn is Pops. I didn’t stop due to the nearly 100 cars in the parking lot. I was ready to be home by this point in the trip. Watching the storm clouds as I turned south on I-35 told me I needed to get home before it decided to drown us again.

It was a good trip. If you aren’t in a hurry you can see a great many things you might miss on the Interstate System in America. We are blessed by many highways in Oklahoma with a lot of “culture” as you drive them. Stop and talk to the locals, you’ll be glad you did.

The remnants of Hurricane Bill are traversing the state so I must go out and get the waders on the Big White Bus for the drive to work tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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