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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Freedom Tour -- Day Five

When I was leaving Amarillo yesterday on my way to Oklahoma City, I had to stop and check out this gigantic cowboy boot. It's in the parking lot in front of the Big Texan Steak Ranch. It's really, really huge and another interesting roadside attraction along Route 66.

I stopped for gas before I left town. Amarillo beat Albuquerque's gas price from the day before (Amarillo at $1.989 vs. Albuquerque at $2.019). This keeps getting better and better!

Many of you saw the selfie I took at the Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art installation on the old Route 66 outside of Amarillo. I had heard and seen so much about it that I had to seek it out.

The Cadillac Ranch is actually far away from the road. See the caddies far in the distance in the photo below? It's quite a hike to get there. My medical team will be so happy that I walked that far and back!

The Leaning Tower of Groom sits on Texas land that has been owned by the Britten family for decades. When Interstate 40 was constructed in 1957, Mr. Britten had this water tower built purposely at an angle to attract motorists from the 40 over to his truck stop and restaurant on Route 66. It worked, and his business thrived for many years. Unfortunately it burned down some time ago and only the tower remains.

In tiny McLean, Texas, I stopped at the Devil's Rope Museum on the old Route 66. I have to say this was one of the most fascinating stops so far on my Freedom Tour.

Devil's rope refers to barbed wire, which helped define the Old West in terms of range/property rights. Originally, cattle ranchers planted hedges and built wooden fences to keep livestock on their land and interlopers out, but cattle and uninvited "guests" easily crossed range boundaries despite these barriers. So when the first patent for barbed wire was issued in 1867, it changed everything.

Here's the outside of the museum:

Those two big balls you see in front are actually huge balls of barbed wire.

Many cattle ranchers had their own distinctive patterns for barbed wire, making it known whose land it was.

Here are some of the tools of the trade of a typical ranch hand:

If you have a particularly thick head, the Devil's Rope Museum has the perfect hat for you!

I finally made it to suburban Oklahoma City (Edmond) where my cousin Cabell Craig and his wife Kelly live. We had a great time chatting at their lovely home and then they took me on a mini tour of downtown Oklahoma City by night.

We visited the tallest building in OKC, which is owned by Devon Energy, Cab's employer, He is a petroleum engineer and works near the very top of this remarkable building,

The sunset view from Cab's office:

Then we went to dinner at Cattlemen's Steakhouse in the historic Stockyard District

Cab, Kelly and Sugar say, "See you next time!"

My final destination today will be Little Rock, Arkansas. Stay tuned tomorrow for my blog post about today's adventure.

I'm loving my Freedom Tour!


  1. Did the barbed wire museum make mention of my hometown, DeKalb, Illinois? One of the patent owners lived there and got rich. His home is now a museum, and there's also a barbed wire museum. High school teams are the DeKalb Barbs.

  2. It did, Petrea, and there is a fine tribute to Mr. Glidden.

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