Route 66 Day Eight

June 19, 2009

Springfield – Tulsa

Went down for breakfast at 9.30, had a few bagels with cream cheese along with lots of orange juice and a bowl of rice krispies.

The first stop today was the old town square of Springfield where in 1865 Wild Bill Hickok shot Davis Tutt over an argument over a gambling debt. I searched the square hoping to see something commemorating the incident but could see nothing. I don’t normally seek out locations of murder but this gunfight holds a place in the history of the Old West as it was one of the first documented shootouts of the time and much of the nostalgia of Western gunfights are based on this event.

Next stop was the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield it was the scene of the first major American Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River fought on August 10, 1861. Major features include a 5-mile automobile tour loop, the restored 1852 Ray House, and “Bloody Hill,” the scene of the major battle.

We spent a couple of hours here following the road tour and stopping at all the sites along with visiting the museum and visitors centre.

After we left the Battlefield it was not long before we left Missouri and entered Kansas. The Kansas stretch of Route 66 is only a few miles long but we did pass over a great old fashioned bridge.

We then entered Oklahoma, one of the stops here was the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, although I can’t say I am familiar with his work (he was an entertainer from the 1930’s) he does give his name to Route 66 as it is often referred to as the Will Rogers Highway so we had to stop there for a few minutes to look around.

On approaching Tulsa it was time to stop for the night so we ended up at a Holiday Inn Express which was just opposite a Hard Rock Casino so after we checked in we went for a quick look around, got some Mexican food from Taco Bueno and went to bed.

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