Route 66

If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, mom-and-pop motels in the middle of nowhere, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”

Erick

In Jack D. Rittenhouse’s original A Guide Book to Highway 66, published in 1946 and now widely available in reprinted versions, he described Erick (pop. 1,052) as “the first town you encounter, going west, which has any of the true western look, with its wide, sun-baked street, frequent horsemen, occasional sidewalk awnings, and similar touches.” His description still rings true today (apart from the horses, which have been replaced by pickup trucks). Along with main streets named for hometown musical heroes Sheb “Flying Purple People Eater” Wooley and Roger “King of the Road” Miller, Erick has another unique draw: All the buildings at the main intersection, and the only stoplight in town, have chamfered corners, filed off to give a sense of consistency and improve the view. One of the original buildings is gone, so it’s not perfect, but another has been resuscitated to house the Roger Miller Museum (580/526-3833, closed Mon.-Tues.). Established by the widow of the original “King of the Road,” it shows off many old photos, posters, and personal items.

Erick is a very quiet but welcoming little town, especially if you walk around the corner from the Miller Museum to the Sandhills Curiosity Shop (hours vary, free). Marked by the dozens of old signs hanging outside the old City Meat Market, this old curiosity shop is owned and operated by a husband-and-wife musical duo who call themselves the Mediocre Music Makers and frequently perform for visitors.

A mile south of the I-40 freeway (exit 7), a nice stretch of late-model Route 66 continues west from Erick as a four-lane divided highway, all the way to Texas through the borderline ghost town of Texola.

Roger Miller Museum
Sandhills Curiosity Shop