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.”


Between Vinita and Claremore, old Route 66 survives in regular use as the “free road” alternative to the I-44 Turnpike, alternating between two-lane and divided four-lane highway.

The most interesting wide spot along this stretch of hallowed road is Foyil, where in the 1940s and 1950s retired fiddle-maker and folk artist Ed Galloway sculpted an outdoor garden of giant totem poles—the tallest is over 90 feet—and other Native American-inspired objects out of concrete.

After fading and weathering for many years, the poles, four miles east of town via Hwy-28A, were restored in 1993-1994 as Totem Pole Park (918/342-1169 and 918/342-9149, daily dawn-dusk, free). It’s now a fascinating place to stop for a picnic or to simply admire the effort that went into these “Watts Towers of the Plains.”

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park