The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 June 2006

Saturday spottings (spirit of 66)

Route 66 Park entrance signThe City says that the new Route 66 Park is "Oklahoma City's newest recreational hot spot", and while it was certainly warm there today, the crowds were conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps they got lost on the way; the park's address — 9901 NW 23rd Street — is fairly simple, but you can't just head west on 23rd until you get to 9901: once you get past the 8600s you're in the middle of Lake Overholser. So you either come down Sara Road and turn back east, or you thread your way around the lake itself. I chose the latter, mainly because it gave me an excuse to cross the old 66 bridge north of the lake, which is now down to a 9-ton vehicle limit.

Route 66 Park observation towerViewed as a work in progress, though, Route 66 Park is seriously spiffy. There's a three-story observation tower, which unfortunately was locked when I got there; it's named for Cyrus Avery, acknowledged today as the Father of Route 66. On the plaza west of the tower is a "stamped map" — call it a horizontal mural — which depicts the path of the Mother Road from Chicago to the Pacific; Oklahoma, geographically and stylistically, is right in the middle. The park also boasts what the city says is its largest playground, which wasn't getting any noticeable use today, though cyclists were out and about all around. No fishing in the ponds yet: they have yet to be fully stocked. (There was plenty of fishing going on around the lake, but a marked absence of boaters; Overholser, in this regard, is the anti-Hefner.)

Elsewhere, I saw something I'd never seen before: a garage sale in Nichols Hills. It looked pretty much like any other garage sale, except that it seemed to be much, much bigger. And there was one sort-of-ingenious aspect to it: for signage, they'd hijacked a couple of political signs, stapling their sale notice right over the candidate's name. I think this qualifies as a mixed blessing.

Posted at 8:00 PM to City Scene


I didn't know this park was out there. I'll have to go check it out sometime. One of my plans is to drive the old Route 66 some time, at least what there is left of it.

Posted by: anomdragon at 12:07 AM on 4 June 2006

Nicely enough, there's more of it in Oklahoma than just about anywhere else.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:45 AM on 4 June 2006

Actually, my wife took my son out there Friday and they really enjoyed it.

Posted by: Bobbert at 2:34 AM on 4 June 2006

You can see the park/observation tower from Kilpatrick Turnpike. I've been wondering what park it is?

Posted by: Tina at 1:06 PM on 4 June 2006

GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66

Posted by: spurwing plover at 8:57 PM on 6 June 2006