Sayre, Oklahoma

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As you drive in to Sayre, the Western Motel still displays a nice old neon sign.  The motel is still in business, and appears to be decent from the outside.  I can’t find any reviews online, though.

Westbound Travelers: Route 66 follows the modern-day I-40 Business Loop through town, although fragments of an earlier alignment still exist, one block west of 4th Street, south of Main Street.  Either way, you’ll rejoin the frontage road on the south (west) side of town.

Another bold sign on the way into town shows signs of former neon glory, now it’s only painted brightly.

The one landmark you simply can’t miss in Sayre is the Beckham County Courthouse.  This stately building cost $69,000 when it was built, back in 1911.  The courthouse became famous (outside of Beckham County) in 1939, in Hollywood’s version of Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes Of Wrath.

There’s also a sharply-dressed bison in front of the courthouse.  The statue is titled “Spirit of the West”, and was added to the courthouse grounds in 2007.

Sayre also has a gorgeous old grain elevator by the railroad tracks downtown.  Between the orange rust and the painted ghost signs, this would be a perfect picture–if not for one darned ugly telephone pole that stands right in the way of everything.  Even if you frame up your shot to avoid the pole, you can’t get rid of the shadow it casts, right into the middle of one of those ghost signs.

The Sayre grain elevator is also slightly famous.  It makes an appearance in the Route 66 section of one of my favorite travel books, Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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