Afton & White Oak, Oklahoma


After experiencing the old one-lane sections of Route 66, the next signs of civilization appear at tiny Afton, Oklahoma.  It can go by fast, but if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss a couple of old-road landmarks.

Afton’s first attraction is the old sign for the Rest Haven Motel.  The sign is in pretty bad shape, and the motel itself is in even worse condition, if you can believe it.

Old Route 66 is the main street through Afton, following current-day US 60 and 69.

Just one block further you’ll find the beautifully restored Afton Station, a former D-X gas station that now serves as a welcome station for travelers.  In an attached building (that used to be the station’s garage bays), you’ll find an impressive collection of Packard cars.  The welcome center and Packard Museum are more of a hobby than a business to the owners, so they might be there when you are, and they might not.  During my visit, they weren’t there, but I could still see the collection of cars through the windows.

Across the street from Afton Station, there are a few stores, including a grocery store which provided me with some liquid refreshment for the rest of the day’s drive.

Beyond Afton (assuming you’re headed westbound) Route 66 follows US 60 and 69 for a while, but eventually both modern-day routes turn off.  Old US 66 continues as OK Rte. 66, staying out of sight of the freeway until you start to close in on the outskirts of Tulsa.

You might want to detour briefly from the Mother Road onto the Will Rogers Turnpike (Interstate 44) near Vinita, in order to see what may or may not be the World’s Largest McDonald’s.  The giant structure straddles the highway, giving visitors a great McView of the McTurnpike. (Here’s some info.) If you stay on Route 66, you will not see this attraction, so don’t forget about it (like I did!).  Accessing the restaurant does not require you drive on I-44, though — you can reach the restaurant via 7th street out of Vinita.

White Oak, Oklahoma

As you zip through northeastern Oklahoma on Old Route 66, you’ll pass through White Oak, and you won’t stop.  Aside from this old factory, or mill, or whatever it is, I couldn’t find any reason to hang out.  So, after a couple of clicks of the camera, I was driving again.


Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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