Just on the state line between Oklahoma and Texas is an abandoned town that was once a thriving mecca of excitement on Route 66. Texola, Oklahoma was deemed as the first and last town before Texas. At one point, the city was so booming that the highway going through town had to be widened into 4 lanes. Now the only travelers on the route are the die-hard Route 66’ers who visit every original stop. We literally parked in the middle of the highway to take pictures and we saw one other car on the road while in this town…. and that car passed the town, then decided they wanted to go back and take pictures, so they literally drove in reverse for a mile and met us at the buildings. It’s a far-cry from the Interstate. That’s for sure. Visiting the town was like stepping back in time. It was obvious that the town used to be praised for its night-life. The largest building in town was the local bar and the whole town is based upon showing the traveler a good time. Even in it’s abandoned state, the town was still pleasing travelers such as myself with remnants of local jokes (such as the speed limit sign shown below) The last remaining buildings in town show signs of a quick exit. Children’s toys litter the floor, record players remain against the wall, and coffee pots are still on the shelf. Although it was obvious that this mass exodus took place after the dust bowl, it reminded me of what I had read in the Grapes of Wrath…. that the family just left behind everything they couldn’t fit into the car. Then, it reminded me that I literally did the same thing. I left behind everything that I couldn’t ship media mail or fit into the back of my tiny VW Beetle. Of course, my situation was nowhere near as dire as those who traveled Route 66 back then. As you arrive at the Texas state line which is surrounded by two rusty folding chairs…. as if passers-by used to stop and take a load off by hanging out at the border, a billboard on the side of the town bar states the town’s motto which is the sole reminder the bustling town that has long since been forgotten.
And, it’s true. There really is no other place like this place. No place in the world…. even now.