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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

OMG OMG I touched the Blarney Stone

Good beautiful afternoon. We are now another 170 miles west stopping for the night in Shamrock, TX. Got on the road at 9:30 but stopped right away for diesel $3.68 a gallon and breakfast at a Huddles House – not really impressed with their food. Think they are only in Oklahoma at the Flying Js. We are using our Flying J RV Plus card and get 6 cents per gallon off. Also a discount at the restaurants.
Before I forget – here is a picture from the inside of the stained glass bird on our door’s window. And yes it does make it hard for the driver to see to the right when he wants to make a left turn. So my job is to say Clear.
But back to the trip. With all the wind – blows the Alfa around like a sail boat – it took quite a while before we got past this guy. He was weaving all over the road too.
Then there was more construction – a traffic jam for a while.
Finally leaving Oklahoma and entering Texas
Only had about 25 miles left until Shamrock to stay at the 40 West RV Park. We’ve stayed here a couple of times before. Good stop between Amarillo and Oklahoma City. Long, level gravel pull throughs with 50amp, water and sewer. No cable or WiFi though. But our satellite and MiFi are working great.
Shamrock was officially named in 1903 by the Rock Island Railroad. A post office had been established in 1890 on land owned by George Nichols and Irish sheep rancher. He selected the name in honor of his homeland. 
To get to the RV park we had to drive a ways on the Mother Road – old Route 66. Sure is narrow glad we didn’t meet anyone.
After getting settled in Bill unhooked the Jeep and we went into town to see the many – surprisingly – sights. This is an old building right on the main corner of town. As the sign says it was a gas station and diner and a really neat looking building.
The Tower or The U-Drop In is one of Route 66’s most photographed landmarks. It stands where I-40 and U.S. Highway 83 intersect. It is the only crossing of two major border to border highways in the US. If you’ve seen Disney’s Cars and Cars II you’ll remember the building. It cost $23,000 to build and was called "the swankiest of swank eating places."
It is pink and a strange color of green glazed tiles. Willie parked under the portico.
The diner side.  
It is really really green.
Another shot of Willie by the gas tanks.
Looking inside the diner.
There are booths along the east wall. Here is one of the tables – the color is worn off the top.
One of the town’s murals. Lots of detail in this. By double clicking on the picture you can enlarge it. 
For any old car buffs this town would be heaven. Driving around we saw lots and lots of OLD trucks and cars sitting in fields. Check out the Edsels.
And this Studebaker parked by a couple of trucks.
One of the mid 1900 motels. Murals of old cars painted around it. There was also a Blarney Inn. 
Another building with Murals.  The front
And the side.
And again another mural this one runs all around all three sides of a parking lot. One side is Radio Shack.
As we were driving around town – through the older downtown section saw lots of neat old buildings. Only posting one picture though. The other 50 I’ll just keep for myself!
We were looking for this The Water Tower.

According to the literature we picked up it is the tallest water tower in Texas. There is a fact you can surprise your friends with. Until 1912 water was gathered at two wells and hauled to the town in barrels by wagons. Specifications called for the height to be 140 feet from foundation to bottom of the tank. It cost $6,560 to build. Height to the top is 176 feet. It was built to withstand the panhandle winds and the weight of the water.
One of the original water troughs for livestock.
A big mural in the water tower plaza.
After checking out the tower we started to hunt for the Blarney Stone! Yep! Really! After all the town is named Shamrock.
Found this old gas station – part of the West Museum complex now.
Came across this sign at a school while driving around. Wow.
And TA DUM we found the Blarney Stone – I just touched it – didn’t look appetizing to kiss it.
A quote from the town's web site. 
" A fragment of the original Blarney Stone is immured within a concrete monument in Shamrock's Elmore Park. This genuine chunk from the ruins of Blarney Castle was accidentally knocked off of the original Stone -- at least according to the Shamrock official who brought it here in 1959. The chunk's arrival was so important that Shamrock's mayor called out the Texas Highway Patrol and the Texas National Guard, who reportedly stationed a sub-machine gunner atop the drug store as the Stone was wheeled into town.
The landmark is virtually unchanged today -- a theft-proof, pickup-truck-crash-proof cylinder, regularly painted solid green, standing on an otherwise empty street corner."
And so ended our tour of Shamrock – well after a stop at an Irish themed McDonalds for linner/dunch….whatever.

I’m glad that this time we looked around some. 

1 comment:

  1. Carol, this was such a neat post. I live in Texas and had no idea this was there. My grandson will be so surprised when I show him your post with the Cars movie buildings in it.