We left Sundermeier RV Park (Blog Post) Friday morning at the end of rush hour. For a Friday, the traffic was subdued east on MO-370 and I-270 south. When we reached I-44 heading west toward Oklahoma traffic intensity picked up. High volumes of both truck and car traffic make it a hard drive to Tulsa. Since much of I-44 follows the old Route 66, we had a Route 66 nostalgia moment at the last rest area in Missouri.
We stopped at the Conway Rest Area on Westbound I-44, near Conway Missouri. I walked into the visitor center looking for the restrooms. I did not expect to see a Route 66 themed tourist information center front and center.
On the walk over to the visitor center I saw picnic tables in Route 66 themed shelters. It didn’t click in my head right away.
This rest area is worth a look if you happen to be driving by. Definitely fun and cute.
The KOA we were staying at is east of Tulsa outside Claremore Oklahoma. Claremore, in Rogers County, is where Will Rogers Memorial Museum is located. We drove by the museum just to see where it was but didn’t stop in. This is the sort of museum we would need an afternoon to see. Another place to add to the bucket list.
Our first stop at the KOA was at the office to check in.
I was expecting the KOA to be a regular overnight type of KOA like most other KOA Journeys. It isn’t. An entire row of back-in spots back up to an active horse racing track. The dog park is closed when the horses are racing. Dogs and horses don’t always mix.
In addition to horse racing, the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is within an easy walk from any of the campsites.
In the late afternoon, after we got setup and the horse racing ended, we went to the dog park to give the little pooches time off-leash to run around. Workers were grooming the track.
We got up before sunrise to walk the dogs. We headed toward the casino. We had thought it was open 24 hours. Sure didn’t look like it at 6:00 in the morning. The parking lot was empty.
Around sunrise, trainers were out running horses on the track. Fun to watch.
Next time I come, I want to spend more than one day here. I will want a back in spot next to the track. I plan to spend a day sitting in a comfortable chair taking pictures of horses thundering by, something I’ve always wanted to do. Then I want to spend an hour wasting time and money in the casino. Finally, Will Rogers Memorial Museum beckons. Will Rogers is one of those bigger than life characters that so dominated my parents and grandparents generations. This museum should help provide context to his life and times. And then maybe I’ll better understand the previous two generations.
Some things to know about this park. Our site and others around us were not level front to back. The pull-through sites are incredibly long. Most of the back-in sites along the racetrack are long as well. The facility appears to be in good repair. The men’s washroom has been recently updated and the layout and design is good. However, whoever is responsible for mopping the floors needs to understand that corners are included. There were lots of dirty junk things in the shower and toilet stall corners. People in the office are friendly. Expect noise when the bars close and casino patrons are making good their escape.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!