Near Everton, Missouri there is an old alignment of historic Route 66 that goes west to Kansas, before heading south to Oklahoma. Interstate Highway 44 completely bypasses this old Route 66 alignment and this modern freeway does not even pass through Kansas at all. What this means is the communities and small towns along the old Route 66 pathway were left hung out to dry. As can be imagined, this region was economically devastated and the drive through this historic section of Route 66 is one of the most depressing experiences along the entire length of the Mother Road. The old abandoned businesses and rotting roadside stands are the tell tale signs of severe economic depravity along this old stretch of Route 66, yet there are a few hidden gems that somehow still shine through.
For those who are truly interested in doing the complete Route 66 trip, the bypassed section of Route 66 in southwest Missouri will be like taking a sobering journey through the past. There are many proud people that have lived their entire life along this bypassed section of the Mother Road and they have no plans to leave any time soon. There are also a few entrepreneurs that cared so much about preserving the historic past, that they took on restoration projects to bring some of the old buildings back to life in an effort to boost local tourism. Tourism is the key for generating the income needed to preserve this historic section of Route 66, so that is reason enough to fold the convertible top down and enjoy the scenic drive!
Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair Station certainly is one of the shining gems that can be experienced along the bypassed section of Route 66 in southwest Missouri. This old antique gas station is owned by a Vietnam Veteran who took the preservation of Route 66 to heart. Gary is a real friendly character and after meeting, we talked at great length. This fellow certainly has led quite a life and his Route 66 entrepreneurial aspirations have led to quite an accomplishment. The old historic Gay Parita Sinclair Station is now a well known landmark that ranks high on everybody’s Route 66 travel destination list!
When cruising west on the Mother Road toward Kansas in southwest Missouri, the places that standout are difficult to miss. The old abandoned buildings that once served millions of tourists are spaced between the farms. When approaching Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair Station, the first thing that is noticed can be mistaken for what looks like some interesting junk laying around in somebody’s front yard. These kind of things always get my attention, because that is where the classy people tend to live, if you know what I mean. Some characters that take a genuine interest in things do tend let their entire domicile turn into their dream. That “really neat looking junk” is not exactly junk in the eyes of some beholders. For example, a rusty old tin gas station sign that could not be given away 30 years ago may be worth thousands of dollars to a collector in this present age. A regional Route 66 memorabilia collector is what Gary is and the Gay Parita Sinclair Station certainly has one of the best regional Route 66 antique collections of them all.
Pull in, say hi and feel free to stroll around a spell! The Gay Parita Sinclair Station is literally a museum that showcases the history of Route 66 in this region. This is what Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair Station is all about! There is a garage full of period correct antiques and the old filling station is full of Routee 66 memorabilia too. Casual visitors, rally groups and tour buses are welcome at this landmark site. In order to schedule a guided tour or event, it is best to make a request well ahead of time.
Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair Station is funded with charitable contributions and sales from the gift shop, so be sure to show some kind generosity to keep this cool Route 66 destination going on into the future. I dropped a little cash in the donation box, then purchased a cool looking Route 66 Doo Rag and a Switchblade Pocket Comb, which is something that I have always wanted to order from an ad in the back of a comic book ever since I was a little kid. Cool beans!
Being part of the Route 66 scene is where it is at and all that it takes is one conversation with the owner of Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair Station to see why it really does take some heart to preserve the Route 66 culture. It takes heart to tour the old Mother Road, especially in the forgotten bypassed sections that are economically depressed. A visit to the old Gay Parita Sinclair Station makes touring the southwest Missouri Route 66 alignment experience all the more worthwhile, so be sure to chalk this historic spot high on the list!
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