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An AirBnB Brings New Kicks … Station 66

October 8th, 2018 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Hotels · Uncategorized · Wi-Fi

Route 66

 

My story began in Vega, Texas … where “what stayed in Vega, happened in Vega,” I love to say.

In the early chapters, childhood was spent watching sports teams at the school, hours upon hours — when I wasn’t watching Fall’s fading light obscure the fast-moving shadow of a school bus, over country roads, sorghum fields and ranch-land pasture.  Dreaming of being a Vega Longhorn was all that any boy or girl could want.

Flash forward a few years, and journalism became my passion.

No accident, my story continued near Vega, on “Old Route 66” … “The Mother Road.”  When I launched the coast-to-coast “Wi-Fi Guy Blog,” back in 2003, the storied highway seemed the perfect jumping off point.  So the predecessor of The PingWi-Fi blog was launched with a press conference at The Cadillac Ranch — the world-famous monument to Route 66, Americana and the the road that goes on forever.

Moving forward further, The PingWi-Fi blog has maintained that roadtrip through 48 states, a U.S. Territory and several countries on a few continents.  I haven’t been everywhere, but “I’ve been ’round.”  And I stayed in/have written about some interesting places along the way — among the more memorable:  a trembling hotel during a New Zealand earthquake aftershock … a hostel full of recently released criminals in a half-way house situation in Salt Lake City … a rickety, no-air room above a motorcycle bar in Thailand … a few of the nicest hotels in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco … Las Vegas.  Pretty interesting, fun times. However …

However, it was back to my tiny Vega that the  PingWi-Fi blog encountered one of the most creative, comfortable, nostalgic settings … an airbnb in fact.

Station 66

There’s more history … Vega has a few miles of old Route 66 that form its spine — east & west, of course — right down the middle of town.  The hamlet is  just 13 miles from the geographic center of R66 too.   For us homegrown “Vegans,” farming will always be the soul, but the lifeblood once was Route 66 and its ability to support art deco gas stations that dotted the route.  A few empty gas stations remain — mere lifeless storage buildings now.  One rustic old station has been repurposed into the most charming little authentic Mexican restaurant called “Roosters.”  As much as I love the welded, rusted and painted bird sculpture ready to crow at the front of the cafe, Roosters is not “me primo.”

My all-time favorite is Station 66 … perhaps the best creatively designed, most interesting lodging that has every supported this pumpkin-shaped head at night.  Outside, I think this old gas station is probably a work in progress, thanks to some 1970s-era remodeling … but inside!  Station 66 is the cleanest place I have experienced, as well.  The Wi-Fi rocks.  The tallest building in Oldham County is across the street … a grain elevator … gotcha.

 

Skyline

 

The game room area is spacious, with many windows that overlook the old road, but also there are shades to block out “bustling” Vega.  Everywhere, the place is decorated with memorabilia, keepsakes, and nostalgia pieces that could probably “earn their keep” if placed over at the Milburn-Price Culture Museum.  The M-PCM is just a mile beyond the town’s  main intersection, the confluence of Old Route 66 and U.S. 385 (a border-to-border route, running north/south”) … the intersection that once earned Vega, Texas the moniker, “Crossroads Of The Nation” … albeit an ambitious slogan, to say the least.

Milburn-Price Culture Museum

Sidenote: When I was a child, my best friend’s father managed the very Phillips 66 filling station that was housed in this airbnb structure … a half-century ago.  To complete that little nostalgic twist —  through the sometimes friendly networking that can occur on Facebook — that old friend and I re-united at a class reunion the day before PingW-F hit the Station … after decades.  I wonder what my buddy Robby would think of the airbnb after all these years. Inside Station 66, there is a very nice touch where the interior design incorporates the old, original steel pipe railing that once protected the outer structure on slippery, icy, snowy Texas Panhandle winter days … like the one on which I last remember my dad filling up the pick up truck with Robby’s dad’s fuel …  I digress …

Station 66 is just fun.  It’s obvious the owner has poured their heart and soul into making a wonderful escape … a happiest place — one that whispers stories of the old highway into your ear, as you drift off at night … no doubt, dreaming of hopping in an old ragtop ’54 Chevy Corvette and heading to Hollywood to be discovered … zzzzzz.

r-a-g-t-o-p … ragtop

And then if you awake still sporting such dreams of celebrity, you may cast yourself in some bigger-than-life, make-believe Cowboy Western.  A closet inside Station 66 is stocked to the brim with everything cowboy … pearl snap western shirts, cowboy hats, bandanas … everything this wanna-be buckaroo could ask for to complete the perfect www (wild wild west) selfie.

Cowboy Up

 

Although I was solo while bunked at ST66, it fits more. Station 66 accommodates up to six guests, with one master bedroom and four beds total  … you choose bunkmates. 

And I think management tries to keep the shenanigans to a minimum for appearances’ sake, and/or the historic preservation of the place … but I might have pulled some strings while there and therefore hosted  a worldwide first on Old Route 66.

 

Despite a traditional old-home week (class reunion) and the best free barbecue in the world at The Oldham County Roundup, PingWi-Fi staged the world’s very first Rüt66 kava tasting at Station 66 … kava, a South Pacific social drink acquired from Texas’ first kava bar — SquareRüt Kava Bar, from Austin, Texas.

 

 

Ha .. the word play … Route & Rüt  … I could resist it not.  So 10-12 other long-tall Texans and I bellied away from the bar for once and gathered around a traditional wooden serving bowl, filled with the exotic, earthy traditional drink of Tonga, Vanuatu and other islands beyond Texas  … Made perfect sense to me … actually, I had been telling my buddies about kava since the first bar opened in Austin a few years back … so, we did some hard core cultural exchange that day …  starting each round with me — the kavabarkeep — teaching everyone the traditional kava toast for prosperity or whatever, “BULA!”

Ha … Little did we know the recent sory of the toast “Bula!”:

Bula Trademark

Such audacity, claiming a South Pacific word as a trademark … I digress …

Lastly, as it has been sung over campfires for a hundred years — “The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas …” So, the excellent backyard of Station 66 was put to use later … as this old cowhand stretched out under the Milky Way, flat on the back, on the patio, enjoying a sky full of stars … a Panhandle sky like no other.

Know what I sayin?