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> Route 66 Travels, Suggestions
EastPAcamper
post Sep 15 2013, 09:27 AM
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Thinking about going west, would love to drive the historic Route 66 from Chicago to Vegas area. My question is, has anyone done this??? Are there sections of the "old historic route 66" that are not worth getting off the main highway?? How much time do I need to allow myself for travel?? What stops are a definite MUST SEE?? Please share any stories, good and bad......Trying to figure what kind of time would be needed to make this journey and still see at least some of the sites.
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thetravelkids
post Sep 16 2013, 11:51 AM
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Hello!
My wife and I just finished traveling The Mother Road from Chicago to Santa Monica. We stopped at all the Route 66 museums (except Baxter Springs which was closed) and had a great time.
There are plenty of miles of the old road available to travel on.
we stayed two nights in Joliet, IL and drove in from there to begin our adventure at the corner of Michigan & Adams. When we finally got to California, we stayed in Riverside and again, drove the last 100 miles (took us 7 hours!) into Santa Monica Pier.
We spent 29 days traveling, but would often see other, non-Route 66 attractions along the way...Meteor Crater, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon via The Train from Williams, etc.
There are a number of books and maps available to help you with your planning, as well as a down load for the Garmin Nuvi GPS ($10) which lists approximately 850 sights to see. There are also turn-by-turn directions availble for the Garmin Zumo GPS which is used by many motorcyclists.
Must See??? Hmm, that's pretty hard to say. We wanted to see and do as much as possible. Depending on what you are driving, the trip to Oatman is "thrilling."
Missouri's Route 66 is the best marked and Illinois second. Texas & New Mexico signage is pretty bad.
Our suggestion is to see it all!
Good luck!
Bob & Pat
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Jerry S.
post Sep 16 2013, 09:50 PM
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I don't know how much help I will be with your questions because your post raised several questions in my mind. The first is: When are you taking this trip? If it is not in the next couple months, I'm not sure you want to be traveling through PA, OH, IN, IL, and MO once December rolls around. Not only is weather a potential issue, but RV park availability is questionable after November in those states. If your plan is for next spring, no problem. Secondly, the way you worded your question about "sections of ...66", I am not sure you realize that there are only small sections of the original road left. Most of your trip will be on I55 in IL, I44 in MO and OK, I40 in OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA, and finally I15 and I10 to Santa Monica (I think that is the western terminus of the original Route 66).

Although I haven't done the CA portion in over 10 years, I did the entire Flagstaff, AZ to Chicago portion less than 2 years ago. I would allow a minimum of 10 days go the 2,000 + miles from Chicago to LA. 20 days would be even better if you really want to stop and see Route 66 stuff every day or so. There are dozens of towns (along with some major cities) along this route which have attractions (whether Route 66 related or not) that are worth seeing. Then there are the potential side trips (Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas) that can each add at least a couple days to the trip. Are we at 30 days for the trip yet?

As you can see, you need to figure out how much time you can spend on this trip and then determine what you want to see.

Good luck with your planning and have fun.
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thetravelkids
post Sep 17 2013, 05:40 PM
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QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Sep 16 2013, 10:50 PM) *
t.
Secondly, the way you worded your question about "sections of ...66", I am not sure you realize that there are only small sections of the original road left. Most of your trip will be on I55 in IL, I44 in MO and OK, I40 in OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA, and finally I15 and I10 to Santa Monica (I think that is the western terminus of the original Route 66).


Jerry S.
We just finished traveling Route 66 a few weeks ago. I do not agree with what you wrote....Most of our trip was NOT on the Interstate! We traveled the vast majority of "The Mother Road" especially in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas (all of Route 66 is non-interstate in Kansas), Oklahoma and California.
Texas, New Mexico ans eastern Arizona, well, we were on and off the Interstate some.
We traveled the last 100 miles of Route 66 in California NOT on I-10.
It took us 6 hours to go those last 100 miles. Maybe no better than it was during the dust bowl. Each state has a Route 66 association and they are happy to help with hints & books available.
We used Jerry McClanahan's "EZ66 Guide" (make sure you get the third edition) a lot along with other resources.
Just Google Route 66 turn by turn and you'll be amazed at what's available. Do the same at Amazon.com.
Bob
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Jerry S.
post Sep 17 2013, 08:40 PM
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Bob,

Thanks for the correction. I have been led to believe in recent (maybe 10) years that most of the original Route 66 no longer exists. Now that I think about it, I have seen a few stories about how they have "re-designated" some of the local roads that sort of paralleled the interstates that replaced 66 as "Historic 66". I really thought that all that remained of the original road was the occasional few mile stretch of road here and there that went through towns that the interstate has a bypass around. The main road through Tucumcari, NM is an example.

I made the mistake I often criticize - I didn't do my research. Although, after looking at on old map of Route 66 that I have, I don't see Route 66 going through KS except right where southwestern MO and southeastern KS meet.

I'll check the sites you referenced later.

Jerry S.
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Texasrvers
post Sep 18 2013, 01:24 AM
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We have driven “Route 66” between Amarillo, TX, and Kingman, AZ several times. I agree that there are many books and websites that will help you plan your route, and as you probably know by now, if you will go through a town on its main street rather than the interstate, you will probably be driving on the original Route 66. So rather than talk about the road itself, my purpose here is just to name some if the interesting and/or quirky sights that we have visited along the way.

Starting on the east side of Amarillo there is the Big Texan Steak house and on the west side there is Cadillac Ranch. This is a bunch of big fin Cadillacs buried end up out in a field. I did say quirky, didn’t I?

In Adrian, TX, there is a café that is supposed to be the halfway mark of the route (not sure if it is still open, though).

Central Avenue through Albuquerque is the old 66, and there are lots of old motels and other buildings along that stretch. There is a Route 66 Diner that we like, although I’m not sure it is from the old days; it may be a 50’s style replica, but the blue plate specials are still good.

On the main street through Gallup, NM, you will find the Ranchero Hotel. It is definitely a relic from the Route 66 era, and it has a wall with the pictures of all the old Hollywood stars that stayed there. Some of the trading posts in the downtown area have also been there for years.

Going into Arizona you will pass by the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. Then in nearby Holbrook, AZ, there is the Wigwam Motel which is on the National Register of Historic places.

Down the road in Winslow is the Posada Hotel which was built in 1929 by the Santa Fe Railroad for the Fred Harvey Company, thus a “Harvey House.” In fact many of the train depots that are still standing in the towns along the route are from the Route 66 days.

Also in Winslow is the “Standing on the Corner” Statue from the song made famous by the Eagles. OK, so that is not Route 66 memorabilia, but it is still neat to see. It even has a mural with the "girl in a flatbed Ford.” If you aren’t old enough to know what I’m talking about here, ask your parents; they’ll know.

A bit west of Winslow is Meteor Crater. It is, of course, just a hole in the ground, but it is interesting. And maybe if you are lucky, a spaceship will land while you are there.

We have not really done much in Flagstaff, passing it by to stop in Williams a few more miles down the road. The town itself is cute, and from there you can drive to the Grand Canyon or take the train that leaves from the depot in Williams.

Once you get to Kingman, AZ, I-40 turns to the south, and the old 66 route goes over to a small town called Oatman. This is another cute little town, but we have heard that you should not try to take a large RV into Oatman from the east due to the steep, winding road. Supposedly it is better to approach the town from the west.

That is as far as we’ve been on Route 66, but hopefully I gave you some ideas of things to see along this stretch.

As a side note, something to see in Oklahoma City that is not about Route 66 is the Murrah Federal Building Memorial along with the adjacent museum. Both are quite interesting and very moving.

Have a good trip.
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Fitzjohnfan
post Sep 18 2013, 01:37 PM
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Once you have completed your route 66 trip, may I suggest you look into traversing the "Lincoln Highway" This was the first transcontinental road built 100 years ago and is older than route 66. It doesn't get as much attention though.

Here is the official website:

http://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/


--------------------
Chris G.
Westminster, CO
FMCA: F3508-S
1989 32' Southwind MH
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thetravelkids
post Sep 18 2013, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Sep 18 2013, 02:24 AM) *

In Adrian, TX, there is a café that is supposed to be the halfway mark of the route (not sure if it is still open, though).

Once you get to Kingman, AZ, I-40 turns to the south, and the old 66 route goes over to a small town called Oatman. This is another cute little town, but we have heard that you should not try to take a large RV into Oatman from the east due to the steep, winding road. Supposedly it is better to approach the town from the west.


Texasrvers,

Yes, the Mid-Point Cafe in Adrian is still open....we had a piece of "ugly crust" pie there.

We took the road to Oatman from Kingman dragging our 28 foot TT. No problem for me, but my bride had some white knuckles!
Bob
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Texasrvers
post Sep 18 2013, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE(thetravelkids @ Sep 18 2013, 06:45 PM) *


Yes, the Mid-Point Cafe in Adrian is still open....we had a piece of "ugly crust" pie there.


Good to know. I wasn't sure.

QUOTE
We took the road to Oatman from Kingman dragging our 28 foot TT. No problem for me, but my bride had some white knuckles!
Bob


We went to Oatman from the west, so I can't say what the road is like from the east. I just remember that we heard it was a bit of a challenge in an RV. Glad you made it OK.
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EastPAcamper
post Sep 28 2013, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Sep 16 2013, 11:50 PM) *

I don't know how much help I will be with your questions because your post raised several questions in my mind. The first is: When are you taking this trip? If it is not in the next couple months, I'm not sure you want to be traveling through PA, OH, IN, IL, and MO once December rolls around. Not only is weather a potential issue, but RV park availability is questionable after November in those states. If your plan is for next spring, no problem. Secondly, the way you worded your question about "sections of ...66", I am not sure you realize that there are only small sections of the original road left. Most of your trip will be on I55 in IL, I44 in MO and OK, I40 in OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA, and finally I15 and I10 to Santa Monica (I think that is the western terminus of the original Route 66).

Although I haven't done the CA portion in over 10 years, I did the entire Flagstaff, AZ to Chicago portion less than 2 years ago. I would allow a minimum of 10 days go the 2,000 + miles from Chicago to LA. 20 days would be even better if you really want to stop and see Route 66 stuff every day or so. There are dozens of towns (along with some major cities) along this route which have attractions (whether Route 66 related or not) that are worth seeing. Then there are the potential side trips (Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas) that can each add at least a couple days to the trip. Are we at 30 days for the trip yet?

As you can see, you need to figure out how much time you can spend on this trip and then determine what you want to see.

Good luck with your planning and have fun.


I knew I probably posted this hastily, not fully explaining the when's where's and how long's.
Here's the deal, we really haven't quite figured when we would take this trip. Was trying to get a handle on the time needed to A) travel with the minimum stops,maybe stopping at "highlight" attractions or cool.gif travel with frequent stops, stopping at more attractions. We are not full timers, yet, well I can hope to be someday. So this was a fact finding mission to hear from those who have ACTUALLY made the trip. What they liked , what they didn't like, maybe a few Why's. Would love to plan a 20-30 day journey but wife doesn't have that much vacation time. This would probably be a 10-15 day trip, so I am sure we will miss a lot sad.gif
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