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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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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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