A Bit Over Four

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A Bit Over Four

A Bit Over Four

A bit over four months before our epic Route 66 Tour.  Paul and I met for lunch today and discussed what is going to make our Route 66 Trip different than any other Route 66.  I didn’t even have to think about that answer.

The answer:   It will be comprehensive from end to end.

Meaning…

Comprehensive means we’re going to cover every mile of the Mother Road.  Even if it seems like a long and boring stretch, we’re going to tell you about it.  I know, that sounds boring, but trust me, it won’t be.

The Goal…

The goal being you’ll be able to take our blog and use it as a comprehensive guide to Route 66.  Hmmm… that has me thinking I should develop a standard so you can search specifics.

For example, I want you to be able to search for “Route 66 mile 344”, and receive a result from our blog that tells you exactly what to expect at mile 344.  You then will be able to follow any section of Route 66 and turn to us as your guide.  Another example is you could enter “Teepee Motel” and find out exactly where it is.

The Plan…

The plan is to let you see more than just snapshots along the way.  I will show you the people, food, colors, nature, wildlife and anything else we cross along the way.  Each day will be jam-packed with information and images.  If I could capture the smells, I’d do that too.

For Your Listening Pleasure…


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Before Decommissioning

Before Decommissioning

This video shows portions of Route 66 before decommissioning.  The video is an hour and 45 minutes long, but it presents a good overview of Route 66.  It’s worth watching…

I like how this video presents the people and communities.  While it is from the 1980s, it presents the importance of Route 66 and it’s place in history.  Imagine riding a bus for a week while traveling from Chicago to L.A.  Today, people fly.  Back then people couldn’t afford to fly, so they took the bus.

Bloody 66, Mother Road, and other nicknames have been given this highway.  Because you cannot drive it end-to-end any more, few people get off the Interstate to drive it.  That’s why we’re driving it.

Our Tour

Our tour will be spread out over a month.  We know many of you will never get a chance to drive Route 66.  For this reason we want to provide you with a virtual road trip along Route 66.

Paul and Brent plan to stop at every significant attraction – man made or natural.  Come night time, if we have access to the Internet, our pictures and videos will go online.  Our blog will post here along with links to our videos and social media posts.  We will also Tweet updates as they happen — signal strength permitting.

 


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Feelgood

Dr. Feelgood

When I think of Route 66, I feel good.  It sounds like Dr. Feelgood does too. Listen to his cover of the Route 66 Song.

Route 66 Trivia

How about some Route 66 trivia.  We’ll throw some at you from time to time.

Today’s trivia is this…

Route 66 was commissioned 11/11/1926.  (It just had it’s 90th Anniversary…. well, sort of… It’s now de-commissioned, but it was still 90 years ago that it became a highway.)

It took 9 years before it was paved end to end.  That’s right, in 1926 only 800 miles of it were paved.  We take pavement for granted these days.  Back then you could drive a U.S. Highway and it could turn in to a dirt road.  You had to plan your vacations carefully.  Today’s paved Interstate system is a blessing.

Want to Meet Us on Route 66?

Do you want to meet us on Route 66?

Follow our blog and Facebook pages.  By doing this you can find out where we are, and where we plan to be in the next few days.  Starting Labor Day this year we will provide you with up-to-the-minute updates.

Contact us and we will tell you where we plan to be and we will coordinate a meetup.  Photographers can join with us and shoot along side us.  Models, we will take pictures of you and share them with the world (and you).  Classic car owners, we will take pictures of your car and share them with you too.  Simply coordinate with us while we are on the road.


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Steinbeck

Steinbeck

Were you aware that John Steinbeck mentions Route 66 in the Grapes of Wrath?

Steinbeck

Yes, that’s right, Route 66 is mentioned in the classic Steinbeck novel the Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck writes,

Pa scratched the dry earth with his forefinger. “I kind a got a notion Tom’s right,” he said. “It ain’t goin’ ta do no good all of us stayin’ here. We can get fifty, a hunderd miles on ‘fore dark.”
Ma said worriedly, “How you gonna find us?”
“We’ll be on the same road,” said Tom. “Sixty-six right on through. Come to a place name’ Bakersfield’. Seen it on the map I got. You go straight on there.”
“Yeah, but when we get to California an’ spread out sideways off this road—?”
“Don’t you worry,” Tom reassured her. “We’re gonna find ya. California ain’t the
whole world.”

Chapter 12

Chapter 12 is his description and worth the read.  Here are some excepts:

“HIGHWAY 66 IS THE main migrant road. 66—the long concrete path across the country, waving gently up and down on the map, from the Mississippi to Bakersfield— over the red lands and the gray lands, twisting up into the mountains, crossing the Divide and down into the bright and terrible desert, and across the desert to the mountains again, and into the rich California valleys. 66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert’s slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there. From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads.”

The Route

Steinbeck continues…

“66 is the mother road, the road of flight. Clarksville and Ozark and Van Buren and Fort Smith on 64, and there’s an end of Arkansas. And all the roads into Oklahoma City, 66 down from Tulsa, 270 up from McAlester. 81 from Wichita Falls south, from Enid north. Edmond, McLoud, Purcell. 66 out of Oklahoma City; El Reno and Clinton, going west on 66. Hydro, Elk City, and Texola; and there’s an end to Oklahoma. 66 across the Panhandle of Texas. Shamrock and McLean, Conway and Amarillo, the yellow. Wildorado and Vega and Boise, and there’s an end of Texas. Tucumcari and Santa Rosa and into the New Mexican mountains to Albuquerque, where the road comes down from Santa Fe. Then down the gorged Rio Grande to Las Lunas and west again on 66 to Gallup, and there’s the border of New Mexico.

“And now the high mountains. Holbrook and Winslow and Flagstaff in the high mountains of Arizona. Then the great plateau rolling like a ground swell. Ashfork and Kingman and stone mountains again, where water must be hauled and sold. Then out of the broken sun-rotted mountains of Arizona to the Colorado, with green reeds on its banks, and that’s the end of Arizona. There’s California just over the river, and a pretty town to start it. Needles, on the river. But the river is a stranger in this place. Up from Needles and over a burned range, and there’s the desert. And 66 goes on over the terrible desert, where the distance shimmers and the black center mountains hang unbearably in the distance. At last there’s Barstow, and more desert until at last the mountains rise up again, the good mountains, and 66 winds through them. Then suddenly a pass, and below the beautiful valley, below orchards and vineyards and little houses, and in the distance a city. And, oh, my God, it’s over.”

Telling

The story is telling about road travel back then.  Published in 1939, the story illustrates a distant time when things weren’t as prosperous in the United States.  You might want to read it before driving Route 66.


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I’ve Been Everywhere

I’ve Been Everywhere

One of Johnny Cash’s best songs was I’ve Been Everywhere.  In the song Cash rolls of a list of locations he’s traveled.  It is the ultimate road trip song.

Of course, the song isn’t specifically about Route 66, but Route 66 is the ultimate road trip.  Route 66 is the Mother Road!  The song does mention Route 66 locations.  In fact, we should see how many Route 66 locations people can list.  Comment on our Facebook page the Route 66 cities mentioned in the song.

You can bet that Paul and Brent will be listening to this while they drive.

Nine Months

Nine months isn’t a reference to pregnancy… it’s how many months before our 2017 Route 66 Tour.  We have the same amount of time to prepare as it takes a human baby to gestate.  (Okay, that was a reference to pregnancy, but nobody is pregnant here.)

Sponsors

We need sponsors.  This is a huge undertaking and we want other businesses to benefit from our broadcasts and posts.  It’s a win-win situation for both of us.

Studying for the Trip

We’ve been studying hard for this trip.  Brent has been reading about decommissioned sections of Route 66.  Some require doing a little searching.  Driving ALL of Route 66 is not as easy as taking I-40 across the country.  (Note:  I-40 parallels Route 66 in many places.)

Because of this studying, we plan to make this the most comprehensive, live, virtual tour of Route 66 ever.  You can tune in daily as we take the trip and see what we saw and did along the way.

copyright 2016 db walton - Everywhere

A Route 66 Rest Stop

 


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Route 66 Bus

Route 66 Bus

In Pontiac, Illinois, there’s a Route 66 Museum.  A feature of the museum is the Route 66 Bus.. .or should I say Hippie RV.

This is one of the things that attracts me to Route 66 — the eclectic nature of what you’ll find.    I’m looking forward to visiting this museum and seeing the Hippie RV.  (Thank you to my friend Gary Morse for bringing this to my attention.)

Sponsorships

We need sponsors.  In return for your investment we will promote your business.  We will start immediately by posting links to your web site here.

Here is a quick summary of what $100 in sponsorship gets your business…

Larger contributions to our tour get even more perks.  Check out the perks here.


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Preservation

Preservation

Route 66 has a preservation following.  It isn’t often you have people who donate time and money to keep a road maintained, but this is the case with Route 66.  It’s worth it, in my opinion.

You can read how the National Park Service is helping here:  https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/rt66/cost-share-grants/

Route 66 is like a huge, 2000 mile museum of Americana.  It should be part of the Smithsonian Institute in my opinion.  Never has there been a section of road in the U.S.A. that says so much about 20th century life.  From space aliens to cowboys, Route 66 is the place.

Help Us Help Route 66

I wish our request for sponsors had such an overwhelming response it would not only pay our expenses, but it would also allow us to provide funds to preserve Route 66.  So, here’s my promise.  If we end up with leftover cash from cash sponsorships we will make sure it all gets spent on helping preserve Route 66.

In terms of goodwill, we are helping build awareness of this great resource.  Our blog and vlog will allow others to see what a great resource Route 66 is.  People who decide, based off our reports, to drive it for themselves will help the Route 66 economy and thus help preserve it.

For Your Entertainment…

I like these guys.  I have no idea where they are from, but their lead singer does a great job with the scatting.


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Surface Streets

Surface Streets

What I wrote about decommissioning Route 66 leads us to a discussion about surface streets.  Like most U.S. Highways, Route 66 (the former U.S. Highway 66) was never a freeway.  Today, sections of Route 66 are simply surface streets.

In cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Oklahoma City are examples where Route 66 is now just one of the streets in town.  Driving Route 66 through Pasadena, California, meant keeping my eyes open for street names.  Portions of it were marked with “Historic Route 66” signs in white and brown, but for the most part, sections looked like any other street in a Southern California city.

copyright 2016 db walton

Route 66 – Pasadena, California

Turns and Disconnects

When attempting to navigate Route 66 today one must watch for turns and disconnects.  Historic Route 66 can end, and then pickup later on the other side of town.  This is because when it was decommissioned, portions of Route 66 were completely removed and built over.

Some, I discovered, aren’t worth the drive to find.  Others, however, have you saying, “I’m glad I took time to find this!”

As Paul and Brent drive Route 66 they will let you know about those disconnects and you’ll be able to see for yourself whether it was worth the detour or not.

For Your Entertainment

Enjoy these four guys as they swing out on Route 66…


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Decommissioning

Decommissioning

Route 66 is a decommissioned U.S. Highway.  Decommissioning a highway means it will no longer receive Federal funds for its maintenance.  This is exactly what happened to Route 66 piece by piece.

It was known as the Will Rogers Highway.  Kingman, Arizona, (a city on Route 66) was home to actor Andy Devine.  This was a very popular stretch of highway.

When they decommissioned it, some sections became “business loops” along Interstates.  Some were abandoned and left to decay.  Others were adopted by local states and counties.  For example, one section is California became State Route (SR) 66.  All of this makes it literally impossible to drive Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. as one contiguous section of road.

It is common to find abandoned equipment, buildings and automobiles along Route 66.  It is the Ghost Town of roads.

copyright 2016 db walton

Abandoned Truck

Used To Be

It is what used to be.  Along Route 66 are abandoned buildings too.   You can’t tell what some are, while others may be obvious.  Because of this,  be respectful and do not remove anything.  If you do, there will be nothing left for others to enjoy.

As we drive Route 66 we hope to identify what those buildings were.  If we find old pictures of before they were abandoned, we’ll see if we can use them.

Ukulele


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Dancing

Dancing

Whenever I think of Route 66 I will remember dancing with my daughter, Natalie, in the middle of Route 66 just outside Cool Springs, Arizona, on the way to Oatman.  Nobody was on the road.  It was off season, and we had people keeping their eyes out for cars coming.

 Paula Sieron

Natalie and Me Dancing (John Kidd in the background)

I wouldn’t advise dancing in the middle of the street unless you take safety precautions.  (Which we did.)  The nice thing about Route 66 in off seasons is it is empty!

For safety reasons, whenever someone steps in to the street, make sure someone else is spotting.  Consequently, the spotter should give clear instructions to get off the road well in advance.  (And, I would NEVER do it on a multi-lane highway or boulevard.  )

Another thing to do is put your flashers on.  You might have people stop and ask, “Do you need help”, to which you simply smile and say, “Just taking a few pictures.”

The Dessert

The section where we stopped was in the Arizona desert just east of Pahrump, Nevada.  This is a beautiful section.  A winding road takes you to the top of a mountain where Oatman, Arizona, is situated.  This little mining town is a delightful place to visit, but most of all, it is a blast to the past.

copyright 2016 db walton

Outside Oatman, Arizona

copyright 2016 db walton

Oatman, Arizona, Main Street

For Your Entertainment

Who doesn’t like George Benson?  Here’s his rendition… time to get mellow…