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Author Topic: Rt 66 do's and don't's  (Read 3398 times)
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« on: August 25, 2006, 01:41:28 PM »

I would like to hit the famous Rt 66 next year, and trying to find out which are the best parts in the mid west

without going all the way to the west coast. Also if there any good campgrounds along the way. And where the must see places...

Could a 2 week trip cover alot of it?

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2006, 03:17:23 PM »

Nick,
No offense to 66, but real "Mother Road" was The Lincoln Highway, our nation's first transcontinental highway. You could explore sections of it without ever leaving NJ, and could follow its shadows from there all the way to San Francisco, if you ever had the time or inkling. There are nice areas of PA and OH that have embraced the old nostalgia of the L.H., and every state in between. Iowa's is also very nice.

Back in the day, hordes of Model T's and Model A's would cluster around campgrounds along the journey, day's drives between exotic places named Kearney, South Bend, Ely, Green River... the first RV'ing experience, no doubt.

You could learn about "seedling miles" and Henry Joy, it's longtime secretary and head of Packard Motors. There's also some stories out there about Emily Post's journey from coast to coast along its path.

Here's some info on it: http://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/info/

If it sounds like I'm biased, I am. I've been a member of the LH Association for a few years. Rt 66 gets a lot of the glory (and the TV show and song), but the L.H. was the one that started it all.

Just some ideas,
Brian
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 03:50:17 PM »

Nick,
    I don't know about the rest of it, but I know some parts of the old Route 66 in central Illinois are non existant. They were destroyed when I-55 was built.  Jack
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2006, 04:50:21 PM »

Nick,
I should have mentioned that you could also take the Lincoln Highway from your state to the beginning of Rt. 66 just south of Chicago and begin your 66 quest there. You could then get a flavor of both roads (and different eras of automobile travel).

Jack's right, the Interstate system obliterated many traces of the old named and numbered "blue highways" of yore. Many times, all that's left are the old alignments that run through city centers (which the interstates purposefully avoid). That's where you'll still have a chance to find traces of the old motels and dives that can take you back in time.

My favorite guide to Rt. 66 is here: http://www.roadtripusa.com/routes/route66/route66.html  Jamie's Road Trip USA book (and website) cover many of the last great "blue highways" and their roadside attractions. It's a great read for any two-lane explorer.

Brian
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2006, 05:15:45 PM »

Several times when I was a youngen we left Buffalo NY and headed to Las Vegas to my Uncles via RT66. About 10 years ago I was in AZ with some time on my hands and decided to try part of 66. We were in seligman AZ. We could not find Rt66, so we asked. We were told not to go that way as they no longer maintained it! Not to be deterred from my bit of nostalgia I went anyway.  Other than some big bolders we had to skirt, the road was in as good a shape or better than anything in NY!!!!
 
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2006, 06:43:35 PM »

Nick,
On your trip be sure to check out the Dixie Truckers Home Cafe in McLean, Il.
It has been a fixture on Rte. 66 since just about the beginning of the road.

And how about the Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK?

Or Meteor City Trading Post, Meteor City, Az.

Carthage, Mo. The Rte 66 Drive In.

And many, many other stops along the way!
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2006, 05:25:21 AM »

Dallas,
   Were you ever in the old Dixie Truck Stop that burned down back in the late 60s or early 70s?  We went by 2 days after the fire, it was still smoldering.  Jack
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2006, 02:47:07 PM »

Dallas,
   Were you ever in the old Dixie Truck Stop that burned down back in the late 60s or early 70s?  We went by 2 days after the fire, it was still smoldering.  Jack

Jack,
I was there in 1966 as a tender young lad of 11 years with my step dad on my VERY FIRST TRIP in a Big Truck. ('63 Pete Long Nose 270 cummins and 5X4 Two stick).

I was so excited that the trip was just a blur of things to see and things to do. 6 weeks on the road and my life course was set.

In those days many truckstops had bunk rooms to sleep in. The cost was $1/night and included use of the shower room.

The shower rooms were just like you remember in junior and senior high school. Lot's of naked guys trying to get the stink of diesel and sweat off after 3 or 4 days on the road plus loading or unloading.

Ever since that time, I have had a special place in my heart for the old truck stops. We lost something when 20/20, (The TV Show), showed ALL truck drivers as pill popping, whore mongering, thieving, dangerous felons that should be shot on sight.

By the way, We also stopped at places like Billings, MT. ( Bear Bros. Husky Truck Stop), Now it's a BP I think.

Some Place in Alabama, called the Duck Inn... it had an image of a Rubber Duck on it's sign. (I never saw it again after I started driving  OTR in 1976).

Tulsa, Ok. Some really mean truck stop where they served "BEER" and it was dark and smokey. This one had an oil derrick for a sign. We parked out in the back 40. The waitress made over me and she had these 'things' on her chest that you could Almost SEE! (11yr's old, remember?).

Union 76 in Forestall, Mo. Billed as the FIRST 'Million Dollar Truck Stop' It had a REAL private shower! 32 diesel pumps, a bunk house that only 2 people slept in. Restaurant that had booths with TELEPHONES!

Sorry, I wax nostalgic.

I'm still a truck driver at heart and I always will be. I detest the way the trucking industry has put "Warm Bodies" behind the wheel of their own trucks with sometimes only 3 weeks of training.
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2006, 03:18:28 PM »

Yeah, most of the old individually owned truck stops are gone.  We used to always stop at Ray's Roost nrear Calvert City, KY. Especially late on Friday or Saturday night. Many on the country music stars would stop in their tours buses after they left the Opry in Nashville or Perlis Truck Stop in Winona, Ga. We used to meet up with several drivers there the used to do the Chattanooga-Tampa run for Gateway. Or talking to the GSP troopers on the CB late at night in south GA. "White Knight" and "Country Gentleman". Ah yes, those were great days.  Jack
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2006, 06:23:38 PM »

Yeah, most of the old individually owned truck stops are gone.  We used to always stop at Ray's Roost nrear Calvert City, KY. Especially late on Friday or Saturday night. Many on the country music stars would stop in their tours buses after they left the Opry in Nashville or Perlis Truck Stop in Winona, Ga. We used to meet up with several drivers there the used to do the Chattanooga-Tampa run for Gateway. Or talking to the GSP troopers on the CB late at night in south GA. "White Knight" and "Country Gentleman". Ah yes, those were great days.  Jack

Jack,
Boy have struck memories for me! Ray's Roost is right by my mom & dads house, boy I remember going down there and eating supper while watching all the truckers come in an out! Back in the day it was a "top notch stop" but it has gone to ruins, the parking lot is so bad you could loose a truck in some of the holes, the restuarant is open when they have help (no set hrs.! just hope they got help if yer hungary!), the ol' shop at the back edge of the lot is leased out to a crook who don't use vasoline! And it barely has anything besides fuel and sodas anymore ! Good memories gone bad!

Nick, Rte 66 is a kick if ya get on the right parts my mom and dad surprised me once when I was livin' in Bristow, OK and just popped in one day! When I asked what was up they said they were just out driving  doing something daddy had wanted to do for a long time "retracing rte 66 that he used to hitch hike across, when he was in the Navy and they sent him to San Diego while she still lived with gramma & granpa in Niles, MI" and I happened to live right on rte 66! I personally haven't followed all of it but I've been on parts in IL, MO, OK, TX, NM, AZ, & CA! I'd say I liked MO,OK,NM, TX & AZ the most. BK Grin
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2006, 10:50:22 PM »

RT 66 is alive and well in Kingman AZ  well celebrated, my buddy lives there and is a car guy and they all meet at a 50's diner that the name excapes me now weekly.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2006, 06:01:02 AM »

Thank's for the info and links Guy's.....

Nick-
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2006, 08:44:37 AM »

Rt 66 from Seligman AZ to Kingman AZ is the longest intact road left of RT 66. It is a really nice drive, new pavement and has a wide spot at Milepost 115 with the Grand Canyon Caverns and Inn. A great place to stop, friendly employees and owners, it has RV hook ups, diesel, motel, great food, rodeo arena,  convience store, gift store, landing strip (L37) and the largest Dry Caverns in the United States (4th in the world) 21 stories down via and elevator. The catch is you have to get on RT 66 in Seligman or kingman, because it does not hook up with I 40 anywhere inbetween. That gives you 80 miles of route 66 without a stop sign or light and beatiful views. Does this sound like and ad?
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2006, 07:09:35 PM »

You guys are dating my age.
As a kid, I was raised 4 miles north af Rt. 66 at the F hiway crossing, just 4 miles north of Cuba Mo..
Many nights we would set on the front porch, and listen to the trucks roll down 66.
For those that remember, F hiway crossed 66 at the Parkmore truck stop, west of Cuba.
The old stop was tore down, in the 60's, when hiway 44 was built, but the old hiway still runs from St. Clair Mo. to west of Rolla.  But it is not continous.    In Cuba, the old Wagon Cafe, and Motel is still there.   In St. James, Mo. The highway has never changed vary much in the last 59 years,that I know of, and I was told it is the same as it was when Pretty Boy Floyd, stoped in, and had lunch with my Grandpa.     No body cared who he was, and nobady was going to cross him.   That accured at the Railroad Car Diner, on Main street, in St. James Mo., in the 30's.
There is a lot of history here in Missouri, but some remember it so well, they want to forget it.
Rt 66 will always be in the history books, and in the Many memories, of the ones over the age of 50.
I got away from Missouri, for many years, only to return to my old native grounds.

"Oh Shoot"  Now I have to clean the memory tears off the keyboard.
Steve
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2006, 09:05:23 PM »

In ’86 I lived near Tijeras, NM in a canyon right on Rt. 66 and a stones throw from I40. I didn’t know what it was at the time; it was later after I moved that I figured out the significance of that road. The one thing I liked the most about it was the numerous abandoned motels, gas stations, restaurants, etc. I liked the “ghost town” type of stuff and I was very young and into exploring those places. I went back through there in the middle 90’s and to my disappointment; most of the old buildings and rusty cars had been removed. It was now just another empty road. Very sad.
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