On the Road with the Kidds! travel blog

Chicago

Buckinham Fountain, traditional start of Route 66

The official start of Route 66.

Wigwam Hotel, still operating! Yes we stayed there!

Inside a wigwam room.

Standing on THE corner in Winslow Arizona! Takin' it easy!

La Pasada Hotetl, was a Garvey House for train travelers. Restored and...

Meteor Crater in Arizona. Cool tourist trap.

And a quilt store! Picked up some Route 66 fabric.

Good BBQ stop!

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ is known for wild burros that roam the streets, and...

Now thats a LOT of Bourbon!

Another place to browse or shop, .......... or just browse.

Nioshi MO National Fish Hatchery

These guys were tagging young Pallid Sturgeon which are endangered

Tagging a young sturgeon

Getting our kicks in Joplin MO

At the Courthouse in Joplin they had several Thomas Hart Benton paintings...

Nice Route 66 mural

This place has the orignal truck that inspired Tow Mater in the...

Route 66 passes through many small towns. Now bypassed by the interstates.

This road is getting smaller

A really small road. Yes were drove it.

Oh! That explains why it was so small!!!

Blue whale. Iconic Route 66

The Round Barn. Now a museum.

Roof of the Round Barn

Route 66 deco

In Oklahoma we saw this truck. Sure looks like one from Grapes...

Cadillac Ranch

Decaying Gas Station

This was a fun stop. Classic old trailers, and even the motorhome...

Halfway there!

Blue Swallow Motel

Tucumcari New Mexico. This place has the BEST BBQ we ever had!!!

Nice mural in Tucumcari

And the road goes on, and on and on.

LA!!

Santa Monica Pier, End of the Road!


Still reviewing what got us here. I figured route 66 needed its own narrative.

We figured as long as we were travelling along the southern states, we might as well see Route 66. But to do that we had to start at the beginning. So we headed to Chicago. In downtown Chicago, not far from Lake Superior sits Buckingham Fountain. This is the traditional start of Route 66. We parked our rig at a campground and did Chicago without it. For some reason Mike did not think hauling a 40 foot trailer through Chicago was a good idea. As it was, the night before, as we were heading to the campground we got stuck in some good old rush hour traffic. It took us FIVE HOURS to go FIFTY Miles! Ugh!!! Where are those quiet back roads? The next morning the sun was out and it was a beautiful day to see Chicago. We saw the fountain, and found the sign for Route 66, and had a Chicago Dog. I had to find a camera shop to fix one of my lenses (dropped the camera…don’t ask) and it was done that day. What a relief!

Route 66 is a strange road. It is historic, kitschy, maybe cultish, but also dilapidated and outdated. Parts of the road no longer exist. Some of the parts that do, are not in great shape. Some parts are fixed up and others have disappeared being replaced by Interstate Highways. We drove on Route 66 where we could, and even one time when we shouldn’t have. Leaving a small part of Kansas and into Oklahoma, the sign said go straight and go right at the same time. I said I don’t know, go straight. It was marked it was okay. Then it got smaller. And smaller. And there were pastures on both sides with nowhere to turn around. And we kept going because we could not back up either. It was a lovely drive in the country but I don’t think Mike was too happy driving it. Then we saw a bigger road on the GPS, so we hung a right. And the road got smaller. It went from a gravel two land road, to more of a one lane road, then to a sort of a sidewalk with dirt shoulders. We had a few cows watch us creep along. And I saw a flock of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers (very cool looking birds). But the road was small. Then we saw the highway! Yay! We were saved! As we got to this highway, we saw a monument at the end of “our road” that said something like here lies a remaining original part of Route 66 “Ribbon sidewalk” that has been closed since 1937! What? Well, we can say we were on the real road….and hauling a trailer! They really should have marked the other end of that. Some crazy idiots may try to drive on it!

In a small corner of Old Route 66 that cuts through Kansas for only 13 miles, we found Cars. It is a diner in an old gas station. The owner there tells everyone, that this is where the creator of the movie Cars got a lot of their ideas. They have the original pickup truck that inspired the character Tow Mater. It now is made to look like him too. They also have a few other Cars friends. The owner is "Melba the Mouth" (that's her words not mine) She tells EVERYONE that comes in who she is and about the place, the cars, the faded sign across the street that inspired Radiator Springs, AND that she has a speaking part at the end of Cars 2. Nice person, name fits too!

We followed this all the way to the Santa Monica Pier (where we also left the trailer at a campground). We did stop for a spell in a few places such as the Albuquerque Balloon Festival for two weeks, and the Grand Canyon for four days, and even Oklahoma City for their state fair. It was a fun ride, but one we probably won’t need to repeat. Especially the ends of Chicago and Los Angeles. The traffic there was unreal. But it was a fun blast into history.



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