Sunday, March 25, 2012

Head out to the highway

Route 66At long last, the time approaches for our Route 66 trip!

We’ve been talking about it for many years now, pretty much since we met! Shortly after Ken and I met, Cousin Shane and I went on a trip we’d been planning for a while, where we went from Chicago to a little past St. Louis on Route 66. I’ve also been on the Road in a few other spots in Missouri, but it’s always been a goal to do the whole thing. (If I actually had a bucket list, this trip would be on it.) We had tentatively planned it a couple of times, but for various reasons, it didn’t work out...but THIS is the year!

Our good friend Andy will be graduating from Cal Tech with his Ph.D. (him smart) in June, he asked us to be there for his graduation, and we are honored to be invited. That will work out perfectly, and we timed our trip so that we could drive out on Route 66 and be in Pasadena for his graduation (we’ll rent a car—a convertible, of course!—then
fly back). Our friends Kim and Steve are planning a trip to Hawaii at that time, and we’re hoping that they’ll be able to fly out of LA so that we can spend the weekend with them. We also hope to hook up with other family members, although our time will be limited. Paths are converging! Planets are aligning! Dogs and cats are living together!

Today I started some early planning. The goal is to average 150 miles per day (there’s a lot to see along the road...Shane and I took a week to go from Chicago to St. Louis and back...normally about a five hour trip), and Ken suggested breaking it down into about four blocks, and then breaking it down further from there. That worked well, and I have a general idea of where we want to get to each night. That could change, and I still need to do lots more research for the stops and side trips. Meramec Caverns is a must, the Petrified Forest will warrant much of a day, and there will be a stop our friend Laurel’s Afton Station and hopefully dinner with her that evening...and there are so many more stops to make and things to see! We also hope to stay at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri, the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. (A teepee motel is a must for this trip.) Laurel has been a wonderful resource, and she recommended Jerry McClanahan’s EZ 66 Guide, which I’ll be studying over the next few weeks. I have several other guidebooks, as well as a ‘50s-era road atlas from when Route 66 was still a commissioned highway.

Route 66 pavementCan you tell I’m getting excited? This blog will probably turn into a travelogue during that time, and I hope to update almost every evening. We really won’t be doing much night driving, because that would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it? I’m looking forward to all of it, but I’m especially looking forward to driving through the Southwest. I’ve traveled quite a bit, but I’ve spent very little time there, and it has a unique beauty. I know Shane loves it there, and I can see why. There are also quite a few towns along the Road that, if not exactly ghost towns, are somewhat desolate and a little spooky. Shane tells me that Glenrio, which straddles the Texas/New Mexico border, is such a town. You know how I love abandoned places!

Anyway, it’s going to be a fun trip. We’ve got a couple more months to nail down our plans, and then we’ll hit the road! I hope you’ll enjoy my tales of the things we see and the people we meet. I think it’s really going to be one of those “trip of a lifetime” kind of deals. Every trip is fun, but this one is going to be something special!


  1. this is so cool. this is a meander trip, where the destination is important, but so is the getting there- these are my favorite kinds of road trips. on a completely unrelated note, your countdown coincides with my last day of students for work. from that perspective, it seems insane after everything that happened already this year that we have 81 more days.


  2. Yay, perhaps you'll take historic route 101 from Pasedena & fly home out of San Diego? Or we can come up to see you guys in LA. So exciting!

  3. Get your kicks.....

    ....on Route 66!

  4. 10 years plus in planning, it should be a hoot on the route.

  5. Sounds like a blast! Wish I were going!

  6. Headed east from CA on 40 years ago much of which overlaps with 66. Barstow. Kingman. Have a photo of a water tank in Kingman with the Route 66 logo on it. I so wanted to do the Petrified Forest but did the detour to the Grand Canyon instead. Don't regret it. [And yeah, went through Tucumcari. Just loved saying that name. By the way did you know that Barstow is home to the largest McD's in the world? Something I learned from a roommate in college.

    I say once you hit California, you must head to Huntington in Pasadena. And then head on down to San Diego.

  7. Wow... I am sooo envious of all of you..! I think that is going to be one of the questions I put on my list for a possible Miss What's Happenin', that she is willing to road trip with me..!

    I know that you will enjoy the trip and 'him more than smart' if he is at Cal Tech..!

  8. Wow... I am envious of you all! I think that is going to be on my list of qualifications for a 'Miss What's Happenin' in my life... she is going to have to be willing to road trip with me..!

    I know you will have a fantastic time. Cal Tech? Him MUCH more than just smart..!


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?