View Full Version : HEAD WEST YOUNG MAN (and woman)-- a route 66 story

04-12-2007, 01:12 PM
------ this is my trip report heading west on Route 66----

I wasn't quite sure where to post it, but my other DIS friends have been asking, so all of my fellow WESTWARD friends might also enjoy some of the story. Enjoy, and if this is the wrong place to post, I appologize.:flower3:

last saturday (3/31) as I was babysitting my dad (who just had major brain surgery) and doing everyones laundry, DH said why don't we do a road trip. -- me being a total A type was freaking out... no hotels or stops planned :eek: but after he pointed out how stressed and crazy i'd been lately and how I might have to kill people if I didn't get out of the house :headache: I thought he was right and said ok, I'll pack a weekend bag, we'll be back by tuesday. :laughing: wednesday at most (yes I have a great DH :love: )

so we get into the car on saturday night (it was about 6pm) and I ask which direction he wants to head into. popcorn:: then he shocks me with, "lets get our kicks on rt 66" :eek: no really--- we drive on the first leg of 66 often since it starts here in chicago and we go to a lot of car shows in Joliet (which is on 66) he says -- no really lets go to CA.--- well I do have a week off for spring break and the grades are already entered and ready to go, and it will be a rush to get home, but ok!! so I run into the house and grab our route 66 guide book-- you don't want to go on a trip like this without it, since the road stops and starts so frequently.

and off we go in the stormy night down I55 to St Louis (we decided since it was dark and stormy {this was the night that the tornados his the plains states} and we had already done the Illinois rt 66 leg-- we would start in St Louis.

04-12-2007, 01:20 PM
the next day our goal was to get to nm/tx boarder.

much of the MO runs along the interstate and is hillside/cave attractions. We have stopped at the caves before so we drove past those and headed in to OK.

no flames please --IMO-- sorry if anyone has any friends or family in OK.... but its BORING-- lots of farm land -- but at least we were not on the toll road!!! most of the attractions here have been "updated" or are no longer here, which is sad, but thats how evolution works I guess. There is one stretch of Route 66 here that is on private property and is actually for sale!!! OK is the home of Will Rogers and actually does have quite a bit of historical significance to the route 66 stroy since many who traveled on this route were from this region during the great depression. But to DH and I the most exciting part of OK was seeing a water tower that said the town was the home of Garth Brooks:rotfl: and of course our choice of country music stations!! you'd think coming from a big city like Chicago, we'd have more than one station to choose from!!!

the weather was great today and we cruised right into TX. We had to get to the big texan for dinner.-- home of the 72 ounce steak (eat it and you get it for free--and no we didn't order it :rotfl: but there was a guy there who did-- he didn't finish)

we stayed overnight outside of amarillo

04-12-2007, 01:24 PM
after our huge steak dinner at the big texan, we slept in late (ok so it was 8 CST) and headed over to the cadilac ranch -- we had to take pics and leave our marks on the cadilac's!!! then is was off to NM!!

In NM we saw many "old fashioned" gas stations. It was a little rainy today, but the pics came out nice... you can see some over to my flickr site if you like to take a look at some pictures from the trip. http://www.flickr.com/photos/82457082@N00/ --search toobachick --

we stopped at a few roadside attractions and a car museum. It was fun.

I enjoyed NM and the landscape here, although we did see more of it than the usual person since Rt 66 starts and stops so many times here. We'd be driving along and then there would be a road closed sign-- no warning:confused: -- but we just got to see some of the sites twice;)

our goal tonight was to make it to AZ we had to see the wigwam motel in its floursent glory.

we did!! just at dusk we arrived at the wigwam motel and they were turing on their neon signs and it was awesome. The pictures do not do it justice. The rooms were cool looking and it was pretty crowded, I purchased a few postcards from the lobby and we headed into flagstaff to stay the night. Now these are some cool pictures if I do say so myself!!! ;)

04-12-2007, 01:27 PM
We didn't stay at the wigwam, because my A-type personality was kicking in and I was looking at the time/days we were on the road vs when I had to get back for school, so I calculated "how far" we had to get inorder to get home by sunday-- I am such a buzz-kill --

but in hind sight we prob should have stayed there because the next area with hotels was flagstaff and they were pretty much booked. We found a room at a holiday inn express, and lets just say we could have done better sleeping in the car. Well, the H.I.E. had a breakfast, so we ate it and hit the road. we had a car museum, and a route 66 museum in our future. Kingman AZ here we come. This part of AZ is on the southern rim of the grand canyon so as you drive through this part of the country there are a ton of senic bluffs and places to take pictures and many indian reservations (I am not sure if they are called reservations anymore or not) with shopping!!!

When we reached Kingman AZ there were a ton of original buildings some hotels that advertised "new cool air rooms" and diners. we stopped here at lunch at the "hot rod cafe" and went to the museum.

we had a ton of fun, and made sure to check the car out before we hit the desert into CA.

Now the last time I had been to CA was when I was in college, and I was with the band-- so I was pretty geeky then, but I didn't remember it being like a foreign country:confused: Dh and I were cruising along I-40 (its not recomended for this part of rt 66 to stray from the highway as it is a long desert with few services) at about 80 mph-- cruise control set and the AC on, and then all of a sudden there is like a traffic jam, in the middle of the desert!!! its the CA boarder!!!

they have a blockade up :confused: then when you get to the guard they ask "what is your purpose in CA?" "Where are you coming from?" "do you have any fruits or plants?" :confused: WHAT??? I hope they don't ask us for passports, I didn't realize we needed them:confused:

after we were successfully allowed entrance to the great state of California, I remembered reading in one of our rt 66 books of the boarder patrols during the great depression.

--- side bar for a brief history lesson (thats the teacher in me):teacher:

CA was not greatly effected by the great depression because it was isolated by mountains and a desert so when word got out that CA was the place to get work many dust bowl and midwesterners headed to CA. The CA government decided to put up blockades and not let them in, and did. Many people died in "camps" just outside the CA boarders due to the desert heat and cold.

-- ok back to the trip.

when they tell you no services for 106 miles they are not kidding. even their rest stops were closed for rehab!!!! so it was like 180 miles for potty breaks!!!:scared: so NO drinking any Fluids for a while before you go on this leg of the journey!!!!

we made it to Barstow CA without any harm and bladders intact!:upsidedow

we had wanted to go to a car museum here but they only had hours on sat and sunday-- so we peeked in the window anyway.-- off to the ocean!!!

wed was almost over!!!

04-12-2007, 01:30 PM
We stopped for dinner in San Bernadino CA and we looked at the map (and the gas prices :eek: it was $3.55 for regular!!!!) and decided what our thursday would look like since we had to head back on Friday.

DH wanted to stop by the Boyd Coddington Hot Rod shop in La Habra CA near Santa Ana (and Anahiem) so I asked if we would have time to stop at Disneyland, and DH said of course :faint: what from the man who self-proclaims to hate all things Disney???? :eek: so of course, I did what any sane person would do, I started to call for a room in the area. Got one!!! for two nights at DL!! we had a room at Paridse Peir for two nights. Wed and Thurs. So now to figure out how to get to Boyd Coddington's shop.

So I mapped out a route from San Bernadino to La Habra (which suprisingly was not far off of rt 66 so we would still be able to finish our route) and we stopped there and took some pics. Boyd Coddington FYI is a car "customizer" and has his own tv show on the discovery channel I think, he was way famous in the car world before the tv show though.

now off to the ocean then Disneyland!!!

04-13-2007, 05:16 PM
I love this!!

DH and I are dying to do the same thing. Except, we're figuring bring DS along and maybe even rent a small RV.

Your pictures are great!

04-14-2007, 08:05 PM
We have driven it many times from NM to CA, and have driven east to ST Louis. My mother moved from MI to CA in the 1950's and remembers the drive on Rte 66! I still can't get her to come visit me in the desert, I guess she had a tough trip! Back in the day, no airconditioning!!!

Fun to read your report! I've added a photo from the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook Az you may like!


04-18-2007, 11:37 AM
Sounds like a great trip - thanks for sharing it!

04-21-2007, 02:37 PM
Thanks for posting, sounds fun!

05-03-2007, 04:09 PM
Just stay out of Radiator Springs. Bunch of cars not runnin on all cylinders if you know what I mean. :D

Last year we flew into Albuquerque and saw a bit of Route 66. We thought what you did would be a really cool drive. Some day.