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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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Posts posted by DennyG

  1. Dave: You're right, "cursory" isn't quite the right word but I wanted to announce -- especially since it was close on the heels of Jim's -- that my report lacked the details of pavement, abandoned sections, etc., that are in his.


    Jim: Those picture were probably taken through the windshield. You may sometimes notice that marks on the pavement and smudges on my car's glass can be strikingly similar.


    Jim (again): Regarding that brewery I asked about, it seems that the road it is on is DH although the road I approached it on was not. It was the work-around north of Oolitic that gets back to the DH at Needmore.

  2. As recently as 2005, the turkey tracks were unmarked and required really good instructions, a local guide, or a lot of walking to find. By the fall of 2006, someone had splashed some white paint on the area and the sign a painted border were in place by 2009. Calling this good or bad is an individual choice.


    There are still unmarked tracks of a similar age on an older route. Proving that humans are not always smarter than turkeys, some bright fellow walked across the recently created and more recently paved US-30 in Ogden, Iowa, in 1929. At the time, the US-30 designation was so new that I'm guessing many Ogdenites were still calling the road the Lincoln Highway.


    Ogden Footprints

  3. Cece Otto is a classically trained -- and great sounding -- vocalist who who has performed at the last couple of LHA conferences and who plans to travel the Lincoln Highway during this, its centennial year, performing concerts along the way. A related Kickstarter project is about to end with the goal unmet but in sight. I've seen projects that appear to be little more than an attempt to get a road trip paid for and I am not at all a fan of those. Cece went to Kickstarter not so much to pay for the trip but to make all the concerts free. Kickstarter projects are all or nothing so a few bucks in the next couple of days could mean a whole lot. Check out the Kickstarter project here and Cece's website here.

  4. A chain might be your best bet. It seems the closest recommended independents are the Will Rogers (Claremore, 20 miles east), Chelsea Motor Inn (Chelsea, 40 miles east), and the Skyliner (Stroud, 50 miles west).

    Mentioning Stroud reminds me that there is an Ozark Trails obelisk on an old gravel alignment west of town that may not show up in tourist guides but which you may want to see. It's at N35° 43.4505' W96° 41.9068'. If you or the boys are Cars fans, you probably know that Stroud is home to Dawn Welch and the Rock Cafe.

    I could probably assume you plan on driving at least one of the nine-foot wide sections near Miami, OK, but will mention them anyway.
  5. Looks good overall but I suggest you rethink the Desert Hills. I had a very satisfactory stay there in 2007 but that seems to have been the high water mark. The long term trade that the place had been surviving on was still there but a few rooms had be redone and the owner talked about continuing with that and pursuing the Route 66 business. He was probably sincere but it didn't work out that way. Reports about the hotel have been getting worse as time goes on. This TripAdvisor thread from October offers some recent discouragement. I'll make some queries for alternatives but don't expect much since the subject has come up before. You may want to consider making that day a little longer or shorter or make do with a chain.


    I've stayed at the Wagon Wheel and the Munger Moss and both are excellent. The CarlinVilla gets good reviews and is on my to do list. I'm not familiar with the Americinn but it has some really good reviews at TripAdvisor.

  6. Yeah, you've got the Wagon Wheel, Munger Moss, Rail Haven, Rest Haven, and Boots so close that you can't possibly stay at more than one or two (I've yet to stay at either of the Havens) then a rather dry stretch for mom-n-pops. There is a decent independent, Route 66 Motel, near Afton that I've stayed in and the Skyliner in Stroud gets good reviews though I've not stayed there myself. There are the normal chains around both Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Tulsa does have the historic, cool, and pricey Campbell Hotel.


    Regarding that Missouri cluster, you might be able to double your pleasure by working one of them into your return drive.


    Whether you know it or not, Afton Station is an absolute must-stop. Failing to stop there would be something that neither the Bremers or I would ever let you forget.


    If time permits, the boys might like the military museum that's connected to the Route 66 museum in Pontiac, IL, and the Pontiac (the car) museum a few blocks away.

  7. A search for "Jackson Courthouse" turned up a couple of mentions but no story. Assuming there is something interesting to tell, please do.


    That search did reveal that Washington's Jackson Highway had been mentioned before but, although I recall seeing the posts, it apparently didn't strike me at the time that this was also the name of a mid-west auto trail. The auto trail that goes through Kentucky, Tennessee, et. al., was named for President Andy. I figured that wasn't his namesake out west but had no idea who. I'd not heard of John.


    Regarding George, one of our local radio stations was founded by John Kennedy. I'm guessing that your Washington and my Kennedy have similar connections with the U.S. presidency.


    I thought "utility lines" when I first saw the picture. After a little more study, I'm starting to think they might be a distant extension of the Nazca lines which would be an even more exciting discovery. However, wires beside a road are perfectly normal so finding a roadbed is more likely. Take your waders.

  8. Wonderful stuff. Nice work bringing the various sources together. The identity of the parallel white lines is now an intriguing mystery but it wouldn't have been interesting at all without the other discoveries.


    This is definitely off topic but the name Jackson Highway caught my attention. There was a Jackson Highway in the east that ran from Chicago to New Orleans. I'm somewhat familiar withe the section in Kentucky now called US-31E. Any stories about Washington's Jackson Highway?

  9. A shot gun response:

    I tend to forget that the Cozy Dog is closed on Sundays so my idea of a first night in Springfield wouldn't work for a Sunday (which is what I was thinking) if you want to eat at the Cozy Dog (which maybe you don't). I had a Sunday start in mind because I'm all for spending as much time on the road as possible.

    I've no motel recommendations in Joliet and I see nothing listed at Ron Warnick's place (http://route66news.com/lodging-on-route-66/). Ron's Route66News.com is a good place to watch.

    Do you have specific attractions in mind. Many of the "attractions" aren't really active things that need to be open. Examples are the old gas stations in Dwight & Odell, the brick pavement near Auburn, and the 1920s concrete & turkey tracks near Nilwood. They never close. Technically, I guess the Dwight station closes since it is open on occasion as a welcome center but it's closed more than not and can be enjoyed either way.


    The 66 museum in Pontiac is, to me, a must see. They advertise being open seven days a week but you'll want to check specifically about Easter if needed.


    There are a couple of possibilities in Carlinville if that's where you end up for a night. I was satisfied when I stayed at the Magnuson with a group about a year ago and the Carlinvilla gets good marks.


    I can't bring myself to recommend that anyone NOT stay at the Munger Moss but it can be necessary. If another hundred miles would help, give some thought the the Boots in Carthage. I managed to stay in both last trip but it took both planning and dawdling to pull it off.




    On the other end of your route I don't know much about Sayre. If you don't have anything in mind and think you can work in another fifty miles, there is a good mom-n-pop, The Cactus Inn, in McLean, TX.


  10. It looks like a couple of hours on the expressway will get you from South Bend to Joliet so I'm guessing that will just be part of your first day with no extra "staging" to launch on 66. If that's the case, then the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center on the south side of Springfield might be a good first night's target. It's about 150 miles from Joliet and can be reached from the expressway without churning through downtown Springfield. Pick up I-55 north of town then cut back on Old 66 for about 2 miles at the south edge. It's a former Holiday Inn and not a mom-n-pop but it is on the route and embraces that fact with lots of 66 themed stuff on display. They used to offer a $66 rate to travelers on the route but I can't say whether they still do. Another plus is that it's within walking distance of the Cozy Dog Drive-in. As you no doubt know, that's the Waldmire family restaurant and, assuming you stopped at the museum in Pontiac, you will have seen Bob's VW bus and school bus, and the boys might enjoy seeing another one of his hangouts. Even if they don't get into Bob Waldmire history, a couple of nice healthy Cozy Dogs is a great way to end a day on the road.



    A crude check shows Lebanon, MO, about 250 miles from Springfield. Probably a little more after circling St Louis. Lebanon is home to the quintessential Route 66 mom-n-pop motel, the Munger Moss. If that turns out to be a little too far, the Wagon Wheel in Cuba, another classic independent, might work.



  11. 300 miles a day seems a reasonable goal to me. Since it was interstates (I-55, 44, 40) that made US-66 unneeded, you can usually use a semi-parallel expressway to leap ahead if required. There are, of course, guides that can be recommended (which you probably know about and may already have) and plenty of knowledgeable folks on this forum. Getting more advice than you need, want, or could possibly use might be the real problem. Route 66 is certainly not unknown to you and I'm guessing there are a few icons at the top of your or your son's lists. Center your planning around them. For motels that you absolutely positively want to stay at, you should probably make reservations before leaving home. For most, I doubt (but certainly can't guarantee) there is much of a problem in early April.


    Now, to get that "more advice than you need" started, I completely agree with your decision to avoid Chicago but suggest starting a few miles before Pontiac. Seeing the Gemini Giant in Wilmington would give you and the boys a "we're on 66 now" kind of moment and small towns like Braidwood, Dwight, and Odell give you a nice feel for the old days without requiring a lot of time. Starting in Joliet would enable you to check out the very good museum there but, if your teenagers think that one museum a day is enough, I believe the one in Pontiac would be a better choice.


    Be sure to come back with questions as details develop.


    When I was 16 with a brand new license, my Dad took me and my 13 year old sister to Washington, DC. He wasn't really an old roads fan (of course the roads weren't so old then) so it was all expressway going east but we did get on some real twisty Virginia two-lane going home. I got to drive a little in both directions which made the trip even cooler. I'm sure your oldest has a much better appreciation for the old road than I had but I bet his appreciation of holding the steering wheel is much the same. Try not to be too nervous or at least don't let it show too much.

  12. Alex, you east coasters weren't alone in your vigilance. Though it is a reconstruction of the 1952 original, a wooden watchtower still stands just a few miles north of West Lafayette, Indiana. During the early '50s, the tower was manned around the clock by volunteers and is often cited as a big reason that Purdue University was never bombed by the Russians. Photos and more here.

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