Road Trips

Day 16 on Route 66 — We made it!

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 9, 2016) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — We headed down Santa Monica Boulevard Friday morning, took a slight jog and then drove onto the famous Santa Monica pier. Our 2,400-mile Route 66 trip was a success. We reached our destination on July 8 after starting in downtown Chicago on Thursday, June 23. A monumental drive that duplicated those of millions of motorists from 1927 until the early '70s.

Day 15 on Route 66 — Rolling into Pasadena after museum visit

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 8, 2016) As we drove the crowded streets into Pasadena on Colorado Boulevard down old Route 66 we couldn't help but think this is the same route the famed Rose Bowl parade takes every year. The Rose parade has survived for more than a century, but Route 66 has been deceased for many years, even as nostalgia for the Mother Road has grown sharply as more people make it a summer "destination."

Day 14 on Route 66 — The town where wild burros run the place

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 7, 2016) The winding road through the Black Mountains to the old mining town of Oatman, Ariz., is the most spectacular on the entire stretch of Route 66, a winding and somewhat treacherous stretch of highway through beautiful mountain scenery. The road — unpaved for many years — proved daunting to many travelers in the '20s and '30s.

Days 12 and 13 on Route 66 — An Arizona adventure on the old road

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 6, 2016) We have discovered that Arizona has perhaps the richest Route 66 history of any of the eight states it crosses. Going across the northern portion of the state, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Flagstaff and Kingman are all loaded with gift shops, period eating places and motels, old and in many cases deteriorating car displays mostly from the '50s, and the longest stretch of uninterrupted road on original Route 66 between Chicago and Santa Monica — 158 miles.

Day 11 on Route 66 — Cameron Trading Post and a fabulous sunset

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 4, 2016) CAMERON, Ariz. — The Route 66 road crew took a break from traveling the old highway and headed north from Flagstaff Sunday morning toward the Grand Canyon, something we are sure hundreds of thousands of people traveling the Mother Road from the late 1920s to the early 1970s did. How can you bypass one of Mother Nature's top world attractions?

Day 10 on Route 66 — Petrified trees, a grand old hotel, a neat little diner

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 3, 2016) WINSLOW, Ariz. — La Posada was once a grand hotel serving high-end cliental arriving in Winslow, Ariz., on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway lines. The train depot was finished in 1929 and the hotel — owned and operated by famous hotel magnate Fred Harvey — was completed in 1930, one of the last of a series of hotel-depot complexes built across the Southwestern U.S. in a collaboration between Harvey and the railroad company.

Day Nine on Route 66 — A Wigwam stay and a visit to a famous hotel

(July 2, 2016) The Route 66 crew on Friday covered about 225 miles from Albuquerque, N.M. to Holbrook, Ariz., traveling the Mother Road as much as possible, but missing great swaths of old pavement that were lost when Interstate 40 was paved over top of the old road in 1972 and 1973. But we had enough rolling two-lane left to get the real flavor of what it was like to travel through New Mexico from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Day Eight on Route 66 — Vintage motels and travel parks

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica

(July 1, 2016) Mom and pop motels, camp grounds and trailer courts were filled with visitors during the summer months at the height of Route 66's popularity from the 1930s through the 1960s. So part of the fun of recreating the Route 66 experience from Chicago to Santa Monica is staying at vintage stopovers. There are several and the MotorwayAmerica crew has jumped on the opportunity to discover how it really was to get "your kicks on Route 66."

Day Seven on Route 66 — The Cadillac Ranch and a truck stop car collection

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

(June 29, 2016) Truck stops are known for their good — if somewhat greasy — food and for that reason have become popular eating places in communities all over the country. We found the food at the massive Russell's Travel Center at the Texas-New Mexico state line on Interstate 40 and old Route 66 to have excellent all-American eats, but there's more to Russell's than just the food, gas and a big convenience store.

Day Six on Route 66 — From a great museum to five buried VW Bugs

(June 29, 2016) You probably won't find it on many travel guides, but the five Volkswagen Beetle frames buried nose down in the dirt near Conway, Texas — called the "Slug Bug Ranch" — is an obvious answer to the nearby and considerably more famous Cadillac Ranch. But at the Slug Bug people are urged to bring their spray paint and add their own touch to the colorful display.