Category Archives: Route 66

Day 34 – Saturday 3 June 2017 Chicago

Our feet hurt, and I will not even attempt to describe how my Achilles Tendon feels!  Over 6 hours wandering the streets of Chicago, in very high 80’s temperatures, is not ideal, but we are unlikely to be here again.

Highlight of our day was the “Architecture River Tour” along the Chicago River, looking at all of the buildings.  That sounds a bit dull in isolation, but the Guide’s encyclopaedic knowledge was impressive, and we saw a lot of amazing buildings.  However, to appreciate them you need to be there, so I am only going to post three pictures today.

The tour boat we went on:

Route 66 from the river:

Route 66 from underneath!

The End!

We leave Chicago, and Route 66, behind us tomorrow, for our journey back to the UK, stopping off in Iceland whilst en-route.  Our road trip has been, to use the word of almost every young Server we have come into contact with, “Awesome”.  We have seen some incredible sights, passed through some great cities, towns and villages, and met all manner of friendly and helpful people,

Okay – one last picture.  A very friendly Chicago PD Officer who has family in Battersea:

Day 33 – Friday 2 June 2017 – Chicago

Although we arrived yesterday, today we feel that our journey is officially over.  We visited the all important Route 66 signs, and ate in Lou Mitchell’s which is a Route 66 tradition:

Pauline spent ages looking for someone that she considered may be trustworthy enough to take this picture for us!

Three “Begin” signs all within a hundred yards!  We met some Brazilian Bikers at this sign, who were just about to start their journey.  They were very excited!

Pauline’s “light lunch” – Cantaloupe, Tuna, Cottage Cheese, Pineapple, Tomato and Pickle:

My Apple and Cheese omelette.  Sounds a bit weird from an English perspective, but it was delicious:

The Union Station was just along the road:

We spent most of the day getting on and off an open-top tour bus which is always a good way to see a big city.  Some random skyline pictures:

Not sure I would like to reverse a car into these spaces:

The famous “El”.   The only thing missing were Cop Cars chasing Bad Guys at high speed underneath it:

This is supposed to be a Flamingo…


Picasso sculpture:


Us looking straight into the Sun:

Buckingham Fountain – copied from a fountain at Versailles:

Trump Tower:

We spent quite a while at the Navy Pier.  Pity I never noticed that the camera lens was getting a bit smeary:

The Rolling Stones’ Exhibition is on in Chicago until July.  These tongues were everywhere on the Pier:

We went on the Ferris Wheel:

The Ground Floor level inside is just shops and eateries, so we were surprised to find a tranquil garden on the upper level:

Day 32 – Thursday 1 June 2017 Pontiac – Chicago

We made it!  Distance travelled today 124 miles.  Time on the road just under 8 hours.

Just like Santa Monica, there are two start points in Chicago and Pauline managed to catch this one as we drove by in heavy traffic.  Note to Self – avoid Rush Hour in big cities!  She never managed to catch the other one, as it was behind us as we turned a corner.  However, we will be visiting both sites tomorrow.

Some basic stats:

  • Distance travelled from Santa Monica – 3,516 miles.  2,448 is the official mileage, so our side trips, and meandering along pretty well every different alignment as we came to it, certainly added some extra miles!
  • Cost of fuel – 281 USD so approx £225!
  • Photographs taken – over 6,000
  • Hotels/Motels stayed in – 22 + 1 Resort Apartment
  • Days on the road – 32

We were up and out early this morning so that we could visit the Pontiac sights before we got going on the day’s journey.  This is outside the, now disused, 1941 State Police Office on Old Route 66 South of Pontiac.  It is next to an original alignment of the Route.  I have not posted a photo of the Station itself, as it is fairly nondescript from ground level.  However, from the air it is in the shape of a Derringer pistol!

Pontiac is another small town that it was a pleasure to visit.  A whole collection of Museums, including Route 66, and some really good murals.  I have only posted some of our pictures as there were so many:

The owner of this converted School Bus, the late Bob Waldmire, used it to cruise up and down Route 66, and he was a major contributor to the Pontiac Museum:

Little cars like these were all along the pavement around the Museums:

Rose who told us all about the Museum and Pontiac, and she gave us a free badge each:

This VW Campervan was also owned by the late Bob Waldmire:

A Steak & Shake Diner Table:

I always grab centre stage!  This will keep me in Pauline’s Good Books for many years to come!

Some more murals after we left the Museum:

The approach to Odell:

A beautifully restored Standard Oil Gas Station:

Next to the Gas Station was this 1953 caravan just like the one Pauline’s parents used to have in their garden:

Another Gas Station in Dwight this time:

We met the owner of this bike at Ambler’s Gas Station, also in Dwight, and he was from Iowa and had ridden across to Chicago to start his trip down to Santa Monica.  He has allowed a month for the trip, and he will certainly need it judging by the amount of interest his copper plated bike was generating:

Amblers Gas Station:

The Mining Museum in Godley:

In Braidwood, we stopped at the famous Polka Dot Drive In where I had a Shake so thick and full of fruit that I had difficulty finishing it!  When we signed the Visitors’ Book we were given free key rings which was a nice gesture:

Then it was on to Wilmington.  The Green Dinosaur was much bigger than the Guide Books had suggested:

and then we had all three!  The Gemini Giant which is just along the road from the Dinosaur:

When we reached Elwood we spotted their monument to Munitions Workers who died in a massive wartime explosion:

Joilet.  A large city but with a small town feel to it.  Used to be called Juliet, and was next to the town of Romeo,  However, Romeo changed its name to Romeoville so Juliet chnaged their name to Joilet:

Joilet’s 1926 Vaudeville Movie theatre:

The Jefferson Street Lifting Bridge:

On the “Must See” list:

A very inviting looking Ice Cream Parlour – but I had already had a Milk Shake! Not a brilliant picture (fast traffic again) but you can just see the Blues Brothers dancing on the roof.

Dell Rhea’s 1938  Chicken Basket in Willowbank.  Its iconic sign is being refurbished and is being re-erected in July:

The former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill on Joliet Road in McCook:

The Cindy Lyn Motel in Cicero:

Approaching Downtown Chicago:

Traffic was very heavy, and fast, going into Chicago, so we could not take photographs of all that we wanted to as we passed by.  We finally reached our destination, and here it is again for good measure:

and we then set off for our hotel for the next three nights.  Very tall buildings and SatNav’s do not mix very well!  The GPS signals can’t always reach the receiver, and we ended up doing a lot of random turns, but arrived eventually.  Very tired and very happy, until we checked in.  Over 1,100 USD for the three nights and we were charged extra for parking!  No breakfast provided either!  Corporate Greed.

Day 31 – Wednesday 31 May 2017 – Springfield IL – Pontiac

Distance travelled 124 miles.  Time on the road 8 hours.

Today’s Blog will be in two parts.  As our first stop this morning, we visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.  Not only is Springfield the State Capital,  despite its relatively small size, but it is Lincoln’s birthplace.  Not visiting the Museum would be a bit like visiting London but not bothering to go to Buckingham Palace.

The old Union Station across the road from the Presidential Museum.  The Station is also a Museum:

Springfield is a city of “One Way” roads and getting to the parking garage near the Museum was a bit of a nightmare.  First, I turned into a one way road, the wrong way, which must have caused the oncoming drivers a bit of consternation, then when Pauline said “over there” I couldn’t get across the 4 busy lanes of traffic to the car park entrance without going round the block.  It usually takes more than 10 yards distance to change so many lanes…

The Museum was outstanding:

Pauline outside an exact replica of the one room wooden house that Lincoln was raised in.

With his wife, Mary.

Lincoln’s wife, Mary:

From what we saw, politics in Lincoln’s day was pretty much the same as today.  Mary was regarded as entirely unsuitable to be the First Lady by the Washington political glitterati’s wives, and these dresses were worn by the wives and daughters of those politicians who aspired to be President themselves.  Their aim was to put Mary in the shade at every opportunity.  The President and Mary had four children, three of whom died as children, and her surviving son had her involuntarily institutionalised for “psychiatric disease” ten years after her husband’s murder.  Considering what she had been through, I suspect a modern approach to what ailed her would have been a bit more sympathetic.

Lincoln reading his draft Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet which set a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recast the Civil War as a fight against slavery, instead of a war to restore the Union.

Lincoln’s assassination:

As may be imagined, we took a lot of photographs in the Museum but we had to get back on the road.  We were aiming for Shea’s Petrolina Museum, but missed it in the heavy traffic, but stopped at this Phillips 66 one a few hundred yards away.

A Coke for 10 Cents!

Just down the road from the gas station was the entrance to the Illinois State Fair Ground and, inside the gate is the famous Log Splitter statue of Lincoln as a young man:

We went looking for Lincoln’s Covered Wagon but it was not where it was supposed to be!  More about that later.

The 1929 Mill Restaurant in Lincoln.  It has been refurbished and is now a very nice Museum. The elderly gentleman volunteer inside told us that there are documented instances of The Mill being visited by Al Capone when it was operating as a dance hall in the 1930’s.

Apparently, the original owner built in all sorts of quirky things, including this leg that dangles through the ceiling.  It moves!

The Springfield Covered Wagon is now in Lincoln!  Abe is 12 feet tall, and the Wagon is 24 feet.

Still in Lincoln.  The historic Postville Court House – it’s a replica built in the 50’s!  Abraham Lincoln used the original when he was a circuit lawyer.

Atlanta.  A small town that is making the most of its Route 66 heritage:

We had a late lunch in the 1934 Palm’s Grill:

Across the road is a very tranquil little park specifically for Route 66 travellers to relax in:


Atlanta also has one of the three Illinois Route 66 Giants, the 19 feet tall Bunyon Giant. Yesterday we saw the Lauterbach Giant, and tomorrow we hope to see the Gemini Giant.

The Dixie Truckers Home.  The original US Truck Stop established in 1928 on the corner of Route 66 and Route 136:

Shirley.  Funk Grove Pure Maple Sirup!  That is how they spell it.

This photo does not do the sign justice.  It is actually red – the only red one we have seen.

Stock Cars / Hot Rods we passed:

A roadside marker in Lexington to commemorate Route 66:

The Lexington Arrow.  Another tick for the list:

Pontiac.  We were pretty tired by the time we got to Pontiac, so we will pick up some more of the sights tomorrow:

More red brick road:

Day 30 – Tuesday 30 May 2017 St Louis – Springfield IL

Distance travelled 153 miles.  Time on the road 6.5 hours.

My US SIM Card has time-bombed so that means we have been on the road for a month!

We had great fun today; hunting for things we did not always find!  When we went on our river cruise yesterday I was hoping that we would go far enough upstream to see the famous 1929 Chain of Rocks Route 66 Bridge, but we did not.  It would have been good to have photographed it from the River because, on the Missouri side all access is fenced off as there has been so much crime involving travellers stopping to visit the bridge, but Pauline was able to take a quick photo as we drove past:

then she was able to photograph it from the side as we crossed the bridge that replaced it in 1967:

and she also managed to catch the State Line as we crossed into Illinois:

On the Illinois side, we had to cross this small bridge on the way to the Illinois entrance to the Chain of Rocks Bridge:

There is also a lot of crime centred around the car park on this side of the bridge, so we did not dare leave the car to walk over the bridge.  It is only open to walkers and cyclists nowadays:

There was a disused Motel and Cafe on the Illinois approach to the bridge:

Our first Illinois Route 66 sign – back to brown after Missouri’s blue ones:

Granite City.  The Luna Cafe.

and the Apple Valley Motel – only the sign remains:

Still in Granite City – I wonder what happened to the “R”:

Staunton.  There should have been a photo of the famous Muppet Bus here!  But it was not where it was supposed to be, just up a rough track off a very old stretch of alignment.  Pauline was busy giving me stick for yet another SatNav failure, when a local chap, who was cutting his vast lawn, came across and confirmed that we were in the right place, but the bus had burnt out 4 years ago!

Raymond.  A photo of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Highways should have been here!  We never found it and, having Googled it now that I am Blogging, we needed to go about half a mile further along the road…

Mitchell.   Kaiser Frazer Motel sign on someone’s front lawn:

Signposting in Illinois is very good, and possibly the best we have seen on our trip.  We stayed on the 1926-40 alignment all day apart from small diversions when needed to see a particular sight:

The first time we had seen a cycling Route 66 sign.  Saw them all over the place after this one:


Outside the Litchfield Town Museum and Route 66 Welcome Centre:

with the “must tick off on the list” Ariston Cafe across the road:

The Museum also acts as the offices of the Chamber of Commerce:

The Museum has the High School Yearbook photographs going back to 1885!

Nilwood.  We then set off to find the famous Turkey Tracks made by an inconsiderate bird that wandered across the wet cement when the road was first laid down.  You know that when you pass the same barn twice, the SatNav is having fun:

We eventually found Donaldson Road and drove along it slowly looking for the tracks.  We then drove back the way we had just come, and spotted this little sign that said that we had to go back a further mile.  So we did.  By this time we had driven about 2 miles at slower than walking pace.

every mark on the road looked like tracks until we looked closely…

Eureka!  Donaldson Road goes in two different directions, at right angles to each other, and we had been on the wrong stretch of road.  After getting on for an hour of searching, we finally found it.  If only we had turned the other way to begin with…

Still in Nilwood:

Girard.  Our Lunch stop and, as with all Mom & Pop eateries along the Route, that we have been in, the food was excellent:

Auburn.  Becky’s Barn:

Still in Auburn, the 1.4 mile stretch of red-brick Route 66:

We spotted a sign for an historic covered bridge, so we detoured off Route 66 to find it.  The bridge crosses Sugar Creek in Pioneer Park which is South East of Chatham:

Old Road Chatham, a section of original Route 66:

Springfield IL.  The Lauterbach Giant:

and a pink elephant just across the road:

Cozy Dogs Drive In:

As we had been on the road for a long time, at this point we decided to leave the rest of the Springfield sights until the next day.

Day 29 – Monday 29 May 2017 St Louis

End of week four mileage is 2957.  Suspect that if we totted up all the little local trips during the evenings etc. we would be well above 3000 by now.

Note to Self:  When you have a painful foot, and it is very hot and humid, walking around a city for nearly 6 hours is not a good idea!  On the plus side, we spent an hour on a cruise up the Mississippi River, on a paddle boat called the Tom Sawyer.  As we were walking back to the hotel it started to rain big droplets, but it only started to come down heavily just after we got into the hotel.

Camera battery fully charged.  A better view from our hotel room window:

The historic St Louis Courthouse.  We spent quite a lot of time wandering around inside;

Looking up at the inside of the dome.  If I had lain down on the floor I may have been able to get it all in, but I would probably have had to ask for help to stand up again!

The booking office for trips up inside the Arch is in the Courthouse, but it was fully booked.  Not surprising as it is the Memorial Day holiday.  When we saw what we would have travelled up in, we didn’t mind so much that we could not make the trip:

A lot of the exhibitions in the Courthouse were about the abolition of slavery, and we watched a very moving documentary about Dred Scott and his wife Harriet, and their fight for freedom.

Everywhere you turn in Downtown St Louis there are sculptures:

You can almost hear her shrieking because she had got her hair wet:

Front and rear view to illustrate that it is about to hit a tiny being with a sledge hammer!

Power Walker:

We saw a lot of these inset into the pavement so, presumably, every State is represented somewhere in the area we were in:

We were arguing about where to go for lunch.  If you look closely you can see Pauline’s gritted teeth:

We went to Laclede’s Landing, which is an old warehouse area alongside the river, where there were all manner of eateries:

Needless to say, there was a sculpture just inside the entrance.  Pauline in full pose mode:

and we ate in Joey B’s.  As well as tipping the expected 20% for good service, Pauline also gave our server a winning Scratch Card for 2 USD.  Her largesse knows no bounds…

After lunch we headed for the Arch and, although we could not go up it, we went into the Visitors’ area under one side of the base and watched a really interesting documentary about how it was built in the early and mid-60’s.  630 feet tall and weighs more an aircraft carrier!

Then it was down to the river side for our cruise.  Lots of horse drawn carriages and this one is for Evie, our Granddaughter.

A log masquerading as a seal:

Lots of bridges:

Pauline’s “I am enjoying myself really” look:

Me demonstrating my usually well hidden artistic side by capturing the old Courthouse through the Arch:

As I am finishing Blogging for this evening, the thunder has started – again. Now we have two Arches:

Day 17 – Wednesday 17 May 2017 Oklahoma City

Distance travelled 58 miles – quite a lot when all we were doing was going backwards and forwards across the City for the day.

Watching the news last night, and again this morning, all of the talk was about the tornado that ripped through Elk City, where we spent the night, during the late afternoon, destroying over 100 homes, and then another one that went through Clinton, where we spent the early afternoon, later on.  During our drive yesterday the sky was looking ominous the whole time, but we never realised what was coming behind us.  We did pass a school in one small town that had its own “Tornado Shelter” which illustrates how dangerous the weather can be. Tomorrow, we are heading for Tulsa where “severe thunderstorms” are forecast through until Friday…  Hearing about yesterday’s baseball size hail stones is a bit perturbing too!

Fairly lazy day today.  On the way in yesterday we passed an old Route 66 bridge, that the modern highway had bypassed because it would not be able to cope with the traffic, so we retraced our steps to it.  We would not have been able to stop yesterday as we were in high speed, rush hour, traffic.  Built in 1925, the Lake Overholser Bridge is still open to local traffic:

We then headed for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, just outside Oklahoma City, and, having been raised on a late 50’s and  60’s diet of Western Movies, it was really enjoyable.  Even Pauline enjoyed it.  We chatted to the Cowboy, who was a volunteer greeter at the entrance, and despite being about the same age as me, he said that he had only ever seen one tornado.  He did confirm that the wind never stops blowing though!

John Wayne guarding the entrance!

There was a whole section devoted to actors, and actresses, who had starred in the Western Movies, with a lot of the exhibits being donated by them or their families.  John Wayne, in particular, had a very large section devoted to him, but that is not surprising when considering how many iconic films he starred in.

Ronald Reagan before he went into politics:

Charlton Heston:


The Museum even has a small mock up of a Wild West town:

The Marshall’s Office:

After we left the Museum we travelled about 14 miles to where we should have found a huge golden dome.  It wasn’t there!  This has happened a few times, and I have to seriously question whether the guide book authors ever actually visit the places they feature in their books.

Finally, we headed for a small park, not far from Downtown, to see the Centennial Land Run Monument that commemorates the 1889 land grab.  Some amazing sculptures:


Day 16 – Tuesday 16 May 2017 Elk City – Oklahoma City

Distance travelled 137 miles.  Time on the road 4.5 hours.

We knew that we had quite a lazy day ahead of us, with not too far to travel, so before we left Elk City we spent about 2 hours in the National Route 66 Museum, which is coupled with the City’s own Old Town Museum.  Without a doubt, the Museums were amongst the best we have ever visited.   As well as the Route 66 Museum, in effect, a small town had been created to recreate pioneer life. and both of the Museums had succeeded in their aims.  I had read that Elk City benefited from the oil industry, and was not particularly affected when Route 66 bypassed them, and it was apparent that a considerable amount of investment, including by  wealthy local benefactors, had gone into making their Museums special.  We took hundreds of photos, and those that follow give a flavour of what we saw:

A motorcycle caravan!

T Shirts:

Hitchhiking Sailor – suspect his White Summer uniform would be more than a little dirty from carrying his kitbag!


The Old Town Museum:

Some photo’s from inside the family residence:

WAVE (US Navy Wren equivalent) uniform on the right:

The 1981 Miss America was a local girl:

Once we set off, we did not see as many old motels and gas stations as we had on previous days.  However, these two, in Canute, are interesting in that they are in the front yards of private houses.

When we stayed in the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, we were told that the Route 66 in Clinton was one of the best so, although we had already spent 2 hours in a museum, we still called in and, again, a lot of effort had gone into turning it into an iconic museum.  Just a few pictures:

Pauline pointing out where we are:

The reason roads were given Numbers.  They all had their own names/colours/logo’s, often painted on rocks alongside the roads, and it was getting too confusing for the motorists:

The curse of motorists everywhere was invented in Oklahoma:

For Martin and Sara:

No more pictures of gas stations and motels today, except for this one which is one of the “must see’s” on Route 66:

And a final sight for today, It is perhaps the most iconic bridge on all of Route 66, this yellow pony-truss bridge with 38 spans was built in 1933. Known by three names — the William H. Murray Bridge, the Bridgeport Bridge, and the Pony Bridge, it is nearly three-quarters of a mile long — it was built in 1933 to span the South Canadian River, 21 miles west of El Reno, Oklahoma.  Apparently, the bridge is in danger of closing because it is so much narrower than the accepted minimum width for highway bridges:



Day 15 – Monday 15 May 2017 Amarillo – Elk City

Distance travelled 154 miles.  Time on the road just over 7 hours.

End of week 2, distance travelled 1884 miles.

Although we did not have many planned stops today, we still managed to spend over 7 hours on the road but only covered 154 miles.  Contrary to what we were expecting, we ended up spending a lot of time in a couple of places that were really interesting, but where we thought a 10 minutes’ stop was the most we were likely to do.  Just goes to show that detailed planning is not always the answer!

Getting out of Amarillo was a doddle.  Our hotel last night was just a few yards off the I40, and the road went straight through the centre of the city.  A bit perturbing was the sign spotted by Pauline that there had been 1139 deaths on the road, coincidentally the same number of miles to yesterday’s Midpoint stop, but traffic was very light and we were soon well out into the countryside.

I can’t sum up this part of Texas is just one word but flat, windy, windmills and vast grain farms will give you an idea.  Interestingly, for the first time on this trip, we saw substantial houses built out of brick, and we wondered whether that was to stand up to the wind or, perhaps, tornados come through the area.  I should say that although it was very windy, the wind was extremely warm.

For most of the day we managed to stay on the old road, again paralleling the Interstate most of the time, and our first stop was at the Bug Ranch, in Conway, which is a bit like a poor cousin of the Cadillac Ranch on the other side or Amarillo:

After Conway, we headed for Groom, where the guidebooks and maps told us we could expect to see a big Cross.  Well it was a bit more than that.  Sat between old Route 66, and the Interstate, was a truly big Cross (190 feet), set in a small park full of bronze statues depicting the various stages of Christ’s Crucifixion, and there was also a beautifully maintained Visitors’ Centre.  Whilst I am not the slightest bit religious, I had to admire the work that had gone into turning a bit of land into a haven of peace and tranquillity, and we spent a lot of time there soaking up the atmosphere.  We took numerous photos and these are just a few:

On the way out of Groom we were able to take a distant shot of the famous leaning water tower:

The landscape continued to change and, by the time we reached the small town of Alanread, it started to look a bit like the English countryside.  Instead of being sun-bleached, this old gas station was in surprisingly good condition:

Pauline getting complacent about the complete absence of traffic in the area.  I wanted a picture of the road signs.  We never saw a single Route 66 Texas sign, so this had to do.  Chances are there were a lot going the other way, as that is the direction most people travel.

Our next stop was the highlight of our day.  I had seen numerous mentions of the Devil’s Rope Museum, in Mclean, when researching this trip, and had seen a bit about it on the History Channel some years ago.  We were expecting a dingy old room full of barbed wire, but the reality is that it is a spectacular museum, and we spent a long time there.  Before going into the exhibits area we had a long chat with Cenita Day, and she gave us a lot of information about the history of the museum.  Just a few photographs from a very enjoyable visit.  Even Pauline, who had grumbled at the thought of looking at “a load of barbed wire”, enjoyed it:

The Dust Bowl exhibition with lots of pictures depicting the poverty of the times.

A couple of days ago we saw dozens of the Burma Shave signs, and Cenita explained what they are for us.  They all have a Safe Driving theme, and are posted by the Burma Shave company along busy roads.

I had to add the hitch hiking Sailor!

We stayed in Mclean for lunch in Lolly’s Market, where we had sandwiches so full that we could barely get our mouths around them.  As well as enjoying a good meal. It was good to be in a genuine American Market cum Diner, with good service and no glitz.  On the way out, a young man said “Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere” which I suppose it is to the youngsters who live locally:

and across the road was the Town’s cinema:

After lunch, we stopped in Shamrock; a large town compared to most we had passed through today, and it has a very well preserved historical section:

We think this mural, which surrounds a vacant piece of land, probably depicts an Irish town around the time so many Irish people came to the US to escape the famine in Ireland:

We knew that we had crossed into Oklahoma when we stopped in Texola.  The name confused us, as it could have been either State, but the signs put us right!

The town of Erick had some interesting Route 66 contributions!

The Western Motel in Sayre which was the last town we passed through before reaching Elk City:



Day 14 – Sunday 14 May 2017 Tucumcari – Amarillo

Distance travelled 120 miles.  Time on the road 5 hours.

Before we set off for the day, we had the pleasure of meeting Ben Labaree, the owner of the red Corvette in yesterday’s pictures.  Sandy, Ben’s late wife, started the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour charity when they realised that Sandy had incurable cancer and, before she sadly passed away in 2000, they covered over 50,000 miles touring Corvette events to raise money for the charity.  Since then, Ben has continued with the Tour, and he has covered hundreds of thousands of miles.  I have met a lot of people in my time, and admired a few.  Ben falls into that category, and Sandy would too, had I been lucky enough to have met her.

Although we did not travel far today, it was a really interesting journey, and we crossed into another time zone when we entered Texas.

We had a leisurely start and went to ”Kix on 66” for breakfast and, as it is Mothers’ Day here in the States, it was very busy.  After breakfast, we drove slowly along Route 66 through Tucumcari to get a few more pictures of the many murals, old motels and gas stations.

We have seen old Whiting Bros. gas stations all over the place.  They must have had quite a business empire.

Half a plane in the garden!

Is this the way?

Once we were out of Tucumcari we headed for the Glenrio ghost town which pretty much straddles the New Mexico/Texas border.  For most of the day, Route 66 paralleled the Interstate which often appears to be the case.

Spotted this motel en-route, which must be the smallest we have seen so far:

We then got onto just over 14 miles of old dirt road towards Glenrio.  Bouncing is not ideal just after breakfast!

The dirt road ran parallel to an old railway line:

and we crossed a number of old wooden bridges ourselves:

Probably the most interesting Route 66 relic before reaching Glenrio was this old Rest Area:

We knew that we were entering Texas as the sign telling us that we were about to come off the unpaved stretch of road, was full of bullet holes!

Although Glenrio is a ghost town, I had read that it has one resident who keeps a couple of aggressive German Shepherds and, as I could hear them barking, we did not get out of the car to take our pictures!

Just after we crossed into Texas we spotted 4 or 5 wind farm windmills, between two hills, and I made the mistake of saying to Pauline that it appeared that a lot of effort had gone into making the wind farm discreet by putting them in a valley.  She then spent the next 50 miles; it was literally that big, with hundreds of windmills stretching as far as the eye could see, teasing me about how discreet they were.  She came close to walking…

We stopped for lunch at the Midpoint Café in Adrian, and had to wait quite a while for some seats.  It is not particularly big and, as well as more than a few Mothers being taken out for lunch, a large party from the local Baptist Church were there too.  We had some of their “Ugly Pie” and a drink.  Pauline had Pecan, but mine was an exotic mix of Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Banana and, whilst that might sound revolting to some, it was delicious.

The actual Midpoint mileage is 1139 and ours was 1681 at that point.  Even accounting for our side trip to Las Vegas, we have obviously been on more of the alternative alignments than we realised!

A few more pictures on the way out of Adrian:

To give a sense of scale, Pauline stood as near as she dare to this old house.  However, raised off the ground meant that snakes were a possibility…

In case it is not clear, the sign reads Crock of Gin!

and then on to Vega to “Dot’s Mini-Museum” which was closed for the Winter!  A great shame as I have read some excellent reviews.

Some of the small towns, that don’t get much of a mention in the Route 66 guide books, are often the most interesting, and Vega certainly had a lot to offer the tourist:

A restored Magnolia Service Station:

The arrow marks an old Comanche campsite:

Our final stop before our run into Amarillo was at the famous Cadillac Ranch.  It was hot!

Unfortunately, to stop off at the shop, to buy spray paint to make your own contribution to the art work on the cars, you need to be travelling in the opposite direction to what we are.  The “Second Amendment Cowboy” outside the shop.: