After 13 days on the road, well 12 actually as we spent one full day in Springfield, Il., 3000 miles, lots of gas, lots of motels, and lots of good old road food, we accomplished our goal. We drove Route 66 from End-to-End.
There were sidetrips, backtracks, and many times, we were just really lost. But you see things you wouldn't have when you're lost. As long as it is not in a questionable area, and that happened a few times as well.
Along the way, we attended two festivals, the Route 66 International Festival in Springfield, Il. and the Standing on the Corner Festival in Winslow, Arizona, you know, Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Az..
We met lots of 66 people including Michael Wallis, Bob Waldemire, Dean Walker, Jim Conkle, and Scot Piotrowski. We toured the Painted Desert and Grand Canyon, and got taken at the Meteor Crater. There were people in bars, waitresses, bartenders, diners, gas stations, and other tourists to talk to.
Ran into and had a nice discussion with a busload of English tourists at Ted Drewe's in St. Louis. They couldn't understand why the bus was going back to Springfield after leaving Branson. They though it was back to Springfield, Illinois, where they had been earlier that day. They couldn't imagine two towns in the same country having the same name.
Then there was the big group of Germans on motorcycles that we ran into out at the Grand Canyon and later in Williams, Az. There were also smaller groups of foreign tourists that we met in other places. Lots of Europeans were on the road, no small wonder with exchange rates being what they are today.
There were blinding and beautiful sunsets as we headed west, including one at the three end points in Santa Monica. There were inquiring burros in Oatman, a ghost hunt in Williams at the Canyon Club, classic motels like the Munger-Moss in Lebanon, Mo. and El Rancho in Gallup, NM.
We drove through deserts and across mountains. There were big rivers and small creeks as well as a lot of dry rivers and washouts out west. At times there were only a few feet and NO wall between us and a several hundred foot drop. We visited many great museums and talked to lots of interesting folks.
Then there were all the stops to play NTN and the interesting people we met in those places. There were ruins and resurrections, old places and new ones. Route 66 is definitely not a dead road. It continues to grow and evolve. We lose one thing and gain another, the new Lucille's in Oklahoma.
We left on September 22nd and drove into Chicago and went by all the starting points. We arrived in Santa Monica, after the hardest-to-drive 80 miles of the trip, on October 4th.
I had hoped to make a faster trip, but you just have to stop and talk to people.
All 66ed out, but will do it again...in a couple years.
Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog