US36 and 40
I am a newbie---but not to road tripping--we are planning a trip east for Christmas with our kids--route will be Denver (our home) to Upper Black Eddy, PA. We are planning to do US36 to Indianapolis and 40 and interstates as we have to from there. Would like any info on great things to see on US36 and the 40 section too--will do it in 4 days so looking for stuff not too far off the beaten path. Interests in kitsch, geography, geology, and history 1800-1950 or so.
Thanks in advance
Well, in Wheeling, WV you'll be driving across the old suspension bridge. In Zanesville, OH you'll cross the famous Y-bridge on US40.
In Brownsville, PA you can stop off and see the Nemacolin Castle.
A Purpose Driven Trip?
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
I ask because it's highly unusual for someone these days to drive cross-country on the 'old' US Highway system. In particular, US-36 is not famous like the Lincoln Highway (US-30 more or less) or the old Mother Road (US-66). Still following a single highway has its charms. There are many small Native American and pioneer museums across northern Kansas, so check in at the towns of Oberlin, Logan, Republic, and Sparks. And probably worth a photo-op stop is the Geographic Center of the contiguous (48) states outside Lebanon. Through Missouri, the emphasis would shift bucolic State Parks such as Wallace, Locust Creek Covered Bridge, and Long Branch. At Hannibal, of course, stop for the Mark Twain connection. In the western half of Illinois, US-36 has been largely 'improved' and re-signed as I-72 as far as Decatur, but Springfield is worth a stop if you're interested in Lincoln history at all. Then it's on to Indianapolis.
You'll pick up US-40 on the east side of Indianapolis, and US-40 is a 'famous' road. It is in fact the nation's first highway, the old National Road. You might want to follow this to Hagerstown, MD, and then use MD-64/MD-77 (through Catoctin Mountain Park and near Camp David) to US-15 up through Gettysburg and finally US-30/US-222 up into the ABE area.
Just to give you some more ideas of the kinds of things that are available in each state, you might also want to have a look at these lists.
Last edited by AZBuck; 12-03-2008 at 04:37 PM.
Reason: Updated Link
If you are a Rt 66 enthusiast there is a place about 50 miles north of Springfield Illinois, I 55 exit 140, McLean Illinois. The Dixie Truckers Home is a truckstop that has been around since before the depression. It was along the old 66 rt. They have an interesting museum there of Rt 66 memorabilia, lots of old pictures and stuff like that. I would stop there when I was running between Chicago and New Orleans. The food in the restaurant was top notch for a mom and pop type place.
That truckstop is a mere shadow of its former self. It may be worth looking at the museum, but services there now are almost nonexistent. I was in there 2 weeks ago and they didn't even have any automatic transmission fluid in stock. It's now no better than a typical convenience store.
Bummer. I retired a couple of years ago and haven't been back by there. I heard the family who owned it all those years was going to sell it to someone who was going to keep it unchanged. I guess he didn't keep his promise. I really used to like stopping there for food,fuel,and a shower. Another piece of America's gone.
The truckers now stop at the TA in Bloomington and the Thornton in Lincoln. Those are both true functional truck stops. There was not a single truck in the Dixie when I went through this time, and the Shell station across the street was a lot busier with auto traffic. The old parking lot even has weeds growing up through the cracks.
For AZBUCK especially
Purpose driven trip--not so much
I have driven across the US many times--and am to the point of looking for highways and places I have not seen--My first was in '65 in a Sprite with a roomate and camping gear (not much gear as you can imagine)
I have not taken this route and its also coincidentally the shortest to see our kids for Christmas. Being short we don't have to hurry and are happy to be off the interstates as often as we can.
I wanted to say thanks for the great links and suggestions--getting ready now to look at the suggestions and do some more planning--thanks to all who responded--especially AZ!