Easy Rider Filming Locations

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Easy Rider - Movie Poster

Opening Credits

The opening credits actually contain all of the filming locations that we currently have (we don’t have them all at this point). This will be a work in progress as we travel.

Here is a video of the opening credits to set the proper mood, as well as the context of the scene, which we love, with Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.” Classic.

Interstate 40 East, Crossing the Colorado River at the California/Arizona Border

This scene was filmed along I-40 eastbound, crossing from California into Arizona. Two bridges, which are former alignments of Route 66 are also visible. The first bridge to the right, is the Red Rock Bridge, which carried Route 66 traffic from 1947 until 1966, when I-40 became the primary crossing. The Red Rock Bridge was later demolished. Also visible is the Old Trails Arch Bridge, which was built in 1916 and was an alignment of Route 66 from its inception through 1947, when it was replaced by the Red Rock Bridge.

Easy Rider Filming Location - I-40 crossing the Colorado River from California to Arizona

Below, you can “drive” the same location on Google Street View.

View Larger Map

Here is another view from this scene filmed from I-40, with the Red Rock Bridge first, and the Old Trails Arch Bridge more clearly visible behind it.

Easy Rider Filming Location - I-40 crossing the Colorado River from California to Arizona

Since the scene was along the Interstate, our best replication was taken through the windshield. Not great quality, we know (dirty windshield!).

Trails Arch Bridge crossing the Colorado River

Here is a better view of the Old Trails Arch Bridge, taken from the California side (Park Moabi exit).

Old Trails Arch Bridge - crossing Colorado River between Arizona and California

Golden Shores/Oatman Exit 1 off I-40, near Topock, Arizona

This scene was filmed on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, the first exit after the I-40 crossing above. The road that Billy and Wyatt are seen riding is on the south side of the Interstate, and is an old alignment of Route 66, leading to the Old Trails Arch Bridge (privately owned by Pacific Gas & Electric).

Easy Rider Filming Location - old Route 66 near Topock, Arizona

A view of this scene taken from across the road.

Easy Rider Filming Location - Old Route 66, Arizona

Park Moabi Road Exit 153 off I-40, Needles, California

Here, through the magic of film, Wyatt and Billy are back west, in Calfornia again. This scene was taken off the first exit on the California side of the Colorado River, Exit 153, Park Moabi Road.

The view below is looking north on Park Moabi Road, toward what is now an RV resort called Pirates Cove Resort & Marina, near Needles, California.

From assessing this scene and the photo below, we believe that some changes were made to the road since the film was made. The curves seen in the screenshot above do not exist in the road today, and judging from satellite views of the location, it appears there are remnants of curved road here. But without research (or the opinion of some of our Route expert friends, we won’t state this as fact, just casual observation. However, it definitely safe to say that this is a very close approximation of the location of this scene. As the co/owner of a small retro trailer (Serro Scotty HiLander), we actually like the scene in 1969 with the cool canned ham trailer!

Additionally, Park Moabi Road north, leads to an old alignment of Route 66, which eastbound leads to where the Red Rock Bridge (from the screenshots above).

Easy Rider Filming Location - Park Moabi Road

And in July 2014…

Park Moabi Road looking north toward National Trails / Route 66, California

Oddly enough (and ignore this now if you aren’t into geeky details…just enjoy the photos), in reality, this scene was filmed from the same spot as the shot above. If you watch the YouTube video, you will see that as Wyatt and Billy are riding up the hill, the camera smoothly pans across, following them as they proceed south on Park Moabi Road.

Interestingly (and this could be the result of the technical differences between movie and still cameras), while the film was shot from the same location (by the railroad on Park Moabi, where an old alignment of Route 66 goes back east), our photos were taken some distance apart on Park Moabi. This will be evident to anyone who drives Park Moabi in real life (or check it out on Google Street view).

Here is the view as they rode south on Park Moabi Road.

Easy Rider Filming Location - Park Moabi Road

And in 2014…

Park Moabi Road looking south - California

Route 66 – Flagstaff, Arizona

This scene was filmed on Route 66 (S. Milton Street, near Tuscon Avenue) in Flagstaff, Arizona. Billy and Wyatt are passing what was the Lumberjack Cafe. This lumberjack statue is still in Flagstaff; not at this location, but instead at Northern Arizona University, at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome, along with a similar twin. Their team is the Lumberjacks, and he serves as their mascot.

Easy Rider Filming Location - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

This is the scene today, at what is now called Granny’s Closet. The lumberjack that was visible in Easy Rider is now located at Northern Arizona University, and has been replaced with Louie the Lumberjack, the mascot for NAU.

Easy Rider Filming Location - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

In this scene, they are a bit farther east on Route 66 (near N. Leroux Street) in Flagstaff. This building was the Canyon Hotel at the time, with a camera shop also.

Easy Rider Filming Location - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

The building in 2014. Several businesses are listed at this location, such as an Architectural Design Studio, Flagstaff Piano, Clock and Fine Art Gallery, and a realty company.

Easy Rider Filming Location - 2 Historic Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

The scene below is just a block east from the location above, also on Route 66, looking south onto S. San Francisco Street).

Easy Rider Filming Location - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

And the same scene in 2014.

Easy Rider Filming Location - Route 66 at San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, Arizona

That’s all for now! We had a screen capture of a couple others that we missed. One is a quick cut of them at another angle in the view above (we were right there and totally spaced taking a photo…next time!). Another location is a bit farther west in Bellemont, Arizona. Again, a work in progress that we’ll add to over time. There are many other locations in the movie in New Mexico and Louisiana (of note), so as we travel to those areas, we’ll add to this page!

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

Wild Hogs Filming Locations

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Wild Hogs - Movie Poster

Wild Hogs is a 2007 comedy starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy as middle-aged friends living in Cincinnati, Ohio who own  Harleys and like to go for urban / suburban rides and hang out at the “biker” bar in the city, called “Byker’s Island”.

Woody, played by John Travolta, is a (formerly) rich lawyer whose swimsuit model wife recently left him, causing him to have a breakdown, losing his job and his house too. One afternoon after a ride, he questions his friends about what they are doing with their lives and suggests a real ride – a road trip to the Pacific. The other Wild Hogs are Doug, a dentist played by Tim Allen, has a loving wife but can’t connect with his young son and needs to watch his stress and cholesterol levels; Bobby, played by Martin Lawrence, is a henpecked plumber with an overbearing wife and out of control daughters; and Dudley, played by William H. Macy, is a shy, nerdy computer programmer who is afraid to speak to women. All agree to take the road trip and to find some real fun and adventure and reclaim the wild guys they used to be in college.

Opening Scene - Laguna Blvd SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Here is a video of the opening scene where the characters get together for a suburban ride.

Here is a video that Pat took from the back window of our SUV as I drove up and down Laguna Boulevard SW.

L to R: Bobby (Martin Lawrence) joins Doug (Tim Allen), and Woody (John Travolta)

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Laguna Blvd SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Martin Lawrence as Bobby

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Laguna Blvd SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rail Yards – Albuquerque, New Mexico

This scene during their ride takes them through the old Rail Yards in Albuquerque.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

They are not accessible, so we took a photo from the street.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Rail Yards, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Central Avenue (Route 66) & 2nd Avenue NW,
Albuquerque, New Mexico

During their ride, the Wild Hogs take a quick break so Dudley can check on his bike after an earlier fall.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

This scene was filmed at a parking lot at the corner of Central Avenue & 2nd Avenue NW.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Central Avenue (Route 66) & 2nd St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Unfortunately, Dudley loses control of his bike in the parking lot.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Central Avenue (Route 66) & 2nd St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

After falling off, the bike hits the curb and flips into the air, striking a light pole.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Central Avenue (Route 66) & 2nd St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

But Dudley’s OK!

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Central Avenue (Route 66) & 2nd St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Library Bar & Grille, Central Avenue (Route 66),
Albuquerque, New Mexico

This location served as the Wild Hogs’ hangout “Byker’s Island” where they go to relax and have a beer after their ride. Woody, having lost everything in his life (but doesn’t reveal that to this friends at this time), questions their upscale middle-aged, suburban biker personas – stating that instead of Wild Hogs, they’re more like wild lambs. They lament that they have lost their wild side that they had in college, and wanting to reclaim their sense of adventure, decide to take a road trip to the Pacific with their Harleys.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Byker's Island

The Library Bar & Grill - Central Avenue (Route 66), Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tijeras Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Wild Hogs are getting ready to start their journey to the Pacific from US 50 in Cincinnati.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

The scene was shot at Tijeras Avenue NE in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The landscaping in the background of the movie was added for the movie. The actual area features xeriscaping.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Tijeras Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Wild Hogs are getting ready to start their journey to the Pacific from Cincinnati. Dudley shows off his “tat” he got at the Meadow Hills Galleria for the trip – now he’s a biker! The others laugh at his Apple logo tattoo.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

The location along Tijeras actually does not have alot of grass or plants. The fountain (minus water) is visible in the back, as well as the building to the left.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Tijeras Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Doug is excited that Dudley got him set up with a GPS in his phone for the trip, to which Woody replies they don’t need a GPS to discover America and throws Doug’s cell phone into a nearby sewer.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

And the sewer was nearby too!

Wild Hogs filming location - Tijeras Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Another view of their meeting spot, which has the added effect of being in Cincinnati by the addition of highway signs showing US 50 West.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

In reality, US 50 is in Colorado, much farther to the north of this location in Albuquerque!

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Tijeras Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

After Doug, Woody, and Bobby dispose of their cell phones, Dudley throws his into the windshield of an oncoming truck, causing them to quickly jump on their bikes and take off.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

This is the same location as above on Tijeras Avenue NE, only the opposite side of the underpass.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Tijeras Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Madrid, New Mexico

As the Wild Hogs travel west, the road scenes, whether they were supposed to be in Illinois or Missouri the first night, were all filmed in New Mexico (and it shows!!).

The Wild Hogs are excited to stop at a “real” biker bar in New Mexico, which is home to the biker gang, the Del Fuegos, led by Jack Blade, played by Ray Liotta. The Del Fuegos are infuriated by the intrusion of suburban biker “posers” at their bar, telling them they aren’t real bikers.

They steal Dudley’s Sportster, leaving him with a sidecar attached to Woody’s motorcycle. Woody, ashamed at the incident goes back to the bar to get Dudley’s bike. He cuts the fuel lines to the Del Fuegos’ motorcycles, causing the bar to explode when Jack’s cigarette falls into the gas on the ground. With the Del Fuegos’ bikes damaged, the Wild Hogs are able to get away…for now. However, Woody doesn’t tell the other Wild Hogs what actually happened, instead telling his friends he threatened to sue the Del Fuegos if they didn’t return Dudley’s motorcycle.

In the scene below, the Wild Hogs have run out of gas due to Woody’s panic about having blown up the Del Fuegos’ bar, and insist they get gas at the next stop. To bad, they don’t see the gas station sign that the next station is 200 miles away.

Tired, hot and thirsty, they arrive in Madrid, New Mexico.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Here is the same location in a later scene, when two of the Del Fuegos arrive in Madrid.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

The majority of the remaining scenes were filmed in Madrid, New Mexico, which is located along NM 14 (The Turquoise Trail), a scenic ride from Santa Fe south to I-40/US 66. A small portion of NM 14 in Santa Fe (north of Madrid) is also a part of the Santa Fe loop, a pre-1937 alignment of Route 66.

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Maggie’s Diner – Madrid, New Mexico

The Wild Hogs arrive at the fictional Maggie’s Diner in Madrid, New Mexico. They’re extremely thirsty and their uncharacteristically raucous behavior in begging for water or something else to drink, causes the townspeople to mistake them for the Del Fuegos, who periodically arrive in Madrid and demand food and drinks at no charge and frighten the locals.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Maggie's Diner

Maggie’s Diner was a set built on location in Madrid, and was left to the town by the film company. It was brought up to building codes, and now is used as a gift/souvenir shop selling – what else – biker and Wild Hogs merchandise! I picked up a couple of shirts – Del Fuegos and Wild Hogs.

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Old Boarding House Mercantile – Madrid, New Mexico

The next photos show what is depicted as the hotel the Wild Hogs stay in Madrid, as the gas station is closed until the next day. Upon hearing that the Del Fuegos periodically come to Madrid, Woody is extremely panicky to leave town, fearing that the Del Fuegos will soon arrive, find them, and take revenge for blowing up their bar.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Hotel/B&B

The Old Boarding House Mercantile is a very nice general store in an old house – it’s pretty unique as it uses the original house rooms for different categories of merchandise. They have a variety of items for sale, general merchandise, groceries, snacks, drinks, coffee, etc.

Old Boarding House Mercantile, Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Shy and afraid of women, Dudley finds romance with Maggie, played by Marisa Tomei. Maggie owns the local Diner which bears her name. After an enjoyable night together at the town’s Chile Fest, the next morning Dudley and Maggie would like to have breakfast with the others, but Woody is anxious to leave before the Del Fuegos arrive.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Madrid, New Mexico

But it’s too late – here come the Del Fuegos!

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Maggie’s Diner – Madrid, New Mexico

The Del Fuegos have arrived in Madrid and are ready for retaliation – or compensation – for the loss of their bar. The other Wild Hogs are confused about this, since Woody told him they gave him back the bike after the threatened to sue them.  With no other choice, Woody confesses to his friends about cutting the fuel lines to the motorcycles, resulting in their bar being blown up. The Wild Hogs now realize the Del Fuegos want to kill them, so they hide out at Maggie’s house, hoping they’ll give up and leave…but instead the Del Fuegos invade the diner, threatening to burn it down.

Here, Dudley confronts the Del Fuegos which they remark is brave but stupid – they string him up over the main road and will beat him up if the Wild Hogs don’t pay them for their bar.

Wild Hogs Filming Location

Here is the exterior of Maggie’s Diner building in Madrid.

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Finally, the Wild Hogs confront the Del Fuegos. Led by Woody (who has lost everything in his life and has nothing to lose), their attempt to rescue Dudley fails and they fight the Del Fuegos.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Maggie's Diner

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

Despite repeatedly being beaten to the ground, the Wild Hogs stand up each time to the Del Fuegos. Finally, the townspeople of Madrid realize that if four guys can stand up to 50 bikers, 500 of them can too.

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Maggie's Diner

Madrid, New Mexico - Wild Hogs Filming Location

As the townpeople and Wild Hogs surround the Del Fuegos, who still won’t back down, their former leader and owner of the bar, Damien Blade, played by Peter Fonda, arrives in town and tells Jack and the other Del Fuegos to stop and let it go. He tells them they have lost touch with what being a biker is all about – riding and the highway…and that they – not the Wild Hogs – are the posers. He thanks the Wild Hogs for burning down the bar, explaining that he insured it for twice its value and he did them a favor.

The Del Fuegos leave and Jack says goodbye to Damien, calling him Pop; Damien shakes his head, saying Jack’s just like his mother.

Damien tells the Wild Hogs to ride hard or go home, and gives them one last piece of advice….lose the watches!

Wild Hogs Filming Location - Madrid, New Mexico

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

July 3-5, 2014: Route 66 – Riverton, Kansas to Amarillo, Texas

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Day 1: July 3, 2014 – to St. Louis, Missouri

The first day of our trip was largely uneventful – we took the Interstate to St. Louis after work so we could make some progress on getting to the California border. We stopped at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and met with our camping friends Dane & Elaine, and then headed to our hotel, the Holiday Inn – Route 66….which was on Route 66!

Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Day 2: July 4, 2014 – St. Louis, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma

Day 2 was a partial day on the Interstate. Usually referred to as the Evil I, it did serve its purpose today – to quickly get us where we wanted to go. We love Missouri 66, but took the Route several times in recent years, so our goal was to get to western Missouri quickly, then slow down in Oklahoma. Plus, we’re strongly thinking about joining the 25th Missouri Route 66 Motor Tour this year!

We did make a stop in Phillipsburg at Redmon’s Candy Factory – also a travel center/gas station, etc. By Joplin, we exited the Interstate for Route 66, but were bummed when we found the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates store was closed. We’d been there last year during the Route 66 Festival and gone on a tour and were hoping for some chocolate!

Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, we had an ill-fated quick visit to the Route 66 Carousel Park. I made the dire mistake, after my 3-year old grandson asked to go on a merry-go-round, of saying maybe we’d find one (it sounded innocuous at the time and I thought it would go well, and the place was listed on their site as being open). So true, the park was opened when we arrived, but as we approached the gate, they informed us they were closing for 1 hour. 1…hour…not great to hear for a 3 year old who has no concept of time and was very excited to go on rides! Not great for us, who wanted to make the stop count by going on rides with him…not waiting for an hour, then go on rides! So that went over like a lead balloon! Not good…

So we meandered on 66 and stopped at the Marsh Arch bridge.

Marsh Arch Bridge - Route 66, Riverton, Kansas

My grandson is fascinated with water towers, and this trip didn’t disappoint. He saw plenty and really seemed to enjoy this one in Quapaw, Oklahoma.

Water Tower - Quapaw, Oklahoma

We stopped for lunch at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burgers in Miami, Oklahoma
Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger - Route 66, Miami, Oklahoma

And of course, the big Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma!
Blue Whale - Route 66, Catoosa, Oklahome

By this time, it was getting later in the day and we decided to stop at a really nice playground/park in Sapulpa, Oklahoma called Heritage Park (considering the missed chance to go on the amusement rides earlier). It’s a very nice park that was built by volunteer residents. It’s huge!!

Heritage Park - Sapulpa, Oklhom

It was getting late and we didn’t want to miss anything driving in the dark, so we decided to go back to Tulsa to stay, as it wasn’t far. We did a Priceline and got the Crowne Plaza in southern Tulsa, but being the night of the 4th of July, several routes across the river were closed. We didn’t stop anywhere to watch fireworks, but we were treated to displays in all directions – that’s the good thing about the flat land. Ultimately, we made our way to the hotel after a number of detours, which you can see on the interactive map below…but finally we made it!

Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Day 3: July 5, 2014 – Tulsa, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas

Coincidentally, our hotel was located across from Oral Roberts University, which was the site of a photo op from my Roadside America app, which helps me find neat roadside attractions and oddities from their site, in a pretty cool iOS or Android app. It’s also available as a Garmin GPS add-on too.

We easily spotted these giant Praying Hands:

Large Praying Hands - Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, Oklahoma
And some neat architecture as well:

Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Heading back into Sapulpa, I spotted this art display which pays homage to the town’s manufacturing history, of glass and brick factories as well as Frankoma Pottery.

Sculpture - Route 66, Sapulpa, Oklahoma

In Bristow, this Ford dealership’s new building was built in the style of the 1920′s architecture throughout town. Their original building burned down, and they wanted to retain the original style when they rebuilt.

Bolin Ford - Route 66, Bristow, Oklahoma

The Rock Cafe is in Stroud

Rock Cafe - Route 66, Stroud, Oklahoma

As well as the Skyliner Motel
Skyliner Motel, Route 66, Stroud, Oklahoma

The Round Barn in Arcadia

Arcadia Round Barn - Route 66, Arcadia, Oklahoma

Restored Phillips 66 Filling Station in Chandler
Phillips 66 Filling Station - Route 66, Chandler, Oklahoma

The Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City
Tower Theatre - Route 66, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Braum’s Milk Bottle
Braum's Milk Bottle Building - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Giant Route 66 Shield at the Route 66 National Museum in Elk City
Route 66 Museum Sign - Route 66, Elk City, Oklahoma

The Conoco Phillips station in Shamrock, Texas (U Drop Inn) – featured in the Pixar film Cars

ConocoPhillips Station / U Drop Inn - Route 66, Shamrock, Texas

ConocoPhillips Station / U Drop Inn - Route 66, Shamrock, Texas

And the Big Texan, whose adjoining motel was booked up, unfortunately. We had an acceptable generic stay at a nearby Sleep Inn.

Big Texan Steak Ranch - Amarillo, Texas

 Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Slideshow of All Photos (from July 3-5, 2014)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. 
If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

2014 Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour – 25th Anniversary

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The Route..

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link above for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Photographs

This blog contains a sampling of the photos from our trip. To view all of the photos from our trip, view the slideshow at the bottom of the post or visit our Road Trip Memories page on Flickr at the link below.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Long story VERY short, a change in plans allowed us to be able to attend the 25th Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour. We had been on the tour several times before, but don’t always have a chance to attend. But when we do, it’s always a great time!

After a rocky start Friday evening, we finally hit the road to head west – we were going to stay in Collinsville and then head over to the Chain of Rocks Bridge in the morning to register for the Motor Tour.

We decided to cross over into St. Louis along the new I-70 bridge:

New I-70 Bridge Over Mississippi

We followed along what was known as one of the alignments called “City 66″ ad described in Jerry McClanahan’s EZ 66 Guide, up to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, where the Motor Tour was to begin.

Chain of Rocks Bridge, Route 66, Missouri

What a sight this truck was! Really unique modification of a Ford truck, lots of folks did a double-take on this one!!

Flipover Truck

And here we go, crossing the Chain of Rocks Bridge!

Crossing Old US 66 a Chain of Rocks Bridge   After we crossed the bridge, in Mitchell is the Luna Cafe, with its beautifully restored neon sign.

Luna Cafe, Route 66, Mitchell, IL

 

Next, we stopped at Route 66 Ridez in Hamel.

Route 66 Ridez, Hamel, Illinois

 

Then on to our friend Rich Henry’s must-stop – Henry’s Ra66it Ranch in Staunton. Do stop by and say hello to Rich and the bunnies! Rich has old neon signs, semis, both “real” rabbits, and the Volkswagen variety too! He also sells a nice variety of Route 66 souvenirs, books, videos, etc. I have more photos from the Ra66it Ranch in the slideshow, below.

Henry's Ra66it Ranch - Route 66, Staunton, Illinois

Henry's Ra66it Ranch - Route 66, Staunton, Illinois

 We also picked up a bunny named Spot, a few traveling friend for our grandson!

Henry's Ra66it Ranch - Route 66, Staunton, Illinois

Here’s a video of the flipover truck I took here:

Next stop, Soulsby’s Station in Mt. Olive. Great restoration of the old filling station, and inside is a nice collection of Shell petroliana as well as two very nice old signs for a TV repair business that was also run out of the station, after Route 66 bypassed Mt. Olive.

Soulsby Service Station - Route 66, Mt. Olive, Illinois

Soulsby Service Station - Route 66, Mt. Olive, Illinois

On to Litchfield, where this old cafe sits empty.

Cafe - Route 66, Litchfield, Illinois

We were able to see the newly restored “Vic” Suhling Gas for Less sign, also in Litchfield. It is now in front of the new Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, and is an excellent stop! See slideshow below for more photos from the museum.

Restored "Vic" Suhling Neon Sign - Route 66, Litchfield, Illinois

Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center, Litchfield, Illinois

Next, we spotted a few buffalo roaming! Their timing of dipping their heads down into the grass was perfect to avoid my shutter, but I managed to catch one as he came up for air.

Buffalo on Route 66 in Illinois

Then onto the town of Carlinville. Great “town square” with lots of great shops here. We got out, stretched a bit and took a walk around the square.

Town Square, Carlinville, Illinois

 

This very cool PT Cruiser was also on the tour, decorated by artist Brian Gregory, who also designed art for the Illinois Route 66 Museum in Pontiac.

Route 66 PT Cruiser - Designed by Artist Brian Gregory

 

We cruised up on the IL 4 alignement of 66, and finally made it to Springfield. Though the tour would continue to Lincoln for the overnight, we were late in joining, so we skipped the banquet and decided it would be easier to get a place to stay in Springfield. Of course, we would dine on Cozy Dogs – but unfortunately, not until after we had a flat tire fixed! As soon as we arrived in Springfield, we felt the car drastically pulling to the right. Suspecting we threw off the alignment along the VERY bumpy old alignment near the turkey tracks, we found a Firestone who could take a look. As soon as we got out of the car, Pat spotted the trouble…a flat tire! A broken valve stem, probably caused by the aforementioned bumpy road. After going back and forth with our limited options, after a couple hours we were on our way and headed to the Cozy Dog! Just in time before they closed, too…

Cozy Dog Drive-in, Route 66, Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The next day, after obtaining my necessary coffee fix at Mel-O-Cream Doughnuts, we started north. We stopped for a few photos in Williamsville.

Die Cast Auto Sales - Route 66, Williamsville, Illinois

 

And of course, the fun smiley face water tower in Atlanta:

Smiley Face Water Tower - Route 66, Atlanta, Illinois

And of course some maple sirup and maple candy at Funks Grove!

Maple Sirup - Funks Grove, Illinois

Our stops in Towanda were interesting. The first was the garage (yes, at her house), of Dawn Patterson. Check this out…it’s pristine. She says she uses it as a garage, but it was decked out in Route 66 memorabilia, and I sure didn’t see any tools or cans of oil! We just built a garage and it has unfinished walls and no electricity. Pat was suffering from severe garage envy!

Dawn Patterson's D.K.'s Garage - Route 66, Towanda, Illinois

Dawn Patterson's D.K.'s Garage - Route 66, Towanda, Illinois

Our next stop was Joe’s Garage, which was in a more commercial building, and houses a very nice collection of motor sports and racing memorabilia. They also have a “diner” recreation built in the building next door.

Joe's Diner - Route 66, Towanda, Illinois

After cruising the old alignment in Lexington now coined “Memory Lane”, were were on to the next stop in Pontiac. We visited the Route 66 Museum, always a great stop. They have lots of Route 66 memorabilia, especially for Illinois – and displays on all of the Hall of Fame inductees. Two newer additions to the museum are a treat – two vehicles owned by Bob Waldmire, legendary Route 66 artist and son of Cozy Dog creator Ed Waldmire. Bob also was the inspiration for the character “Fillmore” in Pixar’s Cars.

Pontiac also had an art display of fiberglass cars. There’s a very cool Route 66 one outside of the museum:

P.R.O.U.D. Art Project - "Cruisin' the Square" - Pontiac, Illinois

Across from the museum is also a very nice mural, which is a tribute to Bob Waldmire. In recent years, Pontiac has commissioned many wall murals around town. Bob Waldmire was asked to design and paint a mural for Pontiac, but unfortunately, Bob was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to do so. But prior to his death, he did design a mural, which would be painted in Pontiac for his friends and family. The very cleverly designed mural features Bob painting the mural. Bob was a very neat individual, and though we could not have been any different from each other, his words of wisdom told to me during the 2006 Illinois Motor Tour have stuck with me – “live simply, and you won’t need a lot of money.” While I will most assuredly not live in an old school bus or VW bus, I can see living in a smaller travel trailer with minimal “stuff.” It’s our dream to travel extensively some day, and I want to live simply so as to be able to realize that goal, and will happily sacrifice a house and material possessions for more Road Trip Memories!

Route 66 Museum - Pontiac, Illinois

Route 66 Museum - Pontiac, Illinois

Bob Waldmire Mural - Pontiac, Illinois

We stopped at the Ambler-Becker Texaco Station, which had a volunteer dressed a Texaco Filling Station attendant, offering neat photo ops.

Ambler-Becker Texaco Station - Route 66, Dwight, Illinois

Pat at the Ambler-Becker Texaco Station - Route 66, Dwight, Illinois

The tour ended in Wilmongton, but we proceeded north through Joliet, Romeoville, and into Bolingbrook where we visited our good friend & fellow Route 66 roadie, Lulu. After dinner, we headed back for home.

Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Road Trip!

Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this trip. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on our Flickr site. If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow, please click here to view our photos on Flickr.

 

Plans change; relax and go with the flow…

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Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…OK, we didn’t really have an actual trip plan yet; just a general declaration that we were going to go west instead of east this year, and our destination would be South Dakota, and we’d travel in September.

We’re still heading west, only now we’ve bumped up the trip to July! After talking it over, Pat and I decided that since I was planning on taking two weeks off work to watch our grandson, we might as well just take him on a road trip, rather than me just using two weeks off to stay home. Pat only has a week available, so I’ll spend my first 4 days locally with my grandson, then we’ll hit the road for the rest of the time.

So then, the next question came up…where should we go? Take him to South Dakota? I immediately thought “no” on that…he’s only 3, so we need to go somewhere he can connect to and get excited (which I am sure we could do if we went to South Dakota). But now with the date bumped up, I’m not sure how intensely I want to plan on a new unknown destination with him. I’m feeling called VERY strongly back to the familiar and comfortable – the Mother Road. We can travel Route 66 without detailed plans or schedules (though I do want to make a few plans to visit kid-oriented attractions that Pat and I would not typically visit on our own). I already had a copy of our Route 66 friend Emily Priddy’s book, “Route 66 for Kids,” a first edition copy we bought when she first published it in 2003. I found that she has since created a Kindle version, so I bought it (see previous link). She also has a companion website, Kidson66.com, with additional information and even some fun coloring pages that can be printed out and brought along. Getting some great ideas!

Another bonus to taking Route 66, is that our grandson is familiar with Route 66 – not only due to our direct influence indoctrinating him into the Route 66 fold, but the Disney/Pixar film Cars is largely set on Route 66, in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, which is a composite of many places along the Mother Road. Route 66 lends itself heavily to the film, and is a driving theme of slowing down, taking the scenic route, enjoying life and the scenery along the way. That theme is the essence of Route 66 and the towns along the route, and there’s history about the rise and fall of the two-lane, with the coming of the interstate, and its effect on the towns that were bypassed.

Pat and I (along with other Route 66 roadie friends) learned about Cars many years before its release (5 long years!!!), from Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis and his wife, photographer Suzanne Wallis. Michael served as the Route 66 consultant for Pixar, leading them along several Route 66 journeys, fully absorbing them into the road. If you own or rent the DVD of Cars, there is a good “making of” bonus feature, with footage of the Pixar team traveling Route 66 with Michael Wallis. Not only did Michael Wallis serve as the Route 66 consultant, but he also was given a role in the movie – the Sheriff – and Pixar did a great job animating the Sheriff to resemble Michael, with the car’s front grille resembling Michael’s mustache.

Michael Wallis Booksigning at Hit the Road Travel Store, Chicago

Disney-Cars-Sheriff

Pixar did an excellent job of incorporating the people and places of Route 66 into the movie – whether they outright animated a building (Ramone’s is dead on to the Conoco-Phillips station in Shamrock, Texas – or paid homage to them, like the mountain range that resembles Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo – or somewhere in between, like the Cozy Cone, which is based upon the Wigwam Village motels (route 66 has two – one in Holbrook, Arizona and the other in Rialto, California). For an in-depth comparison of Route 66 locations to Cars, check out our friend Ron Warnick’s page on his Route 66 News site: A Route 66 Guide to the “Cars” Movie

We know we’ll have fun showing our grandson the Route 66 sights he’s already familiar with, but can be excited to see and experience for himself. While we were looking forward to a new destination, I’m actually feeling really good about visiting an old familiar friend. We may just veer off on our way back and take a different route…we’re not sure yet, but we’ll have fun and enjoy no matter where the two lane roads take us.

Stay tuned!

A drive like we took back in the day….

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I’ve really been been itching for a road trip! For the past couple of months, we hadn’t been able to go on many road trips because we’re providing some necessary care and maintenance to our house, which has been neglected for just a little bit too long…due to so many spontaneous road trips and camping trips! So now, we have to be responsible homeowners! But regardless, I’m still itching for a road trip. LOL But, as I posted recently, our vacation has been moved up from September to July, so now I can really anticipate an upcoming road trip!

But about two weeks ago, before this latest change in plans, I was traveling home from a doctor appointment in a part of the city I don’t normally visit, and I decided to return home via local roads I don’t usually travel. As soon as I reached the Michigan Road, I needed to turn south to head toward home…but I was wishing I was turning north to head to Michigan instead! One of my favorite drives is along the coast of Lake Michigan. We have done the entire loop twice. The first time, in September of 2005, we made the trip clockwise, starting in Chicago and looping through the UP, across the Mackinac Bridge, and along the Michigan coast. In September of 2012, we made the trip counterclockwise, starting in New Buffalo, Michigan and effectively ending in Chicago. Coming home from a doctor appointment and waiting at a intersection of a road that has taken me on some fun adventures instantly made me long for a road trip.

There’s so much fun, freedom, and adventure to be had on a road trip. You get to see and experience real America – something you don’t do when you fly over it. Sometimes, you can on the Interstate (there are some that have some nice scenery) – but for the most part, the Interstate is just an endless slab of monotony with the same generic rest stops, indistinguishable from one another.

By contrast, America’s two lane highways have so much more to offer. We have found these quirky little museums in small towns and cities that have this claim to fame that they cling to and are so proud to share with visitors. And you’ll rarely find anyone as passionate as the local volunteers who work at these museums and share their stories. Blink and you might miss them; but stay and you’ll learn all about things you probably would never have!

I have mentioned this previously in our US 12 Heritage Trail post, but I am entranced by the “Pure Michigan” ad campaign, in particular, the radio ads featuring Michigan native, actor Tim Allen. They are mesmerizing and perfectly capture the spirit of travel and specifically to the featured Michigan locations. This ad below remarkably epitomizes road trips.

The family road trip. It was the high point of summer. The car packed to the gills, a folded-up road map at the ready, surrounded by enough snacks and drinks to last into next month. Well, let’s go there again. Take a drive away from our schedules and routines…to a sandy beach, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a secluded trailhead. Someplace that right now is calling our name at the top of its rustic little voice. It’s time to go fishing, to go exploring, to experience firsthand some of Michigan’s small town treasures. Miles of shoreline, forests, and endless lakes and trails. Let’s follow our noses and see where we end up. Because adventure is out there…waiting for us at the end of a drive. A drive like we took back in the day. The kind of summer to remember…that’s Pure Michigan.

Time to come out of hibernation!

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Road Trip Memories isn’t dead, we’ve just been hibernating! It’s been such a harsh winter, we haven’t really had an opportunity to take any road trips or camping trips (we do like to camp and hike in the winter too)!

We hope to get out and about this year. We’ve selected got our annual vacation destination – we’re heading west to South Dakota, which I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. After Dances with Wolves came out, I really wanted to visit the Badlands, and had a trip planned and booked. Unfortunately, the Great Flood of 1993 put the kibosh on that trip. So this year, it’s time to finally head west! We’re planning on including some Lincoln Highway into the trip as well.

I’d also like to add a few movie filming locations to the site. I’ve been researching locations for a good number of my favorite movies over the past few years. This year, I’d like to add “My Cousin Vinny”, so stay tuned for that. Since a lot of that movie was filmed in Georgia, we’ll be close to Juliette, which served as the Whistle Stop Cafe in Fried Green Tomatoes, which I’ve done a blog post on, here. But it’s always great to stop by there because they have excellent fried green tomatoes, naturally!

As time and finances permit, hopefully we’ll mix in more road and camping trips!

I’ve Been Everywhere…well, not yet, but working on it!

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Of course, I haven’t been everywhere, and it would be impossible to literally go everywhere in your lifetime. But let’s narrow “everywhere” down to those places listed in the Johnny Cash song, “I’ve Been Everywhere.” I love that song, and it’s fun to play on road trips!

“I’ve Been Everywhere” was originally written by Geoff Mack about Australian towns, and was later adapted by him for release in North America, by changing the locations to those in the United States and Canada, with some exceptions in Central and South America (Tocopilla, Chile; Costa Rica; Argentina; Barranquilla and Padilla, Colombia; Salvador and Diamantina, Brazil).

As I listened to the song this morning on my way to work, I wondered to how many places in the song I have been? Then I thought it would be cool to try to visit every place referenced in the song. So, as a travel goal, we are going to work toward visiting (or at least passing through) each United States town or state in this song. While its very unlikely that I will ever go to Central or South America, Canada is always a possibility.

The lyrics to the North American version of the song are below, with the states included in parentheses and italicized (not in the song lyrics). Multiple states are listed when more than one state has a city/town with the same name. If I have been to a place listed in the song, it is bold. I used the criteria that I have been in anyplace bearing a name in the song, regardless of the state. If I have been in multiple cities with the same name, the city name and each state are bold.

So check back for our progress!!

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.comMake yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

I’ve Been Everywhere

I was totin’ my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road
When along came a semi with a high canvas covered load
If you’re goin’ to Winnemucca (Nevada), Mack, with me you can ride
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand
And I said, “Listen! I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Reno (Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota)
  • Chicago (Illinois)
  • Fargo (Arkansas, California, Georgia, North Dakota, Oklahoma)
  • Minnesota (State)
  • Buffalo (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming)
  • Toronto (Canada; also U.S. cities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota)
  • Winslow (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, Washington)
  • Sarasota (Florida)
  • Wichita (Kansas)
  • Tulsa (Oklahoma)
  • Ottawa(Canada; also cities in Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin)
  • Oklahoma
  • Tampa (Florida, Kansas)
  • Panama (California, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska; also Panama City and Panama City Beach, Florida)
  • Mattawa (Canada; also a city in Washington)
  • LaPaloma (Texas)
  • Bangor (Alabama, California, Maine, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin)
  • Baltimore (Maryland, Ohio, Vermont)
  • Salvador (Brazil)
  • Amarillo (Texas)
  • Tocapillo (Chile)
  • Barranquilla (Colombia) and
  • Padilla (Colombia)

I’m a killer
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Boston (Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Texas)
  • Charleston (South Carolina, West Virginia)
  • Dayton (Alabama, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming)
  • Louisiana (State; also, Louisiana, Missouri)
  • Washington (State; also, Washington, D.C., and cities in Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • Houston (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas)
  • Kingston (California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington)
  • Texarkana (Arkansas, Texas)
  • Monterey (California, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia)
  • Ferriday (Louisiana)
  • Santa Fe (Florida, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas)
  • Tallapoosa (Georgia, Missouri)
  • Glen Rock (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia)
  • Black Rock (Arkansas, Arizona, California)
  • Little Rock (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota)
  • Oskaloosa (Iowa, Kansas)
  • Tennessee (State)
  • Hennessee (Oklahoma)
  • Chicopee (Kansas, Massachusetts)
  • Spirit Lake (Idaho, Iowa)
  • Grand Lake (Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma)
  • Devil’s Lake (Michigan, North Dakota)
  • Crater Lake (Oregon)

For Pete’s Sake
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Louisville (Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Tennessee)
  • Nashville (Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin)
  • Knoxville (Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee)
  • Ombabika (Canada)
  • Schefferville (Canada)
  • Jacksonville (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia)
  • Waterville (Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin)
  • Costa Rica
  • Pittsfield (Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin)
  • Springfield (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • Bakersfield (California, Missouri, Texas, Vermont)
  • Shreveport (Louisiana)
  • Hackensack(Minnesota, New Jersey)
  • Cadillac (Michigan)
  • Fond du Lac (Wisconsin)
  • Davenport (California, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Washington)
  • Idaho (State)
  • Jellico (California, Tennessee)
  • Argentina
  • Diamantina (Brazil)
  • Pasadena (California, Maryland, Texas)
  • Catalina (Arizona)

See what I mean
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to:

  • Pittsburgh / Pittsburg (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah)
  • Parkersburg (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia)
  • Gravelbourg (Canada)
  • Colorado
  • Ellensburg (Washington)
  • Rexburg (Idaho)
  • Vicksburg (Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania)
  • Eldorado / El Dorado (Arkansas, California, Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin)
  • Larimore (North Dakota)
  • Atmore (Alabama)
  • Haverstraw (New York)
  • Chatanika (Alaska)
  • Chaska (Minnesota)
  • Nebraska (State; also, incorporated place in Indiana)
  • Alaska (State; also, cities in Michigan and Wisconsin)
  • Opelika (Alabama)
  • Baraboo (Wisconsin)
  • Waterloo (Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • Kalamazoo (Michigan, West Virginia)
  • Kansas City (Kansas, Missouri)
  • Sioux City (Iowa)
  • Cedar City (Utah)
  • Dodge City (Kansas)

What a pity
I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been everywhere

I’ve been to 24 of the 91 locations mentioned in this song: UPDATED: 12/06/2013

July 31-August 4, 2013: International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

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Day 1: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Today’s the big day – we’re finally hitting the road for the 2013 International Route 66 festival, to be held this year in Joplin, Missouri. While I highly believe the Route 66 festivals should be held alternating in all of the various Route 66 states, for us and work schedules it’s obviously easier for us to attend the farther east they’re held.

It’s also the first time we’ll be taking our retro/Route 66-themed Serro Scotty trailer on a longer journey – traveling, rather than weekend camping. We mostly use it for camping only trips, where we spend the bulk of our time actually hanging out at the campground; to me, that’s a far different experience than using it on a road trip, where it’s just a place to lay our heads down for the night.

Though our goal was to stay off the Interstate as much as possible, we headed west out of Indianapolis on the Interstate through Indiana and part of Illinois. In St. Elmo, Illinois, we exited the Interstate and took US 40. An unexpected VERY early morning (after a late night) ensured my need for a nap, so Pat hopped back on the Interstate, which we took through the remainder of Illinois and into Missouri. After passing St. Louis, we exited – finally – for Route 66 in Eureka.
Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

We made our way along Route 66 in Missouri toward Joplin, and our destination for the night would be the Ladybug RV Park, west of Cuba. Just before arriving, we stopped at the Fanning 66 Outpost, a great stop along the road for Route 66 souvenirs, a Route 66 soda, some Missouri wine – and of photo op at the World’s Largest Rocking Chair!
66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

We went back into Cuba for dinner at Missouri Hick BBQ, then went to a local frozen yogurt / ice cream shop called Dessert Island for some froyo -I got their salted caramel pretzel, which was really good! We were very impressed! We drove around and took a few photos of some of the murals in town (see the slide show at the bottom of this post), that provide Cuba with its nickname, the Mural City; then back to the campground for some much-needed rest.

Missouri Hick BBQ - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

 Day 2: Thursday, August 1, 2013

Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We continued to cruise Route 66, and stopped for a photo op at the Mule Trading Post (it was not yet open for the day).
Mule Trading Post, Route 66 - Rolla, Missouri

We stopped at the Totem Pole Trading post, where we picked up a “Cars” bag, featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater, for our grandson.

Along the way, I noticed a car along the side of the road, and the people by it were waving at us. I waved back, and in the split second we passed by, I thought I recognized them as our Route 66 friends, Kip and Quinn, and their daughter Natalie. Pat wasn’t sure, as he didn’t really notice (being the driver), so up ahead we found a safe spot to pull over and sure enough, they came rolling up behind us! We had a nice roadside chat, then continued on to Joplin.

We stopped by to say hello to Ramona, the owner of the iconic Route 66 motel, the Munger Moss, and made our always necessary stop at Redmon’s Candy Factory for a few sweet snacks.

In Carthage, an alert came up on our Garmin GPS’ “Roadside America” app for a roadside attraction called “Crapduster.” The creation of artist/sculptor Lowell Davis, it is a manure spreader fashioned with biplane wings and situated by a gas station.

Crapduster - Route 66, Carthage, Missouri

We arrived at the campground where we’d be staying until Saturday, the Big Red Barn RV Park, and got the Scotty all set up.

Serro Scotty HiLander at Big Red Barn RV Park

We decided to cruise Route 66 a little more, to head out to Galena and Riverton before we went over to the 66 Drive-in in Carthage. As part of the festival, the 2006 Pixar film “Cars” would be playing at the drive-in and Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis would be there “deputizing” kids (in addition to being Pixar’s go-to expert on Route 66, he provided the voice of the Sheriff in the film). For the weekend, Pixar provided life size versions of Lightning McQueen & Mater, who would be making several appearances throughout the festival. Tonight was their first appearance, at the drive-in.

So, we got to Galena, where we saw that the business Cars on the Route, was open and serving dinner. We were hungry, and always wanted to support local business as much as we can, decided to have dinner here. Cars on the Route is the home of the original tow truck that was the inspiration for Pixar’s character “Tow Mater” from Cars. Evidently, Pixar also provided an early prototype of Mater for the festival. Below, is Pixar prototype Mater on the left, and the original tow truck, dubbed “Tow Tater” by the owners, is on the right.

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

If you compare the Mater prototype in these photos to the final version from the movie (below), you can see how his appearance changed for the final.

After dinner, we decided we needed to get back to Carthage for the drive-in. We were not doing the cruise, just going straight to the drive-in on our own. We didn’t have too long of a wait, as we showed up later. We were able to get a spot in the back (didn’t really matter to us!), and started walking around. We ran into a few more Route 66 friends, Mark, Mike and Sharon.

We walked up to see the activity at the front, and caught sight of two familiar characters. We even did Face Time with our grandson so he could see the giant Mater and Lightning McQueen – I think he enjoyed it (couldn’t hear a thing as there was very loud oldies music blasting from nearby speakers).

Lightning McQueen & Mater  at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

Michael Wallis greeting and deputizing young fans:

Michael Wallis at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

It was fun watching Cars at the drive-in, despite having seen it many (MANY!) times before. We were fans when it came out in 2006, after having waited at least 5 years. I first heard of the movie when I saw Michael Wallis speak at a book signing in Chicago in 2001, and he talked about his tour of Route 66 with the folks from Pixar. Along with other Route 66 roadies, I was immediately excited about it, having been a Pixar fan starting with Toy Story in 1995, which I took my daughter to see, and following through with many of the others. Now, we’re getting our 2-1/2 year old grandson into “Cars,” so it’s viewed quite frequently at our house! The drive-in is digital, so the quality of the movie is completely on par with its small screen counterpart. Nice!

Day 3: Friday, August 2, 2013

We woke up bright and early to get a start on the day. I wasn’t hungry, but definitely needed some coffee, stat! I also wanted to visit a local place, and the Mother Road Coffee, on the town square in Carthage, fit the bill perfectly! Pat got a blended coffee drink and I got a regular brewed coffee. Finally having real cream in my coffee, and not my allergy diet substitute -coconut milk creamer- was sheer delight!

Mother Road Coffee - Carthage, Missouri

As we motored west into Joplin, we passed by the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates. As part of the festival events, they were to be doing tours, so we decided to stop and do that now, as that was something we were interested in.

They had loads of various types of candy, mainly chocolates, but also taffy, Jelly Belly, rice krispy treats, lollipops, etc. Many of them were also Route 66-themed.
Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

The tour was fun and informative, and if you’re ever in Joplin, it is well worth a stop and a tour!

We also bumped into a roadie friend we hadn’t seen in a while, Bob and his wife Kitty. We chatted for a while, picked up some chocolates, and on to our next stop.

Next up, we were going to check out Grand Falls, the largest, continuously flowing waterfall in Missouri. But along the way, we passed by Wilder’s Restaurant and its very cool sign, which is in great shape.

Wilder's Restaurant - Joplin, Missouri

Along this route, evidence of the damage and destruction from the 2011 F5 tornado that ravaged Joplin. There were a mixture of concrete foundations where homes once stood, new homes, new homes still being constructed, and in the midst of this were also older homes that were relatively unscathed. I always liked Joplin, and when I heard about the tornado, I really wanted to try to help out and volunteer some time. But due to my work schedule and staffing, all we could do is donate financially.

The waterfall was just south of Joplin, and is situated along Shoal Creek.

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

By this time, we thought we still couldn’t make it to Riverton, so we headed back into Joplin for the opening ceremonies and dedication of a Route 66 mural.

Here is a video of Michael Wallis’ brief speech during the opening ceremony:

Patrick Tuttle of the Joplin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who organized the Joplin festival:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Rick Freeland of the Route 66 Alliance

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri
Michael Wallis, also of the Route 66 Alliance:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean
Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Dedication of the mural

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

After the ceremonies ended, we went down to the Christman Center, where the authors and artists were set up. We saw Carolyn there, as well as Mark, Mike and Sharon. We also stopped at a booth for Annie Mouse Books. Our friend Laurel had given us the Route 66 book for our grandson last year, and we decided to get him another book as well. Worth picking up, give them a look!

Afterward, we checked out some of the outside booths. There was a mix of various vendors, mostly local. There wasn’t much going on today, as tomorrow would be Joplin’s big festival day. Today, there was alot of activity at Galena’s festival.

We also went over to the see the Route 66 quilt exhibit at the City Hall:
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri

We decided to continue our westward trek to get to the Old Riverton Store, but as we really hadn’t eaten anything today, I thought it would be good to have some lunch too. We were so close to Miami that I suggested Waylan’s KuKu Hamburgers….sure didn’t need to twist Pat’s arm. Crushed ice and deep fried pickles? He was completely on board!

As we cruised through Galena, we noticed a new addition to the roadside, homage to Radiator Springs, a Happy Place! LOL

Galena, Kansas: A Happy Place

Then on to Waylan’s.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Hamburger, Route 66, Miami, Oklahoma

We came back and stopped at Nelson’s Old Riverton Store. Formerly known as Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store, the store had been managed by their nephew Scott Nelson, who purchased the store in December 2010.

Nelson's Old Riverton Store - Route 66, Riverton, Kansas

We continued on back to Galena for the festival there and to see The Road Crew – I’d often heard about them, but was not fortunate enough to have seen them; until today, that is. They were performing at the festival in Galena tonight, Joplin tomorrow night, and at Laurel’s Afton Station on Sunday. We had to leave early Saturday to make the haul (literally) back to Indy, so Galena was our only opportunity to see the band. They were great! here’s a quick video I took, followed by a few photos. The rest of my photos can be seen in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

We ran into a number of friends again in Galena, and bumped a few we hadn’t seen yet, including Robert, Fred, Jane, Jim and Shellee. Pat also spotted John Paget, a filmmaker who did one of my favorite Route 66 videos, “Route 66: An American Odyssey.” It was really hot and humid tonight, so we took a brief respite for a cold drink at the Main Street Deli. We listened to The Road Crew for a bit more, then took another lap around Main Street before heading back to the trailer.

As much as we want to go to the Route 66 e-group breakfast, we weren’t looking forward to the event ending prematurely for us.

Day 4: August 3, 2013

Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Despite having gone to sleep reasonably early, Mother Nature had other plans early this morning, when she decided a thunderstorm was in order. The sound of the rain on the aluminum roof is magnified and immediately woke me between 3:30 and 4:00 am. Despite my body thinking it was an hour later, I was still tired and not wanting to hear the raindrops beating down on the trailer like BBs! My incredibly trusty “Simply Noise” iOS app, which generates various “noise colors” to cover up unwanted noises, didn’t fail me after I stumbled out of bed to grab my headphones and iPhone. Unfortunately, while it sufficiently drowned out the rain, after looking at the radar and seeing a thunderstorm nearby, there wasn’t any way I was going to sleep well until it passed. It isn’t bad enough being in a structure in a place where there is obvious possibilities for severe storms; but being in a tiny aluminum box during a storm did not do my nerves any good and I only drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours. By 6, I was able to fall asleep, but it was past the time I wanted to get up! The Route 66 e-group breakfast started at 7!! I rushed to get ready, and we made it there by 8.

We had a nice time at the breakfast, always a great event organized by Mike and Sharon. We sat with Jane and a couple from Missouri. In addition to everyone we’d seen before, we caught up with more roadie friends, we hadn’t seen yet – Jerry, Emily, Ron, and Laurel, and met some new ones – Joe from the Road Crew stopped over to say hello and thank me for the photos from Galena and we chatted with him and the rest of the band (Jason, Don, and Woody) for a few moments before we left.  I even won a print of a brand new painting by Jerry of the Munger Moss Motel! I was hoping to win that, and was I surprised when I actually did!

We sadly said our goodbyes and went back to the Candy House to pick up some turtle candy for our T@B/camping friend Elaine. We’d be meeting her and her husband Dane in St. Louis this evening for dinner at The Big Chief (on an alignment of Route 66), and some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

We meandered east alternating on 66 and unfortunately, the Interstate. We stopped by Spencer for a photo op.

Spencer Phillips 66 Filling Station, Route 66, Spencer, Missouri

We also stopped by Mr. C’s Route Post, which was closed on the way out, as he was attending the festival. He must have had help today, as his father was tending the store. We purchased some 66 soda and a few souvenirs.

Mr. C's RoutePost, Route 66, Lebanon, Missouri

A perfectly timed Tweet from Roadside America reminded us that today was “Picture on the Rocker Day,” the single day per year that visitors are allowed to sit or stand on the giant rocking chair at the Fanning 66 Outpost. Pat was hesitant, indicating that he didn’t really want or need to go up there, but as you can see below, I was able to persuade him otherwise.

The World's Largest Rocking Chair - Fanning 66 Outpost

We also picked up one of the Road Crew’s CDs here, then continued on to Pacific, where we’d be staying at a KOA on Route 66.

We settled down and set up the Scotty, and waited for Dane and Elaine to arrive. We had a nice dinner at the Big Chief Roadhouse, on an old alignment of Route 66, followed by some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

Serro Scotty at KOA St. Louis - Route 66, Pacific, Missouri

Big Chief Roadhouse, Route 66, Wildwood, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Day 5: August 5, 2013

Our last day was fairly uneventful. We alternated between I-70 and US 40 throughout Illinois and Indiana, finally arriving home at 8:00 PM.

Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

July 7, 2013: Day 3 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is the trip map tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

 

Our final day, we left our hotel in Indiana and went back up into Michigan to complete our journey on US 12 across Michigan. We made a short side trip hoping to locate some of the elusive Amish berry pie, but it was really elusive! We visited a few non-Amish farmer’s markets, hoping for even regular Michigan berry pie, but even that proved futile! But a road trip is always fun anyway.

We crossed into Indiana and spotted a couple of old motel signs in Michigan City:
Al & Sally's Motel - US 12, Michigan City, Indiana
Blackhawk Motel - US 12, Michigan City, Indiana

I happened to see a Facebook post by Pickle Barrel, a favorite vendor of mine from the Indiana State Fair, that they would be at the Lake County Fair, and by coincidence, today was opening day and we were nearby! This is the “good side” of social media. We stopped there for a bit and I had some sirloin tips.

We also stopped at a nice farm market called Garwood Farm. We bought some produce and baked goods, and though the pie was not from Michigan and only a single berry (raspberry), we bought one anyway.

We continued to meander back to Indianapolis on as many back roads as possible, also making a loop around Bass Lake, a neat little resort community, where Pat’s aunt had a home at one time.

By the time we reached Indianapolis, we hopped off the Michigan Road (US 421) onto 465 and headed for home.

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

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