Road Trips

A Trip to Tulip Trestle

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Indiana is full of many hidden treasure from the shores of Lake Michigan to the banks of the Ohio River. One of them is a little known train trestle in southern Indiana, southwest of Bloomington in Greene County. But “little” is the last word that should describe the Greene County Viaduct, affectionately known as “Tulip Trestle”. I first heard about Tulip Trestle some 15 years ago when a car club I was in made a trip to view the 2295 foot long structure.

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Tulip Trestle was completed in 1906 at a cost of $246,000, or over $6 million in today’s dollars. It was built by the New York Bridge Company using mainly Italian immigrants making some 30 cents an hour, which was an above average wage for the times. And considering it took just 18 months to build, it makes their efforts even more impressive. All told the 2295 foot trestle stands 157 feet tall at its highest point and is supported by 18 towers.

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Tulip Trestle is still used some 110 years after the first locomotive crossed it high above Richland Creek. Initially used to haul coal from Greene County mines, the Indiana Rail Road Company still makes several runs across it on a daily basis, and even shows off one of their trains crossing it on their website.

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I’ve visited Tulip Trestle several times over the past 15 years to soak in an incredible product of the early 20th Century engineering. However, I’ve yet to be there at a time when a freight train has crossed. But recently some locals have created an observation deck on the north side where visitors can view a passing train, or just stand there to view the expansive viaduct. A Facebook page has been started by the group aiming to beautify the area around Tulip Trestle. You can join that page by clicking here.

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 The Green County Viaduct, Tulip Trestle, Tulip Viaduct, or whatever you’d like to call it, is about a 40 minute drive southwest from Bloomington, Indiana. You can view a map on how to get there by clicking on the Google Maps link here. And when you make the trip there and aren’t fortunate enough to see a train cross with a typical load of coal, here’s a fantastic drone video, complete with an Indiana Rail Road train crossing. Enjoy!

September 12-14, 2015: Route 66 RV Trip

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Our latest journey is another trip on Route 66. We decided to take our new Shasta Oasis travel trailer on this trip, rather than our typical road trip by car.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

We initially planned to start on Friday evening after work, but due to a late schedule, needed to wait until morning. We left early to ensure we could meet the schedule we had planned. That was another different aspect of this trip, that we would have some anticipated stopping points; travel less time per day, and spend a little more time in the overnight location.

For the first day, our destination was Springfield, Missouri to the KOA where we stayed for the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival a couple of weeks ago. After we passed St. Louis, we took 66 mainly through Missouri, except in a spot or two.

We stopped by Paris Springs to see Gary Turner’s replica filling station, Gay Parita. Sad to hear that vandals have been stealing signs and memorabilia after his death. His sons have taken down many of the signs to prevent further thefts. Gary’s daughter will be purchasing the property and opening it once again – hopefully, that will deter the vandals when someone is on site!

We went next door to visit Teresa and John – fellow Corvair enthusiasts we met during the Springfield 66 festival last month after conversing on several 66 Facebook groups. Nice visit with new friends!

Once we arrived at the KOA and he’d had some playtime at the KOA’s playground, we took our grandson to the Steak n’ Shake on Route 66 and then to Andy’s Frozen Custard.

We enjoyed this KOA just as we had previously. There is a nearby train tracks and it is pretty close to a crossing, so when the train goes by, you do get the loud whistle sound. Whether that disturbs one is strictly personal preference. I can sleep with it, and fall right back if I wake up…plus I enjoy the sound. Your results may vary, but it’s good to know!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

We moved on the next day to the Tulsa area. We continued taking 66 as much as we could, stopping at as many places as practical given our combined total of 48 feet. Of course, we stopped at Afton Station to visit our friends Laurel and Ron. Jameson enjoyed the station and exploring the Packards and the old motorhome.

Next, we stopped at the Blue Whale in Catoosa, which went well. Luckily, a year later, our grandson has a better understanding that leaving one place doesn’t mean the fun is over and he knows that there is more fun down the road!

Unfortunately, on this day there would be a little less fun than we had planned. First, we ran out of gas in Tulsa. So much for the “Distance to Empty” feature on the truck, which still read 50 miles! Our Shasta came with a year of Coach Net from Forest River, the parent company of Shasta. They did very well, giving us an estimate of an hour but the service provider delivered the gas and we were on our way within 45 minutes. Two thumbs up!

That was great service though the experience was still annoying and we were a bit cranky…and then to make matters worse, we found that our RV park for the night (Cross Trails RV Park) was not at all what we expected.

Here is the description from their website:

“Sapulpa’s newest RV Park located on 7 Scenic acres with all the amentities that you need to feel at home. We are located in the scenic hill country on the Southwest side of the Tulsa metro area. We use the Eaton Powerhouse Pedestal that has 50/30/20 Amp electrical plugs, TV cable jack as well sewer, trash and free WiFi internet access. Our clubhouse offers a Laundry Room, Showers , a Playground area for the kids, a Dog Park, Picnic Area and Storm Shelter.”

Let me first say the good. The manager was very responsive and friendly by telephone (I did not see him in person, though). It was unusual, though, for him to tell us to meet his son by the dumpster along the fence after dark. Not exactly a usual or comfortable “check-in” experience.

The park is very new and to some extent, that is a plus. The concrete pads are very new and in excellent condition, same for the electrical pedestal. And for what it’s worth, it was on Route 66.

Beyond that, I have very little other positive things to say about this RV park. None of the other amenities appeared to be built or ready…no playground or dog park. The only building that was listed as the office and laundry was closed and peeking in the windows, it was still very much under construction. The grounds were similar, with piles of dirt and rocks everywhere. Many of the other trailers were in various ages and physical condition, with some having flat tires (along with their vehicles). All around, it was not a comfortable place to stay and I wanted to leave as soon as we could in the morning. I do hope that someday this park builds or makes available all of the amenities it has advertised….but as of September 2015, it does not.

We did manage to sneak in a very short visit to the very cool playground in Sapulpa where we took our grandson last year. It got dark pretty quickly but he enjoyed it anyway!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our next day was to be a bit longer day, trying to get to Amarillo, Texas. Unfortunately, in western Oklahoma, the wind picked up considerably and we were getting a lot more sway with the trailer than we felt comfortable. We heard it was worse in Texas, so we decided to stop and stay at the KOA between Clinton and Elk City, Oklahoma. Not too much to do in the area but they had a playground and what more does a 4 year old boy need. :) This park isn’t bad (the grounds), though there are better KOAs. It doesn’t have much around it to do, except if one drives 12 miles in either direction to Clinton or Elk City (I did cruise Route 66 to Elk City to get some groceries and it was very peaceful!). It’s very good for an overnight stop, but maybe at other times there are amenities and activities? Many KOAs have kids activities, but my feeling is this one is geared more to overnight stops. For that, it is very adequate.

We would then have an easier day getting to Amarillo tomorrow!

Below is a gallery of photos from these three days of the trip. Enjoy, and stayed tuned for the remainder of our journey!

September 12-14, 2015: Route 66 RV Trip

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August 13-16, 2015: Birthplace of Route 66 Festival

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As online chatter started among Route 66 roadies about the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri, we thought it might be fun to attend, especially since we weren’t able to attend the festival in Kingman last year and not able to attend LA next year.

When we thought of attending, we debated on a car trip vs. RV, but after purchasing a new (to us) truck to haul the Shasta Oasis, we didn’t want to leave that costly combo sitting at home collecting dust. If it’s going to collect dust, it had better be road dust! The Rail Haven was booked, and being on Nutrisystem, taking the trailer and eating mainly our own food would be easier and keep me on track.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

We left Thursday afternoon after work, and our plan was to get to the St. Louis area. We did a lot of research on RV overnight parking (Walmart, Flying J, Cracker Barrel, etc.). Parking options in the area were slim, as most municipalities had ordinances against it, and we didn’t want to risk staying in unsafe areas. Rivers recommended against the Alorton Flying J as very unsafe. Highland, Illinois was recommended as a much better area, but it was pretty warm that day, so we decided to stay at the Red Barn Rendezvous RV Park in Edwardsville, Illinois. It had good ratings as an inexpensive place to stay ($35), especially for overnights. We called to make sure they could accommodate us, especially since we’d be arriving a little after dark. They said that would be no problem. We arrived and they were ready to greet us from their home at the camp entrance (the Red Barn) and were very friendly! We had a pull through site, never unhitched, just needed a slight level, and hookup to electric.

Illinois Sunset along I-70

Friday, August 14, 2015

Red Barn Rendezvous RV Park - Edwardsville, Illinois

We had a quick breakfast at the campground and got ready to hit the road.

As I was getting things ready, I was thinking about the pros and cons of car travel vs. RV travel. We have not done much RV travel (mainly just weekend camp) but there is a lot of appeal to RV travel. I know that in the future when we either full-time or at least, part time extended travel, it will be fun, but with our limited weeklong vacations, I was hesitant because we only have so much time, hauling the trailer is slower, and you can’t stop as much and certainly not on a whim to grab a shot of a cool neon sign, roadside relics or other offbeat treasures. Especially now, with a truck and trailer combo that’s pushing 48 feet total! So that is a downside; but stopping at places along the way is not totally impossible. Most whims are difficult and like all good roadies, we do like to travel the odd alignments. However, with some planning, we can stop at many attractions and locations. We also can concentrate more on certain locations than we normally do, by stopping earlier and setting up the RV at a place, then exploring the area for the remainder of the day (or longer if we want).

So we set sail for the day and made our way around the south side of St. Louis. We picked up Route 66 in Pacific and took as much of the route as we felt comfortable with. Where we knew the road would be too narrow or curvy for the trailer, we took the Evil I but that wasn’t too much. Made a few stops too! Fanning 66 Outpost for some Route 66 Soda, a Route 66 coloring book for our grandson – and bonus, a stand outside selling local honey from Fanning Apiary. Bought a bottle and some flavored honey sticks. Redmon’s Candy Factory is always a must stop for us too. Bulk candy and fresh fudge!

Tri-County Truckstop, Route 66, Villa Ridge, Missouri
Tri-County Truck Stop, Villa Ridge, Missouri
Phillips 66 Filling Station - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

 

Phillips 66 – Cuba, Missouri

 

2016 Shasta Oasis at Fanning Outpost - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri
Fanning 66 Outpost
Devil's Elbow, Route 66, Missouri
 Crossing the Devil’s Elbow Bridge

All Photos from the Journey to the Festival

August 13 & 14, 2015: Birthplace Of Route 66 Festival – Getting There

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We arrived in Springfield, and made our way to the Springfield Route 66 KOA. It’s not on an alignment of Route 66 – it’s actually a couple of scant miles south of 266 (Route 66) on the west side of Springfield. They very much support Route 66, too. When we checked in, they told us about the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival and handed us a festival postcard – we said we were in town for the event. They have a lot of great Route 66 merchandise including souvenirs, shirts, maps (including Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan’s “Here It Is” map series) and books (including Jerry’s excellent EZ 66 Guide for Travelers).   The campground is fairly smaller than a few of the other KOAs we’ve been to (St. Louis, MO, Dayton, OH and Louisville, KY) but nice and quiet…except for the trains. It was close to train tracks, which for some people might be an issue. It’s not a far off sound in the distance, it’s pretty close and loud. I didn’t find it a problem, personally – others’ results may vary. I enjoyed it there and would stay again!

Arriving at the Springfield Route 66 KOA

As we were setting up, Pat met a fellow Route 66 roadie, Chery, who was staying at the KOA in one of the cabins. Most of the other roadies were staying in hotels and motels, particularly, the Route 66 Rail Haven, so it was nice to see a fellow roadie already!

We were a little tired from the long drive, and we didn’t think we’d make it to the parade, so we stayed at the campground and relaxed. We also were to meet up with fellow Route 66 roadies and Corsair enthusiasts, Teresa and John. Pat had talked to Teresa on the Route 66 Pictures Facebook Group when she posted photos of some of their Corvairs. Pat offered them a few Corvair wheels, that they were happy to take off of his hands! We chatted for a while about 66, Corvairs and trailers and said good night. I decided to play around with the cable TV setup and managed to differentiate between the satellite / cable / antenna hookups. We didn’t really plan on watching it, but it was there and I had nothing else to do before bed.

August 2015: Springfield Route 66 KOA

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Today’s the big day of the festival for us – we would have to leave early tomorrow and not attend any of the festival. Getting ready in a bigger trailer is pretty nice. There’s still a little orchestration required but far less than with the Scotty and everything does have a place – even though I’m still getting used to where those places are! We made our way over to the festival area and started with the car show and local vendors – we made our way to The Glass Place, which was where many of our roadie friends – authors, artists, photographers, and collectors – would be. We met up with plenty of longtime friends, as well as many new that we know through Facebook – Jim & Shellee, Jane, Bob, Fred, Chery, Mike & Sharon, Joe, Jerry, Tonya, Bob, Rhys & Samantha, Ron, Joe, Don, Jason & Woody with the Road Crew and met new folks we know online – KC, Nick, Amy, Dora, Geoffrey and even more – Mike & Dean, Steve! It was great seeing and talking to everyone! I helped Jim & Shellee at their booth for a bit while they had lunch and even sold a couple Tourist Trap Tees! I was wearing mine of the Spooklight, so I already had on the uniform. :) Tourist Trap Tees- 2015 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival We saw a few more booths at the exhibit but needed to head out to see The Road Crew show and would come back later.

Photos from The Road Crew Show

August 15, 2015: Birthplace Of Route 66 Festival – The Road Crew

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Here’s a couple of videos from the show too! Check out our YouTube Channel for more!


The festival was very well done. In its fifth year, they had a car show, the authors / artists / collectors exhibit, concerts, local vendors, a motorcycle show, and kids area with a ton of bounce houses (I can only imagine if we brought our grandson, we’d have to impose a strict limit!). We went back to the Glass Place to see everyone we didn’t see earlier. We headed back to the KOA and debated about dinner – I thought it would be good to have a meal out, and we managed to figure out where everyone was gathering thanks to Facebook posts. We discovered everyone was at Colton’s, so we headed over there and were seated pretty quickly. We enjoyed some “onion tanglers” and steak. Remembering that I had a refrigerator on this trip, I opted to do the right thing for my sensitive stomach and save some for later. Good choice. We then headed over to the Rail Haven, where many (most?) of the roadies were staying and the Road Crew was going to perform an acoustic set. Awesome, especially since we couldn’t stay for their Sunday show. When we first arrived, it was just a notch past the “golden hour” but I still had enough ambient light for some photos of the recently installed replica of the old Rail Haven Motel sign. How awesome to have an owner who honors the past and the uniqueness of the original sign. Holiday Inn, are you listening?   2015 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival-72

I headed over to the pavilion just in time to find Pat and we set up our chairs as The Road Crew got ready for their show. Here is a video of them performing “That Ol’ 66″. Check out my YouTube channel for two others!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Not too much to say about today, really…we start the journey home early. Break down camp, pack up the trailer and haul it east to Indy all day! No festival attendance for us – yesterday was the big day. We took 66 most of the way out, but would have to take the Evil-I home. However, we did stop at the Route 66 Rest Area and Visitor’s Center – which is a great stop to get not only some info on Missouri but Route 66 too. The rest area is very much themed to Route 66. Here are a few examples, see the gallery below for more!

I also enjoyed a new app called iExit. It’s mainly for interstate travel, but could also serve 66 travelers as it quickly brings up services “nearby” based on geolocation from your smartphone. It does very well when traveling on the sometimes necessary Evil-I, by showing you what services are available at upcoming exits and the distance to them. It’s so handy to see at a glance that the next rest area is 58.7 miles, so if you have to “go” sooner, a stop at a restaurant or gas station may be required, and which ones are coming up. Here’s a link to iExit, available for iOS and Android.

The other thing that made the time pass easy is we knew our RV friends, Dane and Elaine, would be traveling home from a trip to Michigan – so after texting them to see what route they were taking, they replied I-70. So we played a game for an hour and a half where we estimated when our paths might cross and if we could see each other and snap a pic! We did so well as we got to the 113 and 108 mile markers, leaving us only minutes apart. Then, my fear happened when a semi passed us…and slowly, which would block our view. He creeped along, barely passing us. It would have been too risky for us to slow down, as we already cruise at a steady 60 MPH when towing, so we held steady and hoped he’d just move on up and pass us already. Once he did, I gathered myself back up, turned my head to look past Pat and out the driver’s window for a split second as I saw a small silver car that looked like a Toyota RAV4 in the passing line westbound. I thought it might be them…and it turns out it was. Too bad I missed getting a photo, but they got one of us!

Caught on Camera!

We set off on our next adventure in a month, a road trip again with the trailer. Plans are sketchy right now, unsure whether we’re going to Michigan or on Route 66. But either way, we’ll be sure to have fun and make more road trip memories!

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Pat & Jennifer

May 11-14, 2015: NCPAA Conference, Lexington, Kentucky

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This was my first time attending the National Citizens Police Academy Association’s conference, which was hosted by the Lexington Police Department and Lexington Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.

It was a great time, I learned a lot of new things that will assist my community and our police department. I also had a good time touring some of the Lexington area’s attractions: Keeneland Race Course, Calumet Horse Farm, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery, and Kentucky Horse Park.

I was introduced to the delicacies of bourbon candy (not so good for my waistline though!) and bourbon cream (mixed with root beer makes a really good “adult” root beer float!).

Photo Gallery

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June 20, 2015: Cozy Dog Run

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It was a great day to go on a road trip for the day, so we decided to take our grandson to lunch over at the Cozy Dog Drive-in on Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois!

 

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June 20, 2015: Cozy Dog Run

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The Road Trip That Made Me

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Sometimes I sit and wonder when I became addicted to road trips and all of the memories they create. Growing up, we frequently vacationed in northern Minnesota and drove some 800 miles each way from Indianapolis to our destination, which was a cabin at a resort on one of 10,000 lakes.

But I think I can point to a trip 30 years ago in July of 1985 that really opened my eyes to what a road trip vacation is all about. It was July 4th weekend of 1985 when my mom, dad, and I loaded up in my folks’ 1977 Chevrolet Impala. I was getting ready to head into my senior year in high school and my five older brothers were all out of high school and working jobs, so we had moved beyond the full family vacation. I was the last one in school, wasn’t working a part time job, so it was natural for just the three of us to hit the road.

Granted, my memory on the events of that week 30 years ago isn’t complete, but that trip made an impact on me to where I remember more about it than most people would. Our destination was an area mom wanted to go to, the northern most part of the upper peninsula of Michigan, specifically Copper Harbor, Michigan. We left on Saturday, July 6, 1985. We cruised north out of Indianapolis and went through Chicago via US 41.

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We didn’t stop in Chicago, but we took the two lanes out of Chicago and into Wisconsin. We continued on through Milwaukee and finally that first night we started to look for a place to stay for the night. Unfortunately we were running out of luck the darker it got. We got into Green Bay, Wisconsin in the 11pm hour that night, and we couldn’t find a motel with rooms to save our lives. We found out we were passing through that part of Wisconsin where everyone stayed who were in for the annual Oshkosh air show, which brought hundreds of thousands in from all parts of the world.

So there we sat at midnight in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn in downtown Green Bay. No Vacancy. At this point, mom was pretty hot, in every sense of the word. We were all tired and cranky, and at that point mom told my dad, “Oh, let’s just go home!” to which my normally mild mannered dad quickly shot back with “I’m not driving back tonight!”. Mind you, Indianapolis was some 400 miles back south. Once cooler heads prevailed, it was decided the farther we get away from the Oshkosh airshow, the better luck we’d have finding a room. So we decided to make the best of it and head north out of Green Bay. We motored up US 141, a 2-lane US highway that cut through the woods and pastures of northeastern Wisconsin. Back in 1985, there were very few 24 hour gas stations, and at one point we had to pull off so mom could visit a field so she could relieve her bladder. :-) We still hadn’t found a place to stay, but before we got to the border of Michigan, we found a 24 hour roadside cafe where we pulled in around 1am to grab a bite to eat.

I don’t recall the name of the place, but we were all tired, hungry, and half asleep. The one thing I remember about the place is that it was the first time I had a burger that had BBQ sauce and bacon on it. Other than that, I was ready for bed. Fortunately just a few miles up the road, we crossed into Michigan and into the town of Iron Mountain. FINALLY! It was 2am and there was vacancy at the Holiday Motel.

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After doing some homework, I’ve found that is no longer called the Holiday Motel, but it is still currently in business operating as an Econolodge.

After our short night’s stay, we forged north into the upper peninsula at Houghton. Cool little town with a neat little draw bridge that still functions today.

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On Day 2 we forged ahead and headed towards Copper Harbor, which is at the very tip of the peninsula. We stayed that night at Eagle Harbor at the Shoreline Motel. Loved this place! Situated right at the harbor, it’s a little mom & pop motel resort with an onsite restaurant. And much to my surprise, it’s still open with the onsite restaurant. There’s a lighthouse on the other side of the harbor, and I vividly remember laying in bed with the window open listening to the waters of Lake Superior splashing against the beach while the bell on the buoy in the harbor occasionally rang. And a little pesky mosquito buzzed around my ear while I tried to get to sleep. How’s that for a memory? It looks like we stayed in Room 4, as I took a picture with my mom waving at me from inside. img008

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We explored the area that next day and made our way into Copper Harbor. The towns up there aren’t very large and thus there weren’t a lot of other tourists. But the scenery is incredible! img010

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The Brockway Mountain Drive offers some incredible views of not only Copper Harbor, but also Lake Superior for as far as the eye can see. One thing that was different for me was how late the sun set up there. The picture above was taken somewhere in the 9pm hour, and the sunset close to 10pm. That night we stayed at a motel in Copper Harbor, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name. It was situated back into some trees not far from the end (or beginning) point of US 41. The last time I was up there, the motel was closed, but the building was still standing.

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That night we ate at a restaurant that still is there today called the Harbor Haus. Great seafood they had with a great view of the harbor. One of the locals told us if we really wanted to experience Copper Harbor, we needed to head to the city dump at sunset. Apparently black bears made there appearance at the dump and it was quite the tourist attraction. The dump is now closed and the bears find their food by other means, but it was one of the highlights of the entire trip.

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For the remainder of our trip, we headed west and went into our old vacation spot of Park Rapids for a couple of nights before working our way back home. Not to say that leg of the trip wasn’t fun, it wasn’t new and adventurous as the first 3 days were.

So as the 30th anniversary of that trip approaches in a few weeks, I look back on it with great memories, especially knowing it was the last trip I’d take with both of my parents, as my mom passed away a little over a year later. Her passing made the trip that much more special. And as a 17 year old, it made an impression on me that shaped me as a traveler.

I hope to get back up there and retrace as much of that trip as I can. Perhaps even stay at one or more of the rooms we stayed in. There’s a lot of my soul as a road warrior up there. My passion for hitting the road is deeply rooted in the memories of that trip, and those roots are alive and well in the Keweenaw Peninsula of northern Michigan. 

**All photos above were from the trip.

My Cannonball Fugitive – A Trip 8 Years in the Making

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For those couple of you who follow my blog, we sometimes incorporate photographing movie filming locations into our road trips.

We first researched the filming locations for My Cousin Vinny in the fall of 2008. We had decided (as we regularly do), that it was a great movie to watch for some laughs. But of course, instead of watching the movie like normal people, on this evening, our curiosity was piqued and we ended up breaking out the laptops to start researching filming locations and continually pausing the movie. At the time, there wasn’t alot of info on the Internet, but we did have satellite images and maps available, as well as the newest research tool that was in its infancy, Google Street View, launched the year before.

I was very excited to photograph the filming locations and had them all plotted out on a DeLorme map (along with some from The Fugitive, which we also researched). Over Thanksgiving in November 2008, we planned on doing this trip, and rain was looking to douse the south for days, so as we left town, we made a right turn and went west and took a trip on 66 instead. Yes, we switched gears immediately…that’s how we roll. Impulse! But we really didn’t want the trip to be a literal washout, so we decided to wait for another time.

Unfortunately, life didn’t work out to afford us the opportunity to get down there in the spring or summer. By the fall 2009, after purchasing a T@B travel trailer and getting hooked on camping, road trips took a back seat to camping trips. Since then, for one reason or another, if we took a road trip, we always went somewhere else and just never got around to this trip. Fast forward to the end of December 2014. Pat had 5 days off he needed to use or lose, and we debated on camping vs. a road trip. I thought about the My Cousin Vinny locations I’d always wanted to see, sent Pat my map and the decision was made…we’d go “Way Down South!” Finally!

We also knew that the trip would be done with certain filming locations for The Fugitive, which were filmed in North Carolina. Primarily the bus-train wreck scene, hospital, ambulance chase, and leap from the dam were all filmed in North Carolina (despite that it’s supposed to be in southern Illinois and bears no resemblance to that area). After that, the action switches to Chicago.

Lastly, I was watching The Cannonball Run this past year, which has a ton of locations across the country. I didn’t look for many, just a few, but one notable location was when Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise landed an airplane in a street in a town to get more beer, and then took off again. That would also be along this route.

Other than photographing the locations, the trip was uneventful. It was all about the filming locations! It was a very pleasant drive and temperatures were much warmer. Light jackets were all that were needed. We did get to The Varsity in Atlanta for dinner on the first day (New Year’s Eve). What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?

The Varsity - Atlanta, Georgia

New Year’s Day, we set off for The Cannonball Run and My Cousin Vinny locations.

The hotel from The Cannonball Run was, to say the least, a major disappointment. What was a thriving hotel at one time (looked very cool in the movie) is now a very run down cheap motel, with a seedy clientele. We didn’t stick around long enough to get a decent photo, particularly as not one – but two – police cars arrived to patrol the property. No thanks, moving on…

Next up was Covington, Georgia – home to the airplane landing scene, which I will post on my Movie Filming Locations page at some point when I have good screen captures.

Then, it was on to Monticello and Eatonton, and the surrounding area, to do all of the scenes from My Cousin Vinny.

The next day we headed up to North Carolina, where we went to Sylva and Bryson City, as well as near Robbinsville, to work on The Fugitive.

On the second to last day, we did make a quick stop in Gatlinburg to walk around and check out the shops – it was in the 70’s! The final was a bit colder, and we only drove back home and didn’t do much. All together, it was a fun trip, and we enjoyed the filming locations!

So, here are the results of our journey!

My Cousin Vinny Filming Locations

The Fugitive Filming Locations

Here is a map of our complete road trip, including all of the locations for My Cousin Vinny and The Fugitive:

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

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July 9, 2014: Route 66 – Seligman – Needles – Williams

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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.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Last Day Westbound

Today would be our last day westbound, and we would turn around in Needles and return east, taking 66 most of the way (when possible) and in particular, some areas of 66 that we missed on the way out. Due to time constraints, in a few areas where we did take 66 west, we might skip them east….depends on how our timing goes.

I woke up before sunrise, which was odd considering how little sleep I’d had on this trip. But it was fortunate, because I was treated to a very beautiful and peaceful sunrise in Seligman.

Good morning, Seligman!

Good morning, Seligman!

Good morning, Seligman!

KOA Kampground next to the Stagecoach 66 Motel

KOA Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Love the old motel keychains!

Stagecoach 66 Motel Key, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Once my grandson was up, fairly early – we began the ritual of getting him ready and packing up. He was very helpful today, since the motel was on one level. He was able to carry his own belongings out to the car, which made the process easier!

Sadly, we were not in Seligman during anytime that the Snow Cap was open, but here is a photo this morning. We had been here before when Juan Delgadillo was alive; my first visit was on my trip in August 2000 with my daughter and the next time was on my honeymoon in June 2002.

As always, I required coffee. I was very happy with the VERY good coffee (and half and half – yeah!) at Historic Seligman Sundries.

Snow Cap Drive-in, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

There are several sets of Burma Shave signs around Seligman. Pat is not into them, but I am, and I was driving, so I subjected him to a complete reading of each…and…every…set…of…signs.

Burma Shave signs on westbound Route 66, Arizona

Route 66 west, Peach Springs, Arizona

Pat asked me to turn around and stop in this area. Off to the right, there appears to be a small dirt track of some sort. It has fairly high banked curves and Pat’s thought was that it might have provided some inspiration for the dirt track in Cars.

Track along Route 66,  near Peach Springs, Arizona

In Truxton, we passed by the Frontier Motel, which is currently undergoing restoration of the motel and cafe.

Frontier Motel - Route 66, Truxton, Arizona

Heading west toward Kingman.

Route 66 west of Truxton, Arizona

Entering Kingman, we are nearing the end of our westward journey.

Here is the Route 66 Motel.

Route 66 Motel, Kingman, Arizona

The Orchard Inn

Orchard Inn Motel, Route 66

Hill Top Motel

Hill Top Motel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Hill Top Motel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Arcadia Lodge

Arcadia Lodge, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Welcome to Kingman!

Welcome to Kingman, Arizona

Here is the turn under I-40 outside of Kingman to take Route 66 (Oatman Road), the older alignment of 66 that goes through the mountains and through the town of Oatman, home to the burros!

Route 66 near Exit 44 (I-40), Kingman, Arizona

Historic 66 sign on Oatman Road, Kingman, Arizona

Historic 66 sign on Oatman Road, Kingman, Arizona

Looking back east on 66 from Shaffer Springs Fishbowl

Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

Shaffer Springs Fishbowl

Shaffer Spring Fishbowl, Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

What a climb…we did it!! But looking back down, the little man then got scared and wanted to come back down.

Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

Arriving in Oatman!

Oatman’s most famous inhabitants are currently the burros, which come down from the mountains every day during business hours (like clockwork) to visit the tourists, who will gladly feed them.
Route 66 - Oatman, Arizona

We prepared our grandson for the excitement of the burros by watching YouTube videos. We bought some burro food from a shop, but all the videos in the world weren’t going to help him adjust to a frightening sense of overwhelm at being surrounded by these giant creatures (to his little 3 year old self, they were). I also felt a bit panicky at having them surround him, so I quickly grabbed the burro food and tossed it away and pulled our grandson out of the circle of burros he’d been surrounded. They gave us slight chase, but when they realized we had no food, they moved on to other tourists who did, and who helped lure them away.

We bought him a stuffed animal burro, which he enjoys and happily isn’t too emotionally scarred from the experience. He did say afterward, that he doesn’t want to see the real burros again, so I think there is a little scarring. Hopefully, he’ll change his mind when he gets older.

We had some ice cream to cool down before we left town.
Route 66 - Oatman, Arizona

West of Oatman, heading toward Topock.

Oatman-Topock Highway (Route 66), Between Oatman and Topock, Arizona

Oatman-Topock Highway (Route 66), Between Oatman and Topock, Arizona

We had read on one of the Route 66 Facebook pages that the road near Topock was closed due to rains earlier in the week. I was unable to check on that or ask anyone if that was still the case, because we had very little Internet signal. Sure enough, in Topock, the road was closed so we went to Needles on Route 1, and then 95 and crossing down into Needles, California.

We saw the 66 Motel, with its recently (2012) restored sign, with fundraising led by Ed Klein of Route 66 World.

66 Motel - Route 66, Needles, California

66 Motel - Route 66, Needles, California

After Needles, we proceeded to head east on I-40 toward the Park Moabi Road exit (153), where we would be taking more photos of locations used in the opening credits of Easy Rider between here and Exit 1 on the Arizona side. Click here for my post of the Easy Rider Filming Locations, with photos and description of this area, as well as screen captures from the movie.

Old Stone billboard - Route 66 Welcome sign

 

After finishing with all of the movie locations around the Arizona – California border, we headed back east to Kingman on the Interstate, which was a later alignment of Route 66, starting in 1953, bypassing the Oatman Road alignment. It’s a longer way around (really, it feels long!) and far less interesting and fun than Oatman Road. But we’d already taken Oatman Road on the way out, so we took this way back until we got to Kingman, where we exited back onto Route 66.

By this time, the little man needed a playground break and we wanted to eat, so we killed two birds with one stone by stopping in Kingman by Locomotive Park, home to this 1927 steam locomotive. Click the link for more info on the steam train. Jameson had fun running around and letting off some steam (pun intended!).

Locomotive Park, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Once we felt we could take a break from the train, we headed next door to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner to eat, followed by a little more play time at the train.

Mr. D'z - Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Moving on, this sign for the Kingman Club is on Beale Street.

Kingman Club Sign, Beale Street, Kingman, Arizona

We continued east on 66 through Kingman, and took a few photos we didn’t get on the way west.

The El Trovatore Motel

El Trovatore Morel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

El Trovatore Morel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

El Trovatore Morel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Uptown Drug

Uptown Drug & Medical Supply, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

ABC Chinese Buffet

ABC Buffet, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

We continued to take 66 east from Kingman. East of Seligman, I noticed the sunset in the rear view mirror and thought it was beautiful enough to stop for a photo!

Sunset on 66, east of Seligman, Arizona

Once 66 leads into I-40 near Ash Fork, we took the Interstate east to Williams, where we took 66. Since it was getting late, we had already decided to stay in Williams for the night.

Slideshow of All Photos (July 9, 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

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July 8, 2014: Route 66 – Holbrook to Seligman, Arizona

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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.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Even though we had a perfectly acceptable stay at the Magnuson, it would have been nice to sleep in a Wigwam (we have at the Cave City, KY location). But here’s a morning photo on our way out of town.

Wigwam Motel - Route 66, Holbrook, Arizona

Next, we stopped at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Glad we went and checked the door, because it looked closed, it seemed dark inside and there were no cars visible. But happily, they were open. Sadly, though, they no longer sold that cloyingly sweet cider we enjoyed on our honeymoon. We picked up a few souvenirs, including a HERE IT IS shirt for our grandson.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

And here he is, posing on the Jack Rabbit! A rite of passage for all good Route 66 roadies.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

Continuing to motor west, our next stop was Winslow, Arizona.

Welcome to Winslow

There is a 9/11 Memorial on the east end of Winslow on 66, which contains pieces from the World Trade Center.

9-11 Memorial, Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

We went over to Standin’ on the Corner Park, which has a mural, statue, and Flatbed Ford, all depicting a scene from The Eagles’ song “Take It Easy.”

There’s a man with a guitar standing on the corner, and the reflection in the window of a girl in a Flatbed Ford. I decided to take it easy and sip a Route 66 root beer. Very peaceful and relaxing.

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Closeup of the statue…I still think he looks like Jackson Browne, despite the fact that there is no “official” word on who this is (I asked)!

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

I browsed in two of the shops there and picked up some t-shirts and postcards, while Pat took our grandson for a walk (a 3 year old and breakables is not a good combination!!).

Continuing west, we stopped for a photo at the old Twin Arrows Trading Post. It was barricaded and not as easily accessible as it used to be. There was also a casino nearby, of course, called the Twin Arrows Casino.

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Route 66, Arizona

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Route 66, Arizona

This old bridge is located on Route 66 at the Winona exit (exit 211 from I-40).

Bridge - Route 66, Winona. Arizona

Heading toward Flagstaff.

West on 66 near Flagstaff, Arizona

In Flagstaff, is this former Howard Johnson’s Restaurant (the hotel is still that brand), now the Crown Railroad Cafe.

Crown Railroad Cafe (Howard Johnson's), Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

Western Hills Motel sign

Western Hills Motel & Restaurant, Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

Sierra Vista Motel sign

Motel Sierra Vista sign - Flagstaff, Arizona

Old scaffold style signs in Flagstaff – Downtowner Motel and Motel DuBeau

Downtowner Motel sign, Flagstaff, Arizona

Motel Du Beau sign (Du Beau Hostel), Flagstaff, Arizona

We stopped in Flagstaff for a while to walk around and take photos of various Easy Rider filming locations, from the opening credits, which was filmed in part along Route 66 in Flagstaff. Click here for my post on Easy Rider Filming Locations to see more photos from Flagstaff along with screen shots from Easy Rider.

We stopped at the 66 Visitors Center and picked up a couple of Route 66 / Cars shirts for our grandson. One was a 66 t-shirt and the other was a really cute hand made Hawaiian type shirt made from Cars fabric with a map and Cars characters Mater and Lightning McQueen.

There was a bakery called Sugar Mamas that we wanted to visit, but it had already closed.

The Galaxy Diner is on 66 on the west side of town.

Galaxy Diner - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

West of Flagstaff, Route 66 takes you on a scenic drive through the Kaibab National Forest. This is another location that was well-depicted in the Pixar film Cars, as Sally & Lightning take a drive through the forest (see video below the photo).

Route 66 west - between Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona

We told our grandson this was where Lightning and Sally went for a drive too!

Next, we arrived in Williams, a really nice Route 66 town with alot of great shops and restaurants. Again, we no longer buy alot of knick knacks, since we’re not in “acquisition” mode, but rather on a long, slow path to decluttering and eliminating stuff for a future of “fulltiming” in an RV someday, but that’s another story. We do buy a few things that we can use like t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, etc. So I bought a cool Route 66 ceramic coffee mug at Cruisers and a couple small other things.

Cruiser's Gifts sign - Route 66, Williams, Arizona

I was disappointed to see the Route 66 Inn closed. I stayed here during my first trip on Route 66 in August 2000.

Route 66 Inn - Williams, Arizona

Turquoise Tepee

Turquoise Tepee - Route 66, Williams. Arizona

Addicted to Deals

Addicted to Route 66 Deals - Route 66, Williams. Arizona

Rod’s Steak House

Rod's Steak House, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

We stopped to get some ice cream at Twisters Soda Fountain…the chocolate met with our grandson’s approval! Here he is wearing the Cars shirt we had bought him in Flagstaff.

Twister's Soda Fountain, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

Twister's Soda Fountain, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

We managed to walk around Williams without any rainfall, which was looming. Moving west, we took the Crookton Road exit, which leads travelers onto a beautiful stretch of Route 66 away from the Interstate, and through Ash Fork, Seligman, Hackberry, Truxton, and on into Kingman.

Here are two photos at the Crookton Road exit.

Route 66, Crookton Road Exit, Arizona

Route 66 - East of Seligman, Arizona

Near Seligman, another BNSF train was approaching!

Untitled

Next, we arrived in Seligman as it was nearing dusk; however, as we had never stayed in Kingman, that was our intended destination for this evening.

Looking west on 66 in Seligman.

Route 66, Seligman, Arizona at Dusk

The Copper Cart

Copper Cart - Route 66, Seligman. Arizona

Fillmore from Cars!

Fillmore - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Historic Route 66 Motel on the west side of Seligman

Historic 66 Motel - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

The Supai Motel

Supai Motel - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

We needed to get gas, so we stopped on the west side of Seligman. Once we did, we realized we really didn’t want to continue for this evening. It was getting dark, and we wouldn’t see much between here and Kingman. We decided to stay at the Stagecoach 66 Motel, where we’d stayed on our honeymoon. Double bonus, there was a restaurant / bar on the premises, so we could get some takeout and eat in our room (we would have eaten at the Snow Cap, but it was already closed by the time we arrived in town).

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

 They had vacancy, and Pat even managed a surprise…a Cars-themed room. Jameson was very excited to see all of the decor with Mater, Lightning McQueen, and other Cars characters, just like his room at home. He was literally bouncing all over the place in excitement.

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

As Pat went over to the bar & restaurant to get a pizza, Jameson and I had a nice walk all around the grounds of the motel (about 5 laps, no less). It was a nice, peaceful time – I’m not sure what’s in the air in Seligman that calmed my grandson down, but it was just about the most quiet time I’d had with him so far during the trip (and in retrospect it would turn out to be the most quiet time of the entire trip…).

 The office area of the motel.

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Dinner!

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Then it was time for some shuteye and the nightly ritual of trying to get our grandson to calm down and go to sleep. Mercifully, he fell asleep fairly easily today!

Until tomorrow…

Slideshow of All Photos (July 8, 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

October 17 – 19, 2014: CubaFest

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October 17, 2014

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.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Road Trip!

When deciding on a route to Cuba, we realized there aren’t alot of options that we haven’t taken, at least for state or US routes.  Nonetheless, Pat decided upon SR 37 south to SR 450, then US 50 to St. Louis, at which point we took Route 66 to Cuba.

We arrived right around dinner time, so we first had dinner at Missouri Hick Bar B Que. Definitely a place to have a great meal when in Cuba! Here’s a photo from last year:

Missouri Hick BBQ - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

After dinner, we headed next door to the bonfire / party at the Wagon Wheel Motel where we met up with Route 66 friends Mike and Sharon. We had a nice conversation visiting with them, then as things wound down, we headed over to our motel (we were staying at the Super 8).

Not a bad place, but for me, the overwhelming chemicals used to hide the smoke smell from our so-called “non-smoking” room necessitated ventilating the room with the windows open on this very chilly evening. My entire respiratory system was irritated and mild nausea was setting in. Ahhh, the joys of having chemical sensitivities and asthma!!

October 18, 2014

Today we spent time visiting CubaFest and catching up with more Route 66 friends. CubaFest was the quintessential small town festival and it was wonderful! It was so nice to be away from the city and relax and enjoy the friendly and festive atmosphere. We had a small bite to eat at the festival, then we decided to stop in a store along Route 66 in Cuba  called Route 66 Mercantile. The building used to have a restaurant, but it had been closed for some time. Route 66 mercantile sells a variety of quality household kitchen gadgets and equipment, such as Vitamix, KitchenAid, Cuisinart, All-Clad, etc. His prices are VERY good. I’ve wanted a VitaMix since I was a teenager (yeah, that’s a long time now!) and with the price he’s selling it, it won’t be long before I’m hitting the road to Cuba to pick one up! You can check out the Route 66 Mercantile Facebook page here.

Afterward, we went back to the motel to relax for a bit before heading over to Belmont Vineyards & Winery on Route 66 for the Road Crew show!!

Pat and I had first seen The Road Crew last year in Galena, Kansas during the 2014 International Route 66 Festival. During that trip, I picked up their CD “Songs from The Mother Road” and when I was home on Wifi, purchased their other album, Rock-a-Billy Road from Amazon in MP3 format. Here’s a link to their Amazon listing where you can sample their music! We were unable to attend the International Festival in Kingman, Arizona this year, so I was pretty excited to hear that they were going to play at CubaFest…that was definitely within a distance we could attend!

roadcrew

Since last year, their music has secured a permanent place in my Route 66 and Road Trip playlists on my iPhone…several songs have become anthems, if you will, for our future plans to fulltime and travel the US in an RV. In particular, “We’re Going West” describes the feeling of ditching city life perfectly (click the link to listen to the full song!):

We’re Going West” 

Honey pack up the bags we’re gonna blow this town today

We’re gonna wind up where the sunshine’s warm and free

Hey there’s a better life out there for you and me

We’re going west…we’re going west…

There’s a two lane blacktop we’re gonna take

A lotta city livin’ baby we gotta shake

There ain’t no stoppin’ us, we’re makin’ a break…

We’re going west!

The Belmont Vineyards & Winery wasn’t far from Cuba, just about 10 minutes east on 66, in Leasburg. It was a little chilly as the sun went down, but it was really pretty at the vineyard. We met up with even more 66 friends, who had a table reserved and invited us to site with them (which was great, since we didn’t know about reservations!). We tried some wine (as “unsophisticated” as many may think of sweet wine, it pleases our taste buds, and dry doesn’t!), so we selected a bottle of the sweetest wine they had, called Pink Dogwood. They had a limited menu, but still very good – we had a pizza, which we enjoyed!!

The band played from 5-8 with a couple of breaks and it was a great show!! If you have a chance to see The Road Crew, you will have a great time!

The Road Crew

Here’s a video The Road Crew just posted on their YouTube Channel, which they wrote all about fellow Route 66 roadie, Ron “Tattoo Man” Jones. Alot of the video was filmed at CubaFest!

 

After the show, Pat and I stopped at a frozen yogurt shop called Dessert Island in Cuba on our way back to our motel and the band came in shortly after us – we had a nice time visiting and chatting with all of them, and look forward to seeing them again soon!

Slideshow of Photos (from The Road Crew Show)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from The Road Crew show at the Belmont Vineyards and Winery.
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.

October 19, 2014

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.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Heading Home

We planned on heading home on 66 to St. Louis. Cruising through Bourbon….

Route 66 east - approaching Bourbon, Missouri

Through Villa Ridge…

Sunset Motel Sign - Route 66, Villa Ridge, Missouri

We stopped in the Route 66 State Park in Eureka because we remembered that author Jim Hinckley would be giving a talk on Route 66. We met up with our roadie friends again (Mike and Sharon Ward), as well as several more from Missouri, including Roamin’ Rich, who we just met the day before. Check out Rich’s blog, Hooked on 66 or his You Tube channel!

66 Roadies hanging out at Route 66 State Park, Eureka, Missouri

Jim Hinckley during his presentationAuthor Jim Hinckley at Route 66 State Park, Eureka, Missouri

Then it was on to St. Louis, and then we picked up the Evil-I and headed back to Indiana.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

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