Posts tagged Honeymoon

June 23, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 10)

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Joplin, Missouri to Speedway, Indiana

Not much on this day except to take the Evil-I back home.

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June 22, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 9)

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Adrian, Texas to Joplin, Missouri

We had an early breakfast at the Midpoint Cafe, which was excellent! We met with Joann again, then parted until next time!  We both felt the Midpoint cafe was our new favorite place to eat along the route!

Evil-I to the Jericho Gap

We continued on the Interstate until east of Oklahoma City, where we took 66 through Edmond, Arcadia, and Warwick.  We stopped by Seaba Station and met with list member Sue Preston and her husband Sonny…what great people! We stayed and talked for about two hours!  We wished we could have stayed longer and gone to dinner, but we knew we had to be back home Sunday night so Pat could be in work Monday morning. Sue’s station is wonderful and an absolute “must stop” on any Route 66 journey!

In total contrast to the wonderful independently owned El Rancho Motel in Williams, our first choice of a motel in Joplin was a perfect example of when NOT to support Mom & Pop.  Based on the exterior, the Roadsite Motel in U.S. 71, near the I-44, seemed to be an “OK” place to stay – cool neon sign, too. But after checking out the bathroom, the floor was crawling with insects, and a few dead ones too!  These additional guests didn’t confine themselves to the bathroom, so we immediately went to the office and got our money back. It was the first time we ever did that! And if we ever encounter a place like that again, it won’t be the last!

We opted to stay next door at the Hampton Inn…as you might expect, it was an excellent choice. We stayed there because of their support of Route 66 and assistance in restoring/preserving Route 66 landmarks.

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June 21, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 8)

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Williams, Arizona to Adrian, Texas

We enjoyed a great stay at the El Rancho Motel in Williams, Arizona on the eastbound side of Route 66, on the east end of town.  We highly recommend this motel.  It’s independently owned, friendly service, clean, nicely furnished, and has great amenities – our room had a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker…all at a reasonable price! This is a perfect example of a place which makes you want to support Mom & Pop.

We had breakfast at Goldie’s Route 66 diner and walked around Williams for a bit and visited a few gift shops.

We had to take the Evil I, and continued east.  As we neared Holbrook, we had limited visibility due to smoke from the wildfire about 30 – 40 miles south, near Show Low.

We made decent time through New Mexico until Albuquerque, where we hit both rush hour and construction traffic.  Unfortunately, taking Route 66 in this area would not have been a viable option, since it’s the very busy Central Avenue through town!

We did turn off in Santa Rosa and take the route there, to grab a quick bite to eat.  We finally pulled into Adrian at about 8:30, and were very happy to see the Midpoint Cafe was still open!  We had two slices of Joann’s chocolate peanut butter pie, and were able to meet yet another fellow e-group member, Fran, the owner of the Midpoint Cafe.  We talked outside for a bit, and when we said good bye, we had planned on continuing to Vega.  Instead, we decided to stay next door at the Fabulous 40 Motel, owned by an 85 year old woman.

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June 20, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 7)

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Seligman, Arizona to Needles, California and back to Williams, Arizona

  • Met Angel and Juan Delgadillo
  • Stopped at the Hackberry General Store and visitor center
  • Stopped at the Powerhouse in Kingman
  • Followed Oatman Road into Oatman
  • Continued down old 66 into Topock, then into Needles. Turned around and took the Evil I back to Kingman.  We stopped for dinner at Mr. D’z

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June 19, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 6)

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Gallup, New Mexico to Seligman, Arizona

  • Visited the Jackrabbit Trading Post
  • Followed the old alignment of 66 toward the Painted desert and saw the Painted Desert Trading Post
  • We picked up a good guide to Route 66 in Arizona
  • Went through Flagstaff and Williams
  • As we approached Seligman, it was sunset and as we rounded a hill, it was breathtaking. We spend the night in Seligman at the Stagecoach 66 Motel.

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June 18, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 5)

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Tucumcari, New Mexico to Gallup, New Mexico

Route 66 - Cuervo, New MexicoTuesday, we stopped by Tee Pee Curios near the Blue Swallow. We got directions from Mike Callens to the cemetery where Lillian Redman is buried so we could pay our respects. We then hit the road west & had the thrill of the day. We decided to tackle the Cuervo Cutoff. Relying on Jim & Jerry’s “Bones” map, we made our way southwest on this gem of highway history. We made it about 2.5 miles before the we encountered a section the was impassable for a ’93 Caprice. We then took 66 through NM, and just as we were getting ready to park the car to get a pic of an old gas station in Newkirk, a 3-pack of dogs came after the car with some serious intent. So we shot the pics from inside the car, and eventually outran the pooches as we left their “turf”. From there we went through Santa Rosa where we saw Bob Waldmire’s VW parked at the Denny’s. We got into Albuquerque by mid-afternoon where we had a great lunch at the 66 Diner. We then made our way west through some beautiful sections of 66, finally making it to Gallup around 8:30.

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June 17, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 4)

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Amarillo, Texas to Tucumcari, New Mexico

Monday, June 17 we left the Big Texan after meeting up for breakfast with Becky.

We then went to the western edge of Amarillo where we walked into a field a couple hundred yards to Cadillac Ranch. After signing our names on one of the Caddies, we took off onto 66 into the flat Texas panhandle. We proceeded on to Vega where we had a nice time visiting with Linda Drake, Dot's Mini-Museum - Route 66, Vega, Texas another e-group member who works for the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce. We had a great visit, and she was kind enough to take us over to Dot’s Mini-Museum.  Dot is an 85 year old resident of Vega with an interesting collection of “stuff.” Her children have built her several small outbuildings on her property to house her collection and run this neat, free “mini-museum.” It’s free and always open during the day, so please be sure to stop by when you go to Vega!

Mid-Point Cafe - Route 66, Adrian, TexasWe motored on to Adrian where we had the world’s best chocolate peanut butter pie at the Midpoint Cafe, which as its name implies, is the midpoint of Route 66.  Here, we met anothere-group member, Joann Harwell, who works at the cafe and makes the pies.   We visited the gift shop and bought lots of souvenirs, and Joann asked us if we would be so kind as to deliver a slice of coconut pie to Hilda Bakke, who owns the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari with her husband Dale. We were happy to oblige!

Route 66 - Glenrio, New Mexico Continuing west, we stopped in the now deserted town of Glenrio, which straddles the Texas/New Mexico border. This little town once boasted several cafes, gas station, and motels. When I-40 was built in the 60’s & 70’s, Glenrio was essentially cut off & left to die. Today, there are just a couple of homes left and no operating businesses. From Glenrio we ventured down an unpaved alignment of 66 that was quite dusty due to the dry weather in the west. Our stop for the night was at the historic Blue Swallow Motel (www.blueswallowmotel.com) in Tucumcari, NM. Built in 1939, the 11 room Blue Swallow was recently restored to it’s former glory. It still has a garage for each room, which were standard for many motels and motor courts back in the 40’s & 50’s.After today we were in total “winging it” mode, so we didn’t know where we’d end up tonight. We anticipated staying in Gallup or Grants, based on the pace we’ve been going, but we only made it as far as Tucumcari, which was fine by us! We lodged at the Blue Swallow and delivered Hilda’s pie to her. Dale & Hilda Bakke have done a fantastic job restoring this gem – they are also members of the e-group and we had a nice talk with them.

From there we motored down the road to Adrian for a piece of pie at the Midpoint Cafe. The chocolate peanut butter is to kill for! We missed Fran, who was in Amarillo picking up t-shirts. However, we had a nice time chatting with Joann Harwell, who was manning the impressive gift shop at the Midpoint. From there we motored to Tucumcari for the night, staying at the Blue Swallow.

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Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 3)

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas

We started our day by meeting with Ken & Melissa, two of their kids Alicia & Jericho, Ken’s friend Mark and Nicole to go to breakfast at a fine place called Jimmy’s Egg, where we met up with more e-group members: Jim Ross, Laurel Kane, Sue Preston, and Mark Potter.  Jimmy’s Egg is much like a Denny’s or Perkin’s, it dispenses some fine bacon & eggs!

After our breakfast with the group Sunday morning (Thanks, Ken!!) we mosied west. We took a very slow, leisurely pace, staying off the interstate.  We passed through Yukon (the hometown of Garth Brooks) and El Reno, where we saw that the Deluxe Inn was closed down. The rooms were being torn apart – old mattresses littered the parking lot! The Deluxe Inn was formerly the Big 8 Motel, and was unique in the fact that it was used in the 1988 movie Rain Man, with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Filmmakers thought the motel and sign were perfect for a scene where the main characters stayed in Amarillo for the night. However, with the Big 8 being in El Reno, Oklahoma, they created a sign to hang on the motel touting it as “Amarillo’s Finest.” The owner decided to keep the sign and promote it’s appearance in Rain Man.  The room they stayed in remained decorated as it was in the movie, and you could stay there, or at least just look and take pictures.  Unfortunately, during Jennifer’s trip in August 2000, the Big 8 had changed hands, and become another non-descript, dumpy motel called The Deluxe Inn (a misnomer if ever there was one!). But now, it appears that they are tearing the place down, yet another example of how history takes a backseat to “progress.”

After we left El Reno, we decided to take the original alignment of Route 66, dating back from 1926 – 1933, which cut north through Calumet and Geary. From Geary, it meandered south as an unpaved, dirt alignment to the point where it crossed the South Canadian River at Bridgeport. However, the site of that river crossing, also known as the Key Bridge, was demolished in the 1950’s. So, we headed east and connected with a newer alignment of 66, which cut across the South Canadian River on a 3/4 mile long, 38 arch pony truss bridge, built in 1933, thus spelling demise of the Key Bridge. Pony Truss Bridge over the Canadian River - Route 66, OklahomaWe continued on to Hydro, where we stopped to check out the now-closed “Lucille’s” historic gas station, dating back to the 1940’s. From there, we went on to Clinton, where we first stopped to check out the site of the former Pop Hick’s Restaurant.  Pop Hick’s was located on Route 66 for a long time, and was featured in Michael Wallis’ video Journey Down Route 66. Jennifer was quite disappointed during her first trip upon discovering that Pop Hick’s had burned down a year earlier! Unfortunately, the current owners had no insurance, so they were unable to rebuild. We then toured the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, which is more than worth the $3 admission.

We had driven about 100 miles after 6 hours. So after we left Clinton, we jumped on I-40 through western Oklahoma and into Texas. We did get off the Interstate at the business routes (66) through Shamrock, Big Texan - Amarillo, TexasMcLean, Alanreed (where Pat nearly had a fatal encounter with a skunk with tail fully engaged), and Groom, where we visited the 190 foot-plus tall “Cross of the Plains,” much like the cross in Effingham, IL along I-70.  We needed to jump back onto the Interstate to Amarillo where we got in around 10:00 PM. Going against our better judgment, we had a small steak dinner before they closed the doors at the Big Texan.   The Big Texan is famous for offering a free 72oz. steak dinner if you can eat the steak, potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, and roll & butter within an hour. (www.bigtexan.com) If you don’t make it, the cost is about $60. Just so happened one gent was trying the challenge while we were there. He walked out $60 lighter!

Another fellow e-group member, and human resources director at the Big Texan, Becky Ransom, reserved an incredible room for us at the Big Texan Motel. The furniture is all rustic in appearance, including wooden doors covering the windows instead of drapes. It was a very nice stay!!

Until tomorrow…

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Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 2)

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Fenton, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Saturday, June 15 brought a loooong part of the journey. Unfortunately we had to take I-44 through Missouri so we could get into Oklahoma at a reasonable time.  We had, individually, both been on Route 66 in Missouri, and through part of Missouri together (see our April 2001 trip), but it still pained us to be on the Interstate!  We didn’t like “shunning” the Mother Road! We did take Route 66 at Exit #261 in order to go to Pacific, where we had breakfast at Monroe’s Route 66 Diner, which is housed in a metal Quonset hut. Very excellent diner with great road food – perfect to start your road trip with a hearty breakfast!  Reasonable prices, too.

We also stopped in Stanton, to go to the Antique Toy Museum for a case of Route 66 Root Beer for the road. After purchasing our root beer and some other souvenirs, the owner offered us a free tour.  We didn’t have much time to do the tour justice (Jennifer had been there for a visit in August 2000), but we did enjoy about a half an hour there exploring their expansive (and expensive!) collection of toys.

We continued on through Missouri, and unfortunately, as we approached the Kansas/Oklahoma borders, we realized we couldn’t take the route through Kansas (and would miss Eisler Brothers’ General Store) or else we would be very late meeting our friend, Laurel Kane. Laurel is an avid Route 66’er and collector of postcards – see her website: Postcards from the Road.  She is from Connecticut, as was Jennifer, and recently moved to Oklahoma after purchasing an old D-X filling station in Afton, Oklahoma on the shoulders of Route 66. Laurel is restoring the station, which dates back to the 1930’s, where she will greet visitors on Route 66, where they can view her thousands of vintage Route 66 postcards as well as her dozen or so Packards which will also be on display. Long story short (hopefully), Laurel brought us together…when Jennifer was still living in Connecticut and joined the e-group, she met with Laurel for an afternoon of discussion and story-swapping about Route 66. Later that evening, Jennifer received an e-mail from Laurel’s friend Pat. Unbeknownst to Jennifer at the time, after their meeting, Laurel e-mailed Pat, telling him she found Pat’s future wife! When Jennifer moved to Romeoville, Illinois, we met in person and hit it off…a year and a half later, here we are – honeymooning on Route 66!  Now, back to our trip….

We met Laurel at Waylan’s Ku Ku Burger in Miami, Oklahoma, then motored down Route 66 to her Afton Station for an updated look at the renovations. After visiting with Laurel for several hours, we hated to part, but our destination was Oklahoma City, so we needed to continue.

As we took the Evil I (aka, the Interstate) into Tulsa, we noticed some heavy storms up ahead. We witnessed an impressive lightning display, which turned into torrential rainstorms, and continued until Oklahoma City. It did not make for fun travel, especially on the crowded Interstate! Thanks to an incorrect map on Yahoo, we got lost trying to find our hotel, the Route 66 Drive Inn Hotel & Suites, which was on the west side of OKC.  Of course, the map showed it on the east side.  But being the Road Maven couple that we are, we found our way there.

We arrived around 10:00 PM and were told our choice of two rooms had been held for us by our friend Ken Turmel. Ken is a fellow Route 66 e-group member, and a retired postal carrier who has created what is called “PostmarkArt.” It’s hard to explain, so see Ken’s website, designed and maintained by Jennifer: PostmarkArt by Ken Turmel). Ken and his wife Melissa were in the room next door, and in a room across the courtyard were two of Ken’s daughters, and another fellow e-group member, Nicole. We met Ken for a while, and later Nicole, and talked until 1:00 AM! Knowing we were all meeting in the morning for a big Route 66 e-group breakfast, we finally said goodnight!

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Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 1)

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Speedway, Indiana to Fenton, Missouri

Monroe's Diner - Route 66, Pacific MissouriWe weren’t married until September 14, 2002, but we decided to take our honeymoon ahead of time. Jennifer just moved to Speedway from the Chicagoland area and wouldn’t have any vacation time at her new job in September after the wedding, so we took our trip early. We’re both a couple of road warriors at heart, and both of our fascinations with the lore of Route 66 is how we met to begin with. But that’s another story! So it was natural that we would take our honeymoon on Route 66. Upon hearing Indipala SS (an Impala SS club in Indianapolis to which Pat belongs), was having a caravan to St. Louis for Impalapalouis on the same day we’d be leaving for our trip, we decided it’d be neat to follow along, since we planned on staying in nearby Fenton, Missouri that night anyway.

After only 2 1/2 hours sleep, we started our journey at 9:15 AM heading west on I-70 to meet up with members of the club in Plainfield.  We arrived at Plainfield at 10am just in time for the caravan to leave. It took a little longer to pack Pat’s ’93 Caprice LTZ for the cross country trip than he had thought. But once we were there, we were met by Indipala prez Dave Bass and Dodie Sheffield. As the caravan took off, we brought up the rear. We must admit the bumper to bumper traffic at 70+mph (with the occasional brake tapping!) on I-70 was a bit much for Pat’s 34 year old heart to take, so we bailed off I-70 after entering Illinois and took the remainder of the trip on the much less congested and slower U.S. 40.

Early in the afternoon, we stopped in Effingham, Illinois for lunch at Woody’s Restaurant in the Dixie Trucker’s Home truck stop. Upon leaving the restaurant, Pat’s keen sense spotted a Corvair behind the restaurant. After discussing the car with the gentleman at the garage where it was parked, we jumped back on U.S. 40 and continued our southwest trek along the Old National Road, through such Illinois towns as St. Elmo, Mulberry Grove and Pocahontas, before entering Collinsville. We met up with some of the club members at the hotel and headed on to our hotel in Fenton.

Leaving the hotel, we ventured across the Mississippi River into Missouri where we stayed for the night at the Fairfield Inn. After checking in, we rested a bit, then we went back into St. Louis to have a frozen custard at Ted Drewe’s, where they’ve been making frozen custard on Route 66 since the 1940’s. We met our fellow Route 66 e-group member Emily Priddy for a concrete.  We had a great visit, we ended up talking for about two hours!

On our way back to the hotel, we needed to stop at Walgreen’s to pick up a Styrofoam cooler and other supplies, and we stumbled upon a St. Louis delicacy called St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. For something that wasn’t even chocolate, it was so decadent!!  LOL

We went back to our hotel, and called it a night, since we wanted to get an early start tomorrow.

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