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Thread: Route 66 - Advice/recommendations

  1. #1

    Route 66 - Advice/recommendations

    Hello,
    Riding rt 66 in September with a group of about 10. Boston to Chicago in 24 hours, then the rest on rt 66 at a leisurely pace, 300 400 miles per day tops. Asking for advice/suggestions on anything - motels, food, drinks, attractions. Very much looking forward to it so all ideas are appreciated. Thanks.
    Frank in Boston MA.

  2. #2
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    We have stayed five times at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba Mo. on Route 66.
    https://www.wagonwheel66cuba.com/

    20180806_133233.jpg

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    Covered parking for bikes
    Wagon Wheel (11).jpg

    Fire ring and wood
    Wagon Wheel (10).JPG

    Wagon Wheel (2).jpg

    Quite a few murals within walking distance.
    Cuba (3).jpg

    Shelly's a few blocks away is a good place for breakfast.
    KHCR 2018 (24).jpg
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
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    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  3. #3
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Frank, once you get down to Texas, be sure and take a look at Cadillac Ranch and Palo Duro Canyon. Both are near Amarillo and Canyon, TX.

    There's a book called Road Trip USA (See: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Trip-USA...s%2C141&sr=8-3) which devotes a whole section to Route 66. There's a lot of detail about things to see all over the USA, and the Route 66 section is long and detailed. It goes from Chicago to LA.

    I have a copy of the book from a few years ago, but I don't imagine the Route 66 piece has changed a lot in four years. Since I'm in Brookline, MA I'd be glad to let you borrow my copy for your planning and trip if you'd like. Just PM me your 'phone number and we'll work out delivery details.
    Last edited by ExGMan; 12-25-2019 at 08:34 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Much of Old Route 66, west of OKC, is the access road that parallels I-40. It can get very frustrating to bump along over the expansion cracks in the old concrete roadway (they're spaced nicely @ 16.5 feet apart) while the traffic on I-40 is purring smoothly by @ 70mph +. My suggestion -- for those sections hop on the slab and wave at the poor people over on the access road (Old 66). Depart the slab whenever Old 66 veers away from I-40, or wherever you see the sign pointing to "Business Route 40" which is the original Route 66 through towns. Just my suggestion -- from someone who's ridden parts/all of 66 from Missouri to Cal several times.

    Someone has already mentioned Cadillac Ranch -- delightfully tacky, near Amarillo, TX.

    In Oklahoma, stop @ the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, located literally on Old 66 (now SR 66) in Warrick, OK, just a few miles east of US 177 north of Shawnee, OK.

    Check out the Wig Wam Motel in New Mexico -- stay in an Indian Tepee!

    Don't pass by JackRabbit, AZ! (One of the few places where you'll need to hop back onto the access road for a few miles). One of the most anticipated souvenir stops along Old Route 66. If you pass it on I-40, you'll only see the backside of the shack.

    Almost any town's business section (Business Route 40) is well worth the stop/go traffic through town.

    Enjoy the trip! It's a classic road trip, for sure!
    J Goertz
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  5. #5
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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  6. #6
    Registered User CABNFVR's Avatar
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    Brush Creek Rainbow Bridge in Kansas is a good photo stop.I had to steal an Internet pic since I'm at work.
    PhotoCredit-Guy_Randall.jpg

    Just noticed the NPS has a lot of Route 66 info. Open this link and click Next or Previous at the bottom of the page.
    "Have BMW. Will Travel"

  7. #7
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    I stopped over night in Tucumcari NM at a chain hotel but their were a few old school motels that looked real nice to stay at. Also Winslow Arizona is a nice stop to stand on the corner with a flat bed ford.
    2017 R1200GSA. 2011 HD RKC. 2006 Triumph Tiger

  8. #8
    This is all fantastic info, thanks. I'm putting it all in my notebook. We're planning on leaving the 1st half of September and taking 2-3 weeks to get to Cali. Then highballing home. Any and all additional info is greatly appreciated.
    ExGman, I may take you up on that book loan. I have a few that I'm flipping through now. I wouldnt mind buying you a coffee and picking your brain as well.
    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank2003 View Post
    ExGman, I may take you up on that book loan. I have a few that I'm flipping through now. I wouldnt mind buying you a coffee and picking your brain as well.
    Thanks again.
    Frank - PM sent.
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  10. #10

    Route 66

    My wife and I made the trip from downtown Chicago to Santa Monica last May. I would plan at least two weeks if you want the flavor of the road. We stayed on Route 66 as much as possible. Someone pointed out that it parallels the interstate in some places. That it does but you will be rewarded by staying on the old road. There are many alignments of 66 as the route changed over the years. In Illinois, for instance Route 66 splits in Springfield between the 1926 - 1930 alignment and the more "modern" one. The earlier alignment is essentially Illinois Route 4; the more modern parallels I-55. We almost always took the older alignment when possible. IL-4 takes you on a original section paved with brick and (if you watch the signs carefully) past the turkey prints in the old concrete. At one point you'll pass the remains of a Kaiser-Fraser dealer sign still hanging alone in a field. This is the kind of relic you'll miss if you weaken and get on the interstate. Litchfield is worth a stop (it's on the "modern alignment"). We spent the first night in downtown Chicago on Adams Street (Route 66 westbound), ate breakfast at Lou Mitchell's (on Jackson, which is Route 66 eastbound). If you want a photo op, there's a begin Route 66 sign at Michigan and Adams with a parking spot reserved for the Phillipine Consul (!) so you can usually get a photo there. First night we stayed in Carlinville at the Carlin Villa Motel. Nothing fancy, clean, inexpensive with a restaurant across the road. We've stayed many times in the Wagon Wheel in Cuba, Missouri and I highly recommend it. Restaurant (Missouri Hicks BBQ) right next door. Third night in the Boots Motel, Carthage, Missouri. Not to be missed. An iconic property (Clark Gable stayed in our room they say), with the old style carports for your bike. Also check out the Campbell Hotel in Tulsa. A bit pricey but a fabulous art deco property. Lots of art deco in downtown Tulsa, too. We also stayed (several years ago on an east bound Route 66 trip) at the Flamingo in Elk City, Oklahoma near the National Route 66 museum. Fun little stop in Vega, Texas with a county museum. Old maps show Vega as the half way point but Adrian, Texas seems to have muscled them aside. Good cafe in Adrian. We've stayed at the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari - another iconic Route 66 motel. In New Mexico there are a couple of places where the interstate is on top of 66 so no choice. Also two alignments in New Mexico. Older one goes thru Santa Fe, newer one through Albuquerque. We stayed at the El Vado in Albuquerque on one trip and in the Monterey Non-Smoking Motel on another. Owned by the same people and right on Route 66 near Old Town. El Vado more upscale. We stayed in the Santa Fe Sage Inn in Santa Fe. OK. Chief value is that they have a shuttle to the plaza and are walking distance to some good restaurants. Leaving Albuquerque, you'll have the option of following the old alignment which drops south to Los Lunas. Take it!. Road to Los Lunas is nothing but the road from Los Lunas to Correo is what you're looking for on 66. The WigWam is in Holbrook, Arizona, not New Mexico as someone said. Only 14 WigWams so booking ahead is a must. You'll also go thru the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest so budget some time (we wound up there all day!). Gallup is a good stop - we stayed in the El Rancho. Impressive lobby, management a bit odd and the restaurant was below par but a great place to stay. Find the mural to the Navaho Code Talkers in town. In Seligman, Arizona there's the Route 66 Motel. Small rooms but you might get the one where Tommy Rettig stayed. Or Connie Francis. Road Kill Cafe is across the parking lot - OK for burgers but the German-American Restaurant across the street is much better but a little more expensive. Look for the photo of Todd and Buz on the back wall. Don't miss Oatman, Arizona. Fun road up the mountain and you are likely to be greeted by a burro in town. Stay on 66 through California. Fabulous scenery. We stayed in the Route 66 motel in Barstow. Nice parking lot of old cars, small room, inexpensive. At all times resist the temptation to get on the interstate. We stayed in Santa Monica at the Ocean Hotel (I think). Across the street from the Santa Monica Pier. Expensive but, hey, it's at the terminus of Route 66. We ate at (I think it was) JZ's Lounge, out the hotel and turn left. A lot of fun - look for the photo of opening day with the baby elephant helping itself to peanuts at the bar. Stop at Ian Bowen's Route 66 kiosk on the pier. Buy something - he has some stunning postcards.
    Don't get on the Interstate!
    By the way, the Cadillac Ranch is not on Route 66 but is very close.
    Last edited by 217don; 01-22-2020 at 04:47 AM.
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  11. #11

    Route 66 GuideBook

    The book you want is EZ66 Guide for Tavelers by Jerry McClanahan. Let me know if you have any questions. There is sooo much to see. I would stay under 300 miles a day and closer to 200. Be prepared to backtrack .... many photo ops.
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
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  12. #12
    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    Rt 66

    There are so many places to stop along the way that you could write a book about it. No wait, there are books about it.
    So read up about the trip in several books and then just travel at your own pace and stop where you've read about something that you may be interested in.
    Make your own memories.
    Boxerbruce

  13. #13
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Route 66

    I've got plans to ride the Route in the not to distant future. Got the Roku channel, it has all the episodes of The Route 66 tv series. May try to use it as a guide for my trip.

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