THE FIRST LEG
ROUTE 66 - THE MOTHER ROAD
The highway that fashioned the dreams and visions of early America will take the two of us on the first leg of our adventure. From Ocean Avenue at Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, California, we will trace the roots of decades of American drivers, completing Route 66 at Grant Park in Chicago, where Route 66 began. From Chicago, we will trace our own roots through small towns and rural areas to New York.
We will average 360 miles per day on Old 66, named by John Steinbeck the "Mother Road, the Road of Flight". We know it will remind us of what is missing on today's superhighways. We hope to regain the experience of "going" rather than being transported from place to place.
Beyond the sense of history and romance and adventure, our journey across our own country will capture the Spirit of 2000 through the eyes of the visionaries of the early 1900’s who made possible the great migration of Americans from the Midwest to California and who made automobile travel a new adventure for all Americans.
When Route 66 officially opened in 1926, only 800 miles were already paved. The remaining 1,648 miles were graded dirt or gravel or bricks covered with asphalt. In a few stretches, there was nothing but wooden planks. Through the 30’s, Route 66 became the road of flight, a vital escape route for farmers ruined by the Dust Bowl. Many then called it the “Highway of Hope”. In the 40’s, new jobs beckoned in California. The 50’s were the years of family vacations, of the joy of exploring the country. The Interstates of the 60’s lessened the importance of Route 66, but on television, the dreams lived on for all. Several interstates duplicated the storied route of US66: I-55 from Chicago to St. Louis; I-44 from St. Louis to Oklahoma City; I-40 from Oklahoma City to Barstow, CA; I-15 to the San Bernardino area and I-10West to Santa Monica.
New names for thoroughfares and Boulevards may occur, but the signs all along old Route 66 are reappearing in all of the eight states included in the Mother Road. Route 66 may have been officially decommissioned decades ago, but it is hitting the comeback trail. Acknowledging that it was more than just a well-traveled thoroughfare, Congress recently agreed to spend ten million dollars for new signposts as well as matching grants to help preserve what remains of hundreds of distinctive buildings that once beckoned from the side of the road. Who knows what new investment Ed may find along the way?
Route 66 has forever meant "going somewhere"----- so off we go!
“Travel My Way, That’s the highway that’s the best,
Get Your Kicks on Route 66”
Bobby Troup, 1946
DAY ONE: MARCH 5, 2000 Sunday morning, 10:00 a.m.
SANTA MONICA TO BARSTOW, CALIFORNIA
An early morning “Ciao” to friends at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica. We have reserved rooms at the Georgian Hotel on Ocean Avenue at Santa Monica Boulevard for any friends who might wish to stay overnight there on Saturday evening and then have an early breakfast with us at the hotel before we depart. We will pass through Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Claremont, Upland, Fontana, Rialto, and San Bernadino, en route to the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, the Burlesque Museum in Helendale, and then to Barstow on Old Highway 66. Most of the route has new names like Santa Monica Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, Foothill Boulevard, Cajon Boulevard, National Trails Highway and Main Street in Barstow, but all along the way are the old shield markers of Historic Route 66. Join us for part or all of today if you want to “get your kicks on Route 66”.
DAY TWO: MARCH 6, 2000
BARSTOW TO FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA
From Barstow's Main Street via the National Trails Highway through Needles, Daggett, Judlow, Amboy, Essex and Needles, California, through Arizona's Kingman on Route 66 to Hackberry, Peach Springs, Seligman, Ash Fork, Williams, and into Flagstaff. En route we will be skirting the Painted Desert and Navajo Reservation of Northern Arizona.
DAY THREE: MARCH 7, 2000
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
Crossing the Painted Desert and Highway 40 ( “Don’t forget Winona”) to Winslow, Holbrook, Chambers, and into Gallup, New Mexico. From Gallup, Highway 122 to Grants, San Fidel, Casa Blanca and Laguna, then by Highway 40 into Albuquerque
DAY FOUR: MARCH 8, 2000
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO TO OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
Leaving Albuquerque on Highway 40 through Moriarty, Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Amarillo, Conway, Shamrock, Erick, El Reno, and Yukon to Oklahoma City
DAY FIVE: MARCH 9, 2000
OKLAHOMA CITY TO ROLLA, MISSOURI
Driving Old Route 66 via Chandler, Stroud, Bristow, Sapulpa, Claremore, Chelsea, Vinita, and via Joplin to Halltown, Springfield, Strafford, Marshfield, Conway, Lebanon, and Waynesville into Rolla, Missouri
DAY SIX: MARCH 10, 2000
ROLLA, MISSOURI TO SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Driving Highway 44 via Cuba, Sullivan, St. Clair, Eureka to St. Louis, Missouri, and via Highway 55 into St. Louis and Lebanon, Illinois, Collinsville, Hamel, Mt. Olive, Litchfield to Springfield, Illinois. We will stop in St. Louis for Ted Drewes’ vintage 1941 frozen custard stand. In Pacific, Missouri, we will find the Red Cedar In and Bar which has been serving people since 1934, before we were even born!
DAY SEVEN: MARCH 11, 2000
SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Driving Highway 55 to Lincoln, Bloomington, Odell, Dwight, Joliet, then on Highway 53 to Romeoville, back on Highway 55 on Joliet Road to Lyons. Odgen Avenue through Cicero to Warden Blvd. to Michigan Avenue for a visit to the Beginning of Old Highway 66 at Grant Park.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN - NEW HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS:
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS TO NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
DAY EIGHT: MARCH 12, 2000
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS TO CANTON, OHIO
Driving Highway 30 to Fort Wayne, then Highway 244 through Findlay, Akron, and on to Canton
DAY NINE: MARCH 13, 2000
CANTON, OHIO TO GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
Driving through Steubenville, Washington, Wheeling, West Virginia (the only state we have not visited before) Morgantown, Cumberland, Hagerstown, and on to Gettysburg.
DAY TEN: MARCH 14, 2000
GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA TO ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
Driving through York and Reading into Allentown
DAY ELEVEN: MARCH 15, 2000
ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA TO NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Driving through Bethlehem, Phillipsburg, Newark (New Jersey) into New York City
DAY TWELVE: MARCH 17, 2000
NEW YORK CITY TO NORTHERN LONG ISLAND TO NEW YORK CITY
Driving onto Long Island to the Hamptons and to Oyster Bay and back to the City.
A break from driving - we will spend from March 18 to the 25th in New York City, preparing the car for shipping by container to Felixstowe, England, which is south of London.
MARCH 30, 2000: WE WILL FLY FROM JFK AIRPORT IN NEW YORK TO HEATHROW IN LONDON.
SCHEDULE FOR EARLY APRIL:
APRIL 7 : CAR ARRIVES FELIXSTOWE - PICK UP, DRIVE TO LONDON
APRIL 9: ONE DAY RACE _________________
APRIL 14: ONE DAY NAVIGATION SCHOOL
APRIL 30: CAR SCRUTINEERING AND DISPLAY - TOWER BRIDGE LONDON
MAY 1 : 10:00A.M. DEPARTURE FROM TOWER BRIDGE IN LONDON, BOUND FOR PEKING! Sir Stirling Moss will wave us from the bridge and the British Grenadier Guards will play. Watch for Car 48 – that will be the Suhrbiers in the Spirit of 2000!