Want to travel Route 66? First, you need to understand this is probably not a one-trip plan, unless you have unlimited vacation time and money. Because half the fun is stopping along the way, finding the old road, and taking your time. So consider these rules:
- Allow plenty of time. This is a “mosey” trip.
- Have a designated navigator.
- Decide you are OK with road food.
Next, you need to be equipped. We recommend two books that will get you where you need to go:
David Wickline, Images of 66. This is subtitled “An Interactive Photographic Journey Along the Length of The Mother Road,” and it’s true to the promise. Your navigator simply opens the book and away you go—you’ll match up your trip photo by photo with an easy way to see where you are and read a little history along the way. The book is published by Roadhouse 66 LLC, www.roadhouse66.com. Note that there are two books – the first book takes you East to West, and Volume 2 takes you from West to East. So get the one that works for your trip, although either will work. And, EZ66 Guide for Travelers, 2nd Edition, by Jerry McClanahan. It’s published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation and available through www.national66.org; free updates are also available at www.mcjerry66.com. The great thing about this book is it’s easy for even the map-challenged to follow. It gives you descriptions and advice on road conditions and must-see locations, including optional side trips. Its directions are offered for Westbound as well as Eastbound, so you can choose which box to follow without having to do the math in your head.
If you prefer to have your directions via GPS, check out the new GPS for Route 66 for Garmin/Zumo, created by http://www.riverspilot.com/. It includes lodging, restaurants and commentary and is available in numerous languages—with assurances that it will keep you on Route 66 regardless of the road’s many twists and turns! Garmin users can download the Route 66 GPS Turn By Turn Attractions Guide to get access to more than 5,000 miles of the highway with turn by turn directions plus hundreds of photos and points of interest.
You’ll also want to know where to stop to eat, so take along the Dining & Lodging Guide, 15th Edition, published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation, www.national66.org.
And, finally, if you want to recapture in your own kitchen something you found along the road—or maybe take a virtual trip—check out The Ultimate Route 66 Cookbook put out by Northland Publishing www.northlandpub.com or The Route 66 Cookbook by Marian Clark, published by Council Oak Books.
Now, read the full series of our trip along a portion of Route 66, and feel free to share your own experiences along the Mother Road. NOTE: The stories will be coming out over the weeks to come–stay tuned for them all.
See “related articles” or search “Route 66” for the full series.
All photos courtesy of Paul K. Logsdon