Kingman Route 66 Festival

Route 66 Festival 2014 Locator map

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Day 1
A Waterful Day

Day 2
Some Dixie Highway

Day 3
Connector Complete

Day 4
Bridges and Tunnels

Day 5
Out of Florida

Day 6
To NOLA

Day 7
Frog Weather

Day 8
Side Trip

Day 9
Three Texas Towns

Day 10
A Short Day

Day 11
Fort to Border

Day 12
Back to the Semi-Known

Day 13
Signs: Good, Bad, & Missing

Day 14
"Sorry folks, park's closed."

Day 15
Family Day

Day 16
Reaching Up

Day 17
Pier, Tar, and Tepees

Day 18
Destination Reached

Day 19
The Festival is Open

Day 20
Kingman Rocks

Day 21
Which Way Did It Go?

Day 22
Starting Home

Day 23
2 Motels, 2 Bands, 1 Madonna

Day 24
From Santa Fe to Tucumcari

Day 25
Some Texas Panhandle

Day 26
1 Blade, 2 Pics. 1 Shirt, 3 Pics.

Day 27
And They Were Rocking in Afton

Day 28
All Wonderful Repeats

Day 29
All 4-Lane from Here

Postlude 2 - August 31, 2014
This trip actually started -- officially -- on the Dixie Highway. That was so long ago, I guess, that I let it slip my mind and only now remembered to update the scoring map. Pieces I added were the North Florida Connector, the Southern Connector (a.k.a. Central Dixie Highway), and the West Mainline between Chattanooga and Macon. Once I had decided to drive the Old Spanish Trail, there was no decision to be made about driving the DH North Florida connector since it and the OST shared the road between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Choosing to include the Southern Connector, which ran from Macon to Jacksonville, was not quite as automatic but I did have to get to Jacksonville (Saint Augustine) somehow. I seriously thought about following the expressway all the way to Macon and saving the Chattanooga-Macon DH Mainline for later but doing that would not have saved huge amounts of time so it got included under the "no time like the present" rule.

Postlude 1 - August 27, 2014
Spending 30 days driving across the southern edge of the United States in July and August in a tiny sports car may not be the most brilliant idea I ever had but it was not the horror that some people (and I sometimes) thought it might be. I adopted an "old man" routine of hitting the road early (7:30-8:30) with the top down then closing the car and cranking up the AC around noon for a few more hours of driving. Of course I wondered how I and the tight fitting Miata would get along for more than a few days but that turned out not to be an issue at all. The taxi driver style wood beaded seat cushion almost certainly helped. The ride was hardly "cushy" and stretching out was something that only occurred at stops but the ride was never really uncomfortable and the lack of space and softness was more that made up for by the fun of driving the nimble little car and the feel of the wind through what's left of my hair. Early in the trip, in Chattanooga, I sat next to a guy who was in town to pick up a motorcycle. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation he asked if I was on a bike. "No", I told him, "but it's about as close as you can get." To others I described it as somewhat like traveling in a motorcycle sidecar -- without the motorcycle.

The Mazda's odometer read 37,500 when I bought the car in May. I added about 3000 miles before this trip and another 6918 during. It's a 2003 model which means that, calling it a full eleven years old when I got it, previous owners averaged just a tad more than 3400 miles a year. So, unless I leave the car parked until about June of 2017, it looks like I'm really going to bugger up the average.

The trip had its hiccups. There were the near misses of Bob Lundy in San Bernardino and John Wesson in Kingman and the mishandled motel reservation in Kingman. But the biggest was the surprise absence of the terminus marker in San Diego. It's certainly fair to question whether I would have done anything different had I known about it in advance but the answer is a definite 'yes'. My decision to drive the Old Spanish Trail rather than the Dixie Overland Highway was really influenced by the existence of the marker. Since my path would target the marker in either case, it seemed better to reach it for my first time via the route for which it was created than by another that also happened to end there. I have little doubt that, had I known about the park project before leaving Cincinnati, I would now have driven the DOH and be looking forward to a full length OST drive when the marker returns to public view. The silver lining was my contact with two San Diegoans who appreciated my situation and really tried to get me and the marker together. I already liked San Diego but Mark Caro, with Civic San Diego and Steve Paulle, of the city's Parks & Recreation Department, made me like it even more.

The route map behind the button at the top of this page has been updated to show my actual route between San Diego and Kingman rather than my earlier guess and to extend it homeward to the final photo stop in Saint Louis.

August 24, 2014 (day 29)
I visited more familiar spots on what was essentially the last day of the trip. I would spend one more night on the road but the road itself would be all expressway, with no photo stops, from the Mississippi River on.

August 23, 2014 (day 28)
There were no new stops for me today though there were some changes at a couple of the repeats as I left Oklahoma, drove through Kansas, and ended the day in Missouri.

August 22, 2014 (day 27)
There was a band from Nashville to entertain me in Kingman and in Santa Fe it was a group from Albuquerque but Afton brought in talent from France.

August 21, 2014 (day 26)
The need to do laundry and get the oil changed led to a short day in which a limited clothing selection is reflected.

August 20, 2014 (day 25)
My stops were in Texas today were almost all at familiar places though one had new owners since my last visit.

August 19, 2014 (day 24)
I took in a little of Santa Fe's history before driving south to I-40 and Tucumcari for the night.

August 18, 2014 (day 23)
I took the pre-1937 alignment of Sixty-Six to Santa Fe and even got in on a little partying on the Plaza. Santa Fe is so much nicer when it's not raining.

August 17, 2014 (day 22)
Following an impromptu breakfast gathering of a fun group of Sixty-Sixers, I squeezed all my stuff back in the Miata and headed east. No hurry. Holbrook is plenty far for the first day.

August 16, 2014 (day 21)
Today included the e-Group breakfast and a lot of old road rambling in addition to all the festival stuff. The result is a record (I think) 49 photo journal entry.

August 15, 2014 (day 20)
It started with a conference and ended with a concert with plenty of festival in between.

August 14, 2014 (day 19)
I made a little side to a semi-ghost town but made it back to Kingman in time for a Walk of Fame dedication and the official opening of the festival.

August 13, 2014 (day 18)
A short stretch of Sixty-Six was followed by a long stretch of I-40 to reach Kingman, Arizona and an update on San Diego.

August 12, 2014 (day 17)
After visiting some popular though not quite correct Route 66 end points, I stopped by the La Brea Tar Pits then ended the day at Wigwam Village #7 on the real Route 66.

August 11, 2014 (day 16)
I sort of repeated some travel from 2011 but this time I got under the dome and turned on to the "back side".

August 10, 2014 (day 15)
I spent the day with my younger son and his family although we got just a little bit touristy with a visit to Old Town.

August 9, 2014 (day 14)
It was a great day with plenty of old road and a tall tower. I was really looking forward to clinching the Old Spanish Trail with a visit to the Zero Milestone in San Diego. I even got the car washed for the occasion but it was not to be. The park holding the marker is in the middle of a major rework and not accessible. Yeah, I know. The moose should have told me.

August 8, 2014 (day 13)
I got to see some beautiful and beautifully maintained signs today but I also saw one in needed of attention and stopped at a place where signs had come and gone without me ever seeing them at all.

August 7, 2014 (day 12)
I reached the previously driven part of the route and stopped at a couple of familiar places.

August 6, 2014 (day 11)
The day involved a high percentage of expressway but I did get to see an old fort and -- ever so slightly in the distance -- Mexico.

August 5, 2014 (day 10)
A short day to do some laundry and just catch up a little.

August 4, 2014 (day 9)
All of the days pictures -- and there are a lot of them -- came from in or near just three towns: Flatonia, Seguin, & San Antonio.

August 3, 2014 (day 8)
I made a short visit to Galveston to satisfy my curiosity and appetite which meant I had two bouts with Houston traffic which is more than anyone should be subjected to. An end-of-day bit of paved OST made up for it, though.

August 2, 2014 (day 7)
Both rain and frogs made an appearance today but not at the same time.

August 1, 2014 (day 6)
I tried -- unintentionally and unsuccessfully -- to get by without autofocus then finished a drive that wasn't possible in 2007. A day ending visit with my son came together at the last minute.

July 31, 2014 (day 5)
I saw several Old Spanish Trail segments, including some brick, and drove some, but not all, of them. I ended the day ten miles west of the Florida-Alabama line.

July 30, 2014 (day 4)
I visited a couple of closed bridges and drove through quite a few tree tunnels (a.k.a. canopy roads) as I finally turned west on my westbound trip. In addition to getting started on the Old Spanish Trail today, I added the Dixie Highway North Florida Connector to my done list.

July 29, 2014 (day 3)
I finished driving the Dixie Highway Southern Connector then did a little sight seeing in Saint Augustine.

July 28, 2014 (day 2)
After breakfast at a favorite spot, I enjoyed a rain free day on the Dixie Highway.

July 27, 2014 (day 1)
Water, water every where, including some to drink. I spent a good part of the day getting the car power washed but ended up in position to drive some Dixie Highway tomorrow.

Prelude 2 - July 25, 2014
The creep continues. No, I'm not referring to my own perseverance but to the on going expansion of this trip. I've pretty much settled on the OST which is the slightly longer of the two former auto trails I have been considering. One of the reasons for the choice is that it lets me include a little bit of another auto trail, the Dixie Highway, in the trip and that, more than the minor mileage increase, is the creep I'm talking about. I first started considering that aspect of choosing the OST when some Facebook friends (Mike Curtis, Steve Varner, & John Murphy) helped me determine that the OST and DH were essentially one and the same between Saint Augustine and Tallahassee. Most of this bit is what the DH called the North Florida Connector. Once I saw that I could bag two trails with one track, it didn't take me long to realize that I could also pick up the DH Southern Connector (a.k.a. Central Dixie Highway) and a stretch of the DH West Main Line by altering my south bound course just a tad.

And that's where things stand. I've improved my OST route with details provided by those Facebook friends, incorporated the two DH segments I mentioned, and tacked on a guess at how I might get from San Diego to Kingman to produce a locator map (button at top of page). I'm sure I'll extend it with some Route 66 stops after the festival but, for now, that, and an intent to launch on Sunday, is all I have.

Prelude 1 - July 19, 2014
In a previous life as a software developer, I've had plenty of experience with project creep. It's a process through which a well defined and easily managed project can become huge and uncontrollable through a series of small innocent increments. I'd like to say that all of my experience with the phenomena was someone else's fault but you probably wouldn't believe me and it wouldn't be true. Nor is it true that creeping growth occurs only with software projects. In fact, I'm confident that every form of human endeavor has been and will continue to be affected by it. And that includes road trips. And it really includes this one.

Even though there is no outstanding draw for me at this year's Route 66 Festival, its location, in Kingman, Arizona, is just a couple hundred miles from my son's home in San Diego so I considered attending from the day it was announced. My thoughts were to loosely follow Sixty-Six to Kingman from somewhere around St Louis, slip on to San Diego when the festival ended, then work my way home along some yet to be determined path. As the date got nearer a big problem with that plan was revealed. The US Navy, of which my son is a member, insisted he be elsewhere for the last half of August which was exactly when any post-festival travel would take place. He would, however, be home before the festival so I started thinking about leaving home a little earlier and driving to Kingman by way of San Diego rather that the other was around.

Now I had to at least somewhat plan a path between Cincinnati and San Diego instead of just waiting for something to occur to me when I turned east. When I mentioned this to a road fan friend, he said -- maybe joking, maybe not -- "Just drive to Savannah and take the Dixie Overland Highway". Something about that caught my interest and I quickly determined that the DOH, which I didn't know much about at all, would certainly fill my needs. All I would need to do was head southeast rather than southwest when I left Cincinnati and drive an extra 1000 miles or so.

I was slightly more knowledgeable about another route, the Old Spanish Trail, that also led to San Diego so, once I started thinking about something other than a straight line between Cincinnati and San Diego, I looked into it, too. Its eastern end is in Saint Augustine, Florida. That more than a hundred miles further south than Savannah but the OST is about 50 miles shorter than the DOH which, using sloppy road trip math, I choose to think makes them about equal.

And that's where plans stand now. I've booked nothing but have intentions of being in Kingman for at least part of the August 14-17 festival. I also intend to be in San Diego in time to spend a couple of days with the family before driving to Kingman. When I get to San Diego is beginning to get nailed down. How I get there, not so much.

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