California Dreamin' Route 66 2012 International Festival

Sixty-Six: E2E & F2F Locator map

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Day 1
A Drivin' Day

Day 2
1 End and 3 Friends

Day 3
Museums and Pie

Day 4
Beyond the River

Day 5
Almost Through Missouri

Day 6
MO, KS, & OK

Day 7
Missed Her by THAT Much

Day 8
White Balance Ate My Homework

Day 9
From McLean to Tucumcari

Day 10
On to Duke City

Day 11
More Cars & Sky City

Day 12
Into Arizona

Day 13
More Arizona

Day 14
Into California

Day 15
The Other End

Day 16
Well Done, Scotty!

Day 17
Let There Be Festival

Day 18
Just Running 'Round the Town

Day 19
South from the Summit

Day 20
Turning East

Day 21
The Thing and More

Day 22
Gravel & Sand

Day 23
Rockets to Nuts

Day 24
A Really Big Shoe

Day 25
From Cowboys to Garlic

Day 26
All Hot Springs

Day 27
Rock: Cabins, Inscription, & Abilly

Day 28
In Time for Glory Daze

Postlude 2 - September 5, 2012
I always intended to mention my "guides" for this trip but forgot to do that in the first postlude. On my 1999 trip I used Bob Moore & Patrick Grauwels' long out of print Illustrated Guidebook to the Mother Road. In 2003, I followed a printed out copy of Swa Frantzen's online turn-by-turn directions. Those directions are still available and are kept current. With the 2006 acquisition of a GPS receiver that did real routing, I started plotting my routes in advance and letting the GPS unit feed them back to me. For Route 66 outings, that usually meant a route gleaned from Jerry McClanahan's EZ66 Guide. For this most recent trip, my EZ66 Guide was always on the seat beside me but the route the GPS unit was tracking wasn't one I'd entered. It was store bought.

Early in the year I'd purchased a copy of River Pilot Tours' Route 66 Attractions with Ready2Go Tours. I used it, without depending on it, on a short outing in March and used that to write a review. That gave me enough confidence to set out from Chicago with ...Ready2Go Tours as my primary guide. As I say in an update to my review, I believe that the programmed tour always followed some valid Route 66 alignment. In a few instances, it did not, however, follow the one I wanted. In those cases, I turned to the EZ66 Guide. I was really quite satisfied with the whole operation.

Postlude 1 - August 24, 2012
Wow! That was cool. At twenty-eight days and twenty-seven nights, the just completed trip is certainly my longest in time and its 6,269 miles probably makes it also the longest in distance though I'm not quite sure of that. It was, as the name says, not just end-to-end on Historic Route 66, but very much friend-to-friend as well. I started to list old friends I met on the trip and planned to list new friends, too. But when that threatened to fill a page on its own, I decided to just give the totals. By my count, I met twenty-seven existing friends on the drive west. I also met at least ten people that I'd had some sort of online contact with but had never met in person. Of course, the count in both categories ballooned once I reached the festival.

Seventeen of those twenty-seven nights were spent on Sixty-Six and all of those seventeen were spent at independents. Since three nights were spent at the Green Tree Inn during the festival, there were just fifteen different motels. Ten of those, including the Green Tree, were places that I'd never stayed before and three were places that had just reopened in the past year. I stayed at three more independents, all new to me, on the way home. I also met family and another friend.

Most meals were also at independents though I don't have an actual count. Gas, all 240+ gallons of it, was purchased when convenient or needed; Usually at national or regional chains. The least I paid was $3.269/gallon in Tucumcari; The most was $4.169 in Victorville. The meter in the car says I got 26.7 MPG. It's usually a tad optimistic and my own calculations put the mileage closer to 25.5. Although I didn't buy any, I did see regular unleaded at $5.099 with premium at $5.199. That was at the reopened Roy's in Amboy. Even at those prices, no one is getting rich selling a few gallons of gas. If you find yourself in a position where you need to buy five-dollar gas, five-dollar gas is a bargain.

I had fun at the festival which was my only reason for being there. I was personally satisfied with the weekend. However, if you were a Victorville business, the festival was an abject failure. If you were the California Historic Route 66 Association, it was a resounding success. There was some encouraging talk of unity and cooperation. Whether it was truly more believable than other years or whether I was just more gullible is unclear. No concrete examples of national unity have yet surfaced. No date or location was announced for a 2013 festival and some flatly stated that there would be none. But others seem intent on pulling one together. In other words, Route 66, on a national level, appears to be wrapped in the same, almost lovable, confusion that it has been for years.

August 21, 2012 (day 28)
I finished the tepee drive-by trifecta, found some good pulled pork, and reached Cincinnati in time for Glory Daze trivia on Buzztime.

August 20, 2012 (day 27)
A visit with a friend in Memphis and a Hall of Fame performance made this a very good day.

August 19, 2012 (day 26)
Partly because I started getting into semi-familiar territory, today's post is all about Hot Springs, Arkansas.

August 18, 2012 (day 25)
I quickly left Texas, spent some time in Oklahoma, and ended the day in Arkansas. Visited a very nice singing cowboy museum along the way.

August 17, 2012 (day 24)
I entered Texas almost immediately and was welcomed to Earth not long after. Shoes, liquor, a guitar, and a fake derrick filled out the rest of the day.

August 16, 2012 (day 23)
Space history, aliens, rockets, and a big nut all on Hot Rod Thursday. Bonus: windmills.

August 15, 2012 (day 22)
Early in the day I drove a mile of gravel US-80 then drove several miles of white sand late in the day.

August 14, 2012 (day 21)
I did one of those things I've regretted not doing and made it to Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas, too.

August 13, 2012 (day 20)
Another day on the expressway getting to Tucson. I missed seeing some musical friends in Tucson but did see a passel of other talented musicians.

August 12, 2012 (day 19)
Just one Sixty-Six related stop today before I was moved on to some family time. The Route 66 portion of the trip is over but I still have to get home. There's more to come.

August 11, 2012 (day 18)
Today I visited miscellaneous spots around Victorville before heading to what turned out to be an uplifting banquet. Yes, I was surprised.

August 10, 2012 (day 17)
eGroup breakfast, opening ceremonies, classic cars, a flock of artists & authors and a banquet. Looks like a Route 66 festival to me.

August 9, 2012 (day 16)
Most of the day was spent touring Route 66 in Los Angeles with expert Scott Piotrowski. It ended in Victorville where I'll spend the next three nights.

August 8, 2012 (day 15)
I reached the western terminus of US-66 today which takes care of the end-to-end part of the trip. But I'll still be seeing some of the Route over the next few days.

August 7, 2012 (day 14)
After playing leapfrog with one pair of Oklahomans for a day and a half, I encountered another pair in Oatman, Arizona.

August 6, 2012 (day 13)
The day started with a train actually stopping at La Posada. Then I met a pair of Oklahomans by surprise, stared straight into the sun, and sat in Angel's chair. An all around dandy day.

August 5, 2012 (day 12)
I missed a couple of things due to Sunday closings and I was surprised by the move of another but I did get to stand (sit, actually) on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and sleep in one of the coolest rooms on Sixty-Six.

August 4, 2012 (day 11)
There were two off route excursions today; One to the Unser Racing Museum and the other to Acoma Pueblo. I ended the day in Gallup, New Mexico.

August 2, 2012 (day 9)
Among the familiar scenes were a couple of new ones including a ghost town I'd not reached before. I found an old friend in Amarillo and a new one in Tucumcari.

August 1, 2012 (day 8)
I screwed up a lot of pictures by screwing up a camera setting but I still had enough to fill a page with bridges and breakfast and shade seeking goldfish.

July 31, 2012 (day 7)
I missed Dawn at the Rock Cafe again but did remember to check out the old culverts on the Ozark Trails section west of town. Then I stopped at a few more familiar places as I moved on to Oklahoma City.

July 30, 2012 (day 6)
Today took me out of Missouri, completely through Kansas, and well into Oklahoma. It ended in some pretty plush digs after a delightful meal with a trio of Tulsa roadies.

July 29, 2012 (day 5)
I ate watermelon at a fake gas station, walked the streets of a fake town, and slept in a real piece of history.

July 28, 2012 (day 4)
I backtracked a just a few miles then headed across the Mississippi and into Missouri. A little new stuff and a lot of familiar stuff. The day ended in Lebanon, Missouri.

July 27, 2012 (day 3)
I visited four museums in Pontiac and could have spent a lot more time in each of them. I found another museum -- and rhubarb pie -- in Atlanta.

July 26, 2012 (day 2)
After a great breakfast, I got a great Chicago/Route 66 education from David Clark then followed Sixty-Six to Braidwood.

July 25, 2012 (day 1)
This was one of those staging days where I get close to where a road trip starts but don't actually start it. So I didn't actually reach Route 66 today but I did reach the Route 66 Diner in Lafayette, Indiana.

Prelude 3 - July 18, 2012
My unplanned drive home didn't stay unplanned for very long. In all honesty, there had always been a strong contender for where I'd head immediately after the festival. With my sailor son living about 150 miles south of Victorville, making a stop there seemed pretty natural -- assuming someone would be home. My son will not, in fact, be there but the daughter-in-law and the grandsons will be and that's good enough for me.

As I looked at optional routes east from San Diego, I realized that, if I picked Tucson, Arizona, for my next destination, I would probably be there on a Monday. I know some musicians who regularly play in a Tucson bar on Mondays. It's not a certainty that they'll be there but the chances are good and seeing them would be cool. Then there's an old hotel a bit further east in the town of Douglas that I've wanted to stay in ever since I first saw it in a picture. Intersecting with US-70 is fairly easy from there and US-70 should make a fine way home or at least to Nashville. By then I may be ready to climb on the interstate and take I-75 to Cincinnati. I like these ideas so much that I've worked them into a route and posted a locator map (little USA outline at the top of the page) showing it. Don't know where I'll sleep but I know where I'm going.

Prelude 2 - July 11, 2012
In two weeks I'll be starting out on the best planned half road trip of my life. I plotted my intended progress across the length of Historic Route 66 and have a spot selected for every overnight along the way. The first six are booked as are a couple of key ones further west. I'll continue with the booking tomorrow and maybe over another day or so until all fourteen are confirmed. All are independents right on the historic route. Five I've stayed in before. Three have newly opened within the past year although two of those are resurrected classics from the past. The other six have been there all along but in locations where I just haven't needed to sleep in the past. My room for the actual festival was booked months ago. I've arranged to precede my drive with a David Clark guided walking tour of Route 66 in downtown Chicago and follow it with a tour of Sixty-Six in Los Angeles guided by Scott Piotrowski. I've purchased tickets to both banquets. Why are there two banquets? I don't know. Neither is official because nothing is official in the world of multi-state Route 66 goings on. Why am I going to both? I think I'm basically hedging my bets. Plus, after you've driven across two-thirds of the country, one more overpriced meal is kind of insignificant. I think I've got just about everything covered.

So what happens after the carefully orchestrated drive and the tours and the banquets are over? I head home. How will I do that? What route will I take? I have no idea. As I said, this is the best planned half road trip of my life.

Prelude 1 - February 25, 2012
Although the disorganization and politics that seem part of recent national Route 66 festivals is irritating, the festivals themselves are always fun. I have attended six national festivals and driven the full length of the route twice. My first festival and my most recent full length drive occurred the same year, 2003, but the two activities have never been connected. 2012 has all the pieces to make that happen. The festival is being held in Victorville, California, which is close enough to the western end of the historic route to make driving the entire thing to get there seem almost sensible. The dates are in August and far enough from other targeted events to give me time to get there and return.

As mentioned, I attended my first national festival in 2003. That festival is a real dividing point in my Route 66 experience. The festival was in September. I had made my second full length drive of the route in June. Both of those drives were pretty much "on my own". I had a couple of books and some help from the internet but I knew no one on the route and knew of only a few. And I knew nothing of the network of authors, artists, business owners, and just plain fans attached to the road. I did not attend the banquet that first year but, between the June drive and the September festival, I did learn of and join the Route 66 Yahoo Group and I did attend their breakfast. Between the breakfast and walking the festival I met, for the very first time, folks like David Clark, Laurel Kane, Drew Knowles, David Knudsen, Jerry McClanahan, Jim Ross, Ken Turmel, Michael Wallis, Mike Ward, and others I can't quite remember just now. I also met childhood hero Martin Milner and have an autographed -- to Benny -- photo.

Since those two full length runs and since that festival, I know I've covered it all at least one more time in bits and pieces. Some I've covered many times. But those drives, aside from not being end-to-end, were different. Over the years and the miles I've come to know some people more and more people some and when I stop along the road it's entirely possible that I'll be visiting with someone I know. Through the Yahoo group and other sources I can ask questions and get real-time current answers and advise. I guess another full length run was always a very real possibility but I've never thought about it seriously until now. This one will not just be end-to-end; It will be friend-to-friend.

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