Hello and Welcome!

Thanks for visiting. Route 66 holds a place in many peoples hearts. If you have any memories or places along Route 66 you would like to add, please email me at designsbyjulieann@gmail.com If you have anything to add or share on things already posted, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks, Julie

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brief History of Route 66

"...and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads, 66 is the mother road, the road of flight." -- John Steinbeck - "The Grapes of Wrath".

Route 66 is the highway that will not die. In 1985, the Federal government decommissioned the last stretch of Route 66. Nearly twenty-five years after the decommission, Route 66 is still alive in books, movies, songs, in our imaginations and memories and on the internet. All along the historic route, the buildings and signs are being restored and kept alive with "Historic Route 66" signs that lead people down the most famous American road.

In 1925, Route 66 was born out of an act of Congress. A new highway was created out of joining of existing roads from Chicago to Los Angeles. The route was "continuously paved" by 1938. Route 66 provided a passage for millions including Dust Bowl refugees and wartime job-seekers. Tourists traveling by automobile joined the path west seeking excitement and adventure. The tourist camps, diners, gas stations, and the hackneyed roadside attractions.

Route 66 was immortalized a song written in 1946 by the late Bobby Troup and recorded by the late Nat King Cole. Now, Route 66 has taken a spot in our national lexicon:

When you make that California trip!
If any Joe . . . tells you to go . . . some other way,
Say nix!
Get your kicks . . . on Route 66!" -- Bobby Troup

Unique buildings were built along Route 66 to attract the traveler with a touch of local character. Travelers could buy gas at Cosden Gas Station that was shaped like an iceberg in Albuquerque, New Mexico; eat a hot dog on a stick dipped in batter in Springfield, Illinois or Sleep in a teepee in Holbrook, Arizona. The icons have burned fond memories into many of our hearts and minds..

By the 1980's, the roads that showed true America were replaced by the Interstate Highways. Interstates offered faster and safer travel across our nation, but lost was meeting new people, regional cuisine and unique tourist traps. Today, a travel eats the same meal in St. Louis as well as Gallup. The people who offer services are not the friendly business owner who cares about service.

Route 66 continues to live on and attracts people from all over the world hoping to find a little piece of Americana. To learn more about Route 66, please visit National Historic Route 66 Federation.

If you would like to help preserve Route 66 and/or meet others interested in Route 66, consider joining a regional association.

National Historic Route 66 Federation
Route 66 Association of Illinois
Route 66 Association of Missouri
Kansas Historic Route 66 Association
Oklahoma Route 66 Association
Old Route 66 Association of Texas
Route 66 Association of New Mexico
Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona
California Historic Route 66 Association

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Seeing Gallup New Mexico

If you are looking for an amazing place to visit when you decide to rent a charter bus, you are sure to find great delight in all that the area of Gallup has
to offer. As if renting a great charter bus for 22 or 24 people is not fun enough, there are all sorts of really cool places that you can go to for a good
amount of sightseeing. This is the type of stuff that memories are made of and you and your charter bus friends can make the most of a wonderful day
trip to Gallup. To be venturing out into Gallup, if you are a person who is into nature and outdoor sports, you will really have it made. This is because
there are literally tons of amazing places where you can go to climb, hike, bike and so much more. A couple of the more famous places that you can
get out to hike are Pyramid Rock Trail, which is three miles round trip and also Church Rock Trail that happens to be two miles altogether round trip.
For those individuals in your charter bus group who are interested in mountain biking, the High Desert Trail System is just perfect to get in a good ride.
There is a good range of terrain to explore to give several different levels of challenge to all riders. Of course, while you are in Gallup, you can have
the charter bus bring you along for a ride on the famous Route 66. Millions of people travel this popular stretch of road every single year so that they
can catch a glimpse of the amazing countryside as well as become a part of history itself. There are all sorts of really neat places that you can stop to
explore along the way. You and your charter bus friends are more than welcome to stop off for a bit of shopping, dining or just to take pictures along
the way. Another interesting place that you can stop by and see when you are exploring Gallup from your charter bus is the Petrified Forest National
Park. Many people make this beautiful and interesting park a stop on their regular vacations. Not only is this a place where you can go to see and
learn all that there is to know about petrified wood, it is also one of the largest in the world. You and your charter bus pals can stop by to take all sorts
of pictures as well as hear about all sorts of wonderful fossils, with some being 225 million years old. A charter bus stop in Gallup such as this is great
and always rewarding because there are always new fossils that are found every single year.

About the Author

Kurt Clark is a freelance writer & CEO of Kurt Clark, Inc, a web development firm. Read more at: http://www.kurtclarkinc.com Research Credit: http://www.uscoachways.com - a New York based charter bus rental company

Source: http://www.articlestreet.com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Itty Bitty Restaurant - Mitchell, Illinois

One of my favorite places to dine along Route 66 is the Itty Bitty Restaurant. It's a cozy little dining experience with a surprisingly choice of menu items. The food is great and the staff is very friendly and top notch! If you are ever in the area on your next road trip be sure and visit this little restaurant for a fun and unique dining experience! You'll find the Itty Bitty Restaurant just up the road from the famed Luna.

View Larger Map
Itty Bitty Restaurant
512 E. Chain Of Rocks Rd.
Granite City, IL 62040
(618) 797-1337

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup

Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
5257 Old Route 66
Shirley, IL 61772
(309) 874-3360

In 1824, Isaac Funk, the founder of what would become Funks Grove made maple sirup along with his sons. About 1860, his son Isaac II took over sirup production and in 1891, his son Arthur opened the first commercial sirup farm at Funks Grove selling one gallon of sirup for one dollar. The I-55 rest area is where the original cooking house stood.

In the 1920's, Hazel Funk Holmes, Isaac II's niece took over the family business moving the cooking house to its present location. She rented the property to tenants who would farm and make the maple sirup. Hazel had the land and timber protected so that future generations could enjoy maple sirup. Hazel also wished the spelling to remain sirup.

Because of heavy sugar taxes during World War II, production of sirup was stopped. Production began again in 1943. Stephen Funk took over sirup production in 1947.

In the 1970's, Interstate 55 was planned to be routed through part of the grove. The interstate was rerouted though petitions and the grove was saved.

With the current interest in Route 66, the business has thrived and the product line has expanded. Funks Grove is a "must see" when traveling old Route 66.

Things to See, People to Meet

This is courtesy of Friends of the Mother Road

Route 66 - A List of things to see and do. Places to eat. People to meet.

There are as many ideas about must-see attractions as there are roadies, but here are some of my favorites. (Being a total piglet, I have a LOT of restaurants on my list. Bring your appetite; road food is a beautiful thing.)

McCook, IL: Snuffy's diner. This place epitomizes Chicago.

Wilmington, IL: Gemini Giant.

Odell, IL: Standard Oil Station.

Funks Grove, IL: Home of Funks Grove Maple Sirup (spelled with an "i" instead of a "y" because it contains no added sugar). Get a jug of sirup to take home, but more importantly, get some candy. The regular maple candy is wonderful, but you will absolutely feel like you need a cigarette after you take a bite of one of their maple truffles. Hopelessly decadent.

Atlanta, IL: There's a little grocery store just off 66 where you can get a big styrofoam cup full of deep-fried chicken gizzards or livers suitable for consuming with beer at the tavern on the corner.

Lincoln, IL: Ghost bridge.

Springfield, IL: Home of Abe Lincoln, Bill Shea's petroliana and Route 66 museum, and the birthplace of the corn dog -- the Cozy Dog Diner.

Raymond, IL: Our Lady of the Highways shrine.

Hamel, IL: Meramec Caverns barn, neon cross.

Mitchell, IL: Luna Cafe. Great old roadhouse.

Madison, IL: Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.

St. Louis, MO: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.

Times Beach, MO: Route 66 State Park.

Rolla, MO: Rolla Motors.

Newburg, MO: John's Modern Cabins.

Devil's Elbow, MO: Elbow Inn. Great biker/roadie bar.

Lebanon, MO: Munger Moss Motel. Try to get into town at night so you can see the gorgeously lit sign. Better yet, stay there.

Strafford, MO: Exotic Animal Paradise.

Riverton, KS: Eisler Bros. General Store

Miami, OK: Waylan's Ku-Ku. Have the fried green tomatoes.

Miami to Afton, OK: Sidewalk Highway.

Afton, OK: Afton Station. Stop and visit Laurel if she's there.

Catoosa, OK: Blue Whale.

Stroud, OK: Rock Cafe. Have an order of fried pickles and a glass of sweet tea.

Chandler, OK: Restored Phillips 66 station, Seaba Station. Be sure to visit Sue at Seaba Station.

Arcadia, OK: Round barn.

Bridgeport, OK: Pony truss bridge.

Hydro, OK: Lucille's.

Erick, OK: Visit Harley and Annabelle, then cruise over to the West Winds Motel to see some cool vintage cars at a cool vintage motel. You can almost hear the ghosts whisper....

Texola, OK: Weird rusted-out sign in the middle of an empty field; really old alignment of 66 that you can drive on if you don't mind stopping to move branches out of the way every now and then.

Shamrock, TX: U-Drop-Inn.

McLean, TX: Devil's Rope Museum, restored Phillips 66 station.

Amarillo, TX: Big Texan Steak Ranch (say hello to Becky Ransom!) and Cadillac Ranch.

Vega, TX: Vega Motel. A must-stay.

Adrian, TX: Midpoint Cafe. Have a slice of pie.

Glenrio, TX/NM: Cool ghost town.

Tucumcari, NM: Blue Swallow Motel. DO NOT MISS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. I'm serious. This is my hands-down favorite place on the entire road. Just positively gorgeous. While you're in town, buy souvenirs at Tepee Curios and have dinner at La Cita, which is a restaurant shaped like a sombrero. Get up early the next morning after a good night's rest at the Blue Swallow and watch the sun rise over Tucumcari Mountain.

Santa Rosa, NM: Joseph's Cantina. Great breakfasts.

Santa Fe, NM: The whole town is just plain gorgeous.

Between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM: La Bajada Hill. Allow a couple of extra hours to hike up the mesa and back down on a reeeeeeally old alignment of 66.

Albuquerque, NM: Neon everywhere you look, and the Monterey is a terrific motel. It's a nonsmoking motel, so if you need your nic fix, you might want to look elsewhere ... but it's a great value. Lots of amenities, very clean, low prices, laundry on the premises.

Grants, NM: Uranium Cafe. You must try their biscuits and gravy.

Gallup, NM: El Rancho Hotel ("Home of the Stars") and lots of vintage neon.

Lupton, AZ: Chief Yellowhorse's Trading Post. Burros, bison, petting zoo complete with obnoxious ponies, cheap souvenirs ... a classic.

East of Holbrook, AZ: Painted Desert. GORGEOUS.

Holbrook, AZ: Wigwam Motel.

Joseph City, AZ: HERE IT IS ... the most famous billboard on Route 66, at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Try some cherry cider.

Twin Arrows, AZ: Twin Arrows. Dilapidated but still cool.

Flagstaff, AZ: Old alignment of 66 just west of town in the Kaibab National Forest. Now a nice hiking trail.

Winslow, AZ: Yeah, it's hopelessly dorky, but you know you want to do it, so go ahead ... have your picture taken "standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona." After all, dorky photo ops are what being a tourist is all about. ;)

Seligman, AZ: Snow-Cap, Angel's Barbershop. Under no circumstances should you miss either of these attractions ... or the cool old guys who run them.

Hackberry, AZ: Hackberry General Store.

Oatman, AZ: Wild burros.

Needles, CA to Barstow, CA: Mojave Desert. Miles upon miles of
nothing, which I find somehow oddly reassuring.

Amboy, CA: Roy's.

Newbery Springs, CA: Bagdad Cafe. Meet General Bob.

Barstow, CA: Route 66 Mother Road Museum. Visit Deb Hodkin.

Victorville, CA: New Corral Motel. Gorgeous sign.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA: Bono's Historic Orange.

Pasadena, CA: Fair Oaks Pharmacy. Have a chocolate malt.

Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Pier and end of the line for Route 66.