I awoke this morning with a start and realized that my schedule for the next two weeks is rather full and there has been little planning or preparation for the long awaited Route 66 road trip. As we are mere weeks away this is not a good thing.
Aside from the book signing tonight and next Saturday, I have the author’s reception at the college next Friday evening, the job, another installment of The Independent Thinker to pen for Cars & Parts magazine, and the swamp cooler to prepare for summer usage. Then I will need to service the Jeep and replace a couple of tires.
So, early this morning the first stage of my often elaborate trip planning began with the check book, an atlas (a current one, not the 1929 version that would really make the trip interesting), Jerry McClanahan’s EZ 66 Guidehttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0970995164&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, and a calculator. I would like to avoid excessive planning but as the day job still dictates how a large part of my life is lived there is little choice but to set rough goals.
Roughly, it looks something like this. Saturday I work until noon so we could be on the road by 1:00 and easily make Holbrook, 235 miles. This would provide a viable excuse for staying at a Route 66 icon where the rooms are shaped like the dwellings once used by Native Americans on the Great Plains.
Day two, chasing as much of Route 66 as possible, we would shoot for Santa Rosa, 235 miles. Stops in mind include Cubero, Old Town in Albuquerque, checking on progress at the Sunset Motel in Moriarty, and the sites in Santa Rosa.
Day three will be the Route 66 ghost town tour with the destination goal being Shamrock in Texas, 263 miles to the east. As we will have the Jeep, plans are to explore the section of old road between Cuervo and Newkirk as well as the leg from San Jon to Glenrio, including Endee, and the legendary Jericho Gap, provided we obtain permission for some sections on private land.
We may be over extending a bit as Amarillo is on this leg as is the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian. This means a stop for legendary pie as well as a visit to the Big Texan and Bob Lile’s art gallery, the primary outlet for our signed prints. Additional pressure comes from the desire to stop at the museum in McLean.
Day four may be another push as the days destination is somewhere near Tulsa, a distance of about 270 miles. As plans call for exploring Texola, the museum in Clinton, Foss, Bridgeport, and, I hope, a visit with a few old acquaintances, This might be a long day with some resultant disappointment as we might have to scratch a couple stops from the list.
Day five will be relatively short but filled will all manner of stops and adventures. The destination is Springfield in Missouri, a run of something like 200 miles but with planned stops at Afton Station, Cafe on the Route, 4 Women, Spencer, and Gay Parita it might be another long day.
Day six we set our sights on home, hit the Missouri and Kansas stops missed the day before and roll west along the Kansas border with our destination being Enid in Oklahoma. I am hoping to gather some information on the Geronimo, an automobile manufactured in that town.
Day seven marks the beginning of the real push to make time. Still, I plan on the scenic route and as a result am looking to wander into the Panhandle of Oklahoma before turning south on U.S. 54 and the overnight stop at another icon of the highway in Tucumcari, a drive of 375 miles.
It is feasible that I can make it home the following day as it will be about 650 miles and all interstate, I-40. After all, I used to run to Oklahoma City from Kingman in one day, layover, make the return trip, have two days off, and start over again.
Still, this is supposed to be a vacation without a great deal of schedule pressures or whirlwind adventures such as last weeks trip to California. So, I am setting sites on Holbrook or Winslow. That would leave the last 200 plus miles for the next day.
As is always the case when planning a road trip there is the need for restraint and the realization it is impossible to see or do it all in one trip. Still, I have factored in a plan “B” dependant on constraints of time and money.
If we still have any of the latter I might adjust the last two days so we can experience the sites found on the pre 1937 alignment of Route 66 in New Mexico. In this scenario we drive from Enid, across the Panhandle of Oklahoma, catch U.S. 56, and roll into Clayton.
Then we continues west through Las Vegas and Santa Fe and overnight somewhere between Albuquerque and Winslow.
Now, what am I missing? Suggestions? Ideas?