WITH THE SLIGHTEST OF DETOURS

Even though the essence of the Route 66 experience is about slowing the pace and savoring the moment, the reality is the fact that most of us have schedules. We do our best to forget them as we motor along America’s most famous highway but in the back of our mind the clock is ticking.
As a result, we seldom allow our focus to be shifted from the road signed with two sixes and the myriad of attractions found along its storied route. However, if we accept the fact that the highway is always changing, and that we will never be able to experience all that it has to offer with just one trip or a dozen, we can begin to enhance the experience of each trip with the slightest of detours. 
The Navy Pier in Chicago, as well as the Museum of Science and Industry and the studios of Frank Lloyd Wright, are not on Route 66 but including these attractions will add stunning depth of experience, and a scrapbook or two of memories, to your journeys. See, Route 66 is more than a destination, it is a portal where the past and present flow seamlessly but it is also the gateway to stunning wonders and awe inspiring discoveries.
After you check out the myriad of treasures found along Route 66 in Odell, Bloomington, and Springfield, Pontiac, Lincoln, and Funks Grove, it is but a thirty five mile drive to Decatur, site of the intriguing Macon County Historical Museum and Village. In between Route 66 and Decatur is the intriguing little village of Illiopolis, a name alone that makes a visit worthwhile. 
St Louis is a veritable treasure trove of dusty gems, relics, and unusual attractions. Most everyone is familiar with the “arch” at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Historic Site but how many Route 66 adventurers discover the lost civilization preserved at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site or the frontier era Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site?
Missouri is a wonderland of villages, historic sites, and natural wonder. Many line the Route 66 corridor, but a few are only found with the slightest of detours. The next time you are motoring west through Rolla and Doolittle, follow highway T south a few dozen miles but don’t plan on making this little detour in one hour, or two.
Kansas may only have thirteen miles of the old road but here to the journey will be enhance with but the slightest of detours. Less than 20 miles north of Riverton, on highway 160 in Pittsburg, you will find several little cafes that specialize in barbecue worthy of the the best Kansas City has to offer.
Route 66 in Oklahoma is truly the gateway to wonder. Will Roger’s home in Oolagah is less than thirty miles north of Claremore, the time capsule of Guthrie is less than twenty-five miles north of Tulsa, the Chisolm Trail Museum is less than thirty miles north of El Reno, and the majesty of the Black Kettle National Grasslands, with the solemn Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, is less than thirty miles north of Sayre.
In regards to Route 66 mileage, Texas competes with Kansas but this has little to do with the wonders found with the slightest of detours. If time allows for but one of these, make Amarillo your base camp and set aside at least a day to experience the awe inspiring majesty of Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
From Glenrio in Texas to Hesperia in Califonria, the opportunity to enhance the adventure with the slightest of detours is only limited by the imagination, and the ticking clock. That, however, is a story for another day. 

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jimhinckleysamerica

Jim Hinckley's America is a grand adventure on the back roads and two lane highways. It is an odyssey seasoned with fascinating people, and memory making discoveries. As made evident by the publication of fourteen books on subjects as diverse as diverse as Ghost Towns of the Southwest, The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Travel Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, I enjoy sharing adventures and helping people plan for their own memory making journeys.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. In addition, US 400 is a pleasant drive to Pittsburg. In that vacinity, I enjoyed traveling across State Highway 43 to Seneca.

Thank you, shared adventures are the best adventures.

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