I no longer keep track of how many times the questions is asked, “What is all of the hype about Route 66?” I always respond but no longer give a great deal of thought to the possibility there might be a language barrier that would prevent understanding of that response as the majority of these inquiries are, surprisingly, from Americans.
The Europeans are well informed about this iconic highway and the charm that defies description or explanation. Likewise with the Japanese, and Australians, as evidenced by the comments received by Route 66 Tours, a company based in Brendale, Queensland.
In recent years this company, operated by Dale and Kristi-Anne Butel, has experienced an increase in business that mirrors the rising popularity of the old road, and the resultant refurbishment of historic properties on Route 66. Their 2012 schedule offers just a glimpse of how deep the fascination for this historic highway is as there are companies and associations in Germany, England, Holland, France, Norway, and even Czechoslovakia with planned tours booked months in advance.
From Route 66 Tours website –
2012 Spring Tour – April 19 to May 9 *** Sold Call or Email for Wait List ***- Enjoy the “Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona’s 3 Day Fun Run”. This is a fantastic Tour coinciding with the 3 day Fun Run that attracts over 800 Classic Cars, Hot Rods & Bikes rolling with us along the longest continuous stretch of historic 66 left in the US. With the country side, including the desert, in bloom spring is a fantastic time to road trip Route 66. The Fun Run is just a Bonus at the end of our regular Route 66 Tour. Drive a Mustang* or ride a Harley, after your tour on Historic Route 66 your will never be the same. Spring is the coolest time of the year for our tours. (20 night Tour)
2012 Summer Tour – July 12 to 31 *** Over 40% Sold ***- Do you want to escape the winter in OZ or NZ, then the Summer Tour is the one for you. On a bike however this tour is not for the faint hearted as it can be extremely hot. If air-con is more your speed then feel free to take the car option. Just let us know your preference and we will endeavour to get the bike of your dreams or set you up in a Mustang*. The bikes run the same basic itinerary as the cars but with their own guide and backup van. Effectively we have 2 tours in one on every trip. (19 night Tour)
2012 Sturgis with a taste of 66 – July 30 to August 19 *** Over 40% Sold *** – Join us as we take you on a magical road trip through some of the world’s most beautiful National Parks. Ride the Rocky Mountains to the Black Hills of South Dakota, where we will take in one of the biggest bike festivals of all time. The 72nd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a bike lovers dream. This Vegas to Vegas round trip includes some of the best Route 66 found in the state of Arizona, along with the magnificent Grand Canyon. With 15 days of riding and 4 nights in Sturgis, this tour holds an amazing balance and is one not to miss. (20 night Tour) email us for info
2012 Fall Tour – October 13 to November 1 *** 70% Sold ***- The Fall colours will be out as we take to the Mother Road in October 2011. Some say October is the best month to Road Trip old Route 66. It is just another chance to enjoy a classic road trip vacation, and at the same time see the Fall splendour in the North and enjoy the Desert as we journey West. This is a mild time of year & can be enjoyed on either a bike or in a car. (19 night Tour)
So, for those who wonder what all of the hype is about, my suggestion is to plan on driving all or part of this storied highway in 2012. I would also suggest you plan that adventure to coincide with one or more of the delightful festivals held all along Route 66.
One of the oldest festivals, and one of the earliest in the year, is the annual Route 66 Fun Run. More than 180 miles of historic Route 66, some of the most stunning scenery found anywhere along that highway, activities in towns all along the way, a major auto show, and hundreds upon hundreds of automotive enthusiasts from throughout the world make this the ultimate celebration of the American love affair with the automobile, the road trip, and Route 66.
In early June the entire course of Route 66 through New Mexico from the Texas state line to the Arizona state line will be transformed into a living time capsule from the era when Route 66 truly was the Main Street of America. I received this from Richard Talley, owner of the Motel Safari in Tucucmcari, today.
“The overall event will be blanketed as the “Wheels on 66” festival in Tucumcari, NM. http://www.wheelson66.com/ but will include at least 3 events during that same time period, June 7th – 9th!
There will be the NM Route 66 Motor Tour – www.rt66nm.org/new/events/motor_tour.html – which include lots of cars coming and gathering on Thursday, a book signing set up for all you guys, artists and some sort of cruise event that night, plus there will be some vintage RV’s arriving that day and some motorcycles.
We’ll have some musical entertainment as well, we just don’t have all the details finalized as of yet. Friday morning, approximately 9am, there will be a full blown parade down Route 66, ending at the Convention Center by our Route 66 Monument sculpture, and then the NM Route 66 Motor Tour will continue it’s journey along Historic Route 66 to Albuquerque for the night, stopping at places like the Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa, the Antique Auto Museum in Moriarty and ending up at the Enchanted Trails RV Park with Vickie Ashcraft (President – NM Route 66 Assoc.) and a classic Drive-In movie.Each of the eight states through which the highway passes has an association or associations that organize and promote these events. Most maintain a regularly updated calendar of events. The best source of contact information for these associations, as well as current news about the many facets of this old road, is Route 66 News.
In Tucumcari on Friday, will start our own local annual Mother Road Rally – http://www.motherroadrally.com/ – which will also be in the parade with their motorcycles, and then they begin their 2 day event locally, with Biker Games, a Poker Run, Cash Raffle, vendors, music and other entertainment.
Saturday the Mother Road Rally continues locally, and the NM Route 66 Motor Tour starts at the Route 66 Casino and continues their journey along Historic Route 66 westward, stopping in Grants, and ending in Gallup with a dinner and Awards Banquet.
So that’s 3 days of cars, bikes, vintage RV’s, music, Route 66 roadies, authors & artists and more – all 3 days, either locally in Tucumcari on Route 66 or across the entire state of New Mexico!”
Topping our list of exciting events to attend in 2012 is Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. On our last trip we fell in love with Cuba and are quite excited about the opportunity to experience the beautiful little community when it pulls out all stops to celebrate its association with Route 66. This event has been selected as the venue for the debut of my latest book, Route 66 Encyclopedia & Atlas.
So, if you wonder what all of the hype is, perhaps 2012 should be your year of discovery. Share in the excitement of witnessing this old road, like the Phoenix of mythology, rise from the ashes.