In today’s installment of our trip planning series we address the importance of packing an adventure kit. With a little attention to detail, as well as advance planning this kit will save you money in the long run and help ensure the adventure is a relaxing one even if facing time constraints.
Our basic kit is used for all trips with a duration of more than one day. There are two key components, a day pack and a sturdy 12″ x 16″ x 12″ open topped fiberglass box.
The box with atlas, guide books (listed in the last installment), road snacks (dried fruit, nuts, whole grain crackers, canned fish, granola bars, etc.), utensils, plates, bowls, cups, instant oatmeal and similar items is kept within arms reach of the front seat. Likewise with a small ice chest that will hold about ten bottles of (?).
We keep the day pack empty with the exception of the various pockets. This enables us to utilize the pack for day hikes or as an additional or supplemental suitcase.
In the various pockets we carry the items that can be used at night in the motel or on day hikes. Examples would include an eyeglass repair kit, vitamins, eye drops, small note book with pens, matches, etc.
This takes us to eating on the road and saving a dollar or two along the way. Our general routine is to begin the day with one of three options for breakfast ( a great mom and pop, the breakfast offered by the motel, or the in room special), a picnic or cafe for lunch, and dinner at a local mom and pop.
As with our motel selections, chain restaurants are utilized only when starvation is imminent. However, with our adventure kit this is seldom a concern.
In answer to your question about the in room special, well that can be dinner or breakfast. If the room is equipped with a refrigerator and or microwave, we often do a little shopping at the end of the day.
Juice, fresh fruit, sweet rolls and similar items are the primary items sought. However, we can seldom avoid the sampling of local specialties be it a beer, soda, or deli items.
With these items we then have the option of an in room breakfast that allows for a slower paced start to the day or an earlier departure. Using the coffee maker to warm water for oatmeal is just one step toward ensuring the day kicks off on a solid footing.
The advantage of making lunch a picnic stop is two fold, especially when on a very restrictive travel schedule. It forces you to take a breather and it provides another opportunity to save a dollar or two.
Still, as one of the highlights of a Route 66 adventure is the opportunity for a little gastronomic adventure in the form of a dinner shared with the locals along the way, we always seek at least one restaurant or cafe everyday. We have compiled a list of favorites and are looking forward to adding to that list this year.
From west to east, these are some of our favorites.
Dora’s Beale Street Deli in Kingman (a favorite of ours that seems to have also been a hit with visiting members of the Czech Route 66 Association) –
Redneck’s on Beale Street in Kingman, a favorite of our visitors as well –
Pine Country Restaurant in Williams –
The little deli at the general store in Parks, an ideal picnic stop –
Alpine Pizza, Bricks, or Galaxy Diner in Flagstaff –
La Posada (lunch) in Winslow –
Joe & Aggie’s in Holbrook –
Angela’s Cafe in Gallup –
We have a long list for Albuquerque –
A bit of a detour but the restaurant in the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico –
Joseph’s in Santa Rosa –
Del’s and Kicks on 66 in Tucumcari –
Midpoint Cafe in Adrian –
Smoky Joe’s in Amarillo –
Big Vern’s in Shamrock –
Lupe’s in Elk City –
Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford –
Marsha’s Country Kitchen in Chandler –
Rock Cafe in Stroud –
Ike’s Chili House in Tulsa –
Clanton’s Cafe in Vinita –
Eisler Brothers store in Riverton –
Bell Restaurant in Lebanon –
Maid Rite in Rolla –
Route 66 Cafe in Cuba –
Lewis Cafe in St. Clair –
Ariston Cafe in Litchfield –
Coney Island in Springfield –
In our postings from the road I will provide updates as well as new suggestions. And, in the next installment in this series, I will share a few of the short detours (12 miles or less) that will really enhance the Route 66 adventure.