Author Topic: Route 66 (I get my kicks!)  (Read 564 times)

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manxmike

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on: January 12, 2021, 11:57:03 am
I'm hoping, in 2022, to "do Route 66 to celebrate a significant birthday (sadly not 66, passed that) and wondered if anyone had any tips? I'm looking at Motorbike, Car or Motorhome, starting at Chicago, possibly in May. At the moment it's just me, the wife has no interest and with her MS would find it very tiring.
What are the must see things? What are the pitfalls?
Any suggestions and help would be much appreciated.
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heloego

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Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 05:42:01 pm
   Can't speak for what's left in other States, but New Mexico has more miles of the original Route 66 in existence than any of the other States, and they are in fact kept up fairly well as they are here considered historic. Alternate Routes were created during construction of the I-40 (A loop North through Santa Fe and a loop south through Las Lunas), but there's definitely a lot of good road to use.
   Depending on your itinerary dates it should be noted that west of Albuquerque the Pueblos it passes through are closed to any visitors during the pandemic. This closure is strictly enforced by the Tribal Police, so it may be necessary to hop back on the I-40 and bypass a couple of very scenic sections. The views from I-40 are fine, but slightly away from Rt 66 where you get to BE in the scenery.
   I do recommend the loops North to Santa Fe, and South through Las Lunas.
   The North loop takes you up State Scenic Highway 14 along the Turquoise Trail to SF, but does require a return to ABQ by the same route to avoid I-25. The Southern route through Las Lunas takes you along the Rio Grande and loops back on NM Hwy 6 to I-40. From there it's about a half hour of I-40 to Mesita where you should be able to pick up the Old Rt 66 all the way to Grants and a bit further.

      I live in Albuquerque, so when you're ready PM me with details of your itinerary and we can work out a meet. I could perhaps meet you in Moriarty and work some of the way West with you.
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 06:23:53 pm
If you're coming from the Isle of Man looking for small town America, you might also consider Route 66's much elder transcontinental brother, The Lincoln Highway. See: https://lincolnhighwayassoc.org/
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johno

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Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 07:58:17 pm
Now there's a trip, Route 66 one way Lincoln Highway the other........6000 miles of smiles 8)
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 08:21:18 pm
I assume you'll be on the I40 when passing thru Arizona, East to West.
Roughly between Gallup & Holbrook is the Petrified Forest.
Whilst in Eastern Arizona, La Posada in Winslow is a treat for overnight. A restored Harvey House from the "wayback" with a great restaurant.
http://laposada.org/
A loop North on the 87 allows passage thru Hopi & Navajo land; First & Second Mesa are a treat.
From Second Mesa the 264-160-89 south gets you to Cameron, another nice overnight spot.
From Cameron you access  the fabulous 64, which takes you West along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the El Tovar, famed in lore & legend.  ( https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/lodging/el-tovar-hotel/ )
The 64 goes South to the 180 back to Flagstaff. Good accommodations and a great time to visit the Lowell Observatory in town where Pluto was discovered by Tombaugh. ( https://lowell.edu/visit/ )
I HIGHLY recommend a loop South from Flagstaff on the 89A, thru Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, to Jerome for lunch (  https://www.oldtownredroostercafe.com/ ) and onward to Prescott for the night. ( https://www.hassayampainn.com/ )
From Prescott, the 89 takes you back up to Ashfork & the 40, where the 66 diverges a couple miles out of town.
West of Ashfork you get to Seligman where you find Delgadillos Snow Cap, a local treasure. ( https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/delgadillo-s-snow-cap-drive-in )
Continuing on Westward on 66 you'll get to Peach Springs and the Hualapai Lodge, another nice place to spend a night & find a meal. (  https://grandcanyonwest.com/welcome-to-hualapai-lodge/ )
From Peach Springs you get to Kingman. Thread your way thru town past the "Emerald Pools" (waste treatment ponds) and pick up 66 through the Black Mountains to get to Oatman, Arizona. ( https://www.travelawaits.com/2558142/oatman-arizona-best-things-to-do/ )
From Oatman head South on the ancient 66 tarmac to arrive at Topock Arizona. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topock,_Arizona )
About 6 miles out of Topock on the 40 you'll be able to take a jog over to the 95 and take that North on into Needles.
The 66 is accessed by taking 40 North about 10 miles to the 95 exit. The 95 takes you towards Las Vegas. About 8 miles or so on the 95 you'll find the "Goffs Road/66" turnoff at Arrowhead Junction. This will carry you all the way to Ludlow where there is fuel.
The 66 has a break at Ludlow, where a new section on the East side of the freeway carries you about 5 miles to an overpass where you pick up the original road again. Br aware this bit is very rough, so take your time to Newberry Springs where you'll find fuel. The rest to L.A. is mostly just bits.

Good Hunting - ACR -
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 09:33:37 pm
I recommend a small "Class C" Van-based motorhome with a toilet & small A/C unit, maybe 20 MPG. These are about $2000/month, plus fuel. That's only about 12 nights in a hotel... :(  You'll have room to stretch out, get a cuppa' & snack whenever you want, stay relatively cool when it's hot and humid, dry & warm when it's raining. You won't have to wrestle with luggage or paw through everything you own to get to a single item. If it breaks, the rental folks fix or replace it. You can hit a deer, small cow or big jackrabbit & walk away. It's much lower effort than riding or even driving a car, & leaves more time to "just look around". 12,000 miles from home is no place to add levels of difficulty. - ACR -
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 08:52:15 am
Bilgemaster - Thanks for the Lincoln Highway tip! - It was new info to me.

The South West warms up pretty good by May. Starting from Chicago maybe April-May and making a 30-45 day loop, West on the 66, back Eastward on the Lincoln, that would put you through the warmer places at a nice time of year, and you'd be farther North in better weather on the return leg seeing different territory. You'd get a bit of the PCH Hwy #1 and maybe even see Area 51 in Nevada. Salt Lake is nice, & you're even fairly close to Yellowstone, good for a 3-4 day loop. Back in Chicago, there's nothing stopping you from making a loop around Lake Michigan and coming back over the Mackinac Bridge. I hear the "Yooper" spotting is great that time of year... ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yooper
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manxmike

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Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 08:57:19 am
Brilliant, I knew I could rely on RE riders for great ideas and tips. I must admit I was leaning towards the small RV or camper van, as you say room to stretch out. My only thought is that I would need to charge phone, camera batteries, laptop etc and most Campers advertised don't have usb sockets, I presume they do have a cigar lighter socket though?
The loop idea sounds fantastic - I think the savings would have to be ramped up though, it sounds like I would need about six weeks van hire, food, petrol, etc. Add to that the cost of the flights from UK and it's not a cheap trip - but it is once in a lifetime.
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 03:48:16 pm
ManxMike -
The Chicago area RV prices are about double of what I remembered. However a Compact Motorhome from "https://www.cruiseamerica.com/" is about $107/day with full insurance, stocked with basic supplies, etc. from them. RV's are full of conveniences. Modern electronics gives them 12 VDC and 120 VAC (60 Hz) available all the time. Charging up your phone, camera, etc. won't be an issue. Looks like an RV would run maybe $4500, but probably less overall than "motelling it". My sister on a trip East was impressed by how few restroom facilities were available on the road in populated areas, she was really wishing they had taken THEIR motorhome instead of flying & renting a car.
Plan "B"  might be to rent a Toyota RAV4 ( https://www.chicagotoyota.com/toyota-rent-a-car.htm ) for $50 a day, or less on a monthly basis. The 50 MPG Prius I rented for a month out of Madera three years back was about 1/2 the daily rate. I took a RAV4 to Wasilla Alaska from Fresno the year before last, about 25-28 MPG, and with a foam mattress & bedroll they travel well enough. Sleeping in the back with the seats down is OK for folks 6 feet & under. No toilet or hot water though.
CruiseAmerica's compact unit would definitely be more user friendly for a long trip though, and motel rates tend to average $100 - $150 per night in places where you don't need to sleep armed.
Look around on the internet in and around the Chicago area and contact the RV folks now, the worse the economy gets the cheaper stuff should get.
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Morgan60

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Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 12:27:24 pm
I've ridden about 85% of Route 66 on a bike at different times. This is also on my bucket list to ride the route all at the same time.  The only way I believe to see it is on a bike and stay in motels and eat in the mom and pop restaurants to get the best experience, like people did back in the day. Have you thought about doing it on a three wheeler? A Vanderhall or a Polaris Slingshot comes to mind. I’ve test driven them both and the Vanderhall is the best in my opinion. Also the Vanderhall has a heater and I believe you can also get AC, that will really help your wife. I have a Morgan three wheeler I plan on doing it if I can get the wife come along. If not, my Harley-Davidson Road Glide will be the bike of choice.

https://vanderhallusa.com/autocycle/

https://slingshot.polaris.com/en-us/slingshot-s/
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 12:39:34 pm by Morgan60 »
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 10:30:12 pm
Bilgemaster - Thanks for the Lincoln Highway tip! - It was new info to me.


If you really want to go "Retro Roadway" then there's the great-grandaddy of all of them, namely the old "National Road" or "National Pike" (Route 40), an old Indian trail, parts of which George Washington actually worked on during our French and Indian War for a bit and which was first commissioned in a big way as the first " National Pike" by Jefferson. See: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Road. It's a bit hilly in bits, but I've flogged all sorts of elderly hoopties along it including my Amphicar, with its engine later used in the Tickle Me Elmo doll. So, it's definitely doable...even quite pleasant in a "chuggy" sort of way.

Whenever I push some junk north to Ohio, as I do every year or so, I make a point of taking it north if only to pull into Curt's Family Restaurant in Markleysburg, Pennsylvania for a Hot Turkey Sandwich and a hunk of their glorious pie (trust your waitress' recommendation)...and maybe a whole one for takeaway, especially on the homeward legs for the wife and kids. Here's a link to find it: https://g.co/kgs/tDFRPF, I'll then usually push over to the old "Lincoln Highway" (Route 30) to make my way westward. (I hate the PA Turnpike).

Which brings me to my real point: If you're gonna take a once-in-a-lifetime journey across North America, why not do it on a motorcycle instead of in some box? This is a motorcycle forum after all, right? I mean, I like RVs fine. I've got one, an elderly but sound '78 Champion 25 footer with a Dodge
Class A rig that gets an honest 10 miles to the (American) gallon. It's a swell air conditioned ride-and-hide for the beaches, but if you really want to SEE and FEEL America, it's really gotta be on a bike unless you're going full-on "geriatric." Folks tossing around numbers in the thousands for RV rentals might consider the fact.that fine old metric cruisers or nice well-kept Goldwings can be bought all day long for a couple of grand pretty much anywhere. Sell at end of voyage for "whatever", and you'd still be well ahead of the game. That's how I did Britain, Ireland, France and Germany on a Norton for £500 with a topend job.

Any visitor to our shores need only shoot me a PM for assistance in this matter.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 12:24:44 am by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.

(Legal enough to pass muster if they don't look too closely in Woodbridge, Virginia, where the buses don't run at night, holidays or weekends)


Ove

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Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 10:49:58 pm
I agree. Once in a lifetime...


AzCal Retred

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Reply #12 on: January 15, 2021, 05:01:05 pm
The best way to enjoy a motorhome is to know a guy that has one... ;D I certainly agree that two wheels is a lot more fun than a "cage".

Perhaps covering fuel and tyres, splitting groceries, letting the motorhome tow a 3 bike trailer, and then buying a temp cruiser would fulfill all requirements. You'd end up riding with a small "like-minded group", have a place to stay, it'd be good driver training for the owners ( or others ) offspring, and you'd have a sound back-up contingency plan for arising health, mechanical, etc, issues. Also the owner would get to enjoy a bonding experience with said offspring, meet a new offshore Bulleteer,  as well as getting to ride for his own good self a "loop-of-a-lifetime". 

Touring the country on two wheels in your 70's is a lot better if you aren't worrying about a flat 86 miles outside Tucumcari or getting the "trots" from some fine roadside dining in Kansas City. The "tour of a lifetime" loses a lot of gloss when you out of necessity need to be very cautious. The "bounce" we had when we were 16 is more of a "splat" as we age like fine wines. Leave the adventure of pushing your motorcycle 3 miles uphill to the young bucks, maximize the enjoyment opportunities of such a trip.

Anyone with a functional motorhome and a desire to make such a loop might be in a position to achieve a win-win here. Just a suggestion. - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.