Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road trip

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Roy Tuason
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Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road trip

#1 Post by Roy Tuason » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:27 am

In a year my wife and I plan to take a special road trip, driving out to Chicago, then taking the old Route 66 to Santa Monica, and then back home.

We would be taking a "56-year old 356 on Route 66". :)

Not sure yet if we’ll ship the 356 to Chicago and fly in to start the drive, or if we’ll drive to Chicago to start Route 66 there. If we drive out it’d be:

— 2,400 miles, San Francisco to Chicago. Pretty much straight through on I-80.
— 2,200 miles on Route 66, to Santa Monica
— 400 miles back home. At that point we might as well take the coast, Hwy 1.

We’re starting our research, planning the drive and the stops along the way.

Are there any 356 clubs or gatherings along our route in the first half of September 2019? It would be nice to synch our schedule up with that.
Last edited by Roy Tuason on Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mark Pribanic
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#2 Post by Mark Pribanic » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:52 pm

I just did Route 60 through NM & Arizona on the way to California. It's just south of Route 66 and from what I was told, is almost like it was back in the day. Where Route 66 is more chopped up and less fluid. I've never driven Route 66, so just going on what I was told. But driving Route 60 was one of the top three roads I've driven my 356 on. Just mentioning it to you because someone shared their experience with me. Whatever route you choose should be epic! Enjoy & post some foto's along the way!
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#3 Post by Doug McDonnell » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:59 pm

A friend did it in his 63 Corvette convertible. He said there wasn't much to see the 1st 1000 miles. Having lived in the Midwest my whole life there are only so many corn, wheat and soybean fields that are of interest.
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#4 Post by David Jones » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:36 pm

If you divert a little and go on route 60 you can go through Bartlesville in Oklahoma, the home of Phillips 66. Not a lot to see but there is a tall office building built by Frank Lloyd Wright. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_Tower
If you then divert to hiway 123 you can visit Woolaroc which is quite interesting. The roads are fun and mostly wide enough to permit some faster driving in the curvy bits.
https://www.woolaroc.org
After al that it is an easy drive south to rejoin route 66.
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Roy Tuason
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#5 Post by Roy Tuason » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:55 pm

Mark Pribanic wrote:I just did Route 60 through NM & Arizona on the way to California. It's just south of Route 66 and from what I was told, is almost like it was back in the day. Where Route 66 is more chopped up and less fluid. I've never driven Route 66, so just going on what I was told. But driving Route 60 was one of the top three roads I've driven my 356 on. Just mentioning it to you because someone shared their experience with me. Whatever route you choose should be epic! Enjoy & post some foto's along the way!
Ahh, yes! That is a good one. I've done the stretch eastbound from Springerville AZ to Socorro NM. I got home-made pie in Pie Town NM, and stopped at the VLA just west of Socorro. Very interesting.
gImages, VLA: https://goo.gl/rzeuZQ
gMap: https://goo.gl/nzZz2k

And yes, Mark, I will post pics.
Doug McDonnell wrote:A friend did it in his 63 Corvette convertible. He said there wasn't much to see the 1st 1000 miles. Having lived in the Midwest my whole life there are only so many corn, wheat and soybean fields that are of interest.
Yes there are a lot of corn fields. I've crossed Iowa entirely on county roads, much of them dirt, and had a ton of silt on the back of my car - a rental, not the 356 thank goodness. But I am going to enjoy the cheesy roadside attractions like the world's largest catsup bottle, and Paul Bunyon holding a hot dog. To me it is part of Americana. I'll get pictures of the 356 by them too. But yes, if you only see the fields of corn/wheat/soybean then it's an ocean of field after field after field.
David Jones wrote:If you divert a little and go on route 60 you can go through Bartlesville in Oklahoma, the home of Phillips 66. Not a lot to see but there is a tall office building built by Frank Lloyd Wright. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_Tower
If you then divert to hiway 123 you can visit Woolaroc which is quite interesting. The roads are fun and mostly wide enough to permit some faster driving in the curvy bits.
https://www.woolaroc.org
After al that it is an easy drive south to rejoin route 66.
Thanks for the tip and it does sound interesting, but for this trip I'm going to stay tightly focused on Route 66, because if I can justify a detour to Bartlesville OK for the Frank Lloyd Wright building (and yes it looks like only a 45-mile detour), then I can easily justify hundreds of similar detours for other reasons. That's a problem I have when planning road trips: I can easily wander off, follow my nose, and look for interesting places and things (for example I once did that and ended up at the Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho -- a museum that was at the same time interesting and educational and corny). I'm going to stick to Route 66.

With one possible exception. I've been to all 50 states but my wife has not. Arkansas looks like a short detour, so maybe we'll do that. But otherwise I'll really try to focus on just Route 66.

Thanks for the tips so far and please keep them coming!

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#6 Post by Wes Bender » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:05 am

It will be a good trip. Wish I was doing it. My philosophy is that, unless you are under tight time constraints, shunpike as much as possible. (No, it's not in Webster's Dictionary, but it means to avoid the Interstates.) Back in '62, Claudia and I took our '57 356A and made a complete loop around the US. From northern CA north to Seattle, then east across the northern states to Plattsburgh NY. South to Williamsburg. West through the southern states to southern CA and then back to the point of origin (Beale AFB). Visited with various friends along the way. Took almost a month. Not many freeways or Interstates with which to contend.
Some days it just isn’t worth the hassle of chewing through the restraints......

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#7 Post by Roy Tuason » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:14 am

Wes, I’m with you — shunpike. I prefer the US and state highways for seeing things. The Interstates are good for covering distance quickly, but it’s a sterile experience (with some exceptions like I-70 through Colorado’s beautiful Glenwood Canyon).

Plattsburgh NY — a good area of the country to be from. My hometown is a little south of there, near Troy. Sounds like you might be USAF?

Your 1962 road trip with Claudia sounds uber-epic. Memories to last a lifetime, I bet!

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#8 Post by Wes Bender » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:49 am

I was stationed at P'burgh from late '56 to '59. Too cold for a CA and AZ boy. That 'round the USA trip will always be remembered. Two weeks after we got back to Beale, I burned a piston and had to do my first engine rebuild in a 356. Harry Pellow was right. A good 356 won't let you down out on the road. On that trip we didn't carry many spares. Most decent sized towns at least had a VW dealership. As I recall, I did one service on the car (at P'burgh) and had to replace one broken headlight lens along the way. We didn't have a luggage rack. We lived out of a couple of B-4 bags that sat behind us. Stop occasionally at a laundromat and wash everything but what we had on.

Road trips are great fun. Thanks for making your original post on your planned trip.
Some days it just isn’t worth the hassle of chewing through the restraints......

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#9 Post by Roy Tuason » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:24 pm

Roger that, sir (USMC here; and my brother was USAF). I’ll post trip pics as we go...

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#10 Post by Mickey Murfee » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:55 pm

Roy,

After the Sedona West Coast Holiday, a group of us from the Tub Club returned on Route 66. The Dallas folks left us in Amarillo, TX to head home and my wife and I continued on Route 66 to Tulsa and then home to southern Arkansas. There are several items which we found very helpful. First is a set of Route 66 maps that depict the old route. Some of the route has been gobbled up by the interstate and in some places the old road appears as a service road (Particularly in northern Texas) to the interstate and in some places the road simply stops. We traveled on those (the service roads) and they will take into small towns that sadly are a time "warp" but they do have the unique buildings, etc that make traveling on the route a lot of fun and interesting. The old route is of Portland cement with seams and in the 356 you will really get a sense of the rhythm of the road.

The other two are "guide books". The EZ 66 Guide and the Route 66 Road trip. They will point out a lots of places of interest with places to stay and eat and see. Do stop in the museums in Oklahoma, one is in Clinton and can't remember the other. We ate in the recommended restaurants and stayed in some of the motels. The outstanding ones that come to mind are the La Posada in Winslow, AZ, The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcarie, NM, The Big Texan in Amarillo, The Ambassador in Tulsa.

The maps and guide books are found on the national route 66 web site.

You mentioned coming to Arkansas as a possible detour. Not too far off the Route 66 is Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville. If you go there be sure and stay at the 21C Hotel. If your wish is to hit the twisties which northern Arkansas is famous for, email me and I can send you all sorts of info on that.

There are only about 10 or so 356ers here in Arkansas and unless you make arrangements to meet them on the road you probably won't see them on that part of the trip.

Let me know if I can help.

Mickey Murfee

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#11 Post by STEVEN MOORE » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:41 pm

Stop at this place in Lebanon Mo .
There are kool places to see every mile of the Route
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#12 Post by Roy Tuason » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:25 pm

Mickey,

Outstanding advice -- thank you! I like all that you shared, and while I'm not usually big on art museums, that Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art looks fantastic. And so does the 21C hotel, too. I'd hate to just drive into Arkansas and quickly turn around just to "tag" it. This would give the Arkansas visit some real purpose, and beautiful venues to see too.

Thanks! I'm digesting the rest of your info. I really appreciate all that you shared.

Regards,
Roy T.

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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#13 Post by Jim Alton » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:43 am

Southern California is the territory of the 356 Club of Southern California but I don't think you'll find much 356-specific in September, save the Flo's Run the first Sunday of each month.

But, there 's San Gabriel Valley Region and Los Angeles Region of PCA. You could check the SGVR Calendar or [url=http://www.zone8.org/calendar.php]Zone 8 Calendar[/url] for things going on.

There are some major automotive museums in the Los Angeles area:
 
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#14 Post by Jim Liberty » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:25 pm

Wes, what does it say that "shunpike" is part of my vocabulary. However I have not heard or seen it in print for decades. My last road trip was the Cal. Mille this Spring. The "Boss" says never again. I thought is was a hoot. We did it in a 1953 Morgan. No heat, no WWW, side curtains. I still wonder why she was so uncomfortable. .................Jim.
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Re: Route 66 in September 2019: An epic, 5,000 mile road tri

#15 Post by Wes Bender » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:01 pm

I don't know the origin, but I remember that "shunpike" was in most sporty car driver's vocabulary back in the day. I still practice it whenever I can. I suspect that Tiffany knows what comfort is and maybe the Morgan isn't part of her definition. The only Morgans I ever rode in were so stiff that you could probably tell if a coin was heads or tails when you drove over it. Now a 356 on the other hand.......
Some days it just isn’t worth the hassle of chewing through the restraints......

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