Planning to motor west

So on the long drive home from Detroit, the Thriller and I hatched a dastardly scheme.

On 18 July, 2010, we will set out to navigate historic Route 66, in its entirety. That’s right: all the way from south of Chicago to Los Angeles. By our figures, it should take us a little over two weeks total, with a small stop in Vegas and the Grand Canyon on the way home (on which we will drive the interstates). We are stoked beyond belief.

We both remember the old mom-and-pop motels, drive-in theaters, drive-up diners, and Sinclair and Standard Oil gas stations of our growing-up years. And having both been born in Illinois and raised in the midwest, we have many of the same memories. So we decided to take this nostalgic trip for real, not just in our minds and conversation. It’s on.

For those who don’t know, the original US 66 highway — which has now in large part been absorbed by the interstate system — was a haven for travelers and families from the 1930s through the 70s (map is clicky). Time, neglect and progress have wreaked havoc on it over the past 30 years, but thanks to a bill supported by members of Congress, the restoration has begun in many places.

So we are excited to see the history and enjoy the stories from the locals (and according to my research last night, there are many old-timers who love to talk about 66…and believe it, the Flip Video will be busy recording their tales). I plan to cure my ookiness about Muffler Men as well. The hardest part will be deciding what to see and what to pass up.

Our first stops will be along the beginnings of the route, southwest of Chicago (Joliet, Odell, Pontiac). Then it’s on to Missouri, etc.

You’ll see that I’ve added two cities to the above map. We have to visit BoomR and Bluvox in Dallas, and family in Austin. Total excitement.

We have our first hotel scoped out, and the second as well. It will be a summer to remember. We’re saving our pennies judiciously from now on. I ask you, how fun will this trip be?


9 thoughts on “Planning to motor west

  1. Mavis

    *snapping fingers*…get your kicks…on Route 66. Member that song? Do you remember the show on t.v.? I’m excited for you guys. It will be one wild adventure!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I do know that song! “If you ever plan to motor west…”

      I remember seeing a rerun or two of the TV show, but I couldn’t tell you what it was about. But I am excited to see the real thing indeed! And you and Rousseau will be updated regularly. :-)

  2. RD

    Sounds like a really fun trip. I hadn’t heard that some restoration was taking place. That’s cool. One of our favorite trips was one we made out west (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Snake River Valley, Salt Lake City, Pike’s Peak) — the first one we took after the boys were out on their own and it was just the two of us.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Yes, it will be fun to just “go,” the 2 of us. It’s the biggest road trip I think I’ve ever been part of, or planned, or anything! Hey, we’re looking forward to the 11th!

  3. Kristen

    I’m planning a trip out west myself (that may or may never happen). What I plan on doing is following the path that Jack Kerouac took when he hitchhiked to LA, then taking Route 66 on the way back. It will be a road trip of epic proportions, for both of us. :)


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