A picture is worth a thousand words…

Yesterday, the guys did a few repairs on the cars. They took apart the window. The power window (yes…even in 1956) functioned when it wanted to.

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People from all over the world, Sweden, London, England etc. and people from good old Ontario Canada stopped in to chat about the cars and our journey.

Today, we took the Grand Canyon Railway (bonus, no driving today), to visit one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world. Can you spot the # 7?

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We are very lucky because none of us realized that potentially, the canyon could be invisible because of fog. We have a beautiful sunny, warm day! Next visit however, we will plan to sleep at  Grand Canyon Village, just in case.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words…

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Four brothers at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

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Day 11- Question and answer day

  1. How many birthdays did we celebrate on Route 66?  2, Roger’s and Linda’s. Happy Birthday Linda. Yahoo Mountain Dew! Makes your hair stand up.img_2353

2. Who were Roger and Dan ‘Standing at the corner’ with last night in downtown Winslow?’- Jackson Brown co-author of the song by the Eagles.

3. How many years did the petrified wood take to form and where does it originate from? It originates from just north of the equator and took over 200 million years to form.

4. What oil do the guys put in the engine of their babies periodically? 10 W 30

5. How many miles can the cars cover on a tank of gas? 200 but why take a chance…We fill up every 150.

6. How many times did people honk their horn or give a thumbs up at our caravan? We lost count…

7. What is the elevation of Flagstaff? From Winslow to Williams, we go through Flagstaff, in the midst of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest. In the winter, 3 ft of snow can fall in one snow storm. The elevation is 7 000 ft.

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8. From Route 66, how can you access the South Ridge of the Grand Canyon? By car, by rail or by helicopter. We chose to ride the Grand Canyon Railroad from Williams to the South Rim.

The town of Williams Arizona is a destination known for one-of-a-kind- attractions: the scenic railway tour, Route 66 attractions, local art galleries, a clock at the centre of town that sings a t 12 noon, a brewery and first class restaurants.

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Williams 3.JPGwilliams 6.JPG 9. How much did Jim, at 15, get paid to pump gas in Blind River with the identical pump?

1 dollar an hour. As the pump says, gas was 26.9 cents a gallon.

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10. How many miles are we from destination? 461 mi. Santa Monica, here we come!

Day 10 : through spectacular landscape!

El Rancho Hotel has character no doubt. However, only a few of us actually slept last night. The trains whistling on the north side we expected. But who would have thought there would be lots of traffic on Route 66 in Gallup? All part of the adventure.

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Although we did not drive north of Gallup to the Valley of Monuments, we definitely stopped at the Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert.  When stopped for fuel at the entrance to the park, many  take pictures of the  cars and ask questions. To one of them: does your car (56 ford) have air conditioning, Roger always replies: Yes, it’s called 4 windows down at 60 miles per hour…

As we drive and hike through The Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, we are rewarded by awe-inspiring landscapes. Unless you are a professional photographer, hard to capture such natural beauty. However, we just could not resist trying.

 

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Petrified wood with quartz

Jim loses his favorite Route 66 hat when winds pick up…we all see it tumble away but no one captures the moment!

Where this picture is taken, Route 66 used to cross the National Park.

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Then, off to Holbrook and Winslow where we will spend the night. After 15 000 steps (Bob’s fit bit attests to that) we will undoubtedly sleep well tonight.

But we are in Winslow and so before retiring, Roger and Dan proceed to ‘‘Standin’ on the Corner’’ made famous in the Eagles song, Take it Easy. Obviously, we were not the only classics on the corner…

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!

And we do have much to be thankful for. So many are suffering because of hurricanes, earthquakes health issues etc. Our thoughts are with them.

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After a stroll in old town Albuquerque, we have breakfast at Church St. café. Enchanting!

Today is a short day but we still manage to have to make a U-turn at one point. Route 66 follows I-40 (and as always, the railroad tracks)

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but we zigzag from the north side to the south side of the interstate numerous times. At one point we choose the I-40 to avoid unpaved highway.  Dan gets his kicks on Route 66 by driving the 56 Ford Wagon, just for a bit ha!

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We pass lava rock, many ruinous remains, trading posts and at one of them, we reach the Continental Divide.

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New Mexico has been the most scenic part of the route by far.

In Gallup, we check in at the El Rancho Hotel. Opened in 1936, it is a National Historic Site. Some do laundry. Linda and Sandra help a biker from Sweden operate the washing machines 🙂 Others find a local garage to have minor repairs done to the cars. Is it possible? We did not visit a classic car museum today…

Arizona, here we come!

 

 

 

Very special day!

Last night, we stayed at the Big Texan Motel in Amarillo. As you walk into the room, the first thing you see is a fly swatter. You’re in Texas after all. In some rooms, the door leading to the bathroom, no the swinging doors leading to the bathroom lead you to believe you are entering a saloon.

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The Big Texan Steak House is a must see on Route 66. It is a museum in itself ;

Bonus: 3 musicians entertain the customers, the service and the food are fantastic.

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In Adrian, we pass the Mid Point Café. Unbelievable that our journey is halfway completed. Unfortunately, the café is for sale because of illness in the family. The bakery however and the gift shop are still open.

Next stop is the Russell’s Truck and Travel Centre, just entering New Mexico. The vintage roadside general store is also a modern truck stop. The food is great but the free automobile museum is awesome. Mr. Russell is 79 years young, works 6 days a week and has never sold a car from his collection!

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Then, the fun started on this special stretch of Route 66. No signage, lots of unpaved and rough roads for the more adventurous, lots of dead ends sometimes a cow path following the Major Interstate and , of course the railway.

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Stopped at the Santa Rosa Route 66 Automobile Museum and met the owner Bozo. Roger and Jim went off to Bozo’s Garage to look for hub caps: Jim lost two so far. Bozo’s employee had just sold them and so we are still on the hunt for the hub caps.

Bozo’s wife in the meantime informed us that her husband suffered a brain aneurism 15 years ago and that it changed their lives. They decided they wanted to share their collection and enjoy all the people they knew would stop in. What a treat for us.

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Eventually, we drive to the singing road. Mel informed us that  Nat-Geo actually paid for the permanent rumble strips on Route 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras which play “America the Beautiful” when you drive over them at the 45 mile per hour speed limit. We did it, we heard it!

We finally arrive in Albuquerque. We see this Weirdo hippy standing on the corner of Central and Rio Grande flashing a sign saying: “I want to be standing on a corner in Winslow AZ!” (I.e. reference to the Eagles Take it Easy) Lo and behold, this strange hippy dude is our son, trying to surprise Roger for his birthday. Success! No one had a clue. As the hippy approached, everyone was flabbergasted when the long hair and beard came off. Awesome that he will be joining us on our journey to Williams AZ.

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Wonder why or how…

Wonder how we manage to get lost, no misplaced so often on Route 66. Here we are having to turn around…again!

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Wonder why…In OK, the signage is so unpredictable. You can drive for miles without seeing a sign for Route 66 and then come to a stretch of highway that has a sign every 500 ft.

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Then, in cities, you might see two Route 66 signs on the same corner…Is it the PRE 1932 option?, the PRE 1933 option?, The POST 1933 option?, the 1926-1957 option?, or the PRE 1958 option? All part of the challenge!

Wonder how many miles this biker will ride every day…He and his companions are biking all the way to California as you can see by the crests on his shirts’ sleeves.

Wonder how you can miss the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City. The exterior includes the most gigantic Route 66 shield ever made. The museum is a must see as it covers the Route in all 8 states and incorporates the Old Town Museum Complex.

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Wonder why Roger Miller, like so many other entertainers had to die so young (56).  His museum celebrates his achievements and shares his wit and wisdom. He was the first country artist to win a Tony Award for his music and lyrics for the musical <Big River> (Huckleberry Finn). How can we forget his songs, (remember our average age is 65 ha!) King of the Road, England Swings +++

Wonder why Harley would want to cover every wall of his shop (housed in the former City Meat Market Building) with signs and more signs. When we stop at a café, Roger goes back to take more pictures and gets invited in his house where, you guessed it…every inch of the walls is covered with a sign. Our visit with him is surely the highlight of our day. He even sings <Get your kicks on route 66> for us!

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Roger and Haley

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Wonder how the ladies will get their kicks on Route 66 tomorrow?

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We’ve got the keys!

 

Sense of adventure, a must while on Route 66

Today, we confirmed that a sense of adventure and a willingness to get lost both in the past and on Route 66 are more important than books and maps to navigate the Route.

We intended to stay on Route 66 through Tulsa to get to the Blue Dome Station, centre of the Blue Dome District. However, after many twists and turns, we gave up, entered the address in the GPS and took I-44 for the remainder of the way. Finally, we arrived at our destination! Now we can say we saw this historic station that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places even though it is only partially there and not exactly what we expected. The good side of the story is that:

– we took amazing pictures of the district, the old and the new, blending for a picturesque landscape.

-we found Dilly’s café beside the dome that had amazing oatmeal and cherry cookies.

-we survived!

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the old and the new

From Tulsa, we continued our way through Sapulpa, Bristow and Stroud. The good news is the Rock Café has reopened after a fire. In Davenport, Garwooly’s is now Jimmy’s Round-up Café. Great coffee, (unfortunately it was too early for lunch) and a warm welcome. As you see, Tammy did a great job at decorating the café.

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Lots2See in Chandler and Arcadia. The Round Barn in Arcadia has been completely renovated and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Down the road, a futuristic building appears on the opposite side of the road in the form of Pop’s which boasts 400 different varieties of… soda pop of course. Bob ordered the Arnold Palmer ice tea and lemonade. Others had plain old root beer. No one tried the bacon-flavored soda. But we did walk out with one root beer bread pudding to be shared later…The best though is that we met other Canadians doing Route 66. They are from just north of London, ON.

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Lastly, we drove through Canadian County on the Canadian River Bridge. Over a mile long, the 1932 structure was an engineering marvel.

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