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Yes, route 66 is on my todo list, but have been thinking of combining it with turning left at Santa Monica and heading South. I have a number of maps and books about the trip, but I am still uncertain about buying/shipping a bike, when you have enough posts to PM, get in touch, where are you and what 'plan' (time frame)do you have apart from next summer?
I did route 66 about 7 years back, or at least about 75% of what purports to be it, as in reality only a few very very short stretches of the single lane road still exist as a back road between farms a couple of farms. Aside from some unbelivablely tatty tourist tat you have to put up with 2.5km, sorry, USA, 1.5ml long freight trains rumbling past your tent/motel door all night long tooting their health and safety offence volume horns/whistles at every unmanned X-ing, of which there are a lot and if you try to move away from that source of noise you get high speed mega trucks on the interstate keeping you awake. A far better and more historic route is the Lincoln Highway (Rt30?) which was the first trans-continent road in N.America, it also runs from Chicago (ish) to Sacramento. Apart from being a lot quieter it passes through a lot nicer scenery and you really do get a look at small town America where more importantly, the and accommodation is generally cheaper. Whichever way you go, the USA is a good place to visit and their National Parks are a must see. Ride safe
I have to agree about Route 66; I grew up within a mile of it, but at this point it is almost all gone. You can check out a few remaining stretches here and there, but to plan a trip around it doesn't make much sense to me.
I'm not familiar with Route 30, but it sounds similar to Route 50, which runs from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California. I rode it all the way from Ocean City to Dodge City, Kansas before having to divert south from Colorado to avoid a snowstorm (in March). I really enjoyed the road, through lots of small towns, not much traffic on most of the stretches.
The Interstate Highways have replaced the majority of Old Route 66, but some cities and towns still honor Old Route 66 and some of the way stations are still in operation. Check out various country music venues in Flagstaff, Arizona, for example... I own a ranch on Old Route 66 about 5 miles from Winona, Arizona.
I am currently living in Spain (my woman is Spanish) or I would offer a good meal and a good nights rest for anyone riding through Flagstaff. My ranch has it all, guest cabins , private dance floor, bar etc. (country living) It is now rented.
I will be happy to help plan the southwestern section of Old Route 66 for anyone who contacts me.
I agree that visiting National Parks and Monuments, even if you alter the original Route 66, makes the ride much more interesting.
You guys and gals just need to meet a Cowgirl or Cowboy somewhere en route to show you around. After many years of traveling the world , I decided to buy my ranch in the mountains of Northern Arizona, a great place to live.
Check with local chambers of commerce for Route 66 events and historic sites.
There's a good site here on Route 66 info The Mother Road: Historic Route 66
and a forum here Historic Route 66 Forum • Index page
There does seem to have been a revival over the last few years and a determination to make it a tourist attraction with much of the old road being documented.
There was a recent series on UK TV with Billy Connolly riding it on a trike. There was an earlier series with Henry Stone available on DVD.
Some friends of mine have just done the trip. Their blog is here 2ride66
We are planning to include at least some of it in our trip in 2013.
I'm concious of avoiding the Great Plains in mid summer and not leaving it too late in the year to cross the Rockies.
I rode from Flagstaff into CA on it this year via Seligman, etc. Which made me want to ride the whole thing. I know it's very piece meal and likely slower going but a friend from Canada and I were talking about riding it next year. Keep me posted and have fun with it!
I hadn't heard of the Lincoln Highway until I caught the tail end of a PBS program on it last week WQED Multimedia: TV :: Sebak ::: Lincoln Highway . The website has some good information and lots of short videos on different sections. Lincoln Highway: Maps and Information by State has a series of small, downloadable maps from the 'teens and early twenties that one can use to plot the existing bits on current maps. It's on my short list next time I need to get across the continent. Much more historic in that it predates 66 by several decades.
I have to say this is the one road I have always wanted to travel. Why ? Not sure maybe it's the romance and I am in the midst of a mid life crisis ! I understand there are better roads in the US but I am well up for this one
I'll warn everyone one more time--there is very little left to Route 66, I really wouldn't plan a trip around it, you will probably be disappointed.
I had not heard of the Lincoln Highway before, but looked at the wiki page...sounds interesting, but it sounds like it is a bunch of differerent highways at this point, so would be a pain to follow.
If you really want to follow one road across the US, look at Route 50, which remains Route 50 all the way from Maryland to Sacramento (used to go to San Francisco until it got repaved/renamed). Here is a link: U.S. Route 50 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But IMHO really the best way to travel around the US is just to weave around on different roads, depending on where you want to go. The US has a lot of beautiful/interesting places, and a lot of beautiful roads, so I'm not sure if you should get fixated on one.
I don't think so, I have travelled small sections in AZ and California and loved it, plenty to see, granted there are many fine roads in the US but 'everyone' knows of 66.
The point is that those "small sections" that you rode are almost all that is left that is (slightly) interesting. I grew up about a mile from Route 66 in St Louis, and when I was a kid there were still some "Route 66" type motels and other attractions along the road (drive-ins, ice-cream stands, etc.). Over the years almost all of that stuff was torn down are replaced by strip malls, etc. While I'm sure you might find a couple of (not very interesting) buildings or maybe even a small stretch of remaining road scattered here and there, to drive across the country on that road just to say you "rode Route 66" doesn't sound very appealling to me. If you want to ride Route 66, go to those small sections in Arizona and get it over with.
But I give up, if people want to ride a road because "everyone knows it" rather than because it is interesting, by all means proceed...
We rode sections of Route 66 in Arizona last year on our way up to New York. Each to their own and all that, but it was pretty boring after a while. We got a few kicks (wahey!) riding alongside mile long trains, seeing a few signs, the odd curiosities and the odd nostalgic gas station. But much of it is boring, repetive and feels insiincere.
I suggest that anyone that goes to the effot and expense of arranging a trip out to America just to ride that road should have a back up plan or two just in case.
The trans american trail seems like a much more interesting ride.
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