Jack's Oddball Trip Down Route 66

Think of this as the 21st Century answer to the dreaded Kodak Carousel Slide Projector. You can leave the room at any time and nobody'll know.


The song's been around for almost as long as the road (Four Freshmen, Nat King Cole, and many others). I had some vacation time coming, so I decided to take a long road trip: pick up old Route 66 in St. Louie, on to Joplin, Missouri; Oklahoma City was might pretty: I saw Amarillo: Gallup, New Mexico: Flagstaff, Arizona; I forgot Winona; Kingman; Barstow; then hung a right up through Death Valley, CA; then Salt Lake City to Rapid CIty, SD, to visit a few dead Persidents at Mt. Rushmore, then back home to Roch. In the middle was a few days' visit with my brother's family in Phoenix. I came up with this itinerary back when gas was $4/gal. in 2008. When I did the trip in May, 2009, I never paid more than $2.39! Did I luck out, or what?


Click on any photo to enlarge, then use your BACK button to return. You are under no obligation to look at all or any of them. The trip was a combination of kooky roadside attractions and awesome geology. If you're curious about what's out there on Rte. 66, have at 'em.


Scroll down to go thru the entire trip, or choose a state as your starting point.





New Mexico




Marion, OH

I happened upon this a few years ago, but didn't have a camera with me. Beautiful enough to be in Washington, D.C. Problem is it's the Warren G. Harding Memorial, so...there it is in Marion. (Route 66 is still a day away.)

Cuba, MO

Ignoring the fact that Route 66 starts at Chicago, I picked up 66 at St. Louis, skipped ahead on I-40 and pulled off at Cuba, MO. Famous Bar-B-Que joint "Missouri Hickory" seems to be adding an authentic new old addition to the place.


Cuba calls itself "Route 66 Mural City". Apparently those kids with spray paint just went crazy there one night.




Not a mural - it's a restored Phillips gas station. Seems kinda gaudy.


Another mural: WWII theme.


They're all over!








Murals everywhere!









Somewhere in Missouri

Eventually, Cuba runs out of murals, and buildings.


Some places, Route 66 is replaced by the Interstate. Here you have four strips of asphalt: I-40 runs between 66 on the right and another access road way on the far left.


I-40 went on its own way. This is 66 somewhere in Missouri.


Or was it Kansas?


Maybe Okalahoma?

Miami, OK

South of Miami (pronounced Mi-am-uh), Oklahoma, is this strip dating back to 1922. All of nine feet wide! Curbs, yet! Good thing there's no other traffic.


Wait a minute....


Up ahead.


On 66 this is considered TRAFFIC.

Afton, OK

Afton Station/Route 66 Packards - a former DX gas station rehabilitated to house a collection of Route 66 postcards and 12 antique Packards




Not ready for the showroom just yet.


Unfortunately, I arrived a few minutes after their 3PM closing time, so this is the best shot I could get of this rare Studebaker-Packard.

Vinita, OK

Seems everybody in town knows what goes on here. Been in the same family since 1927.


A nearby antique store. Also handy and informative help for the lost and confused.

Foyil, OK

I had to stop at the Top Hat Restaurant because of the antique Coke machine on the front porch. I didn't realize drive-up windows existed back in the good ol' days.


I asked the proprietess when the establishment was built. She told me "back in '89". Wow, 1889! "No," she said, "1989".


Also in Foyil, OK, the world largest (and ugliest) totem pole. Are they supposed to be cone shaped?


Near the totem pole was someone's idea of a good thing to do to a tree.


Just as well the gift shop was closed.

Arcadia, OK

After passing through Tulsa on I-44, still parallel with Route 66, it's Arcadia, OK, home of the restored 1898 Round Barn.


This being tornado country, you'd think the design would've caught on.


Just a ways down the road is this 60-ft. bottle in front of "Pop's", selling 400 kinds of soft drinks.

Erick, OK

Via I-40, on to the west side of Oklahoma (yeah, yeah, Oklahoma City was mighty pretty...whatever). State route 30 is officially Sheb Wooley St. in his hometown.

Erick, OK

Business Loop 40 is officially Roger Miller Blvd. in his hometown. Miller and Wooley were cousins, you know.


At the intersecion of Sheb Wooley St. and Roger Miller Blvd. is the Roger Miller Museum. What you'd expect. His gold records, photos from his difficult childhood, etc.


And this photograph of Roger Miller way back when. Recognize the guy shown to the right of R.M.?

Time for a little suspense. The answer to this brainteaser will be revealed once we're out of Oklahoma.

Somewhere, OK



That's 66 on the right. Glad I took the Interstate here.

OK/TX border

Okay, there's Texas, up ahead. The middle of the three guitar players is....Willie Nelson! Maybe he was auditioning for a gig with the Kingston Trio, or The Lettermen, or something.

Britton, TX

There are/were three towns that built their water towers like this, supposedly just to get the Rte. 66 tourists to stop and ask, and spend money. This is the only one I could find. Definitely worth the effort.

Groom, TX

At 190 feet tall, this is supposed to be the "Largest Cross in the Western Hemishphere". Probably hides a bunch of cellphone antennas.

Conway, TX

You've heard of "Cadillac Ranch" - those old Caddy's buried nosefirst in the ground?? Well, this is the "Bug Ranch", a cheap copy of the original.



Amarillo, TX

Here's the real thing - "Cadillac Ranch".






Contrary to almost everything ever written, Cadillac Ranch was NEVER on Route 66. It's current inCARnation is on a frontage road off of I-40.


The artwork is occasionally repainted for special events, but the graffiti artists keep coming back.


Had I known, I would've brought a few cans with me.


Apparently it's not well enforced.


It was getting late in the day, but I decided to get back on the Interstate anyway.

New Mexico

The scenery seems to be changing.



Leaving New Mexico


I'm somewhat surprised to find that I took no other pictures in NM. This has to do with the fact that every town I saw was depressing. Empty shells of former homes, businesses, etc. Possibly a KOA campground, but that's it. Tucumcari was particularly depressing. Maybe I just didn't follow the guidebook right. Crossing the Continental Divide was an experience, but not a lot of places to pull off and take pictures.

On to Arizona - lots of kooky stuff, but first scenery you have to see to believe.

Painted Desert - Petrified Forest Nat'l. Park

Photographs cannot do justice. Painted Desert is the geologist's "Shock and Awe".










Obviously, this place could never sustain life. Unless you notice the drawings on the rocks below.




On the way to the Petrified Forest





Petrified Forest

Trees that got turned into stone over the course of gazillions of years. Poachers in the early 20th century nearly picked the place clean before federal law stopped the practice. Park Service is very protective of what's left. But souveneirs are available from nearby landowners outside the Park.




They might look like tree stumps, but they're rocks now.

Holbrook, AZ

Time to end the day's travels in nearby Holbrook, at the famous Wigwam Motel.


Even in May, business is flourishing.


Ahh, the peaceful comfort of a private wigwam! Surprisingly, my 20-year old Peugeot seems to be the newest vehicle there.


All the amenities one expects of a 1950s wigwam.


Holbrook seemed to be a fairly prosperous town, even to having it's own dino store.

Winslow, AZ

Well, I was standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona....


It's a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to....



(It was worth the trip, just for that.) Dja notice the upstairs windows?

Ashfork, AZ

Where else but on Route 66?











Seligman, AZ

As I was taking this shot, I noticed there was someone sleeping in the passenger seat! Wonder if he knows he's got a flat? Or maybe that's why he's taking a nap.


Another Edsel!!











Hackberry, AZ

General Store, with parking for your rusted out Chevrolet.











Approaching Death Valley, CA

Straight ahead.


Are we below sea level yet?


279.8 feet below sea level. One of the lowest elevations in the western hemisphere. Dont' believe me? Just turn around and find where sea level is.


Do you see the sign?














Oh look - vegetation!










Elevation: nope!

Furnace Creek

An oasis in the - ya can't even call this "wilderness"! Restaurants, gift shop, and, of course, an 18-hole golf course.


The Bottle House - walls made of....


And the miniature Bottle Village!




The Furnace Creek train station. People actually lived here a hundred years ago.




Leaving D.V. on the way to Beatty, Nevada. "What happens in Beatty, leaves as soon as it can."



Guess I can turn off the projector now. Whoever hasn't left already is probably snoozing.