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MEMORY LANE - NEXT EXIT

Welcome to Route 66 Adventures where the neon still glows bright along Route 66, shiny new Studebaker cars roll from the factory in South Bend, the Edsel is the talk of the town, and tail fins represent the latest in automotive styling.
We at Route 66 Adventures work hard to ensure your stroll down Memory Lane is a pleasant, enjoyable, and memorable one. In addition to regular posts by award winning author Jim Hinckley, there are numerous links to sites, including classic roadside locations, that will help in your endeavor to plan the ultimate trip along the Main Street of America and other legendary highways. In addition there are also a number of links to sites that provide technical information, as well as support, to keep your vintage car on the road.
We have also added a wide array of information about Kingman, Arizona, the self proclaimed "Heart of Historic Route 66", that is updated daily.
Before you leave meet the proprietor and learn about forthcoming projects by this author. Please take a moment to give your impressions, thoughts, and suggestions as to how we may make your visit more enjoyable.


Thank you - the Route 66 Adventure team

©2013 Jim Hinckley (includes the Route 66 Adventures logo, Jim Hinckley's America, and the logo used in conjunction with Jim Hinckley's America.









Thursday, October 23, 2014

ROAD TRIP, THE FALL 2014 EDITION

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The trusty Jeep in Elk City during the fall 2014 road trip.
Being somewhat technologically impaired (a fancy way of saying that I just don't seem to get it) hindered regular postings during our road trip, the fall 2014 edition. These problems were compounded by very long days on the road that resulted in some pretty late arrivals at motels, some early starts that found us enjoying the sunrise as it unfolded over the highway, and the simple fact that some of our evenings were consumed with the need to restock supplies, lively conversations, incredible dinners with friends, good music, and in general, good times.
As there was a need for speed on day one, we followed I-40 to Holbrook for lunch at Joe & Aggies with David Heward, a local with very long roots in the community that is becoming a leader in the rebirth of the historic city. Then it was back on the road with an eye on Santa Rosa and a dinner at Joseph's with Dean Kennedy, a friend with a shared passion for Route 66 and the people that make it special.
An oasis in Guymon, Oklahoma
The following day was another long one with the final destination being El Dorado, Kansas a few miles to the east of Wichita. Magnifying the long hours was the vast emptiness of the Panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma, and western Kansas.
The saving grace during the first half of the day was the discovery of a wonderful little restaurant in Guymon, Oklahoma. Our second stop later that afternoon merely fueled a very long running joke that is now well into its third decade.
From our very first road trip as husband and wife, when an attraction failed to meet expectations, or was deemed a bit hokey, I would quip that it was the World's Largest Hand Dug Well. Well, on this trip my plans was to introduce my dearest friend to this one of a kind road side attraction that is the claim to fame in Greensburg, Kansas. 
On my last visit the well was surround by a beautiful park and covered by a gazebo type roof. Now, the park is still there but the well is encased in a shrine, a shrine that I might add, closed ten minutes before our arrival. The joke continues.
The third day marked the start of a more relaxed pace for our adventure. After a wonderful and hearty breakfast, we explored a beautiful park that embraces an intriguing county and oil field museum. 
The next stop was Fort Scott, the historic community as well as the fort itself. This will most definitely be added to our very long list of must see places. 
The historic district is truly an architectural treasure. It is also amply peppered with wonderful shops (including a book store!) and restaurants. 
The fort itself is scenic as well as historic. Walking the grounds, and exploring the buildings with exhibits that captures the essence of military life on the frontier, there is an almost palpable sense of history. 
The morning view from our room at the Water's Edge
Motel in Gravois Mills, Missouri.
In El Dorado Springs, Missouri, we discovered an unexpected time capsule in the form of a small cafĂ© where everyone smoked. The waitress, the cook, the cashier and most everyone except for the kid coloring his menu and enjoying his grilled cheese sandwich seemed to have a cigarette hanging from their mouth. 
To be honest I had almost forgotten what it was like when restaurants were often as smoky as a skid row pool room. I seem to have also forgotten that there was a time when I contributed to the foul atmosphere. 
As it has been a tough year for us, and as this was our first major road trip in 2014, I had a surprise for my wife in the guise of a beautiful lake cradled by mountains bedecked in fall colors. The bonus was to be our haven for the evening, the Water's Edge Motel, a wonderful gem that hearkens to a time before the Lake of the Ozarks was almost entirely ringed by condos and resorts. 
As this motel is accessed by a relatively short but extraordinarily scenic drive from Route 66, I wholeheartedly suggest travelers consider adding it to the travel itinerary.
Water's Edge Motel, Gravois Mills, Missouri.
Enhancing our visit was an excellent dinner and wonderful conversation shared with Bob Swengrosh, and Robin, friends as well as the proprietors of this wonderful motel and ardent Route 66 enthusiasts. Our only regret was that the pressing schedule prevented staying for a second, or third, or fourth day.
It was a late start day. The stunning sunrise, a hearty breakfast, as well as coffee and conversation shared with our hosts, kept us from hitting the road until almost 10:00.
We meandered south and picked up Route 66 just east of Lebanon, and then motored through the Devil's Elbow on our way to Cuba. And that is where will pick up the story with our next posting.         
 
 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MORE NOTES FROM THE ROAD

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Shortly after arriving in Cuba, in the process of checking oil, tires, and the overall condition of the Jeep after a run of almost 1,800 miles in three days I discovered a slight oil leak at the left front axle. After a fruitless effort to find a repair facility I decided that the options were limited to two; drive it carefully while keeping an eye on the differential oil level or towing it home.
To make an informed decision it seemed a good idea to contact Penske Truck Leasing and find out what the cost for a truck and trailer would be. With that one phone call the options narrowed to one, drive.
Incredibly, a visitor to Cuba Fest from Arizona offered to tow the Jeep back for us. The generosity of the Route 66 community never ceases to amaze me.
However, as we did not want to ask the good Samaritan to adjust their schedule by a day, and as I thought that we could avoid problems by taking it easy, we bid adios to our benefactor and set out for Route 66 State Park on Sunday morning.
After the presentation and the signing of a dozen or so books, my dearest friend and I head west with plans to end the day at Lebanon and the Munger Moss Motel. Keeping the speed down prevented a serious loss of oil but it added a few hours to the trip.
After a wonderful visit with Bob and Ramona, the proprietors of the time capsule that is the Munger Moss, we met Mike and Sharon Ward, and a couple met in the motel lobby, for dinner at Dowds, an excellent restaurant.
The planned schedule was adjusted to compensate for the slower speeds, and we set out the following morning for Galena, Kansas. After meeting with Renee Charles of the Kansas Route 66 Association, we had lunch (an excellent buffalo burger) at Waylan's KuKu Burger in Miami, Oklahoma.
Then with our eyes on Weatherford, and with diminished speeds in mind, we alternated between Route 66 and the turnpike. We missed Laurel Kane at Afton Station, spent an hour at the astounding JM Davis museum, missed Jerry McClanahan, and after a nice dinner at Lucille's Roadhouse, hit the motel near 10:00.
As we were to meet with Pat Smith at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, we didn't hit the road until just after 8:00. After talking with Pat, and signing books, we moved on to the National Route 66 Museum and signed books there.
Pie and coffee at Watering Hole #2 in Texola was followed with a stop at the U Drop Inn in Shamrock for a meeting with Larry Clounts of the Texas Route 66 Association. Unfortunately a family situation resulted in him having to leave town and the postponement of our meeting.
The next stop was a meeting with "Texas Ivey" and lunch at the historic Golden Light restaurant in Amarillo. By now it was near three, and we were dealing with another issue in the guise of a chirping AC compressor and a hint of metal shavings at the compressor head.
There was little we could do but drive west, at a reduced speed. As a result, we missed the planned dinner with Mike and Sharon Ward in Albuquerque.
Still, there was a silver lining in the form of stunning storm that enhanced our photo shoot in Montoya. Wait until you see this!
Now, it is time to unwind at the Monterrey Non Smokers Motel in Albuquerque with a cold bottle of beer. In the morning we will say a prayer, top off the differential, have breakfast with Mike and Sharon, and prepare for a long day on the road.    
    
 
  

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