‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ – Route 66 Style – 3.0!

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Dec 012012

Well, it’s that time of year again!

I am counting down the ’12 Days of Christmas’ Route 66 Style for the third year now – and I need your help!

I have about 4 or 5 ideas of content I have slated for my ideas, but if you know some one, some thing, or some event which you would like to get listed (heck, even yourself!) – I might take it into consideration and post it on one of the ‘days’! Make sure you include a picture or two. Also include a web address to your Route 66 related site.

It could be about your business, your participation in preservation / events / growth to the route, or a person of interest.

I ask if you were listed last year – leave a little space for some ‘newbies’ who would like a little ‘blurb’ – and the rest, as we say, is history!

There has been so much good (and bad) going on with the route this past year I know we will have more than enough.

I am asking all ideas be sent to me by Monday, December 10th! at my email – info@route66world.com

I really do look forward to these lists – and at the same time – I can’t believe a year has flown by already!

Ed Klein
Route 66 World

‘On the Eleventh day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 222011

The ‘shock’on the Mother Road…

This even came without a warning – and changed the way we felt about the Mother Road after it left it…

The tornado which hit Joplin back in June was a surprise to all.
Now, one would ask me – ‘WHAT does this have to do with a Christmas List?!?’ The thing is: Even though the tornado did not directly hit the route itself, it beat the hell out of a major Route 66 town. And what followed was what one would expect: So many different people coming together and not only get through the storm, but help cleaning up and rebuilding.

The following is the story I posted back in June when we were making our trip from Chicago to Scottsdale, and we took a few stops along the way to stop in on the route – Joplin was actually one town we would not miss – no matter what:

We woke up to a nice sunny day and started over to Joplin. Unless you visited it – you can not understand the devistation these folks have faced… The damage was just south of Route 66 in Joplin, but you can see damage for miles with signs blown out, shingles tore off, limbs blown around…

We decided the best way we could help out Joplin was fill up a cart and donate the food to the food drive they were having… how can you not after seeing all of the destruction…

Seeing this is the season for giving – I have heard of so many folks doing what they can to help Joplin. Richard Talley (Motel Safari fame) lead up a drive to raise money for Joplin’s victims – as well as SO MANY OTHER FOLKS who took donations (at the International Festival in Amarillo), those who dontaed directly to different charities, and those who posted information on their own websites…

The very best thing anyone can do for Joplin is simply shop there, sleep there, get gas there, spend your money there. At the smaller, local places. The ‘mom and pop’ places pay more into the community than national chains. So think about that when you stop in for 10 minutes or the day.
We made sure we bought a shopping cart full of canned goods for charity from a small local grocery store. We bought gas from a local gas station, and even ate at a local restaurant when we passed through. It goes a long way.

So, in my eyes, it does make sense to put this on the list for 2011 – because even though it was bad, it could have been much worse. The tornado could have simply went north a mile or so and went east right down Route 66 – and then not only would we have had the same amount of damage and loss of lives – we truly would have forever lost a part of our past, and the future of Route 66 in Joplin.

‘On the Tenth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 212011

The ‘saviours’of the Mother Road…

You truly cannot be part of Route 66 unless you are part of one of these. They are the backbone of keeping the route alive!

The many different associations of Route 66 make sure the route is not only preserved, they make sure ‘travelers’ are informed, updated, and even entertained.

The list below shows all of the state associations and their website links and Facebook links (if they have one):

Route 66 Association of Illinois
To me, they are the ‘leaders’ on how things should be done on, and for, the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Missouri
The folks in Missouri are also on top of their game with preservation and information on the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Kansas
Kansas has made a strong running in 2011 with the route – and I feel 2012 will be even better!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Oklahoma
Oklahoma has done a good job in 2011 working on the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Texas
I don’t know about this one – so if you think I have the wrong guys (the page was updated 2002!) let me know!
Click HERE for their website.

Route 66 Association of New Mexico
Brand new website full of information and ‘what’s happenings’ on the route in New Mexico!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Arizona
My ‘new home state’ – and sadly – they will have to get up to date on their website and preservation efforts…
Click HERE for their website.

Route 66 Association of California
Although recenlty updated, another association which needs to get caught up with the times.
Click HERE for their website.

While some associations do better than others – it is also because of the fact the ones which seem to do better (nice active website, Facebook page, activities for travelers) actually DO MORE for the route – in my opinion.

But this is the thing: If we do not support the individual states, then the resources start disappearing, which means the route starts suffering. And with such a tidal wave of interest in the route, the numerous blogs, posts, stories, pictures and most importantly, the travelers – we need to do what we can, not matter WHERE you are, you can help!

I, myself, am a member of 5 of the 8 – and a business member at that! I have to pay a little more but it is worth it. I joined an association every month or two to keep my renewal costs spread out (hint!)

Pick one, any one, whether you live in the state the route runs through, or live in a state which the route DOES NOT run through, or even in a different country – you can help…

What a great Christmas gift a membership would be!!

‘On the Ninth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 192011

Some ‘new friends’ I have discovered on Route 66…

Crusin’ on the Mother Road – and crusin’ the web – I came across a guy (and his photographer) who share the passion and the love for Route 66!

Thankfully, in my (new) home state of Arizona, I happen to stumble across a man who not only is a writer for various publications, but he has a passion for Route 66. And starting next year – we might be able to start some restoration projects which are sorely needed in Arizona. While he admitted to me he did not know much about preservation / restoration – I feel he has something which is desperately needed: the want and drive to do something!

Writer Roger Naylor and photographer Larry Lindahl – the ‘Arizona Dynamic Duo’ as I like to call them – have been all over the state of Arizona writing stories of places to visit, the unusual, and the history of not only Arizona, but Route 66. Roger is a freelance writer, and his work appears regularly in “Arizona Highways,” “Arizona Republic,” “Las Vegas Review-Journal,” “Sedona Magazine,” and “Nevada Magazine.” He is a senior writer for “The Bob and Tom Show.” a nationally syndicated radio program.

They are releasing a new book in 2012 – Arizona Kicks on Route – with the description: “Arizona is home to the longest intact portion of Route 66, stretching 158 miles from west of Ash Fork to the Califronia border. In words and pictures, Naylor and Lindahl explore the history and nostalgia surrounding the “Mother Road,” and the great swaths of Arizona that it passes through. They describe a wealth of spectacular and easy side trips that surround the highway. Arizona, the birthplace of Route 66, is where you can still “get your kicks.”

I have yet to meet Roger – but that day is coming up VERY soon!

You can visit him on his Facebook page by clicking HERE.
You can get his book (when it comes out) from Amazon by clicking HERE – or do a search via my website on the Amazon tab on the right.

‘On the Eighth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 192011

The ‘party’ of the year for Route 66

If you are gonna throw a party, might as well make it a big one! And if you decide to throw it in Texas, you better make it an international party! It doesn’t get any bigger than that!

The 2011 International Route 66 Festival was held on June 9th through 12th in Amarillo Texas. And by all accounts – it was a HUGE success!

The different days had different events – from banquets, to concerts, to car shows, to food, to food, to food (wait, did I say food?!?!) to award ceremonies, to booths, to just plain old fashion fun.

Now, we are going to do a little something different on this day of Christmas. Not only am I going to show the ‘old’ – but I will include the ‘new’.

For the old – click HERE to visit the 2011 website to see all that happened on the weekend of the festival.
For the new – click HERE to get information on the 2012 International Festival in Victorville CA.

We have already planned on spending a few days at the event – so look me up and say ‘hey’ when you see me!

‘On the Seventh day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 182011

The ‘source’ of Route 66

If there is ANY place to go to get ANY information on Route 66 – it’s this place! The number one website for Route 66 news, information, and stories.

Route 66 News is the brainchild of Ron Warnick who started the website back in 2006. I would find it far fetched to think of ANYONE reading this not to know of him or his website.

Route 66 News is a daily blog / post of pretty much anything (and everything) Route 66. Ron searches out stories, videos, other blogs, properties for sale, and anything news worthy or interesting for anyone who loves or who just might be curious – of Route 66.

I can honestly say – he is a huge driving force for the route. I would have to rank him easily in the Top 10 of those who are the ‘Who’s Who’ of Route 66.

Now, as you are reading this – you may be asking yourself: ‘WHY would this guy Ed Klein of Route 66 World post anything on Ron Warnick of Route 66 News?!?!’ The answer is a simple one – we are not competitors, and we BOTH have a deep, driven passion for the route – and ironically – we have the same vision for it: To make it enjoyable for everyone, while preserving it and keeping it alive for generations. Now, I can’t speak for Ron – but I think he would agree.

Also, out two website probably overlap 20-30% of the same information – where I am trying to post once a day (key word is trying folks!) where as Ron will post a thousand times a day – as long as the news is, well, newsworthy.

I have yet to meet Ron, but that day will be coming in the near future. We have no planned events we have talked about to meet at – but with he and I so involved in the route – the numbers add up in our favor.

IF (and man I mean IF!!) you have not been to his website, you can click HERE. You can also check him out on Facebook by clicking HERE.

‘On the Sixth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 172011

The ‘birth’ of Route 66 TV…

Route 66 in 2011 has seen it’s share of folks either doing TV shows, documentaries, photo shoots, or simple videos of the route (which I am kinda guilty of myself!)

Our traveling wonder – Jim Conkle – has raised the bar just ever so slightly with his Route 66 TV shows. Each show is around 8 minutes – or so – long, and cover things which are happening on the route.

Jim tends to either shoot from ‘his favorite booth at his favorite restaurant’, or he and his crew will take it to the streets to cover events on Route 66.

As technology advances and multi-media takes center stage – Route 66 TV is staying on top of the list by being informative as well as just plain fun! As the season is winding down, I know Jim will be getting ready for the 2012 travel season – and who knows, he and I might be collaborating on a few things for the show… I guess you will have to wait and see!

You can visit him on his YouTube Page by clicking HERE – or LIKE him on his Facebook page by clicking HERE.

‘On the Fifth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 162011

The ‘birthday’ of the historic Wagon Wheel Motel…

It’s one thing for a motel to celebrate a birthday – but it is another thing to go under remodeling, welcome more guests, AND have been continuously open since 1936!

Anyone who knows anything on the route knows: When you are in Missouri – you must stay at the Wagon Wheel Motel! This truly is a gem along the route and the one thing I love about this place… they are ‘networking’ with other motels along the route to make sure you have the best possible stay where ever you lay your head down for the night while driving Route 66!

Below is the article I posted about the 75th Anniversary of the Wagon Wheel Motel:

With rooms rented to Route 66ers for the1930’s price of $3.50 a night and 30’s food prices, the Historic Landmark Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on August 20-21 in style. As the oldest motel on Route 66, the Wagon Wheel Café building, gas station, and motel earned its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Connie Echols, who bought the old motel in 2009, finished a “hands-on” restoration this spring by redoing all the rooms, adding two decks, and a bike shelter/pavilion. Each room has an authentic feel of a Route 66 motel but with updates of WiFi and flat screen TVs.

Now Echols is ready to celebrate the history of the Wagon Wheel with an Open House and Celebration with a 1930s Bonnie and Clyde theme. Car Clubs have been invited to bring cars of the era to the two-day event that begins with lunch on Saturday, August 20. Vintage dress is encouraged if you would like to get with the spirit of the event.

During the two-day Open House Celebration there will be room tours, games, food, music, book signings by Route 66 enthusiast Joe Sonderman and Wagon Wheel historian Riva Echols, and an explanation of the Route 66 GPS program by its creator River Pilot. Employees of the Wagon Wheel and families associated with the Wagon Wheel are invited to meet and reminisce on Sunday afternoon. There may be a few other surprises in store for attendees.

“It’s been a long journey getting the Wagon Wheel Motel and Connie’s Shoppe to this point,” stated Echols. “Now it’s time to share the results with friends, family, and the Route 66 community. I’m anxious to show off all the progress that we have made and to have a good time.”

Events & Times:
Saturday: 1-3 pm Room Tours
Saturday: 2-6 pm Wine tasting
Saturday: All day Croquet /Horseshoes
Saturday evening: Chipping contest
Saturday: 8pm Band

River Pilot, the creator of the Route 66 GPS program is available all weekend to explain his GPS system

Sunday: 11:00 am Joe Sonderman, Route 66 author book signing
Sunday: 1-3 pm Room Tours
Sunday: 1:00 pm Riva Echols: The Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 History book signing

Riva will also host a social gathering for employees, families connected to the Wagon Wheel history, and anyone else who might be interested in Wagon Wheel history

Sunday: 2-4 pm Wine tasting
Sunday: 2:00 pm Croquet Tournament

Visit the Wagon Wheel Motel’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday or Sunday. Bring your cameras to record another historic event at this Historic Landmark on Route 66.

You can visit their website by clicking HERE, or join them on Facebook by clicking HERE.

‘On the Fourth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 142011

The ‘addition’ to the Route 66 Association of Illinois Museum…

This one was a huge story this year. Everyone knows the man, everyone knows his legend, and now everyone can see what made Bob Waldmire ‘tick’ with a collection of his personal belongings.

Since the addition of the different pieces, tourism numbers have been through the roof! The museum always did well – but this just made things, well, a little better! They are always good about posting (on their Facebook page) numbers of travelers coming into the museum and where they are from. I applaud the museum on their effoerts!

Below is the original stoy I posted about the addition of the Waldmire pieces:

Pontiac IL will dedicate its Red Carpet Corridor Festival to the memory of a Route 66 icon, the late Bob Waldmire.

The festival, Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, will include the painting of a mural designed by Waldmire, tours of the Waldmire school bus mobile home, a fine arts show and sale on the Livingston County Courthouse Square and a display of some of the classic cars that will be included in the new Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum and Resource Center.

Waldmire was born near Springfield in 1945 and died in December 2009. His passion for Route 66 began in 1962 when his parents took the entire family on a motoring trip to California via Route 66.

He later spent the rest of his life traveling along Route 66 in either his school bus mobile home or 1972 Volkswagen van. Both the van and the school bus are on display in Pontiac at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Pontiac. During the Red Carpet Festival, the Waldmire school bus home will be opened to the public for the first time.

Waldmire supported his nomadic and eclectic lifestyle by painting and drawing for clients along Route 66, the “Mother Road.” His artwork is famous worldwide and Pontiac has one of his Route 66 road maps painted inside the Route 66 Museum.

During this year’s festival, Waldmire’s last commissioned mural project will be painted. He was asked to design and paint a mural for downtown Pontiac, but his illness prevented him from completing that task. Instead, he designed the mural and the public will be invited to come downtown during the festival to help paint the 66-foot map of the entirety of Route 66. The Diaz family, owners of Diaz Sign Art, will oversee the project.

In keeping with the festival’s theme of art and the Mother Road, the Livingston County Courthouse Square will be the scene of an art show and sale. Artists from around the Midwest, including some Walldogs, will display and sell original art.

For more information, contact Ellie Alexander, director of Pontiac Tourism, at 815-844-5847.

Make sure not only to visit them on their website by clicking HERE and following them on their Facebook page by clicking HERE – but PLEASE show your support by becoming a member and help supporting the associations work in preserving and promoting the route throughout the state of Illinois!

‘On the Third day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

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Dec 142011

The Globetrotter Lodge in Holbrook AZ…

This is a place that (for me) has come out of the woodwork in the last year!

The ‘Austrian Family’ (as they are known!) purchased this motel not too long ago, and have worked on it ever since! I was in Holbrook a few months ago touring the town and saw them outside working on the grounds sprucing it up! Not to mention, they have a HUGE painted Route 66 shield which I believe all guest can sign with a magic marker – something you do not see very often!

Holbrook is really known for the Wigwam Motel – and literally a few block down the road is the Globetrotter Lodge. The work that had gone into the rooms at the Globetrotter are amazing! I am happy to see they are really trying to bring this place back to a standard not seen in Holbrook, and their rankings on Trip Advisor show whatever they are doing – it is working!

Holbrook is going to go through some big changes over the next few years. The discovery of ‘Pot Ash’ will bring all kinds of industry and factories to the area, BUT this means ‘out with the old, and in with the new…’ and I was told serveral historic Route 66 restaurants, motels, and gas stations are in the path of the bulldozer. This will change the town dynamics considerably, but as long as we have places like the Globetrotter Lodge – welcoming not only Route 66 travelers, but getting ready for future vistors – we know the town of Holbrook will be OK…

Visit them on their website by clicking HERE, or join them on Facebook by clicking HERE.

I mentioned before my work will take me to Joseph City AZ over the next year – and while I am up there – I will make sure I stay at the Globetrotter as many times as I can – and of course, I will let you know how it goes!