Nov 122012
 




This is our third guest article on Route 66. This one focuses on the ‘winter’ of, or ON, Route 66!

Traveling down the historic Route 66 is a unique way to get your family together during the Christmas holiday. Gather the troops from across the country and reconnect on the old historic “Mother Road” that, at one time, was best passageway from the Midwest to the West.


Drive through the streets of a fabulous world of kitschy Americana, follow each other in a caravan of cars or pile in an RV (try to avoid motorcycles during winter — it can get cold!). Each little town you pass has a legend attached to it. You may find yourself touring an old school house, visiting a nostalgic ice cream shop and looking over your shoulder in one of the many ghost towns along the tour. With the wind in your hair and not a worry in the world, this will be the best Christmas EVER!

Step into a history rich with roadside attractions, neon signs, rusty gas stations, 50s diners and vintage motels. It’s all part of the experience, part of the adventure. What do you need to know and where do you go?

Driving Tips

  • Be sure you have appropriate car insurance (with roadside assistance) so you are 100 percent protected and carefree on your journey.
  • Don’t advertise you are away from home. When in a city with inhabitants, keep your maps out of plain sight when stopped and use the truck stops if in need of rest — they are generally the safest place to rest your eyes.

Great Idea No. 1

Before you go on this fabulous family vacation, make a playlist of Christmas songs and old country driving tunes (Willy Nelson would be a great choice). Burn it to a few disks and bam! Christmas gifts, done! You’ll be singing all the way from Amarillo to Tucumcari. Pair that with the EZ66 Guide for sale at Route 66 World Bookstore and Roadfood and you’ll be on your way to worry free holidays.

Great Idea No. 2

Roadfood. It’s a must-get book. Ever wanted to eat at little off the beaten path at classic regional restaurants but don’t know how to find them? This book was written by a couple who went on a country-wide trip, finding and rating the best unknowns. While the directions are good, a navigational device is extremely helpful.

Fun Places to Stop

Christmastime along the Route 66 is vibrant with life and lights. It’s quirkiness illuminates with decorations aglow.

  • Chain of Rocks Bridge — Constructed in 1929, the bridge crosses the Mississippi from Alton, Ill. to St. Louis, Mo. and has a 30-degree turn midway across a mile-long bridge, according to nps.gov. Today, it has trails for walking and biking — fun for the whole family.
  • The Blue Whale — Sitting in Catoosa, Okla. is an 80-foot long smiling blue whale that Hugh Davis built for his whale-collecting wife, Zelta, as a gift. The attraction dates back to the 1970s.
  • Sandhills Curiosity Shop — Located in Erick, Okla., this wacky shop is full of music memorabilia. But it’s not just a shop, it’s an experience. Sit for awhile and have a chat with the owners, Harley and Annabelle Russell.
  • Restored Phillips 66 Gas Station – Between Clinton and Amarillo, Texas, this is where gas is 19 cents a gallon. That was all the way back in 1927, according to ridingroute66.us.
  • Cadillac Ranch — Amarillo, Texas has a mythical land covered with 10 historic Cadillacs, noses stuck in the earth as they erect from the land. You are free to graffiti your presence on the pieces of art, says legendsofamerica.com. They are open to the public to decorate.
  • Tucumcari, New Mexico – A pleasant reminder of the good old days. With historic motels like the Blue Swallow and Motel Safari, you can sleep under the pretty neon signs which light up the route through town.
  • Winslow, Ariz. — Simply, so you can stand on the corner in Winslow, Ariz. and live in the Eagles song, “Take it Easy.”
  • The Grand Canyon Railway’s Christmas Polar Express — In Williams, Ariz., a charming little town sits along the Route 66. During Christmas, the railway turns into a magical Christmas train to the North Pole.
  • Santa Monica Pier — Route 66 ends with an amusement park, an old carousel and the lovely California coast.

Lastly, be sure to take special care of our Route 66. Help preserve historic landmarks along the 2,400 -mile stretch. What can you do? Clean up after yourself and others, drive slow and enjoy the sites and get into the nostalgia by helping the local businesses survive.

Article by Olivia Lewin

Aug 162012
 


Ron Edwards of the Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK has announced a clean up day at the whale! It is open to all volunteers and it is always a good time – and folks love helping out the whale!! And there is a ‘Blue Tie Event’ as well as a party for the Blue Whale’s Birthday. MANY things going on at the whale!

From Ron Edwards:

Fins,

I have some news to share with you for some upcoming events!

On August 25th at 10 am, we will be doing a Blue Whale Clean Up Day! We welcome any able bodied Fin that is willing to volunteer for a day of clean up to prepare for the 2nd Annual Blue Tie Affair and my 40th Birthday Bash! Please bring a pair of work gloves, boots and any lawn and garden tools you can use to help us out!

On September 6th from 5 to 9pm will be the 2nd Annual Blue Tie Affair! For a donation of $50 per ticket, you will enjoy a steak dinner prepared by Molly’s Landing, live music and a few wineries will be there too! This year only 124 tickets are available and tickets have been on sale for a little over a week. If you would like to attend you can pay and pick up tickets at the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce at 650 South Cherokee, Catoosa, OK. Or you can email me and I will send you a PayPal Invoice that you can pay online. We will then send your tickets to you or you can request Will Call and pick them up the night of the event.

On September 7th, from 6 to 9pm, we will be Celebrating my 40th Birthday Bash with music by DJ Connections, Free Birthday Cake and Ice Cream while it lasts. Please drop by and celebrate with me and my other Fins and then get your groove on too!!

I look forward to seeing you all.

Love, Peace and Chicken grease!!

Blue Whale
P.O. Box 66
Catoosa, OK 74015
bluewhalek2croute66@gmail.com
Www.BlueWhaleRoute66.com

Feb 182012
 



CATOOSA, Oklahoma — A popular Route 66 roadside attraction has been the target of vandalism.

Vandals wrote what is believed to be their names on the cultural icon, which was built in 1972, and Catoosa police are investigating. Police are not releasing photos of the graffiti because they feel it will hinder the investigation.

It is unknown when the act occurred, but a member of the Catoosa Arts and Tourism Society/Fins of the Blue Whale took to Twitter Saturday afternoon to address the situation.

“I’m kinda sad….some vandals have defaced my new paint job. I don’t know why people feel the need to do that, I’m just so disappointed.”

The group later released a statement to News On 6.

“Although the vandalism done to me was not with paint, vulgar or costly, the bigger issue is the act of vandalism, not the content or application. Mistreatment to any property other than your own is disrespectful. I’m simply disappointed that this type of behavior is measured. It is not levels on a scale of 1 to 10, it is all bad form. I forgive the vandals, I just wish there was nothing to forgive them for,” the statement said.

The organization also said the recent vandalism isn’t a new thing. After Christmas, it had to remove the donation box because of frequent break-ins and damage.

“People have always written inside my snot pocket …We never say anything about it,” a spokesperson for the arts and tourism society said. “This is overt.”

The attraction was repainted just months ago

In September 2011, the whale received facelift due to a donation of time, money and man-power, courtesy of The Bill Haynes Company of Tulsa.

-Brandi Ball, NewsOn6.com

Jan 052011
 

CATOOSA, Okla. (AP) – The city of Catoosa is hoping to learn soon whether it will receive a $600,000 grant that would help in the restoration of the Blue Whale.

The whale is an icon along the former U.S. Highway 66 and the city wants to buy it, expand the parking lot around it, install decorative signage and build a trail from a nearby grocery store.

The city turned in its final application for the Transportation Enhancement Grant on Thursday. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation accepted the city’s initial grant application this past fall.

Mayor Rita Lamkin tells the Claremore Progress that the time is right for Catoosa to start the Blue Whale preservation project, which she says would cost about $720,000.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Sep 232010
 

The Blue Whale in Catoosa OK is an iconic stop on Route 66 - it is actually one of the most famous as well as most photographed sites on the entire route!!

I am glad the owners and the community has come together to preserve this landmark for everyone to enjoy!

Click the link below to watch the video:
The Blue Whale in Catoosa