Still kickin’: Route 66 shields, signs boost nostalgia in Arizona

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Still kickin’: Route 66 shields, signs boost nostalgia in Arizona
Aug 242014
 

angel-route-66






Yavapai County has helped its Route 66 communities of Seligman and Ash Fork celebrate their history with new Historic US 66 shield signs painted right onto the highway, with a healthy dose of new Burma-Shave signs on the side.

That should slightly lighten the workload of the mysterious man who travels Route 66 painting the shields onto the road under cover of darkness. Seligman native Clarissa Delgadillo says the legend is widespread across the Mother Road.

“A couple times a year, the shields appear,” Delgadillo said, and then the Arizona Department of Transportation gets rid of them because ADOT has Route 66 jurisdiction in Seligman and Ash Fork.

Her sister Mirna once spotted a man leaving a safety cone in front of her family’s Route 66 Gift Shop right before the shield reappeared, but didn’t get a good description of him.

ADOT officials are concerned that tourists will stand on the road on top of the shields for photos, spokesman Dustin Krugel explained.

But Yavapai County has jurisdiction on the rest of the mostly uninhabited Route 66 segments through this county, so county Public Works employees recently painted the large shields on each end of Seligman as well as Route 66 near the Interstate 40 Crookton Exit and Ash Fork.

route-66-shield
County Public Works employees also crafted four new sets of replica Burma-Shave signs with the blessing of the current owners of the defunct company, Yavapai County Supervisor Craig Brown said. Local citizens picked out their favorite sayings.

A brushless shaving cream company called Burma-Shave came up with the idea in 1925 to place catchy poems along America’s highways and get its name known. Route 66 was born the next year in 1926. Each of the series of typically red and white signs contains one line of a poem.

“Listen birds, these signs cost money, so roost awhile, but don’t get funny,” one of the new sets of signs reads outside Seligman.

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona has been working with ADOT, counties and municipalities to play up the Mother Road while also trying to make it safer, Mirna Delgadillo said.

“We definitely are trying to preserve and protect Seligman,” she added, praising the county’s help.

“Anything we can do to promote economic development, we’re going to do,” Brown said. By making the signs in-house they cost only about $1,000, he estimated. The county also rehabilitated other Burma Shave signs it originally made and placed on the highway as far back as 2002.

“They help bring nostalgia back for tourists,” librarian Charlotte Lindemuth said. “They’re so interested in the history of Route 66.”

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona members in Seligman, including the Delgadillo family led by association founder Angel Delgadillo, are concerned about visitors from around the world being able to stroll across the four-lane highway in town, which has no stop signs or lights.

They asked ADOT for two crosswalks and a lower speed limit of 25 instead of the current 35.

ADOT’s preliminary analysis concludes the crossings don’t meet its standard requirements because there isn’t a concentrated area where pedestrians try to cross the highway, Krugel said.

Traffic speeds also seem appropriate as traffic is generally in compliance with the 35 mph limit, Krugel and the regional traffic engineer said.

Clarissa and Mirna Delgadillo say they frequently sees vehicles speeding through town, however.

ADOT hopes to have a final analysis on the crossings and speed limits sometime this year, the regional traffic engineer said.

The Seligman Historical Society also has been trying to restore the 1912 Cottage Hotel that has been serving as a visitors center, Lindemuth said. Community members would like to create a museum there, too.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has awarded Seligman a grant to get asbestos and lead out of historic structure.

“Anything we can do to preserve old historic buildings, we’d better do or we’re going to lose them,” Brown said.

To support the efforts to restore the Cottage Hotel, go online to seligmanhistory.com.

By: Joanna Dodder – The Daily Courier

Arizona honours America’s fading main street – Route 66

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Arizona honours America’s fading main street – Route 66
Dec 032013
 

flagstaff-route-66









Angel Delgadillo’s hand vibrates on the stick shift of his ’55 Dodge pickup as he squints out the cracked windshield and gears down to a stop. “The old road came right along here,” he says, sweeping at an expanse of dust-blown asphalt and the juncture where Route 66 hives off from the I-40, which bypassed his small hometown of Seligman, Ariz., in 1978. He may be showing me a road, but what he’s really pointing out is history.

The Great Diagonal Way. The Mother Road. Main Street of America. Route 66, arguably the most fabled and important road in the United States, was commissioned in 1926 and became America’s main thoroughfare, linking Chicago to Los Angeles. Immortalized in song, film and fiction, the almost-4,000-kilometre road was known as the path of opportunity in the 1930s for dust-bowl farmers from Arkansas and Oklahoma fleeing sharecrop destitution in hope of a better life in California, and was a prominent military deployment route for resources and hitchhiking soldiers in the Second World War. By and large on flat terrain, it spawned a trucking industry determined to usurp the rail cargo that paralleled much of the road. Later, it mapped a 1950s travelogue postcard route for the family road-trip vacationers who were California-bound or headed west to see the Grand Canyon. Motels, diners, gas stations, banks and general stores lined the highway and thrived on the wayfarers stitching their way across rural America. That is, until the road was eclipsed by a series of interstate highways built in the late ’50s, a portent of the inevitable decommissioning of Route 66. The bypassing of the last leg in Williams, Ariz., in 1985 was the end of the road. And then it disappeared off the maps.

“We didn’t exist, we didn’t count, we didn’t matter,” recalls Delgadillo of the rejection of the old two-lane road for the newer highway, which abandoned Seligman and other towns like it in this northern stretch of Arizona. Inspired by the survival instinct of those “flight of America” migrants he witnessed travelling westward through Arizona as a child, Delgadillo, hailed as the “guardian angel of Route 66 and a tourist attraction in his own right, and his brother Juan drove the movement to resurrect the spirit of — if not the traffic on — Route 66 and bolster relic Arizona town economies so that folks could stay. Make a living. Matter.

Arizona was the first state to designate the “Historic Route 66” in 1987, reviving the longest stretch of the original route of the eight states it traversed, and invigorating towns for visitors who share Delgadillo’s passion for the old road and who recognize the importance of a history laden with hope and suffering, exuberance and adventure.

Several towns are essential pit stops on this north-central Arizona journey. Oatman is a dusty former mining outpost where wild burros — descendants of the ones from Oatman’s turn-of-the-century mining days — still patrol the streets amid stalls peddling souvenirs and sentimentality. Kingman is home to three museums documenting the cultural history of Route 66 in the state.

Nostalgia has a certain currency, but Northern Arizona isn’t fetched up on a memory lane.

Route 66 traverses part of the Mojave Desert, and there’s something about that chalky landscape that focuses the senses. Your eyes grab for any departure from scrub — something higher like Joshua trees or bright like the “damned yellow conglomerate,” the way I heard someone refer to the flowers that carpet the dry earth. But grape vines? Don and Jo Stetson latched onto an idea that the virgin high desert soil on their ranch near Kingman, along with the hot days and cool desert nights, might be perfect for a vineyard plunked down in a valley against a backdrop of mountains.

It’s too early to say how Stetson’s Winery’s 3-year-old cabernet, chardonnay, zinfandel and merlot grapes will fare when they’re ready for harvest a few years down the line, but until then, they’ve turned out some pretty great wines using cabernet, merlot and chardonnay grapes from California thanks to the skilled eye and palate of one of Arizona’s wine gurus, Eric Glomski.

Arizona has an innate and comfortable frontier swagger, and this, along with the desert climate, has attracted a bold breed of winemakers. Glomski’s own Page Springs Cellars is located in the Cottonwood region of the Verde Valley, home to a more established group of wineries. The rocky, mineral-rich soils and intense heat contribute to the terroir.

Page Springs Cellars’ success has as much to do with Glomski’s zeal to understand and interpret that terroir as it does with his penchant for traditional southern Rhone varietals like syrah and grenache, or his bent for experimentation with new varietals like aglianico, alicante and marselan. He lets the land speak and the fruit guide the wine, which means some grapes are destined for a blend such as Page Springs’ 2012 Ecips, a mingling of cournoise, syrah, mourvèdre and grenache.

Page Springs, along with wineries like Pillsbury, Javelina Leap, Oak Creek and Fire Mountain, has breathed new life into the valley, as well as the town of Cottonwood, an epicurean hub for the area. They know they’re on to something, and the excitement is palpable. Five tasting rooms line Cottonwood’s main drag, including wineries from southern Arizona that want some northern exposure. Locavore, farm to table, snout to tail all infuse cuisine in the valley, with wine as the stalwart complement. It even informs the desserts: check out Crema Cafe’s Dayden rosé sorbet for a cold treat in the desert sun.

Gourmands might continue on to Sedona for its fine dining and chic shops in the northern Verde Valley, but the red rock hills, buttes and mesas are the real attractions in this city. Surrounded by towering rust-coloured spires and monoliths, Sedona’s “vortexes” beckon folk to explore what the Hopi Indians have known for centuries: there’s a spiritual energy in these here hills.

So it was natural for reiki master and native Indian scholar Linda Summers to settle in Sedona. Attuned to the subtle shifts in energy that draw visitors from around the globe to experience these sandstone pools of power, Summers shares her spiritual skills and area knowledge on personalized guided vortex tours, which include a description of the particular history and energies associated with each vortex, meditation at the sites and reiki. Summers points out the swirling pattern in nature at these sites: coils in rocks and twists in trees. Cirrus clouds begin to eddy above us at Cathedral Rock. And then Summers points at the sun, where a halo has formed: I’m hooked. While some come to meditate, absorbing the subtle energy here, others take to the hills for hikes about Cathedral or Bell Rocks, Airport Mesa or any number of treks around these surreal, otherworldly formations.

Sedona’s red rocks succumb to lush forests of gambel oak, ponderosa pine and canyon maple in Oak Creek Valley, and the ascent to Flagstaff is a sight for green-starved eyes. There are plenty of national campgrounds in the valley for those in need of some forest therapy. The road snakes steeply toward Flagstaff. At 7,000 feet above sea level, this official dark-sky city is not hampered by the tang of Route 66 motel neon, a beautiful, tawdry escort in and out of town. Flagstaff is a mix of the new and very old — check out the downtown core and cocktail lounges at the historic Weatherford and Monte Vista hotels once frequented by Hollywood stars like John Wayne and Clark Gable. This university town has an easy hipness reflected in the great restaurants and craft breweries that have cropped up here. The Museum of Northern Arizona refines the area’s history, geology and aboriginal culture artfully under one roof, and is worth a trip before exploring the Petrified Forest or the Grand Canyon or any of the multitude of other natural wonders in proximity to this mountain town.

The Grand Canyon is, of course, the magnificent main draw in Arizona. But no adventurer on a great journey ever made a beeline to the end. There’s too much to see here along the way. Start by climbing a mountain: watch for the Santa Fe train rolling alongside the old Route 66. Then follow.

The writer flew courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism and was a guest of Hualapai River Runners and the wineries listed in the story. The organizations did not review or approve this article.

IF YOU GO

All major Canadian and American airlines fly from Canada’s major cities to Phoenix, but there aren’t always direct flights; you’ll probably have a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare. Car rentals are available at a terminus about five minutes away (via a regular shuttle) from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport.
Winter might be an obvious time for Canadians to visit Arizona, trading our cold for the dry, warm winter and perennial sunshine in the state, where many retire to golf and hike and sightsee. Braver souls who love a dry, hot heat will enjoy easier access to all of Arizona’s wonders at off-season discounts from around May to September.

By Lynn Farrell, For The Montreal Gazette

Day trip on the western half or Route 66 in Arizona…

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Day trip on the western half or Route 66 in Arizona…
Sep 032012
 


Friday – Juliana and I were able to ‘sneak away’ a little early and hit some of the places on the western half or Route 66 in Arizona








Seligman Sundries – Seligman AZ

Frank and I have ‘known’ each other via Eamil and FB, but I thought it was time I stopped in and said ‘hi’ and checked the place out. I was surprised by the size of it, I was also glad how freindly Frank & Lynne were. We got to talking about a whole bunch o’ stuff happening in the world today with an English couple driving the route as well as other ‘side trips’ along the way. About 45 minutes later – we were well on our way of being ‘late’ to our destination… I will keep Frank in my Rolodex as he is a man who is in the know – and we both found out we live in Scottsdale together (he and Lynne live down here in the winter)…

Click HERE for their website.



Frontier Motel & Restaurant – Truxton AZ

This was the reason for heading north. I wanted to get out here while it was still daylight nad take a look at the sign. You know, you never realize how big it is unless you are standing right in front of it. I will be honest – from earlier posts and pictures I have read/seen, I thought the sign was in better condition and needed a ‘touch up’. This would not be the case. I took a few pics and then was proceeded by being mauled by a big black dog (no, he just jumped on me). I followed him back into the office where I met Merline – Mildred’s daughter. I introduced myself and we started talking a bit. She mentioned she was working on getting the restaurant back up and running and it would take some time as her mother just passed. I asked her about the sign and asked if the neon worked – and she told me ‘I don’t know – the people who ran the restaurant were the last ones to light it.’ Then she mentioned the switch was in the restaurant – but we never made it that far. I gave her my card, she gave me hers and we departed from each other. The place needs work – a lot of it! It is a shame because it is really a stop most folks would probably like to stop, eat, and stay…..



Cruiser’s Cafe – Williams AZ

I made it a point to finally eat here. I wanted to see first hand what they did with the existing building. We decided to sit outside as there was a gent playing his guitar and keeping the crown entertained. One thing we did not expect was it was getting cool outside and we were not prepared for it (we are from Phoenix you know – where it was still 102 degrees out and in Williams, it was a balmy 75…) I had the pulled pork sandwich (messy but good) and she had the buffalo wings. After listening to the guy play and sing we decided to pay our bill and head down the road…

Click HERE for their website.

We ended up about a block or two down to stop and watch a ‘gun fight’ Williams has every night. It was fun to watch the tourist gather and appreciate all Williams has to offer…



Red Garter Inn – Williams AZ

We decided to stop in the Red Garter Inn as well seeing we keep going by it – and never stopped in. Juliana had a ‘sweet tooth’ going and they (ironically) sold chocolate chip cookies. So, while we waited on the cookie – we started looking around and then started talking to the girl behind the counter. She took about 25 minutes showing us around, showing us different pictures with the stories behind them and then she started talking about the (4) different rooms for rent and the stories behind them. They run for either $135 or $165 for a night – breakfast included with the price.

Click HERE for their website.




Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum – Williams AZ

We then walked over to Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum. I also wanted to finally check this place out because I heard so much about it. Little did I know – we would be there for over an hour! I met Neill (‘Pete’) and his buddy ‘Larry the Train Guy’ and we talked about everything Route 66. We found out we both knew many of the same folks and had a lot of the same stories. Neill talked about the gas station, buying it, restoring it, the visitors, the stories, and anything else that came up. Juliana spent most of her time talking to Larry – who we found out was one of the engineers on the Grand Canyon Railway, and Neill’s wife Ester came out and showed Juliana her flower bed.


We had to start heading out as it was getting late and we still had a 2 1/2 hour drive back to Scottsdale.

The whole purpose of this trip was to go and survey the Frontier Motel sign to see if it could possibly be my next project. BUT, it seems there are too many factors involved right now. The ‘new’ owner did not seem too excited about the idea (yes, I get the fact her mother died a month earlier…) the location is a little out of the way and the closest town(s) are Kingman and Seligman, and unlike the 66 Motel sign, I had everything I needed within 10 minutes from the sign. So it might have to wait a bit until I know what is happening with the motel and when I get a few more projects out of the way… Which there are two or three more I am looking at!!

Westside Lilo’s diner on Route 66 a labor a love

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Westside Lilo’s diner on Route 66 a labor a love
Aug 202012
 




The one thing about Seligman: it truly is a half day trip (at the least) to fully enjoy all which Seligman has to offer for Route 66 travelers.

SELIGMAN — The aromas of baking bread and sweet pies meander through the diner.

Through a wall of windows, diners can watch tourists gawk and gaze at the sights along the Mother Road, Route 66. Conversations by locals are of the weather and daily life. Conversations by tourists, often in languages other than English, speak to a mysterious excitement, the subject an enigma.

The matriarch of Route 66 Westside Lilo’s comes out of the kitchen. Lilo (pronounced Lee-Lo) Russell grabs a cup of coffee and takes a seat. She has been baking.

“It’s in my blood,” she says of her decision to be a diner owner.

Welcome to a day in her life.

MARRIED A SOLDIER

Her grandmother in Germany was a chef, and Russell came to Seligman for a visit in 1962 with her new husband Patrick. The had married in 1961 while Patrick was stationed in Germany during a hitch with the U.S. Army.

“We came by for me to meet (Patrick’s parents) and got stuck here,” she said, laughing.

That was 50 years ago. When the diner went up for sale 17 years ago, she bought it.

“And I’ve been in business ever since,” she says.

In the beginning of the business, she was focused on making it work and spent long days at the diner. She would come in at 5 a.m.

“But I’m too old for that, so I do all the things in the back of the house,” she says, adding that her daughter Brenda is the one who comes in at 5 a.m.

Now, she comes in early, bakes the pies, the cakes (especially the carrott cake) and the dinner rolls. She also works on the daily specials — particularly the German dishes like goulash, sauerbraten and schnitzel. She’s usually done by 3 or 4 p.m.

“If I’m lucky,” she says.

She adds that she enjoys the customers the most — not just the regulars, who keep the business going during the colder months, but the visitors who come for Route 66. Compliments about her food keep her going.

“That’s really what it’s all about,” Russell says. “Bottom line.”

FINDING GOOD STAFF KEY

In the winter months, 80 percent of her customers are locals. In the summer, the same percentage are tourists. The biggest challenge to keep a diner in a small town going is finding good staff and keeping the place warm and friendly for customers to feel comfortable.

Photos of her parents adorn a wall in the diner, and she admits that she still misses Germany. She says she tries to go back once a year.

Besides, Seligman and the restaurant are host to a German Fest in June, and she’s already making preparations for the 2013 festival.

Would she have done anything differently?

“I wouldn’t,” she says, definitively. She has a beautiful home, three children, seven grandchildren and even a great-grandchild. She volunteers for nonprofit health services and has a fulfilling life in the little town that refuses to die.

Will she stay?

“Oh, yeah,” she says, smiling. “After 50 years? I wouldn’t even consider moving. I enjoy going away, but I always want to come back. My life is here, really.”

If she would have been asked that question in 1964, the answer might have been different.

“But not now,” she says.

At 71, she’s not going to retire anytime soon.

“The best thing for me would be to keel over back there,” she says, pointing to the kitchen.

For more information about the restaurant, visit www.westsidelilos.com

LARRY HENDRICKS – azdailysun.com

History, written in Route 66 neon signs

 Arizona  Comments Off on History, written in Route 66 neon signs
Aug 172012
 


Illuminated, colorful signs for iconic businesses tell Route 66 story best

Editor’s note: Explore Arizona contributor Roger Naylor and photographer Larry Lindahl traveled the length of Historic Route 66 in Arizona to document it in their 2012 book, “Arizona Kicks on Route 66.” In seeking to excerpt the book, we might have settled on the small-town history, the people or the kitschy-cool vibe. But the bright neon photos leaped off the pages. Here’s an armchair tour.

One of my favorite parts of writing “Arizona Kicks on Route 66” was discovering the kaleidoscope blaze of neon that still slices through small-town twilight. From Holbrook to Kingman, from Winslow to Williams, neon-sign language is the lingo of Route 66.

Route 66 neon signs

Neon shimmers and glimmers, it reinvents the dusk and changes the direction of color. Neon is the nightlight of angels and drunkards. Keep your starry, starry skies; give me one twinkling with rainbow hues. If I ever enter politics, the first law I’ll champion will be a tax break for every business that erects a neon sign.

Neon — both old and new — is still in evidence along Arizona’s portion of Route 66. That wavy ribbon of two-lane pavement carves out the journey of a lifetime. Grand adventures mingled with intimate moments unfold, while conjuring images of simpler times. In places where diners are still run by sassy waitresses who call everybody “Hon,” and motel rooms are shaped like tepees, neon signs paint the night softly.

Here are photographer Larry Lindahl’s images of Route 66 neon.

Dairy Queen

This dollop of vintage neon blends in perfectly in Holbrook, where the skyline includes cafes, a historic courthouse, hulking dinosaurs guarding rock shops and motel rooms shaped like wigwams. Not to mention the only Route 66 movie theater left in Arizona. Now, who wants ice cream?

Joe and Aggie’s Café

Sitting at the booth under the “Open” sign at Joe and Aggie’s on a summer evening, it’s easy to lose track of the decades. Folks stroll past on the sidewalk, cars glide through downtown Holbrook, and it’s all bathed in a neon glow. You’re just a snap-brim fedora and a few swooping Chevy fins from 1957.

Museum Club

If the term roadhouse didn’t exist, it would be coined for the Museum Club, a Flagstaff icon. The giant log cabin once housed a taxidermist, then a museum, before becoming a legendary music venue. It’s said to be haunted by the former owners, both of whom died in the club.

Galaxy Diner

Photos and memorabilia line the walls of the Galaxy Diner in Flagstaff. The aroma of chopped-steak burgers wafts through the joint, and banana splits are piled high. Every weekend brings live bands, swing-dancing lessons and car-club meetings.

Western Hills Motel

Neon and Route 66 will be forever linked. Garish, gaudy signs like this beauty in Flagstaff cut through the cacophony of roadside advertising to snag passing motorists. The motel may be a little down at the heels, but is still in operation.

Sierra Vista Motel

The Sierra Vista is a remnant of another era. A cluster of hotels and boarding houses once huddled along a pre-1935 alignment of Route 66 just south of downtown Flagstaff. Now, businesses such as Mother Road Brewing Co. and Pizzicletta restaurant are springing up along this stretch.

Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe

Cruiser’s Cafe is the unofficial patio of Route 66, right on the Mother Road in downtown Williams. Ribs are almost always sizzling on the grill, and a guy with a guitar plays the soundtrack of a rambling youth. Traffic flows past, and it’s hard to resist ordering one more beer under those circumstances.

Rod’s Steak House

If you build it, they will come. If you build it and put a neon cow on the roof, they’ll stop for a meal. That bovine beacon has been luring hungry travelers to Rod’s Steak House in Williams since 1946.

Snow Cap

The Snow Cap in Seligman is beloved for its tasty grub and the wacky gags of the late Juan Delgadillo. Juan’s legacy lives on as his kids continue delivering his zingers along with juicy burgers. A visit to the Snow Cap is a reminder that life is delicious and should never be taken too seriously.

Supai Motel

Classic neon signs define the Seligman skyline, like the one at the Supai Motel. Pull into town at dusk with those lights beckoning and the seductive promise of New Color TVs, and it’s almost impossible not to stop for the night.

Historic Route 66 Motel

Route 66 pilgrims from all over the world visit Seligman because this is where the preservation movement began. They explore the small town with wide-eyed wonder during the day, then settle in at the Historic Route 66 Motel for the night.

Hill Top Motel

The sign lets you know you’re in for a classic Route 66 experience. The Hill Top in Kingman is an excellent example of the midcentury motor courts that are synonymous with the Mother Road. Enjoy a restful night on a high perch, away from the rumble of trains.

Route 66 facts

Arizona contains the longest unbroken stretch of Route 66 still in existence, 158 miles from west of Ash Fork to the California state line.

Arizona is the birthplace of Historic Route 66. Through the work of a handful of Seligman residents, Arizona became the first state to dedicate a stretch of U.S. 66 as Historic Route 66, thus beginning the preservation efforts that soon encompassed the entire road.

The only national park that Route 66 passes through is Petrified Forest National Park.

In 2009, Historic Route 66 in Arizona was designated an All-American Road under the Federal Highways National Scenic Byways Program. Only 31 roads in the nation have that distinction, and it is the only portion of Route 66 to hold it.

Details: www.arizonakicks66.com, Facebook.com/Route66Arizona, @Rt66Arizona on Twitter.

by Roger Naylor –  The Republic

 

Miles of Meals along Historic Route 66

 Daily  Comments Off on Miles of Meals along Historic Route 66
Feb 262011
 



Are you hungry for savory burgers seared on the grill, or freshly-scrambled eggs slathered in sweet tangy ketchup? The roadside diners of Historic Route 66 are just the place to satisfy your cravings.

If you are in the Land of Lincoln, come to the city where this byway begins its iconic westward trek — Chicago! Located right at the eastern start of the byway, Lou Mitchell’s Diner is an 85-year-old veteran of the highway .Their generous breakfast is surely a Chicago staple. Or drive the byway southwest past Bloomington, Illinois and try the Palm’s Grill Cafe in Atlanta, Illinois. You can’t miss the giant “Hot Dog Man” across the street. Originally opened in 1934, this café still bears a neon sign that diners once flipped on to signal approaching Greyhound buses that prospective passengers were eating inside. Before you leave, take a minute to imagine a Greyhound bus screeching to a stop, ready to take you on a journey across the country on one of our nation’s oldest highways.

Heading through northeastern Oklahoma? Stop at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger, a local favorite in the town of Miami. The last remaining restaurant from an old Midwestern fast-food chain, Ku-Ku Burger is familiar to Route 66 enthusiasts for its hand-made burgers and its giant yellow fiberglass cuckoo bird, a Route 66 landmark. Soak up the ‘60s vibe and don’t forget to snap a picture of one of America’s oldest novelty restaurants.

Stop in New Mexico for a taste of Mexico at Joseph’s Bar and Grill, a Route 66 veteran that has been serving homemade Mexican food for over 50 years. Originally founded as La Fiesta by Jose Campos in 1956, the restaurant is now run by his son, and keeps locals and travelers alike coming back for the locally grown chiles, delicious enchiladas, and Southwestern atmosphere. This family-owned restaurant is a great place to spice up your Historic Route 66 tour. Joseph’s Bar and Grill is located at 1775 Historic Route 66 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

In Arizona, start off with a hot plate of Splatter Platter or Swirl of Squirrel at the Route 66 Roadkill Café, located in the town of Seligman, Arizona. Known for their burgers and their whimsical slogan (“You kill it and we grill it”), this fun-filled and family-friendly restaurant will keep you laughing. (Just to be clear, they don’t actually serve roadkill. Or squirrel.) After you eat, keep your eye on the ball with a game of pool before heading out for further adventures on the All-American Road segment of Historic Route 66.

2010 Route 66 Cost-Share Grants Announced

 Daily, Help Route 66  Comments Off on 2010 Route 66 Cost-Share Grants Announced
Jan 172011
 

FROM A PLAN to relight a towering theater sign and restore a nearby rare neon and opal design in Highland Park, California, to a project to repair and upgrade an iconic motel in Cuba, Missouri, the National Park Service, Route 66
Corridor Preservation Program
announces its 2010 annual cost-share grant awards. As in previous years, the number of cost-share grant requests exceeded available funding. The five new projects receiving grants are described in brief below. A full description of current and previous awards is available at www.cr.nps.gov/rt66.

The Historic Seligman Sundries, Seligman, Arizona
A cost-share grant will help pay for a new asphalt shingle roof, replicating how the building appeared during its Route 66 heyday.

Relighting the Historic Signs of Figueroa Street, Highland Park, California
This project will relight the Highland Theatre sign and restore to operating condition the former Manning’s Coffee Store sign down the street.

Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon, Missouri
A cost-share grant will assist the restoration of the Munger Moss’s landmark neon sign and a smaller “office” sign.

Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba, Missouri
This project will purchase a HVAC system, install new storm windows, and repair rotted eaves and porch members.

Bristow Firestone Station, Bristow, Oklahoma
A cost-share grant will assist the full restoration and renovation of a former Firestone filling station for new use as a body
repair shop.

FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS of the first 50, the National Park Service’s Heritage Education Service added 50 more properties to the Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary for Route 66. The new entries include Meramec River Bridge, Red Cedar Inn, Palms Grill Café, Old Trails Bridge and others. The itinerary was produced by the NPS in partnership with the American Express and World Monuments Fund Sustainable Tourism Initiative and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. Take your trip down Route 66 here: http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/route66/.

Aztec Motel and Gift Shop – Seligman, AZ

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Aztec Motel and Gift Shop – Seligman, AZ
Dec 272010
 

Seeing I was by myself for Christmas this year (insert violins here!) I decided to get off the couch and hit the road on the 25th and 26th of Dec.
I drove to Needles CA and headed east! (wrong way!).

I made it to Seligman AZ about 6pm and decided to stop (I try not to drive Route 66 at night because I actually might miss something in the dark!!). I pulled up to the Aztec Motel and rang the doorbell. A charming lady named Marie answered the door and I asked if there were any rooms available (I knew there were!) and she said ‘yes’. Now – I had to be a smart guy and ask if they had Wi-Fi! She said ‘no – sorry’ with a look of heart-break in her eyes! I asked if there were any other hotels/motels in town that did. She pointed and said ‘maybe so and so does’. Then to add insult to injury, I asked if there was a place to eat. She said ‘It’s Christmas honey – everything is closed’.

So, here I was, without Wi-Fi and food an she chimes in ‘but I can make you a turkey sandwich…’
DEAL!!
She sealed the deal and next thing you know – I am giving her my card to reserve a room.

The rooms at the newly renovated Aztec Motel were nice. I had no complains at all! The bed was comfortable and the bedspread reminded me of what my grandmother would have gave me to sleep with – so it made it just that much better!
She knocked on my door and had a tray filled with toasted turkey sanwiches, potato chips, a cookie, and some chocolate. I was in heaven! (She also told me not to mention that she made me a sandwich because EVERYONE will want her to make them a sandwich!! So ignore what you just read!).

The bathrooms were clean and each room has its own satellite receiver. It was quiet and I slept well!

Outside on the walls were several murals that were nicely done!
Around the outer area there were tables and chairs and I can imagine all the travelers sitting outside in the summertime conversing about where they have been, what they have seen, and where they are going to.

So next time you are in Seligman, stop in and say ‘hi’ to Marie, stay if you can ($45 was a deal in my opinion) or buy a little Route 66 gift from the gift store.

Aztec Motel & Gift Shop
Dwight & Marie Forquer (Owners)
312 E. Historical Route 66
Seligman, AZ 86337
928.422.3055

Side note – Marie said she is getting up there in age and her husband has cancer, so he stays home most days while she runs the shop. SO – she said she would be willing to SELL the motel. Her asking price is $225,000. For more information – give her a call!