Making the Most Out of a Cross-Country Move & Exploring Route 66

 Daily  Comments Off on Making the Most Out of a Cross-Country Move & Exploring Route 66
Feb 112013

Another guest article about another topic most folks think about on the route – but never talk about…

Over $132 million is spent every year along the historic route over the past year according to a recent study conducted by Rutgers University. While many didn’t grow up on Route 66, many of those travelers are vacationers in the midst of a road trip, a number of people make this trip when moving to a new city across the country. As anyone who has ever moved long distance knows, this can be overwhelming and stressful without proper planning. To help you enjoy your trip along Route 66 and not let the perils of moving get the best of you, organization experts at Real Simple advise making a moving binder.

What’s a Moving Binder?

A moving binder is a standard three-ring binder, customized to organize every detail of your relocation. From a calendar of important dates and times of appointments to contracts from the movers, auto transport company and utility companies. Over the next few weeks, this binder will become your new best friend; it will be the mobile headquarters for everything move-related. Supplies that you’ll need to put together a moving binder include:

  • Three-ring binder: At least the one-inch size or larger depending on the amount of paperwork you plan to include.
  • Dividers with tab labels: You’ll need about 10 to 15 dividers. Ideally, you want to have a separate section for each room in your house, as well as a sections for your trip itinerary, contracts and other important information.
  • Calendar: Print a blank calendar for the month of your road trip, as well as the month before to use as a schedule.
  • Loose-leaf paper: Add a few pages of paper to each section of the binder to jot down notes and staple any receipts for your records.

Essentials to Include

The main goal of making a moving binder is to have everything in one place, so there’s no limit to what you should include as long as it’s relevant to your move. Real Simple moving pros recommend a checklist to make an inventory of boxes, furniture and electronics for each room. If you’re moving for a new job, keep all receipts for expenses in the binder. According to the Nest, some moving expenses are tax write-offs, depending on the circumstances of the move. Also include your road-trip itinerary and everything pertaining to it, such as driving directions, hotel confirmation records and a list of any local attractions or restaurants you plan to visit.

Planning the Itinerary

When you and your family are spending hours in the car every day, it helps to have a clear plan of what you want to see and experience along Route 66. Making a detailed itinerary is essential. Allow at least a week to make the journey. Start by researching the attractions and making a list of everything you want to see based on the interests of each family member. Then map everything out using Google Maps or Mapquest and print directions to each destination. While you may plan to use a GPS device or an app on your mobile phone, have a hard copy in case of any technical difficulties such as a lost signal or dead battery. Keep the itinerary and directions, as well as any other trip details, in the moving binder for easy access.

Winter Road Trip Tips: Route 66 Rendezvous

 Daily  Comments Off on Winter Road Trip Tips: Route 66 Rendezvous
Dec 292012

Another in a series of ‘guest articles’ written by folks from all over the world. If you would like to contribute – please send me an Email at with your article and I just might post it!!

You’re a true road warrior. You don’t let little things like blizzards, freezing temperatures and slick highways keep you away from a cold-weather vacation. You also have a sense of the past and Americana, so taking historic Route 66 is on your itinerary.


What also should be on your itinerary— getting insurance. Since winter carries its own unique set of challenges, carrying insurance for your trip will give you coverage in case of trip cancellation, travel delays, lost luggage and medical emergencies. Travel Guard has its own winter storm page, as well as a place to compare travel insurance quotes.

Clothing in Layers

Once you’ve decided that winter hazards are worth the trip, make plans to enjoy the sites along Route 66, which runs from Chicago to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica (CA). Take a few tips from “Blue Coyote,” “Silly Squirrel” and “Cactus Killer,” travelers who chronicled their 2010 trip along Route 66 at the Dancing Weasel. They give plenty of trip tips, especially for those planning to go camping. (Examples: Dress in layers in mountainous areas, and bring sunscreen, no matter what season). Also provided is an interactive trip of the route. At one stop the travelers made along the way was Texola (OK), which they described as not quite a ghost town.

“We couldn’t help but get out and walk around, exploring what happens when a town is on the verge of extinction but still holding on,” their blog reported— they even heard a dog barking from a distance.

Road Conditions & Virtual Road Maps

It might be hard to get that type of experience while traveling on an interstate. RoadTrip America is a spoonful of information on a Route 66 trip. It includes a link to “Guy Randall’s Tour of the Mother Road,” for example, that includes 4,566 photographs, historical anecdotes and updated reports of road conditions. Open a state page to obtain a virtual road map, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to get a map of that state.

From that page, you’ll open a new page that explains attractions on that section of the route. Use the navigation links for “Route 66 West” and “Route 66 East” at the top of this page or click on the next town shown on the map. Repeat the process when you reach a new state line to continue the trek.

Weather Conditions

To keep track of local weather, click on the link for local forecasts, which will come in handy in the unpredictable winter months.

Sleeping Conditions

Eventually, you want to find places to sleep. For a truly unique motel experience, stay at a Wigwam Motel in Holbrook (AZ), or San Bernardino (CA). The California motel has a village-style arrangement of 19 tepees, each 30 feet high and made from wood framing, concrete and stucco. Individual wigwams are equipped with all the traveler’s essentials that Natives probably didn’t have, such as an outdoor barbecue grill. There also is a kidney-shaped swimming pool at the motel.

Extra Tips

The National Historic Route 66 Federation gives some advice on planning a trip. After all, Route 66 isn’t on ordinary maps and there are few road signs to view it. The website store offers a Route 66 kit allowing travelers to plan a trip in advance, which is crammed with motels, cafes and trading posts.

And with winter being the off-season for Route 66 travelers, you won’t have to deal with many large crowds either.

By Dee Paulson – Dee is a retired world history teacher, Dee travels the world and shares cultural and political viewpoints in her stories online. She visits Cairo and Italy every year.

Joplin City Hall windows again to reflect Christmases past

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Joplin City Hall windows again to reflect Christmases past
Nov 132012


— It starts with plain brown paper and cardboard. Then come the sketches and the brush strokes — thousands of them.

By the time they are finished, June Stokes and Dixie Boyd-Carter will have committed more than 100 hours each to a labor of love that they hope will recapture what it was like when storefront windows in downtown Joplin were decorated for the holidays.

As Boyd-Carter draws black outlines around the windows of a skyscraper, Stokes weighs in on her work.

“That’s looking pretty good, girl,’’ said Stokes to her friend of more than 20 years. “I draw them up, and she helps paint them.’’

This year, they are tackling an ambitious task — the recreating of Route 66 from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Calif. The artists have created 22 panels that depict images one might see along the Mother Road. Among them are many that local residents will recognize.

The Route 66 panels will be placed in the Main Street windows of City Hall, the historic Newman Building, at Sixth and Main streets. They will be unveiled at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.

“We used a Route 66 travel guide,” said Stokes, who is a gifted artist in that she can see an image and then recreate it by hand on paper. “I would see a little picture and think: That would be neat.’’

Boyd-Carter said, “This has been a lot of fun. It’s different than anything we have ever done. We like doing stuff like this together.’’

When the Newman Building was a department store, its window displays depicted the latest fashion trends with elaborate seasonal decorations, specialty items and a large assortment of toys.

To bring back the tradition, City Manager Mark Rohr and City Clerk Barbara Hogelin worked with the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2009 to implement the idea so the holiday magic of Joplin in the early 1900s could be relived.

Said Hogelin: “It creates a fun and festive atmosphere for the holidays. Many of our citizens may recall Newman’s windows being elaborately decorated for the holidays, but the younger generation may not have ever experienced anything like this. We are happy to share a little piece of history with them.’’

This year, as in past years, the Joplin Model Railroad Club will continue its tradition of providing a working model train for display. The 40-foot display will be presented in the windows facing Sixth Street.

Hogelin recruited Stokes and Boyd-Carter for the displays in 2009. The construction part of the project is being managed by Jeff Tennis and Rick Allen, maintenance mechanics for the city, who help assemble the various scenes for the display.

The Route 66 display will be used again this summer when Joplin plays host for the Route 66 Festival on Aug. 1-2.

After the unveiling of the Route 66 display, those attending can observe the Holiday Tree Lighting at 6:30 p.m. in Spiva Park at Fourth and Main streets. The event is put on by the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department staff.

By Wally Kennedy – The Joplin Globe

Plan Your Dream RV Vacation – on Route 66

 Daily, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Plan Your Dream RV Vacation – on Route 66
Oct 032012

A SECOND guest article submitted to Route 66 World… This article is something most of us think about while planning our trip on Route 66, but most never really look into. I like what I am reading in this article!

Are you ready to hit the road for your dream RV vacation traveling to all of the unique and interesting places Route 66 has to offer? Pack your bags, load the motor home, and prepare for the sightseeing adventure of a lifetime.

Owning an RV will help save loads of money on vacations and you don’t have to break the bank to own a vacation on wheels. Camper insurance is relatively inexpensive, you save money on lodging and restaurants each time you travel, and you get the convenience of having everything you need at your fingertips.

This is Not a Dream

You can honestly own the RV of your dreams for less than you think. If you are considering purchasing an RV for your dream vacation, but are not sure if you can afford it, just shop around for camping insurance quotes and see how little it will take to get you on the road. Understanding the basics of auto and camper insurance will make you confident that the policy you choose will take care of everything you need when you are traveling. If you want to see what rates can run you for an RV, check The Hartford for discounts that could save you a lot of money, which could be useful on your vacation.

If you aren’t in the market to buy your own RV just yet, you can still go on your dream RV vacation. You can get some great deals on renting a motor home for your road trip vacation. There are many companies that specialize in leasing RVs of all shapes and sizes. Simply choose the motor home that best suits your needs, select camper insurance to make sure you are covered for your trip, and you are ready to hit the highway!

Here are a few tips that can help you plan the perfect RV vacation:

Size Matters

Whether you are renting an RV or own one of your own, make sure you have enough room for your passengers. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a cramped and overcrowded RV.

Take Time to See the Sites

Don’t be in such a rush to get there. The journey is half of the fun, so try to drive at a leisurely pace and don’t exceed 400 miles per day. Also be sure to stop and see the sites and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to explore.

Be Flexible

Know that things will not go perfectly as planned, so be prepared to relax and go with the flow if unexpected things happen.

Soak in the Local Culture

Whether it is your destination, or a stop along the way, try to immerse yourself in the local culture of the area. Eat at locally owned restaurants, shop for goods from local artisans, and buy fresh local produce, meat, and area specialties.

No matter where you want to go, traveling on Route 66, or the mountains to the beaches of the U.S., there is absolutely no better way to see our beautiful country than behind the wheel of a motor home. Get out and explore, take your time to stop at all of the popular sites, and relax and enjoy the company of your traveling companions.

By – Nicholas Taylor
Nick likes to say he’s the luckiest guy in the world–he gets paid to drive new cars and write about them. When he’s not test driving the latest Porsche, Chevy or Audi, he’s down at the pool swimming laps.