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Old 03-10-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
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Old Route 66

Picking up our new coach at the factory around June and driving it home near San Diego. The factory is in Nappanee, Indiana. I figured that I would avoid the Chicago start/end point and hop on old 66 at Joillet, IL then head south.

Would you consider driving a 37 foot DP on the remaining portions of old Route 66? Are there any areas that I should simply just hop back onto the interstate. Are there any "must sees" along the way?

When I was 5 years old (around 1955) I sat in the back seat of my folks car while they took the same route to CA. Oddly enough, DW's family took the same trek around that time too. No seat belts, air conditioning or iPads back then. Just staring out the window trying to see the the Burma Shave signs before my sister spied them. Life was much simpler back then.

So, do I go nostalgic and hope for a glimpse of the Burma Shave signs, or am I just kidding myself?


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Old 03-10-2015, 10:21 AM   #2
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I live about 5 minutes away from a section of Route 66 in Towanda, IL - about 90 minutes south of Joliet - home to "Deadman's Curve." The road is drivable here, but I'd actually recommend jumping off and going around Bloomington on I-55 and picking it up on the south side simply from a convenience factor of not driving through town.

In Pontiac, IL there is a Route 66 museum that's worth the stop.

Check out Route 66 - From Chicago to LA - Historic Route 66 (great photos!!), the site lists what there is to see in each state, or The Mother Road: Historic Route 66 has maps for each state as well.

I would think you'll really have to watch the height\width\weight restrictions on some parts of the road as there may still be low tunnels or bridges along the route. Otherwise, as long as you're not in a hurry, just have fun.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #3
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I wish I had the memories you have, of the old Route 66. My memories are of a drive we took in the early nineties and about all we did was watch for the Historic Route 66 signs or maybe a glimpse of some of the ruins from the monster highway that caused it's demise.
I would be awesome if it were rebuilt to a close semblance of it's past, however, with our main roadway in it's current condition, I rather doubt it.
From what I've read and experienced it is quite broken up (a stretch here and there) over it's distance and some stretches are almost like a dirt road that have crumbled over the years. If you have satellite TV, there is an hour long program that runs occasionally about Route 66 that is very interesting. We have Directv and I believe it the History channel the runs it...worth a watch.
I know this doesn't help much, so I am waiting for those with personal and recent experience to see your thread and give their valuable input.
Rambling over.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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JMHO, the section of 66 through , Oatman AZ, ( Kingman to Topock ) should be avoided when traveling in a longer coach , particularly if towing.
Narrow winding road, with many sections with no shoulder.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
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JMHO, the section of 66 through , Oatman AZ, ( Kingman to Topock ) should be avoided when traveling in a longer coach , particularly if towing.
Narrow winding road, with many sections with no shoulder.

I'll second that: Don't take your RV to Oatman, AZ from the Kingman side. I'd think todays RV's are longer and wider than the trucks that used that portion of 66 in the "good old days".
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:52 PM   #6
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I'll second that: Don't take your RV to Oatman, AZ from the Kingman side. I'd think todays RV's are longer and wider than the trucks that used that portion of 66 in the "good old days".
But it's fun on a motorcycle!
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. This forum is awesome!!


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Old 03-10-2015, 05:11 PM   #8
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Seligman AZ is a must see. The Sno-Cap Drive in especially.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:32 PM   #9
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JMHO, the section of 66 through , Oatman AZ, ( Kingman to Topock ) should be avoided when traveling in a longer coach , particularly if towing.
Narrow winding road, with many sections with no shoulder.

True that. But it is a grand ride! Take the toad out for some fun.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:19 PM   #10
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After retiring last year my DW and I drove the historic Route 66 in our 43' MADP with a toad. In places our rig was wider than the lanes of the road and in others we discovered bridges with maximum weight rating of 8, 10 and 12 tons for our 16 ton rig.

The road surface is very rough in some areas and very confusing to follow where realignments left a legacy of multiple "Historic Route 66" routes which you had to choose from our double back to catch them all.

As others have said, the Oatman, AZ section is not suited to a big rig and signs designate a 40' length limit.

About 25 miles west of Springfield, MO you'll find Gary's Gay Parita, a must see nostalgi Sinclair service station. Just west of there you'll also find a small bridge with a 8 ton weight limit. A few miles down from there, on the other side of the interstate, you'll find another bridge with a 10 or 12 ton limit.

On the short Kasas portion coming into the east end of Galena you'll find a rail overpass with a 12 ton limit.

In Mississippi, near Hooker's Cut, you'll find another bridge with a 12 ton limit.

Another section to avoid with a big rig is the old downtown Santa Fe. The streets are just too narrow for you and the cars.

In order to catch some of these, including the start/finish in Chicago, we unhooked our toad and used it to ensure we didn't miss and of the key attractions. We also found it convenient to park near any of the large cities and use the toad to travel the downtown sections of the route then reconnect with the coach and take a more rig appropriate route to rejoin Route 66 on the other side of those cities.

Get yourself a good set of maps and have one person navigate while the other drives. We had both a book and foldout map version and both where confusing at times plus we found a few errors in their directions. Having our GPS available to keep tabs on our progress and watch for streets was an invaluable aid.

For us, Historic Route 66 took 6 weeks of leisurely travel and the poor road surfaces were tough on our rig but it was all worth it. I also know now that most people who said the rode or drove "Route 66" really did not. Most stick to the interstate and venture off occasionally to see the publicized site. This is very evident by the number of other cars and motorcycles you meet along the historic route.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:42 AM   #11
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Thanks again to all that have responded. To Campdaven, I love the pics. I can see why some (most) have indicated that the Oatman run is not recommended for a larger vehicle. DW's jeep is itching to make that run.

For Ron_H, your "local" information is awesome. Your journey along the historic 66 sounded authentic and fulfilling. On this, our maiden voyage, we unfortunately will not be true 66'ers as I had hoped. We will however do our best to sample the local culture, relive our past, and to hopefully find a set of Burma Shave signs!!!

-Jerry


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Old 03-11-2015, 09:25 AM   #12
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Actually, most of the original road became the "interstate". some became "frontage roads". Long stretches of original pavement are rare. That said, there are many "original attractions" that can be visited by getting off the interstate.. like "Devils Elbow, near Waynesville Missouri. or the original "Chain of Rocks" bridge in St. Louis, The drive through the Ozarks is awesome. The "rolling hills of Oklahoma", the
"deserts" of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, all are a pleasure to experience. You don't have to drive on the actual "66" pavement to enjoy the ride.... Just bring the camera and binoculars.. I can't wait until we do it again..
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:44 AM   #13
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If you take the old section of 66 through Seligman, AZ, through to Kingman you'll see a few of Burma Shave signs. This section of 66 is in good shape and won't add too much time to your route.





There are also a few east of the Seligman turnoff.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:46 PM   #14
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If you take the old section of 66 through Seligman, AZ, through to Kingman you'll see a few of Burma Shave signs. This section of 66 is in good shape and won't add too much time to your route.











There are also a few east of the Seligman turnoff.

Awesome!!!! Thanks.


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