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Old 01-11-2016, 09:02 PM   #1
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Route 66

Thinking of taking Route 66 from AZ to Chicago this summer. I have never been on it before and hope to hear of your experiences on the route.

I will be in a big class A, and have already heard stories about very narrow sections, treacherous turns. True? Exaggerated?

Second question: anybody travel it with kids? I have a 7yo boy and a 17yo girl, will they be bored out of their minds?

Lastly, I read that much of the route is now freeway, or multi-lane, and its harder to spot the good points of interest.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:33 PM   #2
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Hey There.. Route 66 is a great road trip. We did it in 2014 from Chicago to Santa Monica in our 28' Class C. Much has been replaced with highway, but you can still find a lot of the original road.

We did not travel with kids so I can't help you there, but if you figure out where you want to go ahead of time and use a GPS you should not miss much.

I would suggest you do more research on where you want to stop. I am not sure how big your Class A is. We did have a few times where we ended up at a dead end on a small two lane road and have to to a 80 point turn to turn around. We intended to take as much as the old road as possible and got kind of use to turning around or driving through the smaller towns. There are also some rough roads that can take you through the desert.

Oatman AZ is a great stop and I bet the kids would love it. Burros own the town. You may want to come from the west on that one then turn around and make a detour. If you continue through town and head east on 66 it is VERY treacherous. Narrow roads with hairpin turns.

I could go on and on. Check out out blog with all our Route 66 posts and the video of our ride into Oatman.

Along the Way with J & J: Route 66
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:44 PM   #3
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There are many Route 66 posts on this forum. I was an OP on one of them. The responses were quite enlightening. I don't know how to find my original thread, so I can't direct you to it.

It is terrific that you are including your children on this historic route. Stop frequently, share the history with your children. Enjoy the journey. Share your experiences with the rest of us on this forum.
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Old 01-12-2016, 03:53 AM   #4
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X2 on going passed Oatman.. Very narrow very tight switchbacks. There are signs. We were in a rental car and it was a beautiful ride but would never try it in a large class C much less a large class A. You will get a taste of it getting to town from the west. Be sure to hang around for the gun fight!
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:55 PM   #5
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There's very little of the route left. Yes, I think the kids would be bored until you get to Oatman and the mules.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:20 PM   #6
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There are many Route 66 posts on this forum. I was an OP on one of them. The responses were quite enlightening. I don't know how to find my original thread, so I can't direct you to it.

It is terrific that you are including your children on this historic route. Stop frequently, share the history with your children. Enjoy the journey. Share your experiences with the rest of us on this forum.
Old Route 66
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:48 PM   #7
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A few years ago I saw a very good video on the net. I think it was made by a route 66 association. It had a lot of the old landmarks. I think you could make a game of looking for and identifying those places and things. Search the Internet for route 66 and hopefully you'll find the video.
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:38 PM   #8
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Here is our attempt to travel 66. We ended up on 20 miles of dirt road with no place to turn around. Eventually reconnected to highway. The cows really looked at us strangeClick image for larger version

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Old 01-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #9
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Thank you DonDee.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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One of our favorite drives is 66 between Kingman and Seligman, AZ. It is a paved, well maintained route through beautiful juniper and red rock country. Camping and a cave tour at Grand Canyon Caverns (private) is available. This original 66 route connects with I-40 at both ends. We always take this easy drive.
One caution- Watch your speed, especially on the reservation. Radar is often used in and near Peach Springs.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:28 PM   #11
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Albuquerque's Route 66 (Central Avenue)

No doubt someone else will bring this up but don't even think about taking Interstate 40 through Albuquerque. Coming in from the West, you'll be heading down Ten Mile Hill and will see the Central Avenue/Route 66 exit. Nothing wrong with IH40 (it's all pretty new) but there is a ton of history along Central Avenue, starting with Old Town off to your left. Close to that Route 66 exit there's a nice RV Park and on the Eastern side of downtown there's a decent KOA between Central Ave and IH40. The trip up the tram is always a hoot. Their zoo is also quite excellent. Once you're through town on Central Ave, you might want to jump back on IH40 because Route 66 in the canyon around the Southern tip of Sandia Peak isn't an RVr's delight.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:14 PM   #12
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I have driven Route 66 twice from Chicago to the California border, once on a motorcycle and once pulling a travel trailer (combined length 45’+).

As others have said, the only tight road I can remember was between Kingman and Oatman, AZ (Sitgreave’s Pass). I thought that navigating between the tourists in Oatman was more challenging than the road. However, my wife thinks otherwise. She says that road was dangerous.

I drove on the surface streets in Albuquerque, NM. I could not get out of there fast enough.

Two other towns that could be problematic are Chicago and St. Louis. Both for traffic problems and potential problems with the natives.

Route 66 has had many different alignments over the years. It is possible to drive dirt sections in Texas and New Mexico. I stuck to pavement.

I think that knowledge of the road beforehand may help to peak the kids interest. Two books that I have used are Drew Knowles’, Route 66 Adventure Handbook and Russell Olsen’s Route 66 Lost & Found. If you could get the kids interested in finding old gas stations and motels, you would have it made.

You pass by a number of old train stations. Your daughter might find the story of The Harvey Girls by Lesley Poling-Kempes interesting and could lead to some good side trips. Also, look into the story behind the Valentine Diners.

This trip is ideal for planning using a GPS. The POI Factory is a good place to start: Route 66 GPX | POI Factory

There are many web sites to check out. Here is one: Historic Route 66

There are two museums that you should see. The Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK was my favorite. The other one in the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK.

OK, now I have gotten myself interested in the Mother Road again. We will be on it this summer.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoko90 View Post
Thinking of taking Route 66 from AZ to Chicago this summer. I have never been on it before and hope to hear of your experiences on the route.

I will be in a big class A, and have already heard stories about very narrow sections, treacherous turns. True? Exaggerated?

Second question: anybody travel it with kids? I have a 7yo boy and a 17yo girl, will they be bored out of their minds?

Lastly, I read that much of the route is now freeway, or multi-lane, and its harder to spot the good points of interest.

Thanks in advance.
Lots of Fun! We did most of the run on the interstate and popped off in each state for side trips (some in the motorhome and some in the car).

There is a lot of information available on the internet. The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway has lots of good info

Be sure to go to Pontiac IL, great downtown, fun free museum. Great step off point for your Route 66 adventure. We even found on-street parking for our 65 feet of motorhome and trailer.

Oatman, AZ is WAY COOL as others have said but the drive there is much more fun in the car rather than the motorhome. There are many tight switchbacks through the mountains to get there.

Good Luck, have fun
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:22 PM   #14
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Some great information here, guys! Makes me want to get in the RV and take off NOW!
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