Eastbound on historic Route 66 just east of Albuquerque, slow down to 45 miles per hour and drive through the rumble strips to hear the song “America the Beautiful” on the Singing Highway. We tried it, and it works! Hear it in our latest podcast. Read more
In this podcast, we chat about exploring byways and trails. If you’re a regular Midwest Wanderer reader, you know we do a lot of road trips. Some of our favorite trips are along scenic or historic byways. And then there are trails. What’s the difference? You’ll find out in this podcast. Read more
Sandstone bluffs…Devil’s Elbow…W.H. Croaker. We’ve driven almost all of the Mother Road over the years. I can’t believe we missed exploring Route 66 through Pulaski County, Missouri, especially since we drive through Missouri often. When we finally made it to Pulaski County this summer, we followed the auto tour that the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau laid out in a brochure. The route is filled with natural beauty, remnants of Route 66 treasures, and one quirky road side attraction. Read more
We aren’t usually lucky. A day late and a dollar short. Murphy’s Law. However, you want to phrase it, that’s us. But not this time. We happened to be in Pulaski County, Missouri, on the day the Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoyed through on Route 66. Better yet, the convoy stopped for the evening at Fort Leonard Wood, located in Pulaski County. Fort Leonard Wood opened the event to the public, and our itinerary was flexible. So off we went to Fort Leonard Wood to see the 42 vehicles that made up this antique military vehicle convoy. Read more
Long before Route 66 was commissioned in the 1920s, settlers used the Beale Wagon Road to move west. Route 66 traced the same route used by the Beale Wagon Road through Arizona. The Arizona Route 66 Museum, located in a former Kingman power plant, recalls the history of the route from horse-and-buggy days to the Route 66 heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s. Read more
Editor’s Note: Following are links to Route 66 articles that first appeared on our U.S. Long Cuts blog. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu.
Of the eight states that Route 66 runs through, Kansas has the shortest stretch, only 13 miles. There is still plenty to see here, though, from an old mining town to historic bridges to a renovated home that legend says was the home of “Galena’s Bloody Madam.” Read more
You’d be hard pressed to find a fair in the United States that doesn’t sell corn dogs. State fairs, county fairs, and local carnivals always include at least one vendor selling the hotdogs enrobed in cornmeal batter, deep fried to golden perfection and served on a stick. But did you know that corn dogs weren’t always served on a stick? Nor were they fried. Rather, they were baked and took quite a while to prepare. Ed Waldmire, Jr., who may have invented the corn dog, first served them at the Cozy Dog Drive-In over sixty years ago. Today, tourists continue to stop at Cozy Dog in Springfield, Illinois, for a taste of nostalgic Americana as they travel Route 66 .
Drop by drop sticky sweet sap falls into the metal bucket hanging on the spout inserted into the maple tree. On a good day a bucket fills in 10 to 12 hours. It takes 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple sirup, something the Funk family has been doing since the 1820s. They began selling it commercially in 1891, 35 years before Route 66 was commissioned. Located near the midpoint of Illinois’ portion of Route 66, you can visit the Funks Grove farm and pick up some sirup for yourself if your timing is right. Read more
We expected to see the National Route 66 Museum. What we got were four museums in one:
- National Route 66 Museum
- National Transportation Museum
- Old Town Museum
- Farm & Ranch Museum
The National Transportation Museum keeps to the nostalgic Route 66 theme. Here you’ll find vintage cars cut in half. Slide behind the wheel or in the back seat and watch classic movie trailers at a Route 66 Drive-In theater.
A vintage trailer, motorcycles and an airplane are displayed, as is a 1917 fire engine complete next to a fireman’s pole. I was tempted to slide down the pole until Skip reminded me that I’m still getting over an ankle injury.
We spent over an hour in the complex but could have spent at least double that time to see everything. What a bargain at only $5 per person ($4 for seniors, AAA members and children 6-16; free for children 5 and under).
The National Route 66 Museum Complex is located at 2717 W Highway 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma. Check the web site for hours.
Photos by Skip Reed and Connie Reed
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