Driving the Route 66 Singing Highway

Driving the Route 66 Singing Highway

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

Exploring Byways and Trails

Exploring Byways and Trails

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

Road Trip: Route 66 through Pulaski County, Missouri

Road Trip: Route 66 through Pulaski County, Missouri

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

Antique Military Vehicle Convoy on Route 66

Antique Military Vehicle Convoy on Route 66

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

Arizona Route 66 Museum: Wagon Trail to Mother Road

Arizona Route 66 Museum: Wagon Trail to Mother Road

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

Kicks on Route 66

Kicks on Route 66

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.

Read more

Cozy Dog: Home of the Route 66 Corn Dog

Cozy Dog: Home of the Route 66 Corn Dog

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 .
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Funks Grove: Pure Maple Sirup on Route 66

Funks Grove: Pure Maple Sirup on 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

Beyond the Midwest: National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, Oklahoma

Beyond the Midwest: National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, Oklahoma

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.

Behind the wheel of a vintage carRte 66 drive-in 2Don’t miss a Midwest Wanderer post.  For a FREE subscription, enter your e-mail address in the Subscribe2 box to the left and click Subscribe.

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.

vintage rv trailerTrans museum - motorcycleAirplaneFire engineI’m not sure how the Popeye collection fits in with transportation, but it’s fun.

Popeye collectionPopeyeThe National Route 66 Museum was the highlight for us, as we followed the road from Chicago to California.

Chicago Theater signRoute 66Route 66 - 3Route 66 - 4Route 66 - 5Route 66 - 2The Old Town Museum is made up of several buildings, some facades and other full buildings that have been moved to the site.

Opera houseMove room to room in a Victorian home to see dioramas and displays of early-day western Oklahoma, Native American culture, military and rodeo history.

Dining roomBedroomrodeo museumI thought the old perm machine looked more like the woman was being electrocuted.

perm machineI’ve been to farm museums before, but the Farm and Ranch Museum includes displays I’ve never seen before, like a colorful tractor seat collection and a barbed wire collection.

tractor seatsbarbed wirewindmillWe 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

Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. Don’t miss a post. Enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe to be notified whenever I publish another post. Subscription is FREE. After subscribing, be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm.   – Connie

Other articles that may interest you:

A Nostalgic Stay at the Route 66 Rail Haven Motel in Springfield, Missouri

Pontiac Oakland Museum, Pontiac Illinois: Auto Nostalgia along Route 66

Oklahoma’s Charlie’s Chicken and Barbeque Offers Rotisserie Chicken as Alternative to Fried