Notes from the Road

Day 10: Halfway There on Route 66, TX…

Day 10: Halfway There on Route 66, TX…

At first light we loaded the Jeep and left Palo Duro, which remained as beautiful in the early morning, as it was in the night. The vivid colors blended into a natural collage framed by the windshield as we drove up and out of the spectacular canyon. We returned to Route 66 in Amarillo, heading [...]


Day 9: Palo Duro Up Close…

Day 9: Palo Duro Up Close...

The air smelled good. We woke early, anxious to make the most of our “pause” in this spectacular canyon. We wanted to explore it’s vastness up close and we actually had the time, as today was a “rest” day — it was the first day we weren’t driving since we set out on Route 66 [...]


Day 8: Welcome to Texas Route 66…

Day 8: Welcome to Texas Route 66...

A simple sign marked the Texas border. A cowboy in a little convertible drove past, giving us a slightly surreal welcome to another world. We followed him into the town of Shamrock.
Even without the cowboy’s help, following the old road is easier in Texas, because it rarely strays far from the interstate. 150 of the [...]


Day 8: Ghosts on the Edge of Route 66, Oklahoma

Day 8: Ghosts on the Edge of Route 66, Oklahoma

An amazing sunrise on the lake this morning in Foss State Park on the western edge of Oklahoma. But the heat and humidity made it less than comfortable to linger, despite the beauty. We broke camp and quickly loaded the jeep, heading out in search of Foss, the ghost town we had heard was nearby [...]


Day 7: The Endless Horizon on Route 66, Oklahoma

Day 7: The Endless Horizon on Route 66, Oklahoma

The landscape has changed to the flat endless horizon we tend to associate with the great big West. And the animal of the day is the cow! Lots and lots of cows. And corn. Cornfields and Cows. Cows and Cornfields — occasionally interrupted by the even taller stalks of the wind turbines generating clean energy.
Wind [...]


Day 6: A Taste of Route 66, Oklahoma

Day 6: A Taste of Route 66, Oklahoma

It was getting late by the time we crossed into Oklahoma, so we decided we would keep driving even after it gets dark, then look for a hotel somewhere beyond Tulsa. This way we could continue our slow exploration of the old road. Oklahoma’s 400 miles of Route 66 contain more of the original alignments [...]


Day 6: Fifteen Minutes of Fame for Route 66, Kansas

Day 6: Fifteen Minutes of Fame for Route 66, Kansas

American Pop Artist, Andy Warhol, once said, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Well, for Kansas it is more like 15 miles… Actually, there are only 13.2 miles of Route 66 that go through this state. But it is some of the best preserved stretches of the old road, and we [...]


Day 6: Nostalgia Meets Community on Route 66, Missouri

Day 6: Nostalgia Meets Community on Route 66, Missouri

We awoke drenched in sweat, despite having opened all the air vents on the tent before going to bed. Everything was damp–even the maps! It was that hot and humid, and the day was just beginning. Such opressive humidity made it hard to do anything rapidly, but we got the Jeep loaded, and hit the [...]


Day 5: Lost and Found on Route 66, Missouri

Day 5: Lost and Found on Route 66, Missouri

We left Meramac after the river float and had to skip a visit to the famed caverns because we were “behind schedule.” We decided to try to make some progress towards Oklahoma, today, so we wouldn’t have to drive the whole segment tomorrow. But the day was getting away from us, it was already afternoon, [...]


Day 5: Missouri, Meramec River Adventure

Day 5: Missouri, Meramec River Adventure

Last night, just as we were starting to make our fire, we heard thunder and saw flashes of lightening in the distance. Our peaceful refuge among the deer risked becoming something of a swamp if it came down heavy! It was a race against time to get the hot dogs cooked (and eaten) before the [...]


Day 4: Illinois Route 66 Starts Here

Day 4: Illinois Route 66 Starts Here

Early wake up today, and it wasn’t even hard, because we were so excited to be FINALLY setting out on Route 66. We checked out of the hotel and were loaded into the Jeep by 7am, camera batteries fully charged, spirits high, and ready to go.
Now we just had to find the “start” point. Somehow it [...]


Day 3: Chicago, having fun with history…

Day 3: Chicago, having fun with history...

With only one day to visit Chicago, it would be impossible to really discover much or even get a “feel” for the character of the city (read more on planning one day visits). We decided not to try. We would explore a theme instead. Considering a multitude of choices, we settled on being a bit [...]


Day 3: Chicago explorations…

Day 3: Chicago explorations...

Exploring the city, cameras in hand, we just enjoyed the urban feel.
Though part of the mid-west, Chicago is an old industrial city similar in visual style to NYC. In fact, the skyscrapers we think of as so typically “New York,” were actually pioneered in Chicago. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 had destroyed most of [...]


Day 2: Chicago, a first taste…

Day 2: Chicago, a first taste...

Not sure when we officially crossed into the “mid west,” but it was flat land and big sky, with easy open roads. We had exchanged woodland scenery for farms, and with the speed limit at 70mph, we made it to the outskirts of Chicago in good time.
Approaching the city, the cluster of buildings that [...]


Day 2: Indiana, cars and freedom…

We were back on the road before noon, heading along I-80 through Ohio and Indiana. Somehow the drive seemed easier today and the miles passed to the sound of our “road mix” playlist. The road was still enough of a novelty for us to enjoy the fragmentary imagery we passed at 70 mph. There was [...]


Day 1-2: Ohio, camping in Cuyahoga Valley

Day 1-2: Ohio, camping in Cuyahoga Valley

It was still wet everywhere when we began to pitch our tent, but we were just glad to finally be there. It had been a tough day of driving! Unpacking our gear took several short-trips back and forth to the Jeep, but our great reward was that we actually saw a real beaver!!!!
Thrilled at the [...]


Day 1: Ohio transitions…

Day 1: Ohio transitions...

Seeing the “Welcome to Ohio,” sign was a relief. It had taken a whole day of driving just to cross Pennsylvania, and it seemed like we were now back “on schedule,” more or less, to arrive at our campsite by 5 or 6 P.M. Just one problem. Grey skies and steady rain. It was really [...]


Day 1: Pennsylvania is a big state…

Day 1: Pennsylvania is a big state...

It wasn’t quite 9am when we crossed the Delaware Gap into Pennsylvania. So far, so good!
We could already feel like we were “someplace else”, as the landscape had changed from the built-up congestion that surrounds the New York metro area on all sides, to a more picturesque countryside.
There were mountains — the Appalachians — the [...]


Day 1: New Jersey, headed west…

Day 1: New Jersey, headed west...

On “D-Day” we were up at 4, but took a little longer than planned to get out of the driveway. Daylight had already broken, and crossing the Verrazano Bridge, we could see the city clearly. The quiet majesty of the stone-and-steel towers glimmered in the early morning light, before receding into the distance. We were [...]


New York, a starting point…

New York, a starting point...

Long Island, New York–halfway between the Hamptons beaches and Manhattan skyscrapers, out here among the strip malls and cookie cutter houses of suburbia, the adventure begins. With the team gathered, we can focus on our final preparations for the journey. We still haven’t quite figured out how to fit everything for 6 weeks into the [...]