Posts Tagged ‘history’

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 [...]


Goodnight

The man most associated with Palo Duro canyon, Charles Goodnight, is a legendary figure in the Texas panhandle. Born in 1836, in Macoupin County, Illinois, Goodnight moved to Texas with his mother and stepfather when he was only ten years old. By age 20 he was working as a cowboy on the northwest Texas frontier, [...]


Destination: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Destination: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Located about an hour’s drive from Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon is the most spectacular scenic landscape feature in the Panhandle of Texas. The canyon appears almost without warning, a jolting razor cut through the flat grasslands of the Llano Estacado or “Staked Plains.” Early Spanish Explorers are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed [...]


Review: Texas (the musical), Palo Duro Canyon

Review: Texas (the musical), Palo Duro Canyon

“TEXAS, the outdoor musical drama” is a broadway-quality production put on outdoors in the middle of the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon.
The show begins on a grand scale with the lone horseman on top of a 600 foot cliff in the distance, waving the Texas state flag, a burst of fireworks, the music starts and the [...]


Texas Cowboys and Cattle Drives

Texas Cowboys and Cattle Drives

When the civil war ended, the price of beef was so low that it wasn’t worth the cost of getting cattle to market in the east. Even just rounding up the cattle for branding was expensive, so livestock was left to roam freely and herds multiplied, with growing numbers of unbranded animals known as “mavericks.”
Once [...]


In Search of Ghosts (America’s Ghost Towns)

In Search of Ghosts (America's Ghost Towns)

During our Route 66 trip we were intrigued by accounts of “ghost towns” that we’d heard about from other travelers who indicated where along the way we might find a few of these places (for a comprehensive listing of ghost towns along the Route 66 itinerary, see Ghost Towns of Route 66). Attracted by historical [...]


Museums on the Road

Museums on the Road

In many ways, a road trip seems the antithesis of a museum visit — the primal idea of the road trip is to get out there and see and do things in the first-person, while a museum is a place we go to view what others have discovered and assembled into collections. But with so [...]


The Outlaw as American Folk Hero

The Outlaw as American Folk Hero

Driving along Route 66 we often seem to come upon places that boast of association with one or another infamous American outlaw. Stories about Jesse James or Bonnie and Clyde get told and re-told, and it makes one wonder why so many of the folk heroes out here were outlaws.
Americans love the “ordinary guy” who [...]


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 [...]


Kansas Cow Towns

Kansas Cow Towns

Random gunfire, loud saloons and the notoriety of being the “wildest” town in the West once characterized a series of Kansas “cow towns” including Baxter Springs on Route 66. These cow towns were at the northern end of trails that cowboys used to drive herds of Texas longhorn cattle to the railroad depots for shipment [...]


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 [...]


Freedom’s Road

Freedom's Road

Route 66 is freedom’s road. And we are truly free out here, cruising down America’s highway through a country as vast as infinity. We are unplugged and untracked and unlocated. No one can “follow us” as we stopped “updating” when we left Chicago. The only tweets now are coming from the song-birds.
For six weeks [...]


Exploring Missouri Caves

Exploring Missouri Caves

With more than 6,000 surveyed caves, Missouri is known as the “cave state,” (only the state of Tennessee has more), and not far from Route 66 there are some interesting options if underground exploration is your thing. Over the years, these hidden chambers have been used for shelter, entertainment and even as storage for the [...]


Route 66, what it means…

Route 66, what it means...

For us, Route 66 symbolizes a spirit of adventure, an openness, a readiness to follow the road wherever it leads, always on the lookout for new discoveries along the way. This is one trip where that old axiom “the journey is the destination” rings true. And an important part of our journey is seeing how [...]


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 [...]


Review: Tommy Gun’s Garage, Chicago

Review: Tommy Gun's Garage, Chicago

Tommy Gun’s Garage is a “Roaring 20’s”-themed dinner theatre venue that recreates the “speakeasy” atmosphere centered around a musical-comedy review.
It’s a brilliantly simple concept: the whole place is the “stage” and everyone is part of the show. From the moment you arrive outside, the experience begins as “Gloves,” the “gangster” at the door, demands the [...]


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: 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: 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 [...]


how many route 66's are there?

how many route 66's are there?

So i got some more maps yesterday (individual state maps from AAA)… and started doing the route plan more precisely… and that’s when i realized that Route 66 is, in some cases, a multiple choice menu…
The historical re-alignments of the road over time have left us with choices… do we take the older version thru [...]