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Event Coverage Route 66 trip - realistic miles per day ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Buddy Palumbo, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,859

    Buddy Palumbo

    I'd appreciate any input from guys/gals who have travelled route 66 in the recent past . I'm building a shoebox Ford with the intention of making a Route 66 trip with my father (trying to make use of the quickly decreasing "somedays" we both have left) . We'll hopefully be making the trip in the next year , whether the car's painnted or not . My question , just like my title says , is what is a realistic miles per day I should allot to make the trip ? I know it really all depends on how much you want to see & all that , but I'm curious to hear an average miles you guys/gals have travelled on the route . We'll be heading west out of Chicago & hoping to see a good bit of all the major landmarks along the way and reconnecting while we do it , but not bustin' our asses to make miles . I realize we probably won't make the whole 2500 miles in one go , as I only get a couple weeks of vacation time each year - I just want to plan things out as best as I can , to be prepared . The first day of the trip will be heading from eastern PA to Chicago - which will be 750 miles , right off the bat :( - maybe we'll do that on the old Lincoln Highway , if possible . Hopefully that will be the only high mileage part of the trip . We've made that trip a bunch of times in the past when he lived outside of Chicago . It's a loooong ride .

    Sorry for the ramble , LOL . The long & short of it , what kinda rte. 66 miles/day should I figure on driving , based on YOUR trips ? Thanks in advance !
    Model T1 likes this.
  2. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M

    Best is to have plenty of time on the trip, and don't count how many miles, but see all the sights you can, and have a good time. Too many people rush a trip like this, and miss seeing the sights.

    There are some publications available that will steer you along the old route, sometimes not much more than a gravel road, but this is what makes the trip fun.

  3. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,052

    Special Ed

    Most sections of Route 66 are long gone, replaced with interstates and such. But to answer your question, you can still follow Route 66 more or less, and drive on some of the original "Mother Road", and expect to travel between 200 and 400 miles comfortably. That should allow you enough daylight hours to enjoy the experience. Just remember that when heading west, try to get the most mileage under your belt from the crack of dawn until about 2 or 3 pm, after that the sun will be directly in your eyes, and you'll get fatigued fast. You'll be wanting to do most of your driving in the late morning/ afternoons driving back towards the east.... Have fun!
    Model T1 likes this.
  4. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,074


    I've done it cross country not only on 66 but with pit stops and seeing the odd 3 headed cow 250 to 300 max. I enjoyed all the stopping and looking at things. Went to a lot of church breakfasts or little league chicken bakes along the way.


  5. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook

    did parts of it on the power tour in '10 in the springfield ill area plenty of lincoln history and we stopped for a cozy dog i think it was . in '11 on the power tour i did the parts thru kansas and oklahoma.dont miss the rod and custom museum lots of neat cars . you can get plenty of free info from the oklahoma tourism board
    Model T1 likes this.
  6. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664



    I'm jealous.

  7. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,279


    Were planning on doing Rte 66 in August I've worked on 200+ miles a day........having read a lot on the Rte 66 forums most say if you want to stop and see the sights that's about right.....

    but is guess it depend on how long you have to do the trip........

    here's my stab at an itinery.........



    a recommended book is

    EZ66 guide for travellers by Jerry McClanahan

    got my copy from Amazon.......

  8. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,859

    Buddy Palumbo

    Wow - awesome suggestions so soon !

    I have a copy of a book by Drew Knowles called "the Route 66 Adventure Handbook" - I've read it cover to cover a few times . It seems like one of the best out there . It tells about all of the attractions , as well as how/where to exit & enter the superslab to keep you on as much original alignments of 66 as possible .

    Getting on the road a dawn , due to the sun in your eyes ... I didn't even give that one a thought . I'll certainly keep that one in mind . Church breakfasts , attractions vs. miles , taking it slow - this kinda stuff is also what I'm after - good thinkin' everyone !

    Keep 'em coming :cool:
    Model T1 likes this.
  9. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,699

    from New York

    Buddy, there is a set of maps available from Ghost Town Press. I used these maps when I drove 66. Each map covers each state 66 runs thru and are works of art. You won't regret buying them.
    Model T1 likes this.
  10. ratwasp
    Joined: Oct 3, 2013
    Posts: 74


    Me and the wife did it in 2 days. Sharing driving and only slept in a hotel once!! Obviously I would recommend spreading it out longer and enjoying more of the sites but I had to be at work on Tues back in LA and we left Illinois on Sunday! ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1391888376.799537.jpg

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  11. Willy_P
    Joined: Mar 19, 2011
    Posts: 762


    Model.a.keith will have a great time at the HAMB drags - that is cool to coordinate that into the trip. I went in 2012 after we finished our route 66 trip.
    Our average on part 2 of our trip was between 250-300 miles a day, when you are locating and riding on the route 66 alignments, and photo ops.
    The old portland cement slab bump-bump-bump can put you to sleep, but over 50 mph it gets a little bouncy.
    I put a wet washcloth in a zip bag and threw it in the cooler where I could reach it. About 2pm in the afternoon, an icy face wipe and neck wrap were a great help. We also took 20 oz water bottles and froze them to help the ice along - re-freeze in the hotel at night.
    We made it a point to be done driving before dark, no matter what, being in unfamiliar towns every day.
    We made reservations by using my wife's ipad(3G) starting around 4pm while driving, so it was pretty easy to line up a room in advance.
    I used a steno pad, and made a list of must-do photo-stops before we left, like iconic service stations, Big Texan Steaks, Midpoint Cafe, Tucumcari/ Tail Fin monument/Blue Swallow motel, Gallup/neon R66 sign, etc and kept a daily journal, so it was easy to track mileage too.

    We transferred all the photos every night from the camera card to the ipad to make room on the camera, as a backup, and so we could see them better -trifocals :(
    I had a couple of camera cards in rotation in case one got full.

    One thing I did to help calc the miles was to make my list of stops, then go to google maps, enter the first point, then keep adding destinations. It will give you the miles between points, and draw a map you can print if you care to. Also, you can grab the destination icons and drag them around to do some alternate route planning - I used that when we were in New Mexico to see what it would take to go to Santa Fe - a very cool place for art, and the end of the Santa Fe trail.
    Killer food too - I downloaded a Diners Driveins and Dives app to my smartphone, and we hit a bunch of those - 3 in Santa Fe alone. We would watch the videos on youtube the night before, and see if there was something we wanted to try.
    I also used the EZ66 guide book(see below) and had folks date/sign the book on their location page( some places have an ink stamp if you ask) Hi from xxxx may 24 2011 etc
    We made the trip East-to-West in 3 different trips due to my wife's cancer chemo/radiation treatments, 1- 2011 Chicago to Springfield MO
    2, 3 - 2012 Springfield to Santa Monica Pier.
    We took photos of the Chicago Navy Pier as well as the Santa Monica pier as the "photo" beginning and end.
    However some folks are sticky about where it begins and ends, how long it was/is ( sections added/ removed make it a challenge to arrive at a number - we called it 2500 give or take 50, but who is counting on day 10). 250 miles/dayx10=2500 as a beginning plan number, but remember to plan the return trip :)
    Here are some helpful links for info and photo ops...
    In Chicago
    there are two noteworthy signs marking the beginning and end of route 66 - cool photo ops at
    Michigan/Adams=start, Michigan/Jackson=end
    "So, even while currently Adams Street at Michigan Avenue is marked as the starting point, Route 66 never departed from there.
    The ending point is easier: post 1933 at Jackson Blvd. and Lake Shore Drive; prior to 1933 it was at the intersection of Jackson Blvd and Michigan Ave. (which is marked as the terminus)."
    In Santa Monica
    Will Rogers Marker in Palisades Park at corner of SantaMonica/Ocean Blvd.
    It was damaged once by someone who was on SM Blvd and ran the light - it was later repaired.

    To breakup any monotony, we bought a little "Cars" Lightning McQueen car and stuck it in a lot of our photos, sort of "where's waldo-find it", and sometimes front and center( Cadillac bumper bench in Petrified Forest, AZ).
    I also created a tune list and plugged the iphone in to the car speaker jack when things got quiet.
    Route 66 -Rolling stones
    Ive been everywhere - Johnny Cash
    On the road again - Willie Nelson
    Baby likes to rock it - the tractors
    Take it Easy - The Eagles
    Truckin' - Jerry Garcia/Grateful dead
    Mustang Sally - Wilson Picket
    Six days on the road - Dave Dudley
    Car and Surf stuff from the 60's

    More info here on the HAMB...
    Social Groups
    ...Jerry McClanahan lives in Chandler OK, and is a HUGE Route 66 resource.
    He produced the "Here it is route 66" map series and the EZ66 guide book. He also created the neon sign that is installed on the Gallup NM chamber of commerce building. He actually submitted the design in an art contest, won, and it was built as a result.

    Also see these cool threads, and my post 76 in
    The Ultimate Route 66 Photo Journey Thread
    See post 9 in
    Road Trip - CA, AZ, UT, WY, ID, OR...

    ...Dang Buddy, you asked for info, but as long as this was you'd think I was from the windy city.
    Just an old fart that had a really good time, and would do it again.
    Hope you and dad enjoy the ride.
  12. ford495051
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 138


    I've traveled Route 66 twice and it never gets boring to me. I agree with most, plan on 200 to 300 miles per day. When you get to the western states your going to have more to look at. There are a few books and maps that will help you plan what attractions you want to stop for...You will need a plan....wish I was going with you!
    (don't miss the road to Oatman and Cool Springs)
    Model T1 likes this.
  13. i drive parts of 66 most every day!!! there are usually at least two or sometimes three alignments of the highway... but at least do the easiest one that avoids backtracking on your first pass. in kingman there are two alignments. (and your volvo is nice...)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  14. 80WTI
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 319


    I found the drive from Kingman AZ to Oatman was the best part of route 66 for twists and turns with the mountains. I can't wait to do it all again.
  15. ginuine555
    Joined: Jun 17, 2006
    Posts: 104

    from louisiana

    That's a great trip to take with your dad. It will be great fun for the both of you
  16. COOP
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 256


    Back in 2001 the Power Tour went the whole shot, but stayed mostly on the main roads. I wanted to stray as much as I could but I was driving something that should not have been there in the first place. Even at that I had to stay with the group. If you're gonna stay on 66 make sure everything is tight on your car and have an extra cushion for yer butt. At 3oo mi a day you're gonna miss a lot. Like some of the others have said, take your time ,and think to yourself, am I gonna do this again? There are a lot of "car" people on the roads and you can find many nice travelers in many of the little towns. There are a few tourist "traps" on the road, but most of 'em are pretty legit. If you scour the internet you can find many auto related events during the travel season. It's well worth the trip, especially if you take the time to smell the roses. (or tumbleweeds)
  17. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,859

    Buddy Palumbo

    Just got in after church & decided to check out this thread - WOW , more great inspiration ! Thanks guys . It's looking like a 200-300 mile/day is a good pace , give or take , which is fine for me . It's more about the journey than the destination , to be honest . I think that's the point of a Route 66 trip anyways . I like the idea of booking motels along the way . I'm not too techie (no friggin' smartphone) , but my dad is , so that'll work out .

    Thanks for the heads-up on the maps , Woodiewagon . I'll certainly be looking into them to go along with my guide book(s) .

    Holy crap , Ratwasp ... 2 days :eek: ! I'll be taking a bit longer than that :) .

    ginuine555 - My dad & I originally talked of doing a run across the US to Bonneville a few years back in my old Volvo Amazon hotrod . Since then , I sold the Volvo to build the Shoebox , and decided a nice slow run across 66 would be a better bonding trip . He's not getting any younger , and neither am I , so I thing the slower pace would be better for the both of us . Once we conquer this trip , then it's off to Bonneville (he never been there either) .

    MrSpeedy - the Volvo was a very fun car - I drove it every day for years . It got tons of attention , and was reliable as a stone . It's with it's new owner in Kentucky now .

    Thanks to all for the input so far . Everything shared has been noted in my "bucket" . Of course , always looking for more pointers . I like to be very prepared for a trip of this magnatude .
    Model T1 likes this.
  18. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,770

    from Tampa, FL

    An ideal trip for me would be only to travel in the morning, with perhaps one place to visit. Then check into your motel in the early afternoon after a meal. Then take in another site or event near your motel later in the afternoon / evening. It is slower going, but you get to see a lot. Or alternate long and short days depending on your route and sites selected. Also, be sure to get on the web and double-check when those places you want to see are actually open. I've messed that up a couple times... arriving on a Sunday or Monday only to find them closed that day. Have fun, Gary
  19. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,525


    Very cool! It's a trip I have wanted to take for many many years! I have planned it in my head a million times.A a very good friend has made it on his motorcycle and the pictures and stories only make me want take that trip even more! Hope you have a GREAT trip and see a lot of the iconic sites that only Route 66 can deliver! I am stalking your thread for ideas and information!
    Model T1 likes this.
  20. My cousin and I drove from southern LA. to CT. in my 65 vette without stopping. Left on Saturday noon and we were in CT Tuesday. We were also 19 years old and dumb. Also got 3 tickets, Two in CA and one in AZ.
  21. ken bogren
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 710

    ken bogren

    We've driven all or significant parts of historic Route 66 several times in the last 5 years. 150 - 200 miles a day has been the norm, many days it was hard to make 100 miles., But we do a lot of backtracking to drive multiple alignments. And I'll stop to look at almost any old ruins along the way.

    This is spot on....
    That's a fantastic drive!

    Beyond that, if you sleep at places like the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, MO, the Boots Court in Carthage, MO, the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, the El Rancho in Gallup, or Wigwams in Holbrook, AZ or Rialto, CA, and eat at some of the old style MOm & Pop cafes along the way you'll get a lot more of the feel for the "way things were".

    If you want to break the trip up and do it in segments, I'd suggest

    1: Chicago to Carthage, MO
    2: Carthage, MO to Albuquerque
    3: Albuquerque to Santa Monica

    But that's just me.
    Model T1 likes this.
  22. 80WTI
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 319


    Don't forget to book in at the Wigwam early if you decide to stay as we couldn't get a rooms on the way west so we pre booked and stayed on the way back. This might help get you dreaming of the trip, what i woke up to when i walked outside (not something you wake up to everyday).
  23. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,859

    Buddy Palumbo

    Oh , I definalely want to stay in a Wigwam !
  24. To solve the morning sun problem I will get up early as I can and head down the road. By the time the sun comes up I stop and have breakfast. By the time I'm done eating the sun is high enough not to cause too much of a problem.

    Sent from the pits of dispair app. Wirelessly, of course.
  25. tommyflathead
    Joined: Apr 18, 2011
    Posts: 460


    dreaming about coming over and driving some of the old route, thanks for the information.
  26. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,389


    About 10 years ago I traveled part of Rt 66 in California and went out of my way to see Roys in Amboy CA. Not much to see or do, but I've seen that Roy's sign in many ads over the years. The road liked like it hadn't been maintained in decades. Lots of potholes.
  27. TexasDart
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 853


    I did the Az to Texas this pass May it was a great I need to do the TX to IL part. We stayed at the Blue Swallow..great place and ran by a great couple. Seemed like Tucumcari had quite a few things to still surviving.
    We stayed in the ElRancho and that was a history trip in itself. And don't forget to stand on the corner of Winslow. I did the drive on Route 66 till it didn't really make any sense and then would jump onto 40 for a while.
    Model T1 and Nocero like this.
  28. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,625


    Our schedule each day was get on the road by say 8.30am after breakfast.
    At around 4.30-5.00 pm start looking for the town to stay in. First check out the bars and see which one has the most pickups out front. Then find the motel within walking distance and your done!!
    Same in the morning. Look for the breakfast place with the most cars out front and that's the place to eat.
    Flagstaff has a great 50's diner called the Galaxy with good food and great atmosphere. We took over 2 weeks from Chicago to do most of 66 and that was only just enough time. That did include a day at the Grand Canyon.
    Model T1 likes this.
  29. Buddy, we did it in 1995. Started in Springfield IL on a Sunday morning and rolled thru downtown LA the following Saturday night. End of June, late model Corvette convert(w a/c ;)). My feeling was the biggest concentration of 'historic' stuff was from southern IL thru MO--lots of landmarks, old towns and gas stations, tapers off some across OK and TX, and after TX you are mostly driving a lot and stopping a little on to the west coast. I think our low daily mileage number was maybe 150mi, and the high was close to 500. Usually we'd start looking for a cool motel maybe an hour or so before dark, and slept till 8 or 9 every morning. Had several guidebooks, but one in particular gave all the turns and mileage and locations of all the cool stuff....and it was very helpful. Unfortunately, my navigator and I split up years ago and I don't remember the title or author of that book :mad:(it was hers). It's a trip well worth the effort if anyone has an interest is Americana. Lots of the old timers we met on the road are now gone, but I have the memories of meeting a few "icons" of 66.
    Model T1 likes this.
  30. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,859

    Buddy Palumbo

    You guys are really coming up with good stuff !

    I'm hoping to make our trip a pretty easy pace and try to see as much as possible , without going too nuts with it all ;) . Getting the "feel" of how it used to be to travel before all the superhighways & stuff . I've been on plenty of 2-lane roads & such here in PA (and down in GA where dad lives) , but it's not really the same as taking a "trip" . I realize that 66 isn't (and probably never will be) like it was back in the day , but a good taste of it will satisfy me .
    Model T1 likes this.

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