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Harley-Davidson to sell “Ride Atlas” April 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Maps, Road trips.
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According to WFRV.com, Harley-Davidson will sell its "Harley-Davidson Ride Atlas of North America" at bookstores, dealerships and other outlets sometime in May.

It's a typical atlas, except it highlights 25 scenic rides, including a segment of Route 66.

The featured rides range from jaunts on Route 66 in Arizona, with suggested stops at Prescott National Forest and the Grand Canyon Caverns in Peach Springs, to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and along the Rio Grande on U.S. border with Mexico.

The atlas also contains a bevy of information useful to riders, such as state motorcycle laws, construction information, gasoline availability, distance charts and even maps of Harley-Davidson dealerships. It's covered in a durable, rubber-like material and is designed to fit in a saddle bag.

Pain Walker makes it to Flagstaff April 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in People.
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Dennis Kinch, the man who's walking Route 66 for the National Pain Foundation, has made it into the high-altitude air of Flagstaff, Ariz.

His Web site gives this update:

Dennis has made it to Flagstaff, AZ! With the help of the people at the Print Shop, Dennis was able to make it into Flagstaff with time to spare before bussing it down to Phoenix, where he will catch a flight to Boston. Why, you ask? Because of his extraordinary efforts at doing what he can when he can, the Greater Boston Employer Advisory Board is awarding Dennis with the "Distinguished Consumer Award" for finding a way to create a new career path for himself while working within the bounds of his pain condition. He will be in Phoenix the week of May 8th for more clinic events, so check back for details!

Mother Road maintains its allure April 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, People.
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A feature in the Edmond (Okla.) Sun mentions the town trying to play up its Route 66 heritage during the state's centennial next year. But most of the story is about how the Mother Road has kept its allure all these years.

It includes a lot of comments from Oklahoma Route 66 researcher and author Jim Ross, who lives nearby in Arcadia.

Clanton’s Cafe featured on Roadfood.com April 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants, Web sites.

Clanton's Cafe, which has been feeding Route 66 travelers and locals in Vinita, Okla., since 1927, is the latest Restaurant of the Day in Jane and Michael Stern's popular Roadfood.com site.

I personally can vouch for the pies, pot roast, chicken-and-dressing, and breakfasts, especially the bacon. But the methods in which Clanton's owners describe to Roadfood.com how they make their chicken-fried steak have persuaded me to try it the next time I drive through Vinita.

I also enjoy looking at the autographed photos of celebrities who've stopped there, including Oklahoma native Ronnie Dunn of the country superstar duo Brooks & Dunn (he liked the chicken and dressing, too).

It's a classic Route 66 restaurant. 

Berghoff reopens as the Berghoff Cafe April 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants.

The Berghoff restaurant, which occupied a section of old Route 66 in Chicago for 107 years, closed earlier this year.

However, the Chicago Tribune reports that the space has reopened as the Berghoff Cafe.

Everything is pretty much the same as it was before in this jammed cafeteria-style eatery in the lower level of the Berghoff complex at 17 W. Adams St. The transformation of the Berghoff will eventually incorporate three distinct entities: this "new" Berghoff Cafe, the Century Room and 17 West.

Lunchers have been packing into the Cafe at an estimated 500 a day, according to restaurant spokesperson Jennifer Connelly. And, indeed, when this reporter arrived at 11:20 a.m. for a light lunch of Wiener schnitzel, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, beet salad, German potato salad, apple strudel and a Berghoff Root Beer (diet, of course), she was already facing a healthy line. But the food was worth the wait.

Although four sandwiches have inched up in price, the rest of the cafe's mostly sandwich, salad, pizza and pasta menu (with two German daily specials) has remained the same. The cost for my hefty Teutonic Berghoff Cafe lunch: $20.12 with tax.

The Chicago Sun-Times report contains this interesting snippet:

Indeed, so little about the new Berghoff Cafe, which opened quietly Tuesday, was different from the old, "It's a mystery to me why they ever closed," said longtime Berghoff customer Arthur Raphael, 66.

The main difference, one not overlooked by customers, seemed to be the absence of the Berghoff's longtime unionized workers.

A busboy who worked in the restaurant for 30 years said he and a few of his fellow staffers applied and were re-hired for the downstairs cafe.

"The prices appear to be the same, but not the employees," said Raphael, an attorney whose office is less than a block away. "It's a shame they're not here."

The old Berghoff was one of the few Chicago restaurants to still employ union cooks and servers, leading some observers to wonder whether the closing had more to do with rising employee costs.

"We had to do it the way we did it," Carlyn Berghoff said of the speculation.

Is it rash of me to accuse the Berghoff's owners for briefly closing the restaurant to bust the union? I don't know what other conclusion I would draw.

Parking fees coming to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge April 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Bicycling, History.
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The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge that connects Madison, Ill., and north St. Louis, Ill., is part of an old alignment of Route 66. It's now used as part of a Trailnet walking and bicycling trail that connects the St. Louis Riverfront Trail and the MCT Confluence Trail.

On Monday, Trailnet will begin fees of $2 for vehicles and $10 for big vehicles that carry 15 passengers or more from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its parking lot on the west side of the bridge. Walkers and cyclists who enter the bridge from the trails won't be charged.

According to a news release from Trailnet:

"We decided to provide this service to ensure a convenient and comfortable parking experience for those visiting the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge," said Wayne Goode, President of the Trailnet board of directors. "The bridge will continue to be open during regular operating hours, a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset. The lot will be monitored from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., when the parking fee is in effect."

The parking lot had been the site of several car burglaries. So a "monitored" lot for what I consider to be a nominal fee is a good thing. And those who want to avoid the fee can simply schedule their visit to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge around those hours.

(Hat tip to Lynn "Lulu" Bagdon for alerting me to this.)

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