If you’re traveling the Mother Road this week, you may have to make other plans for the midsection.
As this map from the National Weather Service shows, the Route 66 corridor is under a winter storm warning all the way from about Springfield, Mo., to Gallup, N.M. — much of it freezing rain.
Authorities closed Interstate 40 and secondary highways in the Texas Panhandle early Thursday afternoon. I-40 from the Texas border to Tucumcari, N.M., also is closed. And power outages are expected to be widespread in Oklahoma later in the day because of freezing rain.
We at Route 66 News headquarters have a wood stove and a gas water heater, so we’ll be fine even without electricity.
— I’ve been informed that the long-closed Pony Soldier Motel in Tucumcari, N.M., was torn down a few weeks ago. Here’s an op-ed written by one of the former owners, was published in the Quay County Sun.
— Jim Hinckley, a roadie and author based in Kingman, Ariz., announced the forthcoming publication of his new book, “Ghost Towns of the Southwest,” in stores in March. A few Route 66 towns are featured. Hinckley is working on a book exclusively about ghost towns on the Mother Road.
— The historic Uptown Theatre in Rolla, Mo., is endangered by a proposal to build an alumni center for the local university. A resident is circulating an online petition to protest the decision. If you want to sign it, go here. (Hat tip to Ace Jackalope.)
— The trade paperback of Michael Zadoorian’s acclaimed Route 66-based novel, “The Leisure Seeker,” will be in stores Feb. 9. The book has been optioned for film, and Zaadorian told me the script is being shopped to prospective actors.
— According to the Kingman Daily Miner, independent filmmaker Kirk Slack recently donated a 1966 Sears motorcycle to the Powerhouse Visitors Center in Kingman, Ariz., which has a large Route 66 display. Slack is working on a Route 66 documentary for Out West Family Films.
— The next round of Preserve America grants has started, and the deadline to submit them is Feb. 12. These grants are especially for towns and tourist centers wanting help to create their own multimedia attractions (iPhone apps, podcasts, GPS tours, etc.). More information is here.
— The Suburban Journals posted a fascinating article about city logos in the St. Louis area. Among them is Madison, Ill., which features the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge that once carried Route 66 over the Mississippi River. You can see the seal at the top of this document here.