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Route 66 among top foreign destinations for British March 31, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions.
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The Chicago and Illinois Tourist Office reported on a Tweet yesterday that Route 66 was voted by British citizens as “the most iconic road trip in the world.”

That’s not terribly surprising. But a follow-up report this morning shows how powerful Route 66’s allure is:

According to a recent study by the Chicago and Illinois Tourist Board, Route 66 is among the top three travel experiences that travellers would love to have in their lifetimes, with 36 per cent of respondents expressing a preference to complete it.

The findings place it alongside a trip to see the pyramids in Egypt – 47 per cent – and walking along the Great Wall of China – 40 per cent.

Think about that. Of all the tourist destinations around the world, only the Great Pyramids and the Wall of China are bigger destinations for Britons than the Mother Road.

Tourism agencies in general seem to do a pretty good job promoting Route 66. But, if anything, this study indicates that they’re not hyping it enough.

French president, first lady want to cruise Route 66 March 30, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips.
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Tucked into a story from Forbes.com about French President first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s visit to America this week is a snippet that caught my eye:

The couple went around the room to greet each of their guests and spent about 10 minutes chatting with those in attendance. Bruni-Sarkozy charmed a group of besotted women, telling them how much she loved America and how she and her husband dream of road-tripping on Route 66.

Bruni-Sarkozy and her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, were in New York to launch a new program through her philanthropy, The Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation.

If the couple decided to take a vacation soon on the Mother Road, it might result in quite a hubbub — but not at the level of Paul McCartney’s road trip in 2008.

“Nothing But the Wheel” March 30, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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Here’s a good highway song by Peter Wolf, formerly the singer for the J. Geils Band.

And the backing vocalist is a fellow by the name of Mick Jagger.

For the record, Mr. Wolf seems to favor U.S. 41 — not that it’s a bad thing.

FedEx takes electric vehicle down Route 66 March 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Events, Road trips, Vehicles, Web sites.
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The electric FedEx truck.

FedEx has decided to demonstrate its new all-electric urban delivery van with stops along Route 66 from Monday through April 6. It’s part of the “Charge Up Route 66″ tour.

The tour is planning stops  in St. Louis, Joplin, Oklahoma City, Amarillo and Albuquerque, in addition to the Mother Road’s bookend cities of Los Angeles and Chicago.

From the tour’s “About” page:

[T]he “Charge Up Route 66″ tour underscores a national initiative advocated by FedEx CEO Fred Smith to create a comprehensive program of affordable electrification of local transportation.  It’s goals: stimulate more homegrown energy production, reduce America’s reliance on imported petroleum, and cut our greenhouse gas emissions. […]

Follow our blogs here as we motor west … more than two thousand miles all the way.  We’re sharing pictures and video of surviving roadside icons from the Route 66 era, highlighting the efforts to preserve the spirit of the road and discussing the potential for an electric future on American streets and roads.

You can follow the tour’s progress with this map here. Here are photos and blog posts from the road.

Below is a screen capture from the “Charge Up Route 66″ Web site:

According to FedEx, the vehicle can go 100 miles on a single charge and boasts a payload of 3,000 pounds. FedEx also plans to build a series of solar stations to charge up the vehicles.

More than 400 race to the Rocker March 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Businesses, Events, Sports.
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More than 400 runners who participated in the Race to the Rocker gather at the landmark after the event.

More than 400 runners participated Saturday in the 4-mile Race to the Rocker that went on Route 66 from Cuba, Mo., to the World’s Largest Rocker at the Fanning 66 Outpost and General Store in the tiny hamlet of Fanning, Mo., according to the Cuba Free Press.

Proceeds for the second annual event went to the Wildcat Field of Pride track and field project at Cuba schools.

Overall results are here. Clint Smith, 33, of Fulton, Mo., was the overall winner with a time of 23:15.3 — a place of 5:49 per mile. Angie Sherrow, 37, of Hermann, Mo., was the top women’s finisher in 26:59.6.

The 2011 Race to the Rocker is scheduled for March 26.

(Photo by Jane Reed)

Barbecue restaurant honored by magazine March 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Food, Publications, Restaurants.
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Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q in Cuba, Mo., was named the best barbecue restaurant in southwest southeast Missouri by Rural Missouri magazine, according to the Viva Cuba blog.

From the blog:

The restaurant at 913 East Washington, which is also Route 66, offers BBQ, smoked meats, a 5-6 pound loaded baked potato, five homemade BBQ sauces, and a lot more. The parking lot is often filled with cars, motorcycles, and buses from around the U.S. Customers come from around the world as travelers make their dream trip on Route 66.

From the magazine:

When Rural Missouri Managing Editor Jason Jenkins is out on assignment anywhere near Cuba, you can bet you’ll find him at Missouri Hick for lunch. While some may debate him, he says the pulled pork sandwich is the best around. The restaurant expanded its dining room this past year, so others must agree.

The restaurant contains a lot of rustic Ozarks cedar decor, and is also notable for being next door to the historic Wagon Wheel Motel, which is being renovated.

Rural Missouri also lauded Dowd’s Catfish and Barbecue in Lebanon, and the town of Carthage for scenic beauty.

It’s Them March 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Here’s a spirited version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” performed by Them and featuring a very young Van Morrison on vocals.

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