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“Billy Connolly’s Route 66,” Episode 3 September 29, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Television.
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Here’s the third episode of “Billy Connolly’s Route 66,” which aired across the pond earlier today on ITV. It goes from Oklahoma City to eastern Arizona.

Here’s the complete episode in five parts:

Rancho overpass project nearly done September 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Bridges, Highways.
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Some good news and bad news for Route 66 travelers going through the Los Angeles area this weekend.

First, the bad news. Travelers should avoid Foothill Boulevard (aka Route 66) on the west side of Rancho Cucamonga this weekend. Construction workers are finishing a big road-widening and overpass project there, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported.

The good news: The overpass that is the Pacific Electric Trail will be open to pedestrians and cyclists by Monday morning.

More from the newspaper:

In addition to the new bridge, this $19 million project funded by redevelopment agency tax allocation bonds, includes widening Foothill from four to six lanes. When the project wraps up in January, there will be bicycle lanes, sidewalks and a center median.

On the north side of the street, there will be a trailhead park which will provide access for pedestrians and equestrians to the Pacific Electric Trail. A portion of the old bridge and a piece of the original Route 66 pavement will be featured at the park.

The city is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 7 to mark the completion of the Pacific Electric Trail. Route 66-themed art work on the bridge is scheduled to be complete in December or January.

Here’s an artist’s rendering of what that refurbished section of Foothill will look like:


By spring, this video will be replaced by reality.

New preview video for Route 66 fitness program September 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Sports, Web sites.
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Health Enhancement Systems, which has touted a “Get Fit on Route 66″ program for workplaces or groups for several years, recently concocted a new video about it. It’s a well-designed clip:

Here’s my story about the program from 2009.

“Man vs. Food Nation,” Route 66 edition September 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Food, Restaurants, Television.
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The Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food Nation” recently did a Route 66 segment that included Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, Idle Spurs Steakhouse in Barstow, Calif., and Elote Cafe in Tulsa.

Here’s the full episode, in two parts:

The segment includes Elote’s formidable Puffy Taco Challenge.

Is The Mill haunted? September 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Ghosts and Mysteries, Preservation, Restaurants, Vehicles.
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I doubt it. But a Spirit of Tours ghost-investigation event on Oct. 8 at the Route 66 landmark in Lincoln, Ill., is bound to be entertaining, reported the Lincoln Courier.

Spirit of Tours, based in nearby Bloomington, wants to check out The Mill, a 1929 restaurant that’s being renovated for future use as a tourism center.

Having such a great history, the building is sure to hold some “spooky” inhabitants, according to medium Deborah Carr Senger, who will lead the event.

Also, the group will host another event later that month:

Spirit of Tours will return to Lincoln on Oct. 22 to host the Ghost Bridge Ghost Walk.  Partcipants will walk down an abandoned stretch of old Route 66 to the Ghost Bridge in Lincoln and visit the grave of Coonhound Johnny, who, legend has it, smuggled hooch up and down this storied highway.

Participants will hear infamous and rare stories of spirits and unexplained events up and down the Mother Road.

Reservations for both events can be obtained by going to the Spirit of Tours website.

Also, The Mill is hosting a car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The $5 registration fees to the annual Cruise-In raises money for The Mill’s ongoing restoration efforts.

Visitors that day can also participate in tours of The Mill.

The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County is sponsoring the events.

New toys, iPad app allow you to cruise Radiator Springs September 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Video games.
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A new Disney toy line and an Apple iPad app allow you or your kids to cruise the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs as portrayed in the Disney-Pixar films “Cars” and “Cars 2,” according to Mashable Entertainment.

From the report:

The new toys, called Disney Appmates, interact directly with a free app for the iPad that brings them to life.

The first toys in the Appmates series are from Pixar’s Cars. Twin packs of toy autos — each representing a character from the popular film series — will be available in stores for about $20. […]

Each plastic car has specially designed capacitive sensors on the bottom. Once placed on the iPad, these sensors provide the app with information about what character the car represents (each pattern of sensors slightly different) and where it is on the screen.

The app then adjusts itself to match the position of the car and to speak and interact with the character. The voices from Cars and Cars 2 are a nice touch. Kids can freely explore the area around Radiator Springs and Route 66 during the day and at night.

In addition to a free play mode, kids can also compete in races and complete missions. This earns them coins that outfit their cars with power-ups, special tires and different kinds of fuel. The coins are virtual only — no in-app purchase or real currency exchange takes place — and Disney tells us it is still exploring how it might offer add-on levels or additional items.

Here a video that demonstrates the app:

Mashable’s writer said she was “shocked” with how well the toys interacted with the game on the iPad’s screen.

Appmates works only on the iPad 2 for now because of the game’s hefty processor and memory requirements. But future editions of the game will allow it to work with first-generation iPads as well.

(Photo courtesy of Disney)

Getting kicks on an old Jeep September 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Vehicles.
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Global Content Partners is producing videos to mark Jeep’s 70th anniversary. Here’s a clip about two fellows he did the Mother Road in a 60-year-old Jeep.

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