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Wienermobile stops at Emma Jean’s Holland Burger January 26, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants, Road trips, Vehicles.
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A new Oscar Mayer Wienermobile made a Route 66 stop on Thursday at the legendary Emma Jean Holland Burger Cafe in Victorville, Calif., on the way to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, according to the Victorville Daily Press.

According to the newspaper:

On Thursday, patrons at Emma Jean’s Holland Burger Cafe in Victorville were able to either experience the sight for the first time or relive their childhood memories, as a 2012 model Wienermobile pulled into the parking lot on its way to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

“We picked up the new Wienermobile in Santa Barbara and are driving all the way to the Super Bowl with many stops ahead of us,” Danica Schmidt, official Kraft Foods “Hotdogger,” said. “We wanted to stop at the famous Holland Burger diner for lunch before heading to Flagstaff, Ariz.”

The vehicle also made a stop at the Route 66 Museum in Old Town Victorville.

There usually are several Wienermobiles on the road at any one time. To track them, go here.

UPDATE: The California Route 66 Museum has posted a bunch of photos of the Wiernermobile on its Facebook page.

(Photo of the Wienermobile courtesy of Oscar Mayer)

“Yamashita Tomohisa Route 66,” Episode 4 January 26, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Road trips, Television.
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Here’s the fourth installment of Japanese television’s “Yamashita Tomohisa Route 66,” which chronicles a singer and actor’s trip down the Mother Road during the fall of 2011.

He goes from Joplin, Mo., to Oklahoma City. Afton Station in Afton, Okla., and Ron “Tattoo Man” Jones play a big role in this episode.

http://vimeo.com/35645926

 

Group sets cleanup, festival in west Tulsa January 26, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Events, Preservation.
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Tulsa’s Young Professionals, aka TYPros, announced Wednesday it would stage its annual Street CReD event along the Route 66 corridor of west Tulsa’s Red Fork neighborhood on April 13-14.

The news release states:

The goal of this year’s Street CReD, titled Red Fork Revival, will be to bring back some of this history and show the community the potential of the area. Volunteers will clean up old buildings and storefronts, creating a spruced-up venue for vendors to set up temporary shops, booths and exhibits.  This will make way for a weekend-long event featuring local businesses, street vendors, classic cars, and even a carnival. A trolley connecting three distinct areas — Crystal City, Main Street and Route 66 Village — will transport patrons between attractions.

Brian Paschal, executive director of TYPros,  said: “Our goal is to work with community partners and businesses to pump life back into the Red Fork area through economic development and new business, emphasizing and marketing the tourist draw through the Route 66 connection and beautification.”

If you want to volunteer to plan or help with Red Fork Revival, cal Paschal at 918-560-0286 or email brianpaschal(at)typros(dot)org. (Disclosure: I’ve volunteered some consulting for the event.)

Last year, TYPros staged a similar cleanup / festival in Tulsa’s Pearl District at Sixth Street and Peoria Avenues. This video helps show what happened:

Since then, several businesses have opened in that long-neglected district, and more are planned.

This is good to see January 25, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, People.
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Something I wasn’t sure we’d see again … Harley and Annabelle Russell recently performing in their home base of Erick, Okla.

(Warning: the video contains Harley’s typically bawdy humor … another good sign, actually).

For those new to Route 66 News, Annabelle was diagnosed with ovarian cancer about a year ago. She endured major surgery and months of harrowing chemotherapy. Harley and Annabelle  suspended their decade-long act for Route 66 travelers at their Sandhills Curiosity Shop in Erick so he could care for her. The stress of Annabelle’s illness was hard on Harley, too — he lost a lot of weight.

Although she’s improved, she still has to undergo cancer treatments every 10 days or so. Harley and Annabelle still aren’t sure they can see any Route 66 tour groups this season.

But it’s still greatly encouraging to see Annabelle strumming a guitar behind her husband, just like old times.

A Route 66 app that takes you there … with limits January 25, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Maps, Photographs, Road trips, Web sites.
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Italian photographer Carlo Pinasco recently launched an application, “Image Route 66,” for iPads, iTouches, and iPhones that contains more than 200 high-resolution images from a Route 66 road trip he took in May. With it, you can take a virtual trip down the Mother Road.

But the most intriguing part of the app is each photograph is geo-referenced with global positioning. That way, if you’re interested in traveling to that Route 66 attraction, the app’s Google Maps plug-in will give you precise directions from your location if you’re connected to the Internet.

The turn-by-turn directions won’t always be on Route 66. And but with GPS coordinates, those directions almost certainly will be accurate.

The app requires an iOS operating system of 3.2 or higher. It contains a hefty 48 megabytes, so older iPhones or iPod Touches might crash more while using it.

“Image Route 66″ goes for 99 cents.

Here are a few screen shots of the app in operation:

Each photo also contains a link to a website about the Route 66 attraction. Pinasco seems to defer to the Legends of America site for this information.

The biggest drawback of the app is the omissions. More than 200 photos sounds like a lot. But Pinasco left off large chunks of Missouri and Oklahoma in the app, including POPS, Wagon Wheel Motel, Munger Moss Motel, Rock Cafe, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.

So “Image Route 66″ might be good in a pinch during your road trip or planning your journey, but don’t be surprised if you find out later that you missed something really good if you rely on it alone.

For now, the best Route 66 app for the iPhone and iTouch remains Kelly Ludwig’s “Road Trip 66,” which costs more at $3.99, but it’s much, much more inclusive of the Mother Road’s attractions. And Ludwig tells me she’s developing an app for the iPad as well.

Boot Hill restaurant put up for sale January 24, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Restaurants, Television.
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The owner of the Boot Hill Saloon & Grill in Vega, Texas, has put the restaurant up for sale. However, Boot Hill will continue operating until it finds a buyer.

Boot Hill chef and owner Rory Schepisi, known for her reality television roles in CMT’s “Popularity Contest” and “The Next Food Network Star,” has an asking price of $450,000 for the restaurant and tavern, which has operated for five years off Route 66 and is known for its creative twists on Texas cuisine.

Schepisi said in a telephone interview Tuesday that travel commitments — including a near-weekly gig with the Cadillac Culinary Challenge — has kept her from devoting as much time to Boot Hill as she’d like.

“I just can’t keep an eye on it like I should,” she said. “I hate that for my customers. It sucks.”

Schepisi added it’s difficult to find good restaurant management personnel in the small town of Vega (population 900).

“Boot Hill will be better for someone who can live in Vega full-time and operate it as a family-style restaurant,” she said. “It’s still a good business. With all of its world exposure to Route 66 travelers, it’s still doing well.”

Schepisi remains adamant about keeping the restaurant operating as usual in the meantime.

“I will keep it open if I don’t sell it,” she said.

Even if the restaurant sells, Schepisi says she’ll still live on a Vega-area on a ranch with her boyfriend Klay. She’s lived in Vega for eight years after moving from her native New Jersey.

Boot Hill is the second prominent Route 66 restaurant in the region to go on the block recently. The Midpoint Cafe in nearby Adrian, Texas, was put up for sale last summer. It hasn’t found a buyer.

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