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Bridge detour in Carthage concerns Boots Motel owners May 23, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, Highways, Maps, Motels.
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Next Wednesday, repair work begins on a bridge on the northeast side of Carthage, Mo. It will take virtually all summer on this project.

The owners of the recently reopened Boots Motel and other businesses along the Route 66 corridor in town are worried the marked detour will potentially keep travelers away.

According to a story by the Joplin Globe:

The Spring River bridge on Highway 96 will be closed starting May 30 for four to six months for a project to replace the span. The work is expected to take four to six months. A detour will be marked directing drivers to use Route 37, Jasper County Route E and Route 571 to get around the project, but local drivers can use alternate routes.

Hart said the detour will direct travelers away from Route 66 business and could prove confusing to those traveling the route. He said his group and the Boots Motel will publicize an alternate that redirect traffic back into Carthage. The Carthage Convention and Visitor’s Bureau will help distribute that information, Wendi Douglas, executive director, told the council.

Hart also emailed maps for eastbound and westbound Route 66 travelers. You can click on these maps to enlarge them.

First, the westbound map:

Next, the eastbound map:

I’ve also provided an illustration of a Route 66-related detour, via Google Maps. If you’re traveling Route 66 this summer, keep these in mind, and let others know as well.

Joplin — one year later May 22, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Sports, Weather.
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Today marks the first anniversary of the tornado that ravaged Joplin, Mo.

The mile-wide twister killed 161 people, injured more than 1,000, and destroyed nearly 8,000 homes and businesses. It remains the worst tornado to hit the U.S. in 60 years, and is without a doubt the worst disaster to befall a Route 66 city.

CBS News posted this interesting video from yesterday:

You may recognize the featured graduating teenager and tornado survivor, Quinton Anderson. He’s the one who appeared in ESPN’s much-praised episode of “Outside the Lines” a few months ago:

A few days ago, surveillance video was posted online of the emergency room reception area at St. John’s Medical Center in Joplin when it took a direct hit from the tornado. It’s breathtaking:

And the Springfield News-Leader posted these before-and-after images of Joplin cleanup efforts.

More remembrance ceremonies are being held in Joplin as we speak. Head over to the Joplin Globe newspaper for ongoing coverage.

Part of Route 66 in California designated a scenic route May 22, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways, Signs.
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Route 66 from Oro Grande, Calif., to the Arizona state line near Needles was designated a scenic route by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, according to a report today by The Sun Runner magazine.

The county made the move at the urging of 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. According to the report:

“Route 66 is a historical and cultural icon that is celebrated both in America and around the world,” said Mitzelfelt. “It’s also an economic asset that is underutilized in San Bernardino County and this designation will ensure that scenic views are protected and that future development will be appropriate to the spirit of Route 66 and will attract additional national and international tourists.”

Route 66, also known as National Trails Highway in much of Mitzelfelt’s Mojave Desert District, had previously been designated a county scenic highway from Oro Grande to Lenwood in the Barstow area. Today’s action extends that designation along the rest of the desert portion of the route, east to the Arizona state line.

The designation requires that future development projects should not significantly affect the scenic views along the route and must meet certain development standards, including limitations on the size of signs, and a requirement that projects blend in with the natural setting as much as possible.

Mitzelfelt also championed the County Route 66 sign program from Oro Grande to the Arizona border.

The county’s action will provide at least some protection to scenic areas along the route in the Mojave Desert, especially those that may be developed by solar-energy firms.

Cubs fans and their goat only days from Chicago May 22, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Animals, Road trips, Sports.
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The group of five Cubs fans and their pet goat Wrigley are less than a week from strolling into Chicago after a 1,900-mile trek from Arizona, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph.

The newspaper’s photographer caught up with them Monday south of Bloomington in McLean, Ill., along Route 66. The quintet wants to break the infamous “Cubs curse” that has bedeviled the baseball team since 1945. While they’re at it, the guys also are raising money for cancer research.

Gregory hopes to raise $100,000 for cancer research, and so far, about $12,000 has been raised. He believes donations will spike once the group hits Chicago. Already, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has donated $2,800. […]

“The amazing thing about this trip is all of the people you meet,” Townsend said. “You find that there are a lot of good people in this world.”

The group hopes to be at Chicago’s Wrigley Field by May 28, when the team faces the San Diego Padres.

To make a donation, go here.

UPDATE: Here’s a video posted today from WMBD-TV in Peoria:

Motel 6 wants “correspondents” for a Route 66 trip May 22, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways, Motels, Road trips.

This seems to be a glass half-full, glass half-empty situation.

The Motel 6 chain is looking for “Open Road Correspondents” this summer to journey down several classic highways, including Route 66 from Amarillo, Texas, to Santa Monica, Calif. The catch is these road reporters will have to stay at Motel 6’s throughout the trip.

From the news release:

In honor of its 50th Anniversary, Motel 6 is issuing a call for three “Open Road Correspondents” to travel and report on some of the best stretches of American highways. Honoring Motel 6’s commitment to sustainability, Correspondents will travel “green” by using environmentally-friendly vehicles and digital map applications to help conserve fuel and energy. Winners also will stay at predetermined Motel 6 locations, several of which have been updated with earth-friendly features, like 80-percent recycled material flooring, low-flow toilets, high-efficiency heating and cooling units and energy-efficient lighting.

Winning Correspondents – and one companion each – will embark along one of three classic routes, each approximately 1,000 miles long with four to six city stops, including:

  • Route 66 (Amarillo, Texas, to Santa Monica, Calif.)
  • The Pacific Coast Highway (Tumwater, Wash., to Santa Barbara, Calif.)
  • Southern Route (Austin, Texas, to Destin, Fla.)

Each prize package is valued at $6,000 and includes two third generation, 64GB, Wi-Fi enabled iPads.

Entrants must go to Motel 6’s Facebook page here by June 21 to enter. Readers will choose the winners by early July.

On one hand, the eventual winners of the Route 66 trip will provide nice publicity for the road with their reports. On the other hand, these folks — and their readers — are going to miss out on wonderful motels on that stretch of Mother Road.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this. What do you think?

Admiral Twin Drive-In vandalized May 21, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Theaters.

The Admiral Twin Drive-In, a landmark theater in Tulsa that’s still being rebuilt after a devastating fire in September 2010, suffered vandalism to its ticket booth and new concession stand on Saturday, reported KOTV in Tulsa.

Almost every ceiling light in the new concession stand was smashed. Shattered glass covers the floor with broken bulbs hanging down from the fluorescent fixtures. Vandals also apparently climbed on cabinets in the bathrooms, pulling them loose from the walls.

A construction supervisor tells News On 6 that they were hoping to open next weekend, but that looks unlikely due to the damage.

Owner Blake Smith says the theater probably will hold a soft reopening in a few weeks, with a larger grand reopening later this summer.

The drive-in opened in 1951, and its second screen was built a year later. The Admiral Twin sits just off the older Admiral Place alignment of Route 66.

The Admiral Twin also served as an inspiration during a scene in Tulsa native S.E. Hinton’s famous novel, “The Outsiders,” and the film version by Francis Ford Coppola.

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