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“Stars in California” August 26, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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This beautifully shot video, directed by M. Andrew Barrera, for “Stars in California” by Texas singer-songwriter Drew Kennedy was shot on several locales on Route 66, as you’ll soon see.

Drew Kennedy – “Stars in California” (Official Music Video) from M. Andrew Barrera on Vimeo.

The song’s pretty good, too.

It’s that time of year August 25, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Food, Restaurants.

In towns along Route 66 in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona during this time of the season, you’ll find roadside stands where freshly picked Hatch green chile peppers are roasted and sold.

This stand is in the parking lot of Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, in Kingman, Ariz.

We got big batch of green chiles from Sichler Farms in Albuquerque last fall. The smell of the chiles while they were being roasted was intoxicating. And we’ve still got a few bags of those roasted chiles in the freezer.

The Hatch Green Chile page on Facebook is terrific. And, if you’re taking a road trip soon, you should find fresh green chiles in New Mexico through mid-September.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on NPR August 24, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Radio, Restaurants.
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As part of its “Summer Nights” series, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” program took a trip down Route 66 to check out Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis.

Route 66 museum likely will be in Tucumcari Convention Center August 23, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Museums, Towns.
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The City Commission of Tucumcari, N.M., on Thursday approved the use of the Tucumcari Convention Center as the future home of the New Mexico Route 66 Museum, according to an email from Richard Talley, owner of the Motel Safari in Tucumcari.

The museum’s board now will work on a lease agreement with the city.

Talley says the Convention Center contains 6,000 square feet of “move-in ready” space for exhibits and a gift shop. He also said:

The Tucumcari Convention Center is already home to the Route 66 Monument, a Route 66 Photo Exhibit and a Route 66 Interpretive Kiosk, as well as home to some of Tucumcari’s signature Route 66 events like the annual Mother Road Rally, Wheels On 66 and the New Mexico Route 66 Association’s annual NM Route 66 Motor Tour. We are very excited about our new facility and eager to begin the move-in process, as soon as the Lease Agreement has been approved, we are now one step closer to opening our state’s first New Mexico Route 66 Museum.

The New Mexico Route 66 Museum in Tucumcari in June had been officially incorporated and approved by the state of New Mexico as a nonprofit group.

The nearby town of Santa Rosa, N.M., also seeks to land a Route 66 museum in its historic Ilfeld Warehouse near downtown. But the city’s sudden and severe financial problems this summer due to a $1.2 million gross-receipts tax appeal makes that proposal less likely.

UPDATE 8/28/2012: The Quay County Sun newspaper in Tucumcari had some additional details, including an offer to house the museum in a proposed racetrack and casino, according to Warren Frost a member of the museum panel:

Frost said Don Chalmers and Coronado Partners, LLC., are on board with housing the museum at the race track and casino grounds. He said they offered to provide a 10,000-square-foot building at no cost.

Frost said Chalmers stressed to the group that he and the partners needed to see that the community showed an actual desire and commitment to this project — and not just a bare-bones museum with a few classic cars.

Frost said the immediate goal is to open a interim museum in the Fort Bascom and San Jon rooms at the Tucumcari Convention Center. He said the two rooms would serve as the museum and gift shop.

Commissioner Dora Salinas-McTigue asked if the committee would cover renovation costs for the two rooms, and was told that would be the case. […]

[Frost] said the city would receive 10 percent of the net proceeds from admission and gift shop sales, and the museum board would be formed with representatives from both the city and county.

No matter how attractive the offer, it would probably be wise to not house the museum at the racetrack, because such entanglements could make it difficult to recover artifacts if the racetrack went out of business. The horse-racing industry has been struggling in recent years, with no end in sight.

Music straight from the barn August 23, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Music.
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I bet you didn’t know the historic Round Barn of Arcadia, Okla., hosts bluegrass music from noon to 6 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month.

If you’re there, you might hear music by the likes of Burlap Tuxedo.

The loft of the Round Barn makes it ideal for acoustic musicians. The round roof creates a parabolic effect, bouncing the sound back to you. It’s like having sound monitors, without the monitors.

Interstate project will restore portion of Route 66 August 22, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways.

An upcoming project to revamp a busy interchange of Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 in the San Bernardino, Calif., area will restore a long-closed portion of Route 66, reported the Highland Community News.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved an agreement with the California Department of Transportation about the interchange. The bottleneck handles more than 1 million vehicles weekly and often produces traffic jams that stretch for miles.

The $324 million project will ad lanes in each direction, plus truck lanes, the newspaper said. Then there’s this part:

The interchange will be reconfigured so I-15 is the primary route of travel and traffic from northbound I-215 will merge from the right. Cajon Boulevard will be reconnected between Devore Road and Kenwood Avenue, restoring that stretch of historic Route 66 and providing an alternative local route through the Devore area.

This Google Map shows the current interchange:

View Larger Map

As you can see on the interactive map, a substantial portion of old Route 66 to the southwest of Cajon Boulevard and Kenwood Avenue remains closed to traffic. That would be reopened.

The map also reveals two options of Cajon Boulevard at Devore Road for CalTrans to link back up.

It’s fascinating to think that nearly two miles of Route 66 will be put back into service — ironically, thanks to the interstate.

“Hotel California” takes some inspiration from the Mother Road August 22, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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It seems obvious when you think about it, but one of The Eagles‘ biggest hit singles, “Hotel California,” took part of its inspiration from the band members’ westward journeys on Route 66.

That’s according to one of the band’s previous members, Don Felder, who was interviewed by Music Radar about the 1977 million-seller.

Felder said part of the song’s imagry came from shared experiences:

“Nobody in the band was from California. […] So everybody had driven into Los Angeles on what used to be Route 66. And as you drive in through the desert at night, you can see the glow of Los Angeles from a hundred miles away. The closer and closer you get, you start seeing all of these images, and these things pounded into our heads: the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, movie stars, palm trees, beaches and girls in bikinis.”

The pertinent part is the opening lines:

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

The whole interview is fascinating, including the part about singer / drummer Don Henley insisting very early that “Hotel California” was a single, despite the song clocking in at over six minutes long.


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