Homer's Travels: Getting My Kicks, Planning Route 66

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Getting My Kicks, Planning Route 66

As if all the planning for my Camino hike isn't enough, today I started mapping out our Route 66 drive for later this summer.   I have to get this planning done before I leave for Spain as I'll only be home a week before we leave on what will become our longest roadtrip.

I started with a book ("Route 66: EZ66 GUIDE For Travelers") and some maps ("Here It Is! The Route 66 Map Series"). The book and maps give turn by turn directions, along with sights to see and history to learn about, for the entire Route 66 from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA.

The first thing I wanted to figure out is how long it would take.  Using the book, maps, and Google Maps I plotted out the route.  Turns out, if you tell Google Maps to avoid highways, the directions you get are very close to the original route 66.  I determined stopping points assuming I would not want to drive more than seven or eight hours each day.  When we did out Kansas roadtrip last year we averaged eight hours driving a day and had plenty of time to see the sights even with the short March days (11.5 hours).   We will be driving route 66 in July so there will be a lot more daylight (15 hours).

We'll be sticking with the original route as close as possible as long as the car can make it (some short stretches are not maintained and impassable by the average Honda).  The only diversion we're planning to take is a short one hour side trip to my first home town, Camdenton, MO, and the Lake of the Ozarks.  I look forward to showing the Wife where I spent the first nine years of my life.

Turns out we will pull into Santa Monica, CA in eight days.  Three days visiting our California peeps, a couple days to get to San Francisco (two days because we have to stop in our favorite town, Cambria, where we'll spend the night), a couple days in San Francisco (where we'll try, once again, to get to Alcatraz and Angel Island), and three days to get home.  Eighteen days.  Our longest roadtrip ever.

The next step is to figure out where we will stop along the way.  Because of the scope of the trip, 2,448 miles for route 66 alone (over 4,500 total), this may be more of a plan-on-the-fly type vacation.  The type where the Wife reads through the books (route 66 and AAA) to figure out where we will stop the next day while we drive down the old country roads to our next destination.


  1. Am I officially a "peep" now: yellow and covered in sugar and only available once a year?

    Route 66 is a trip I've always wanted to take. Especially as you know the truck would just love those "unmaintained" portions! :D

  2. GH: I could make you a "Pip" instead of a "Peep". I guess it should have been "Peap" Then again, are you yellow and covered in sugar?

    I'll have to send you an email to talk about hiking opportunities when I get to California.

  3. *jealous*

    GH and I had a long chat once about how cool it would be to do Rte 66.

  4. JaG: This sounds like something GH would like.

    You and the Boy should get in GH's truck and do the route together.

  5. Aw man! You're going to have all this fun.. I'm not sure that's permitted. We'll have to review the TOS agreement. :)

  6. MMC: I think I have all the necessary having fun permits. TOS??? The Original Series??? ;)