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On the trail of another fat man walking August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips.
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The Desert Dispatch of Barstow, Calif., caught up with Gary Long, who’s another obese man who’s walking Route 66 to lose weight.

On his first walking leg, he went from St. Louis to New York City. He lost about 80 pounds, and is down to 300. He’s now walking from Los Angeles to St. Louis. You can keep up with him at afatmansjourney.com.

Long told about a hair-raising experience in Ohio:

During his journey, Long has encountered a rattlesnake and a bear and has been covered in ticks and leeches, he said. One night on the first leg of his trip, he was in Ohio and had walked 20 miles that day. In the early evening, there was a flash flood, and he was soaked. He started to get cold, and hypothermia set in; the right side of his body went numb, and his legs started to give out.

Then, an older man and woman stopped their car and after talking to him handed him a key to their nearby cabin. If it weren’t for the cabin, Long said, “I would have died that night.”

Long was inspired by Steve Vaught of thefatmanwalking.com, who walked across America for the same reason as Long. It didn’t work as well as he’d hoped — he didn’t lose as much weight as anticipated, his marriage dissolved, and a book deal went bust. But in the past few days, Vaught wrote that he is preparing to walk across the globe and document his journey on his Web site more throughly. He’s planning on expanding the site’s offerings and use income from it to help support his family.

Tour of the Ozarks’ final curtain? August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bicycling, Events.
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The eighth annual Tour of the Ozarks, a Sept. 16 bicycle ride through scenic Missouri (including Route 66) to benefit the Diabetes Education Fund, may be the last one, reports the Rolla Daily News.

That’s because the organizers are set to begin new jobs at the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency in St. Louis.

“When we found out we would be moving, we thought a lot about how it would affect the Tour of the Ozarks,” Morgan said. “We’re looking for people who want to do it and can handle it.”

If you want to participate in the event, you can register online clear up to the morning of the event.

Oklahoma governor to visit Route 66 restaurant August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Restaurants.
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If you’re planning to stop for a bite to eat at Al’s Route 66 Cafe in Sapulpa, Okla., on Thursday afternoon, don’t be surprised if you shake the governor’s hand.

Gov. Brad Henry is scheduled to visit Al’s about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Sapulpa Daily Herald. Henry, a Democrat, is running for re-election and is campaigning across the state in an RV.

It’s OK if Henry wants to have a bite at Al’s. The food is swell. However, he’s advised to avoid ordering the Big Daddy — unless he wants to feed his entire staff.

Regardless of how you feel about politics or Henry, it’s cool that Al’s Route 66 Cafe is getting the exposure.

Maybe Henry’s chief challenger, Ernie Istook, can stop there, too.

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge gets colorful decor August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions.
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The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, a section of Route 66 that spans the Mississippi River in St. Louis, was spruced up last week with the addition of red, orange and yellow banners designed by Kansas City artist James Woodfill, reports the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat.

The creation is called “Ultragate.”

Woodfill said the placement of the banners was inspired by walking the bridge.

“The structure seems dense in the distance, and as you move through it, the steel trusses slowly spread out into a light skeletal framework,” he said in a statement issued about the artwork. “With the massive structure overhead, the experience feels like a slowly decompressing gateway across the river.”

The report goes on to say the display will be up for at least one year. You can see the effect by clicking on the News-Democrat’s link, which has a photo.

The bridge carried Route 66 over the river for many years until the interstates bypassed it. It was closed for a number of years, then reopened by Trailnet in 1999 as a pedestrian and bicycle trail.

Nut House goes on the auction block August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Events, Vehicles.
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The Nut House, a pecan and roadside business on Route 66 between Claremore and Catoosa, Okla., will be sold at a liquidation auction starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

Here’s the home page for the auction, which will be conducted by Williams & Williams.

It’s not only going to be attractive for people wanting to invest in a piece of prime Route 66 real estate, but a lot of interesting memorabilia will be on the block, too. There are vintage vehicles, a bunch of antique toys, other antique and novelty items, and, well, lots of other stuff. Be sure to peruse all of the photos, as they’re sorted a bit randomly.

This item might be a hot bidder.

“Cars” passes $400 million mark August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.
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The Disney-Pixar film “Cars,” part of which takes place on old Route 66, has passed the $400 million mark for total box-office receipts, reports Box Office Mojo.

“Cars” has grossed $240 million domestically, which is No. 2 for all of the year 2006, and at least $160 million internationally. I say “at least” because there are several countries that haven’t even reported their grosses yet.

At this point, “Cars” probably will end up with total reported grosses of around $450 million to $500 million.

From west to east August 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Web sites.
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Seamus Malone of the From Hollywood to Harlem blog is embarking on a Route 66 journey from west to east, instead of the more traditional Chicago-to-L.A. direction. You can read about the first day of his adventures here.

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