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Virtual cruising May 31, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips.
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I’m not sure who’s doing this, but it’s pretty cool.

Someone has mounted a dashboard video camera and cruised Route 66 from its eastern starting point in Chicago. Some stoplight stops are edited, but it’s mostly real-time footage of driving west on the Mother Road. It’s darned near like being there.

Both videos are about an hour apiece. Part 1 starts in Chicago. Part 2 starts in Romeoville.

I have no idea whether the individual is planning on posting videos of his drive of the entire 2,200 miles. I’m eager to see.

UPDATE 6/1/07: Part 3, as the driver goes through Livingston County, Ill., has been posted. It’s about eight minutes.

Route 66 Radio Show’s webcast time changed May 31, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Magazines, Radio.
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Bob Moore, editor of Route 66 Magazine and emcee of the Route 66 Radio Show at KTOX in Needles, Calif., says that the Internet broadcast of the show has changed from Saturday morning to 8 p.m. EDT Friday on Bounce Radio.

Hillbilly sign returns at Mule Trading Post May 30, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Businesses, Preservation, Signs.
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The Mule Trading Post near Rolla, Mo., blessed by energetic new owners, tracked down an old hillbilly sign that once graced the Hillbilly Store and brought it back from the dead, reports the Rolla Daily News.

The hillbilly sign now stands in front of a new tobacco barn they opened Memorial Day weekend, just next door to the Mule Trading Post. He stands close to two stories tall, and his arms rotate in a circular fashion.

I thought the Hillbilly Store sounded familiar. Sure enough, I leafed through Quinta Scott’s book “Along Route 66″ and found an image of the original sign at the Hillbilly Store on old Route 66 near Devils Elbow, Mo. Here is an excerpt of an image of the original hillbilly sign:

The photo is not the sign that the Mule Trading Post has restored. The Mule fixed up a bigger sign that the Hillbilly Store commissioned after it moved closer to the interstate. The store eventually closed in 2000, and the sign lay in neglect until recently.

It sounds like Carl and Zelma Smith, owners of the Mule, aren’t done in rescuing old Route 66 signs.

“We’re members of the Route 66 Association,” said Zelma. “We’re all trying to buy the signs and keep them on Route 66. I try to collect everything I can find.”

Originally from Nebraska, Zelma didn’t fully realize the popularity of the historic highway until her and her husband became owners of the Mule Trading Post.

“During our first year, we had people from 39 different countries sign our guest book,” said Zelma. “They said they were following Route 66 from Chicago to California. A lot of people ship vintage cars and motorcycles over here to follow it — they’ve also been showing the Route 66 television program from the ’60s in foreign countries.”

The road is lucky to have business owners like the Smiths.

Joliet to celebrate Route 66 heritage May 30, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Towns.
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The city of Joliet, Ill., is holding a big bash downtown Saturday to celebrate its connection to the Mother Road, according to the Joliet Herald-News.

It’s an all-day block party with a classic car show, a sock hop, an ice cream parlor and outdoor showings of “Cars,” a movie based on people and places along The Mother Road, and a showing of “Grease.” All of the events will be held in the city’s downtown. [...]

So the new museum exhibit, the permanent roadside displays — including statues of Jake and Elwood from “The Blues Brothers” on top of the Rich and Creamy stand, 920 N. Broadway — and special signs will enhance the experience while drawing more tourists to Will County [...]

The highlight of Saturday’s celebration will be a live, star-studded re-creation of “You’re the One That I Want,” the final number in “Grease.” Local VIPs will do the number around 6:45 p.m. or immediately after The Blooze Brothers performance beginning at 5 p.m. Both acts will play on a stage in the Ottawa Street parking lot between Benton and Webster streets and near the Renaissance Center.

Smartly, the city hired Route 66ers John and Lenore Weiss to help plan the event. The city has a Web site touting the event.

In other Route 66 events:

Animal sanctuary opens Thursday near Kingman May 30, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions.
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The Keepers of the Wild, once located near Hoover Dam, moved to 175 acres about 25 miles northeast of Kingman, Ariz., just off Route 66 and will open to the public on Thursday, reports the Mohave Daily News.

The sanctuary is for exotic animals that were neglected or abused. The park contains more than 150 animals, including tigers, lions, leopards, reptiles, wolves and monkeys.

In three to four months, the installation of added fencing will allow visitors to walk through the sanctuary but for now visitors must go on guided tours through the park. The animals live in a natural spacious habitat with waterfalls, rock formations, vegetation and natural springs, Lewis said.

Residents of Mohave County can enjoy a pre-opening special until June 30. Tickets for county residents are $12 for adults and $8 for children. Keepers of the Wild is a nonprofit organization.

Normal general admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children. For more information, call 928-769-1800.

Guided tours will run every hour on the hour. The park will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday with the first tour staring at 10 a.m. and the last tour starting at 4 p.m. The park will be closed Monday-Tuesday.

Keeper of the Wild’s Web site is here.

Route 66 Blowout preview May 29, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events.
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The Sapulpa (Okla.) Daily Herald has a preview of this coming weekend’s Route 66 Blowout. Among the new events with the myriad activities is a salsa-tasting contest and a sock hop dance.

A photo journey down Route 66 May 29, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Photographs, Road trips.
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This is a compilation of images from Tokyo photographer Hiroshi Hanamura.

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