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Classic images May 26, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Restaurants, Vehicles.
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See scenes from Route 66 and images of classic vehicles during this video taken during an AIDS benefit at the original Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood, Calif.

Hiking for his fellow soldiers May 24, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips.
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Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum is hiking a small part of Route 66 during his cross-country quest to raise money for Soldiers’ Angels, a charity that provides financial aid to military families, according to the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph.

Yocum was hiking south and banging his drum on old Route 66 to Pontiac, Ill., on Monday, and planned to stay on the Mother Road until St. Louis. He’ll then head due west toward Los Angeles, away from 66, then head southeast to San Antonio. He plans to end his Hike for Our Heroes trek where it started — Louisville, Ky. — in August 2011.

His eventual goal is to raise $5 million for the charity. He’s been raising $1,000 a day so far.

The inspiration for the journey came from a friend and fellow Iraq War veteran. The business where his friend worked closed during his deployment. His friend later tried to sell his house, only to find no buyer. He filed for bankruptcy and became despondent.

Yocum said he contacted charities to help, but many said the same thing: Thousands of military families are applying for financial assistance and there isn’t enough money. That’s when Yocum said he knew he had to help.

Here’s his sole YouTube video so far:

So far, he’s being sponsored by Louisville Slugger, the baseball bat company, and the Heroes of the Diamond military baseball team. Other sponsors are here.

Side note: Yocum attempted a world record for drumming the longest. He didn’t make it, and he postponed a second attempt when he embarked on his current 7,000-mile journey.

Yocum can be found on Facebook here. Here’s how to donate to his cause.

Put the lid back on! May 23, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Religion.
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Here’s the latest video entry for “Route 66: A Road Trip through the Bible,” from the Book of Zechariah.

If a guy tells you that something’s really bad, you’d better listen to him.

Nat King Cole revisits an old hit May 23, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, People.
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Yes, it is Nat King Cole, and, yes, it is “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” But there are subtle differences. I’ll let Nocaro, the person who posted this to YouTube, explain:

The Nat King Cole Trio was the first to record this Bobby Troup tune on March 15, 1946, and almost fifteen years to the day and what must have seemed a world later, Nat re-recorded “Route 66″ for the benefit of stereophonic sound in 1961. “Route 66″ was a hit in ’46 and will always be associated with the voice and piano of Nat King Cole.

Replicating an old song 15 years later after it was originally recorded is harder to do than it sounds. But, to my ear, Cole mostly did it.

Topock Marina will be replaced this fall May 23, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Motels, Restaurants.

The Topock Marina on Old Route 66 in Topock, Ariz., will be replaced with a $14 million, 102-room hotel, spa, nightclub, microbrewery, restaurant, and conference center starting this fall, owner Chet Hitt told the Mojave Daily News.

Based on the new website, it will be rechristened as Topock 66 Spa & Resort.

Hitt plans to make the resort a year-around destination. “We make a living during the summer with the river business, but our goal is to make a living here in the winter,” Hitt said.

He explained how he plans to do that. There is no “nice hotel” on Interstate 40 “from Flagstaff to Barstow,” he said.

“So, that’s a draw. Route 66 is a huge draw. We get a lot of Europeans that come in who want to travel 66.” Hitt also figures the nearby heavily traveled Burlington Northern and Santa Fe tracks will attract railroad buffs. “How often do you get that close to a train?” he asked.

Pricewise, Hitt expects the resort to be “mid-range, based on what the market will bear.”

He hopes to build a big wedding catering business at the resort. There will also be river excursions and marsh fishing tours. In the future, Hitt plans to sell some time shares for resort rooms.

The Topock Marina is a popular stopping point for Route 66 and other travelers for a meal or a cold one on the banks of the Colorado River before crossing over into California. It’s listed in the “Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide,” published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation.

Hitt is planning a “demolition party” for the current Topock Marina structure on Sept. 20-23, in which he’ll give out pieces of the building as souvenirs. Hitt says he’ll save the beams of the main structure, which were once parts of an old bridge, to be incorporated into the new building.

Here’s a screen capture of an artist’s rendering of the complex:

He said some folks are unhappy that the old Topock Marina will be torn down. But he said the current building suffers from plumbing, electrical and structural issues. He plans to document the history of the building and other nearby sites into a small historical center on-site.

He plans to have the new Topock 66 Spa & Resort’s restaurant and bar open by March 2011, and the rest of the complex open by November or December of 2011.

UPDATE 10/6/2010: The demolition party commenced on Oct. 2, according to an article in the News-Herald of Lake Havasu City. Hitt said the first phase will be open by April 2011.

Arizona Route 66 passport locations May 21, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Publications.

A few days ago, it was reported that a new Route 66 passport would be made available for travelers across Arizona.

The passports won’t be available until May 27, but Route 66 advocate Sharlene Fouser gave me a list of where you can pick them up at that time:

  • Ash Fork Visitor Center, 901 W. Old Route 66 – 928-637-0204
  • Cool Springs, 8275 W. Oatman Hwy.
  • Flagstaff Visitor Center, 1 East Route 66 – 800-842-7293
  • Grand Canyon Caverns Gift Shop, Mile Marker 115, Highway 66 – 928-422-3223
  • Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, 928-769-2605
  • Holbrook Visitor Center (inside the Historic Navajo County Courthouse) 100 E. Arizona St.– 524-2459
  • Kingman Area Visitor Center, or Route 66 Gift Shop (both in the Powerhouse) 120 W. Andy Devine Ave. – 866-427-7866 (VC) or 928-753-5001 (Gift Shop)
  • Oatman — Fast Fanny’s or Ocotillo Gallery – 928-768-7400
  • Peach Springs Hualapai Lodge (front desk) – 928-769-2230
  • Petrified Forest National Park, Painted Desert Visitor Center, I-40, Exit 211 – 928-524-6228
  • Angel’s Barbershop & Visitor Center, 22265 Route 66, Seligman – 928-422-3552
  • Return to the 50s Gift Shop, 22325 Route 66, Seligman – 928-422-4790
  • Mildred’s Frontier Café, 16118 Highway 66, Truxton – 928-769-2237
  • Keepers of Wildlife Animal Sanctuary Gift Shop, 13441 E. Highway 66 (MM 087), Valentine – 928-769-1800
  • Valle Vista Country Club (Follow the signs to the clubhouse) 9686 N Concho Drive – 928-757-6744
  • Williams Visitor Center, 200 W. Railroad – 928-369-0065
  • Winslow Visitor Center (in the Hubbell Trading Post) 523 W. Second – 928-289-2434
  • Lupton Welcome Center, Painted Cliff’s Welcome Center – I-40, Exit 359 – 928-688-2448

Spirit of America and Route 66 May 21, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips, Vehicles.
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Here’s a good video that stars a patriotically decked out 1967 Corvette Stingray and Angel “Guardian of Route 66″ Delgadillo.

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