DETECDIVA'S GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66
"If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway that is best. Get your kicks on route sixty-six.
It winds from Chicago to LA, More than two thousand miles all the way. Get your kicks on route sixty-six." - Bobby Troup
Located in Greenwich's Babcock Preserve, this cache is a quick hike from the parking area. It is very close to a main trail so use stealth. The cache is an ammo can with a few identifying Route 66 stickers on it. Beware of potential ticks, poison ivy and thorns in the summer time. Inside are a whole lot of themed goodies for all ages. I put the themed trade items in one plastic bag. Along our Route 66 journey, we stopped at many geocaches. There is a separate bag with some of our finds from the Route and you are welcome to trade something extra special to take one of these. There is also a bag just for tradeable stickers. Another for travel bugs/trackables. Finally, there is a large bag stuffed with brochures, postcards and information on Route 66. Please do not take anything from this information bag that does not have a double. Leave for future visitors to enjoy and help inspire future travels. This is the soul of this cache so please don't loot this section. All trades and travel bugs welcome but items in keeping with the theme get bonus appreciation hearts. Please rehide the cache in the same way it was found making sure not to leave too much exposed.
Driving Route 66 was a lifelong dream of mine. I was born well after its decommissioning but the allure of what the American Dream meant to the people who built this county, as well as the mystery of Going West, have always held a lot of interest to me. Finally, I got to live this dream and discover exactly what is left of The Mother Road. It was more than I ever expected on every level. Thanks to both local and state preservation groups, many small towns have been restored, icons, motels and roadside attractions saved and murals repainted. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, runs through 8 states starting in Chicago, Illinois, winding through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California. A whopping 2,448 miles! Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. During wartimes, it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. Many troops came and went via the bus stops and the small communities along the way provided many supplies, munitions and other means of support for them. In the 50's, people doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway. This was after all, the way to the newly opened Disneyland, or a path of escape to start a new life out west. Motels, diners, kitschy roadside attractions, trading posts and service stations spread like wildfire across the route to support these waves of people. Those same small business people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the newer Interstate Highway System. The interstate took away so much business from these communities that several are now ghost towns and many survive on a new generation of Route 66 nostalgia seekers from around the world. The ghost towns along the way are an interesting look into what happens to various industrial and service towns when the resources dry up or travelers find a quicker way to get where they're going. Today, Route 66 is truly back on the map and the signs and guidebooks are very easy to follow from state to state. We spent surprisingly little time on the interstate and fell in love with the people we met along the way. The communities along the way genuinely appreciate your business and you'll also encounter some wondrous sights such as Meremac Caverns, The Grand Canyon, The Petrified Forest, The Mojave Desert. Not to mention easy side trips to places like Santa Fe, Sedona and Las Vegas!
Should you ever have the chance to take this Great American Road Trip yourself, please consider a few words of advice. Take your time, a few weeks if you can. If you don't have a lot of time to explore, you will miss a lot in every sense. Stay at some of the legendary surviving motels along the way including the Blue Swallow (Tucumcari, NM), The Wagon Wheel (Cuba, MO), Munger Moss (Lebanon, MO), The Wig Wam Motel (Rialto, CA) and The Big Texan Motel (Amarillo, NM). Take your time in small towns such as Joliet (IL), Cuba (MO) Red Oak II (near Carthage, MO), Galena (KS), Sapulpa (OK), Tucumcari (NM), Gallup (NM), Williams (AZ) Seligman (AZ) and Oatman (AZ). They are each brimming with Route 66 spirit and you will find plenty of neon, mom & pop shops, and rich history. Most important of all, take your time to talk to the guardians of Route 66 that keep it alive for all of us to enjoy. You will know them when you find them, but some include "Crazy Legs" Walker (the human inspiration for Tow Mater from CARS) in Galena, Angel Delgadillo at his Seligman barber shop, Gary Turner at the Gay Parita station, Ramona Lehman from the Munger Moss, Jerry "McJerry" McClanahan at his studio in Chandler, Wayne Bales at Route 66 motors, Dawn Welch (the inspiration for Sally from CARS) at the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Robert Mullen at Bob's Gasoline Alley, and Elmer the Bottletree Ranch keeper in the Mojave Desert. You'll see their pictures in 66 photo books and museums and they are generally easy to find if you go looking for them. These people will gladly share their stories, be your new friends and provide you with great tips if you give them your time. The road is your destination, not the big cities at either end.
There are also lots of great books and DVD's available from Amazon!
If you would like to see photos from the Route, I keep state by state albums here:
Keep on Trucking!