Route 66 the stats…

Looking at the initial plan you can see we adjusted the route slightly to accommodate for two days in Las Vegas for a little rest, so the trip turned out like this:

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26 Juni Chicago

27 Juni  Chicago till St Louis (410 km / 260 miles)

28 Juni  St. Louis till Springfield, MO (316 km / 200 miles)

29 Juni  Springfield, MO till Tulsa (370 km / 230 miles)

30 Juni  Tulsa till Oklahoma City (230 km / 142 miles)

1 Juli      Oklahoma City till Amarillo (420 km / 220 miles)

2 Juli      Amarillo till Santa Rosa (275 km / 170 miles)

3 Juli      Santa Rosa till Albuquerque via Santa Fe (290 km / 180 miles)

4 Juli      Albuquerque till Holbrook (370 km / 230 miles)

5 Juli      Holbrook till Flagstaff via Grand Canyon National Park (360 km / 225 miles)

6 Juli      Flagstaff till Las Vegas (400 km / 250 miles)

7 Juli      Las Vegas

8 Juli      Las Vegas till Los Angeles via Barstow (430 km / 267 miles)

9 Juli      Los Angeles

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With excursions and detours, it ended up being 5015 km / 3116 miles against predicted 4000 km / 2485 miles!

Against the initial budget, here is where we ended up:

Car:
Mustang Convertible and the cost including a one-way fee ended up being $2345 due to Budget adding tax on to the one-way fee!
Petrol:
As we did slightly more mileage with 5015 km / 3116 miles and the estimate on fuel consumption that a new mustang does 25mpg which will make about 120 US gallons and the average price along the route is $3.25 per gallon which adds up to $400/3 persons = $135 per person, I am happy to say I was wrong, we ended up only spending a total of $355 for all of it.
Hotel:
The aim is to stay at medium priced motels and share a room, and that would be 13*$180/3 persons = $800 per person. We also managed to get this cheaper than expected at $700 per person despite staying at upmarket budget hotels such as Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place.
Other costs:
We were calculating on average to spend about $75 per day on food, beer and sightseeing which takes us to $975 per person. It turned out that we only spent around $33 on average on food, and another $17 per day on sightseeing and other expenses, making the spend only $650 for the trip.

The predication took us to a grand total of about $2,600 per person without the flights, however adding this up it ended up being $2250.

Some other stats from the ride was we spent 76 hours driving!, the average fuel consumption was 8.7 liter per 100 km (27 mpg US)(32.5 mpg UK).

 

 

Lessons learnt driving Route 66

There inevitable a few things you learn from doing a 2 week road trip which I thought I would share…

  • We all want to drive a Mustang Convertible, however it is a two man car, you can do three people but it is at a push and you will have to make sure you do short days as sitting in the back is not comfortable and you do not have very much rooms for luggage, you have room for max three gym holdalls!
  • The optimal time for driving Route 66 is between  14-16 days as that will keep the daily driving to 290 km / 180 miles so you have time to stop at what you think it interesting without creating massive day trips.
  • Try to work in a day or two where you stay at the same place so you don’t have to hit the road every day.
  • Have lots a water in the car if you drive during the summer, we averaged about 36 degrees Celsius throughout the trip with some days at 44 degrees in Las Vegas.
  • Don’t trust the the SatNav, make sure you have mapped out your route on a map and use the SatNav as a backup. Here is the TomTom files I used.
  • Have a vague idea of what you want to see along the route, it helps with the planning.
  • Use a first tier car rental company like Hertz or Avis, not a budget company like Budget which will try and add more charges along the way, and despite claiming that the one way fee is $xxx but when you return the car adding 30% tax on it as well, so make sure you have all in writing.

Finally, enjoy the route, it is great fun!

 

Day 13 wrap up in Los Angeles

We started the day with a sleep in to 9 am, and then headed out to see the USS Iowa and spent two hours checking her out.

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Then off to returning the car and getting to the airport…

Day 12 on the road, Las Vegas to Los Angeles (430 km / 267 miles)

Today was another early day, as it is a long drive to LA, we started at 7 am and we opted to go out on Route 66 again in Barstow. We drove on the old 66 past Victorville, Lenwood, Helendale, Oro Grande where it follows the rail road rather than the interstate. Driving through some of these empty towns you can’t help thinking about Hotel California: “On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air, Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light, My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night”.

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We then followed the old route, through San Bernardino and then on towards Santa Monica and the pier where the official end of trail sign stands. First we stopped for a swim at the Will Rogers Beach which is just minutes down from Santa Monica but not at all crowded.

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After an hours or so we drove up to Santa Monica Pier to officially end Route 66.

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The rest of the day was spent driving with the top down and checking out the music heritage, Rainbow, Roxy, Whiskey, Troubadour and finished with overlooking the Hollywood Bowl and the Hollywood sign.

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We finished the day around 10 pm at the Embassy Suites in Downey.

 

Day 11 on the road, Las Vegas (0 km / 0 miles)

A day of rest and shopping, and besides I have been told what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas….now pool time!

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Day 10 on the road, Flagstaff Az to Kingsman Az and detour to Las Vegas (400 km / 250 miles)

Again, we left early at 7 am, and driving towards Seligman to get on Route 66, and passing towns like, Yampai, Nelson, Peach Springs, Truxton, Crozier, Valentine, Hackberry and Kingman. Most small towns on this part of Route 66 is either capitalising on the former Route 66 glory or completely dilapidated and covered in dust (Steinbeck and Grapes of Wrath comes to mind…). Since the road goes in a half circle above the interstate you can clearly see the lack of traffic and we only saw 5 cars in 2 hours, on a bonus side, you can stop and enjoy the scenery.

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Now we are taking a detour off Route 66 to Las Vegas for two days, and we stopped at the Hoover Dam on the way in to Las Vegas.

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We finally hit Las Vegas at 3 pm and checked in at Excalibur for two nights.

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Day 9 on the road, Holbroke Az to Flagstaff Az via Grand Canyon (360 km / 225 miles)

Another long day to drive, so we started at 7 am with the first stop being Winslow and the Meteor Crater, an entrance fee of $18 is a little steep but it is a great site, and you do get some local discounts and there is a guided tour and a museum and a film on the impact of the meteor. The think the size of the meteor was about 150 feet (46 meters) and it created a 700 feet (213 meters) deep and 4000 feet (1220 meters) across the crater, it must have been a big bang!

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We then continued on route 66 until just before Flagstaff, and turned up towards Cameron and the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. We had a walk around both Desert View and the Grandview Point, it is amazing to see and you can use the trails to get really close the the canyon and the nature. On the way back we drove down via Tusayan and hitting Flagstaff around 2 pm.

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We spent the afternoon walking through the beautiful historical downtown in Flagstaff before returning the Hampton Inn and an early night.

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Day 8 on the road, Albuquerque Nm to Holbroke Az (370 km / 230 miles)

Albuquerque to Holbroke is long drive, so we started at 7 am to get a head start, with the first stop being Gallup, which is known as the native Indian capital as it is set in the middle of the Navajo nation. Gallup started it’s days in 1881 as a trading post and a railway hub. On a side note it also has the highest crime rate in New Mexico…

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Route 66 follows the interstate but on occasions it goes further out and gives you a better view of the landscape, and it passes Indian trading posts and historical sites.

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Next stop was the Petrified Forest outside Holbrook, a US national park with fossils especially from trees. The park is a 28 mile circular run which costs $20 per car, with about 15 viewpoints, a perfect setup for taking the top down on the car and cruise along the park!

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The final destination for the day was Holbrook an old Western town with links to early settlements, the railways and gun battles. Nowadays it is just a small town frequented by people coming to see the Petrified Forest or driving Route 66. The biggest attraction in the Wigwam Motel, which is has made the US National register for historic places, which is where we stayed the night.

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Day 7 on the road, Santa Rosa Nm to Albuquerque via Santa Fe (290 km / 180 miles)

We started the day early with driving to Santa Fe, the state capital, and spent the morning walking around the downtown area. In addition to the normal shopping and tourist crowds there was the build up to 4th of July with stalls, stands and stages being built and adding to an already busy town center. Santa Fe is a great town to spend a few hours walking around and just soaking up the history and atmosphere.

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Next stop is Albuquerque, and we hit town for lunch around 2 pm, after lunch we drove to towards Tijeras, where the road plays America the beautiful on rumble-strips if you manage to stay right on the road and hold exactly 45 mph. You can read more about it here, and here is our recording of it.

After the musical experience we drove downtown to have a look at the local sights, and looked at the historical center,  San Felipe, Patio Market and the Bio park and we finished the day at the Homewood Suites at Journal Center.

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Day 6 on the road (halfway!), Amarillo Tx to Santa Rosa Nm (275 km / 170 miles)

The day started with a refuelling stop, you have to love Texas, $1.89 per US gallon (3.78 litres) to $25 to fill up the Mustang. Then drive to the New Mexico border, which is about an hour away from Amarillo, and after a short stop we continued to Tucumcari having gained an hour as we entered US Mountain time, which has one of the best preserved stretch of Route 66.

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First stop was the Tucumcari Historical Museum which has bits and bobs from the local history and achievement.

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Next stop was Mesalands Dinosaur Museum with a lot both original and replicated dinosaur fossils, well worth a visit for a $6.50 fee and don’t forget to check out the gift shop with lots of great t-shirts!

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Hitting the road again and an hour’s drive to Santa Rosa for some lunch at Joseph’s, could recommend the place enough, the food is excellent and the staff are super friendly.

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After lunch we took a peek at the Route 66 Auto museum which is just up the road, they have over 30 from the 50’s and 60’s and afterwards we just crossed the road and checked in at the Hampton Inn.

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We spent the afternoon driving around and having a look at the town, and the Blue hole and Park lake is great for swimming on a warm day, and before going back to the hotel we drove out to the Santa Rosa Lake and Dam.

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