The Shamrock Court Motel in Sullivansouri. It can be yours for $125,000. Lots of possibilities. Actually, now you're toolate. Missouri's Roamin' Rich bought it.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Along 66: The Golden Driller in Tulsa and Cool Springs' MIA Memorial


The Golden Driller Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma is undergoing a $3 million renovation project.

The Golden Driller is a 76-foot tall, 43,500 pound statue of an oil field roughneck created in 1966 about two miles off 11th Street (Route 66).  This would have explained why I hadn't seen it.  This is considerably larger than the ever-popular Muffler Men.

Reputedly, it is the 6th tallest statue in the United States.

The Oklahoma legislature in 1979 declared it a state monument.


MARCH 7       More details have been found about the World War II MIA whom is memorialized at Cool Springs Camp in Arizona.

Tech Sergeant Thomas Walker went MIA in 1944.  There is a section on an inside wall as a tribute to him.  He helped his family run the business there before the war.


Along 66, March 2021: Grants in Arizona and More Neon in Kansas

I take these from the Route 66 News site which is where you want to go for any and all things Route 66.  I go through their postings and pick out the ones I'm most interested in and write about them, usually a month behind time.  The site has more information as well.


The Arizona Route 66 Association today offers two new grant opportunities.  They are cost/share grants from $500 to &10,000 and available to businesses, attractions, chambers of commerce and community organizations.  Applications were taken through April 5.

Too late now.  Sorry.  But cost/share grants are definitely a good thing for the Mother Road.


A new relighting ceremony will be held at Gearhead Curios in Galena, Kansas, and set for April 24.  This is a project of the Missouri Route 66 Association which has relit so many of those wonderful neon signs in Missouri as well as Illinois.

You can NEVER have too much NEON in my book.

Good Job Mo..  --RoadDog

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

6 Iowa Drives-- Part 6: White Pole Road Scenic Byway

It's just 26 miles long and runs parallel to I-80 between mile markers 76 and 100.  It is not really long, but truly unique and one of a kind.

It connects the small communities of Adair, Casey, Menlo, Stuart and Dexter, Iowa.  As soon as you're on it, you will know why they call it the White Pole Road.  There are over 700 painted white poles.  Wow!!!
Its origins relate to old road signage.  You just followed the white poles and you got there.

Yep, you'll get to visit the "Original One Horse Town", the "Home of 1700 Good Eggs and a Few Stinkers."

I haven't driven this one yet, but it is high, high on my list.

Must Go White Polein'.  --RoadPole

Monday, April 5, 2021

Iowa Drives-- Part 5: Western Skies Scenic Byways

The Western Skies Scenic Byways was one of the first dedicated byways  in Iowa.    This 142-mile route  weaves through four rural farming counties in Southwest Iowa and offers unexpected  opportunities for cultural, historical and outdoor activities.

And, that is not leaving out some spectacular sunrises and sunsets, something this drive is noted for.

Plan to spend some time in the community of Elk Horn, which is one of the largest concentrations of Danish  immigrant descendants in the United States.  Here you can experience  the Museum of Danish America. and the only  authentic, working Danish windmill in America.

Swing into the little towns that dot this route and experience all sorts of small mom and pop operations.  And then there are those small diners.


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Iowa Drives-- Part 4: Historic Hills Scenic Byway

This byway is located in southeast Iowa.

There are over 100  Amish and Mennonite businesses in this area.  It is not uncommon to have to share the road with a few horses and buggies.  And, you'll enjoy those barn quilts along the route.    There will also be Iowa's oldest courthouse and other historical sites along the way.

There are no fast food places along the way, so plan accordingly.  Picnic lunches are recommended.  I have never been to this, but can't imagine with that many Amish people that there won't be more than a few restaurants featuring their food.


Iowa Drives-- Part 3: Loess Hills National Scenic Byway

I know a lot of people who think Iowa is a boring state as far as terrain (same with Illinois where we live), but that "just ain't so."  There is a lot of terrain to see and enjoy in the state.  As a matter of fact, we plan on  doing some touring as soon as you-know-what is under (hopefully) control.

Here's another drive in Iowa.

Described as one of the most "epic" drives in Iowa.  It encompasses more than 1,080 miles along the Missouri River in western Iowa and is more than 220 miles long.

The author of this list says it even has one of her favorite places as well, a lavender farm.  I can only imagine how that place smells when in bloom. 

Some places to visit are the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs and Bodega Victoriana, the largest vineyard in western Iowa.  Plus, you have rolling hills and striking river views along the way.

Sign Me Up.  --Roadwa

Friday, April 2, 2021

Six Fantastic Drives in Iowa-- Part 2: The Covered Bridges Scenic Byway


Yep, they have covered bridges in the state.  This is located near the town of Winterset, southwest of Des Moines.  The route is a mixture of paved and gravel roads.  And, in places, it is extremely hilly which makes for many great photo ops.

You could easily spend a whole day driving the route.

Also, in Winterset, stop and visit the  John Wayne Birthplace and Museum and also explore the Town Square which is bedecked  with hanging baskets of flowers during the warm months.

Lots of eating establishments or pack a lunch and eat it out by a covered bridge.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Six Fantastic Drives in Iowa: The Great River Road

From August 25, 2020 Travel Awaits by Sara Broers.


Along the Mississippi River in East Iowa.  She especially likes the town of Lansing in northeast Iowa.  She says there is a fin department store there called  Horsfall's.

Mount Hosmer  Park offers views  of over 50 miles from the top of  a 450-foot high bluff.

Traveling south along this road and you will get to Effigy Mounds. 

Plus, you have Dubuque, one of our favorites in Iowa.  Get up close to one of the Mississippi Rivers Locks and Dams and a view from a bluff.  Then, further down we have Clinton, also a personal favorite.

Of course, then there is the Quad Cities.

Too Much Fun.  --RoadOwa

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Along 66, Feb. 2021: The Chat 'n Chew in Normal, Illinois During Jim Crow Days


Chat 'n Chew near Route 66 in Normal, Illinois, catered to black customers during the Jim Crowe era.  It was a restaurant and grocery, one of a very few places black travelers along the Mother Road could use.  It was located at 403 North Fell Street, a block off Route 66.

It was owned by Richard Anson and was one of the few places black students at Illinois State University (Normal School back then) could eat.  A place by the campus called the Pilgrim Cafe would not serve blacks.  However, in 1947, protests by black and white veterans led to it being integrated.

I wonder if this was listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book?

Hard to believe that this was also in a northern state.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

7 Historic Iowa Hotels-- Part 5: Hotel Pattee and Black Hawk


This is known as one of the finest boutique hotels in the world with 40 individually-themes rooms and even a bowing alley.  

Back in 1912, brothers Harry and William Pattee announced they were going to build a three-story hotel in honor of their father, D.J. Pattee.  Unfortunately D.J. died before it opened in 1913.



Located in downtown Cedar Falls and listed on the NRHP and has been updated throughout the years.  There are 43 rooms of historic charm and modern amenities.  Several restaurants and bars are within walking distance.


Monday, March 29, 2021

7 Historic Iowa Hotels-- Part 4: Hotel Grinnell and Hotel Ottumwa


Perfect example of a repurposed building.  From 1921 to the late 1970s this was a junior high school.  Rooms have chalkboards.    Looks like a junior high school from the outside, but NOT when you get inside.

I taught junior high students for 33 years.  I should take a trip back and stay here.  Might just do that when you-know-what is over.



Located near Main Street and done in a neoclassical style.  Sixty-one rooms reasonably priced.  Full service, made-to-order breakfast and a 50s style cocktail lounge.  World famous canteen sandwiches.

Maybe while in Ottumwa we could stop out by Radar O'Riley's and see how he is doing.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

7 Unique Iowa Hotels: Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah


This is considered the premier hotel in Decorah, Home of the Nordic Fest which salutes its Scandinavian heritage.   Right on Main Street with lots to do.  Once you step inside this hotel, you feel like you've been transported to the 19th century.

It was completely restored in 2000 and the rooms are stunning.  And, they have a really nice bar.

Constructed 1904-1905.  There have been many hotels at the site over the prior years to this one's construction.

We also stayed at this place when we were in Decorah to see the famed eagles.


Saturday, March 27, 2021

7 Unique Iowa Hotels-- Part 2: Hotel Julien


Located right downtown and has hosted many important folks over the years, including Abraham Lincoln, "Buffalo Bill" Cody and Mark Twain. In 2009, a major renovation project was undertaken and the result is a hotel with 133 luxury rooms  and suites along with the restoration of the historic  lobby and Grande Ballroom.

Since 1839, a hotel or inn has occupied the site.  The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1913 and the current structure was rebuilt in 1915.  Reportedly, Al Capone at one time owned it.  

Sylvester Stallone stayed there while filming the movie "F.I.S.T."  

This is one of the two hotels on the list that we have stayed at.


Friday, March 26, 2021

Traveling Iowa: Seven Unique and Historic Hotels-- Part 1: Historic Park Inn in Mason City, All That and Frank Lloyd Too

From Travel Awaits site October 15, 2020, 7 unique and historic hotels in Iowa for the perfect stay" by Sara Broers.

And, we have even stayed in two.   One of our favorite states to visit, is Illinois' neighbor, Iowa.  Right 'Cross the river as they say.

And, you know me and lists.  Hard to resist.


Then last remaining hotel in the world designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The original opened in 1910, but there were big renovations complete in 2010.

If you like the Prairie Style architecture this is the place to be.

Right downtown.

Plus, check out Mason City's connection with "favorite son" Meredith Wilson and that famous musical, many of whose characters were based in Mason City folk.

The city also has the largest collection of Prairie-Style structures in Iowa, some 33 of them.

Plus, there is the Len Jus  Building with its sheet metal facade  by the Mesker Brothers.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Along 66, Feb. 2021: New National U.S. Scenic Highways in California and Missouri and a Chain of Rocks Bridge Water Intake Building


California Route 66 from Needles to Barstow has officially become a Scenic U.S. Highway.  That covers some 150 miles  This covers the Mojave Desert stretch of 66.

Also, about 300 miles of Route 66 in Missouri has been declared an official U.S. Scenic Highway.

Nope, don't surprise me none.  None at all.


A rare inside view of one of the St. Louis water intake structures near the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.  Pictures were taken of what we have often seen from the outside, especially on those delightful times we crossed the Mississippi on the bridge on one of those Illinois Route 66 Association Motor Tours.

So, that's what it looks like.