Just a quick thank you to Mike Walker and the rest of the club for the wonderful tour over the past few days. Everyone was so welcoming. The stops were interesting and varied. One of the highlights was driving part of the original Route 66 that was just 9 feet wide.
Here are a couple photos.
Chris -- We were glad to have you and your family join us on the tour. Your and your Dad's "matched set" of 1910 Touring Cars made quite an impression.
Driving on that narrow section of Rt. 66 was a high point of the tour for me as well. One of my contacts in Miami, OK told me about the "nine-foot" section of original pavement near our planned route, so I included it in our itinerary at the last minute. I just assumed he meant two nine-foot LANES. I was amazed to see that that section of "The Mother Road" was only ONE lane, nine feet wide! Another surprise was that the road zigs and zags on section lines, as many county roads do. Presumably, that was the only right-of-way the government could get in that area.
That part of it was built in 1922, a few years before the official opening of the highway in 1926.
I hope some others took pictures and will post them. I always forget to take my camera, but I brought it this time. Then I left it in my truck the whole time.
Yep, nine feet is a bit of a surprise. But the other thing isn't. It was very common for U.S. highways to follow section lines in this part of the country. A notable local example was US 77, which went straight north, then straight east, then straight north again. When we ran into a road that did that in California, my dad called it a Kansas corner. It wasn't until the sixties that a new US 77 cutting across country diagonally and with long curves was built and the old highway went back to being county roads.
Chris - it was a pleasure having you, Gary, Christy, and the girls on the tour. We look forward to doing it again real soon.
Okie Dokie -- Here are some pics. Over 200 of them! They're in a Dropbox folder, sent to me by our club's "official" photographer. Click on a pic and you can scroll through as many as you like. The pics show all of our stops over 3 days of touring.
One point of interest is the one-lane, nine-foot wide section of original Rt. 66 pavement. When you meet someone on that, both of you need to pull halfway onto the gravel shoulder to pass.
Thanks Mike for posting the pictures.
Boy the drive thru Davey Jones? place looked beautiful.
It is amazing how Bender was able to keep his white T shirt so clean while working on the red touring. grin
Mike thanks for the photo's I see my Friend Mr Kent Gilbane from the edge of Columbia , Mo was there, nice to see Mike Bender, and you
Kirk -- That was Har-Ber Village, named for Harvey and Bernice Jones. For many years, Harvey collected buildings and artifacts from the 1800's and early 1900's to put into the Village.
Harvey was the founder of Jones Truck Lines. He started with a wagon and a team of mules and built that into one of the largest truck lines in the country. I used to see him at farm sales. He always wore bib overalls and work boots, and a t-shirt or chambray shirt, depending upon the weather. You wouldn't think he had a dime to his name. But it didn't take long to figure out that if he wanted something, you might as well quit bidding.
John -- Yes, Kent was there, along with Forum members Rick Goelz from Knoxville, TN and Gene Storey from Nevada, MO. The red '09 belongs to Ray Pletcher (new Tin Lizzie Club member) from Ardmore, OK which is almost in Texas. And Chris Paulsen and his Dad with their matched set of '10 Tourings, are from McPherson, KS.
There were 3 couples from OK, and the rest of us were from AR. The couple in the '31 Vicky drove it from Texarkana, over 300 miles away.
Thanks for the post Chris. And Mike tell the official photographer, thanks. I wish I could have made it. Im set to go this fall at Harrison Ark. so look for me then. The old Route 66 has a lot of meaning to our family. My Grandma and Grandpa with my mom being 2 months old, loaded up everything they owned and 68.00 cash and headed for California in May of 1937 from Oklahoma near Tulsa. That was toward the end of the worst of the depression. They drove Route 66 all the way. That hard surface 9 foot section was the exception to the rule. Grandpa always said that there was less than 100 miles of hard surface all the way to California, and most of that was thru towns. They had weathered out the "dustbowl" days in Oklahoma and were looking for better work. When they got to California, they started picking fruit for a living. That was the start of a lifelong career. Grandma always said they were "fruit tramps" and just giggle and laugh. They drove route 66 every year, from the 30s till they finally retired in the late 70s early 80s. It was a yearly pilgrimage for them, as well as my mom and her brother and sister. All the stories Grandpa and Grandma told of the trips is one of the driving forces of me getting my first T. My dream trip is to retrace the 1937 trip as best I can .... Maybe someday .... We drove Route 66 about 2 years ago in our modern car while on vacation. There is still lots of the old gravel sections still there. The modern 2 lane 1940s 50s era highway just bypassed it. Grandpa told about a stretch of road in Arizona, that was replaced when the 2 lane came to be. He said from the bottom of the hill to the top by the 2 lane was about 4 miles. He said the old gravel section was about 50 miles long. He said the gravel would zig zag back and forth and it crossed the 2 lane 10 or 11 times before it made it to the top of the hill. You can still see the old zig zag roads today. Interesting times, but maybe not the "good old days". Thanks again for the pics ....
Donnie -- Rt. 66 is special to me too. When I was a kid, my family moved from Oklahoma to Michigan, because that's where the work was. My Dad was a carpenter, and they were building new homes up there like gangbusters. But we came "home" to my Grandfolks' house every Christmas, mostly on Rt. 66. I drive on the original 66 every chance I get, and I get all warm and fuzzy every time.
We'll be looking for you in Harrison.
And to the rest of y'all -- Our Arkansas Tin Lizzies Fall Tour will be listed in the Events section of the VF magazine. When our web slave gets new info posted on our Club website, I'll post a link here. It now lists the host hotel, in case you want to make a reservation.
I live 0.8 mile from Manchester Road in suburban St. Louis. It was also Missouri Hwy 100 and was the original Route 66 through St. Louis until it was moved later. When I was in high school, none of us ever referred to Watson Road as anything but "66."
My US 66 memory from the forties is riding up Oatman Grade, between Needles and Kingman, in the 1941 Plymouth in a long line of cars. Leading the parade was a truck toiling in low gear up the narrow, twisting road to the summit. At every turnout there would be a car stopped with the hood up and the driver waiting for it to cool down enough to go on. By the late forties the highway was paved all the way from California to Oklahoma, but I recall it was pretty rough through New Mexico, and when you crossed the state line into Texas the pavement suddenly got a lot smoother.