Category Archives: travel

Midpoint on 66.

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Location: Tucumcari, New Mexico
Miles traveled: 2050
Cost of gas: $1.74 / gal
Weather: sunny
Mood: still tired
Tunes: Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere

< !Start right after THIS!>BIG 66Out at 8:00 in the morning and off to the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK. Learned about some more of the route’s history. We visited the Post Office in Texola, OK – on the border of (get this) Texas and Oklahoma. :rolleyes:

Now the Texas pan-handle looks huge on every US map I’ve ever seen. Big huge Texas. Big distorted map making. It’s only 175 miles across. It’s still a big pan, but it’s only the length of NJ. Smaller then PA. Yet on all the distorted maps I grew up with, it’s huge!

Texas was a downer. Run down towns. No gas. No food. No town. 10 Caddys stuffed in the ground. The “World Famous” Midpoint Cafe was closed for some reason. Only a few signs marked it as “Old 66.” (Unlike “Historic Route 66″ in all the other states we’ve seen it.) It was sad that Texas came off as uncaring. We pulled on 40 and moved onto New Mexico.

Tucumcari Tonight! Having a lot more time then we planned, Christine suggested that we take a look at the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum. “Sure… I guess.” I spoke apprehensively. Turns out that it’s a pretty neat place. They have bronze replicas of various species. Rather intellectual.

Ate at La Cita – Best Mexican in town. Grabbed some groceries for the next leg of the trip: Four Corners in New Mexico. Where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet. Internet hotels will be scarce for the next few days, so don’t worry if we don’t post.

We’re not in Kansas anymore.

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Location: OK City, Oklahoma
Miles traveled: 1787 (and rolling)
Cost of gas: $1.67 / gal
Weather: sunny
Mood: nostalgic
Tunes: Route 66 – Asleep At The Wheel

< !Start right after THIS!>Up early and off to Kansas. We pre-packed our stuff last night. Christine will explain our show mix up in Branson from yesterday – because of that we had a little more time to be 100% ready for today. Enjoy the pool, take more silly tourist pictures, etc.

I took the wheel this morning and headed us back to 44. Tine and I decided to keep to the old 66 route through Kansas. I parked outside the hotel lobby and we went in to ‘check out’, plus look at the breakfast buffet. “Ooh, this looks good – we should sit down.” Ten minutes into breakfast I realize the car is still out front. “We should hit the road – we’re double parked,” I said to Tine. “Kris… We’re not in Manhattan.” “Oh… yeah.” Then I dug back into the eggs.

Out of the Ozark hills and into a little town called Carthage, Missouri. Carthage was the insperation for “Hill Valley” in the “Back to the Future” movies. It was a small detour and Tine was worried if it would be worth the stop. As we turned down W. Main St. I gaped. “Woah, creepy.” They have a huge ornate courthouse with a big clock tower. The wide sidewalks and road design are identical. I have some videos of downtown that will be up at some point. In the meantime here are the pictures.

Into Joplin, Missouri (For those of you who know the song lyrics – Joplin is mentioned.) Parts of the old road are intact here. As I-44 doesn’t bother heading into Kansas. An original concrete arch bridge, painted road surfaces, etc. Blink and you’ll miss Kansas.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma we made a stop at the Metro Diner. Great food – a blast from the past. We both think it’s worth it to find uniqe places to eat on this road trip. From authentic Mexican to toasted sandwiches, anything’s better then a Big Mac w/fries.

We finished the day outside of Oklahoma City. Both of us are pretty beat now. I didn’t even have the time or the energy to finish this post last night. We did however edit and upload pictures. Tomorrow – Another 3 state day; Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico. Woot.

I got… Rhythm.

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Location: Branson, Missouri
Miles traveled: 1350
Cost of gas: $1.69 / gal
Weather: hilly
Mood: finding our routine
Tunes: Manhattan Transfer

< !Start right after THIS!>Five days out and we are starting to get a rhythm. I pack the trunk, Tine packs the back. I handle the computer stuff, she handles the reservations. We both know what we need to do when we arrive at a destination. We both can function as seperate units working together.

“We’ll get two days in Branson, so we’ll have time to maybe ride the bikes around…” Wrong. I just found out that the Ozarks aren’t flat. Yeah – Imagine my suprise. Out of Chicago on Route “schfifty five” and into the mountians. Branson, MO is like driving in the hills of Worcester, MA. The front of every hotel is two stories and the back is five. I’m sure if I looked, I’d find twenty Buicks down in the gorge. “Have you seen grandma?”

It is a spectacle here. No one is native. The town looks as if aliens dropped it off in the summer of 88. Nothing… Nothing… BAM-Branson! All the shows and food here are cheap and good. Worth a stop. Like a sanitized mini-Vegas. Everthing here is, (2 for 1) including beer. The one strange thing is you are served your two beers at the same time. So before even getting the salad bar I’m two-fisting brew. :)

WiFi TheaterMy USB connection to my phone is messed up and we discovered the difference between a “data jack” and a “real internet connection” here at the hotel. Unless it says: “Complimentary Free High-Speed Internet.” You either have to pay, or it’s a modem line. So last night Tine and I went out on our first wardrive. The area is littered with 10 million Access America hotpots. I have no idea what they cost – as when you connect they immediatly ask for a credit card. When you click on the “How much does this cost?” link it times out. :p After a failed connection at Wal-Mart and the mini-mall across the street, we found a solid open link in front of the Andy Williams Theater. Christine had prepared her posts earlier in the day and I had downloaded and processed the pics from the camera before we went to dinner. A quick upload, check of the email, watch the new Strong Bad, and we left. I’ll use it again tonight to post this and check email before we head out to OK City!

We better get out of here before they learn we’re independent voters and we’re watching the RNP coverage on the Daily Show. ” ‘Bout time this town had a hangin’ ” Yikes…

Onto old 66.

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Location: Bloomington, IL
Miles traveled: ask the co-driver
Cost of gas: $1.85 / gal
Weather: awesome
Mood: beat
Tunes: Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown

< !Start right after THIS!>I was going to back date post – but I don’t think that’s fair. Oh, and I’m tired and want sleep. We hit Cedar Point in OH. We hit Chicago, IL. Took a double decker bus tour of the city and had an awesome time.

Some technical bugs to work out with the intar-web. But I’m happy to have a high speed connection here at the Kw’ality Inn in Bloomington. I made sure to upload the ton of pictures we took so far. Lots of stories to be told.

If you’re not in “the know” – we are sending out internet postcards of our trip to friends and family. Check them out here.

Fun at Cedar Point

After a little GPS mapping problem we were able to find our hotel. You see everything in Cedar Point is called Cedar Point “Something.” Even the streets. So, It’s Cedar Point Park on Cedar Point Drive, in Cedar Point. It’s right past Cedar Point Lanes and the Cedar Point Hotel. You can’t miss it.

The park is great. The weather was great. I can see why it’s listed as one of the worlds best coaster / amusement parks in the world. As a coaster snob afficinado – I think that this park has a lot to offer, but not necessarilly my favorite rides. They are higher and faster, but they seem to lack the ride time of some of the coasters in the East. The Top Thrill Dragster is an amazing ride, yet only 14 seconds. The Millenium Force only has a couple of turns and a few big hills. Maybe some whoopdies, or a tight spiral? I guess they thought dropping you 350 feet was enough. If we were to compare Cedar Point in Ohio to Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ – Park to park, I would give Cedar Point the crown but tell them to watch out. Six Flags Great Adventure is a close second.

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The run down (for coaster snobs only): :p We tried to compare like to like, based on the age or style of the ride. Some rides don’t have a good counterpart.

Millenum Force or Nitro – Nitro wins. Longer but not taller. I love the upwards spiral.
Top Thrill or Superman – Equal in very different ways. Fly like Superman or drive a Dragster…
Mean Streak or Rolling Thunder – Mean Streak is better, but almost gets disqualified because it’s a metal coaster held up by wood. Not a “true” (metal plates on wood) wooden coaster.
Wicked Twister or The Chiller – Wicked Twister is awesome. The Chiller is too loud. Both linear induction.
Magnum XL-200 or Scream Machine – Equal. Both older style unique coasters. One has a big drop. One loops.
Raptor or Batman – Raptor wins, but it’s no Medusa.
Mantis or Medusa – Medusa hands down.
Corkscrew or Viper – Viper, even though it’s closed all the time.
Cedar Creek Mine Train or Runaway Mine Train – Equal. It’s the same ride. :p
Disaster Transport or Skull Mountain – Equal. In the dark and not scary.

Now the gem of the park is a little “kiddie” ride called the Wildcat. It’s a old coaster that is really smooth. Very traditional “around then drop, around then drop” but it was a suprise to me how soft and fun it was. If you want a good “warm-up” ride: Skip Disaster Transport and head to the Wildcat.

PA in the bag…

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Location: Sandusky, OH
Miles traveled: 505
Cost of gas: $1.93 / gal
Weather: rainy / shitty
Mood: tired
Tunes: Huey Lewis and the News

< !Start right after THIS!>Streetsborough. What kind of town name is that? Like naming your son “Guy.” We got burned a little for gas in PA. We were hoping to continue on a $1.81 trend. We stopped on exit 15 on I-80 in PA and got raked for $1.93. Into Ohio gas dropped to $1.77. Enough about gas and the republican economy.

We stopped in Dillsburg to see some old friends from the Subaru club. Our friends are named Chris and Christine. Kris, Christine, Chris, and Christine. Our dilemma was solved somewhat by calling Chris’s wife Doctor (as she has her MD) and me “Kay-ris”. This won’t work anymore once my Christine gets her PhD. “Doctor? Doctor.”

On our way through Ohio we got caught in some showers. The sun broke through after a little while. More from Cedar Point later…