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Meet Lulu.....
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a finished product or how I design a regular web site. I have not yet
received one whole day or two of travel with Lulu yet,
.. so please understand this is not ready for viewing. (Cheryl)

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September 1999 - As Told By Jeff Meyer and Lynn Bagdon
    -     - 
(Website, links and images by Cheryl Nowka)

Lulu's Big Adventure -Day 1

Lulu has finally caught her breath. I don't know if she will be able to post daily, but I will make sure that she gets it posted. She's a procrastinator at heart. She needs someone to light a fire under her to get her going. Once you get her started though she keeps on going! Well, We got off to a late start as Jeff had to work in the morning. Left home at 11:00 AM. The first stop was at Funk's Grove to see Glaida Funk. Lulu thinks Jeff woke Steve up from an afternoon nap. Glaida wasn't home. Maybe we will catch her on the return trip.

Next stop was at Earnie Edwards house, owner of the now closed Pig Hip Restaurant. He is affectionately known as "The Old Coot" He wasn't home either! Had to stop in Springfield for a Cozy Dog!  We just missed Buzz Waldmire by minutes. Timing is everything and so far this doesn't look so good! Crossed the Mississippi River at 5:00, it was too late to check out "The Chain of Rocks Bridge"

Once in St. Louis, We went to check out Shellee Graham's exhibit at The Componere Gallery in the Blueberry Hill area of St. Louis. The exhibit was pictures that she had taken of the Coral Court Motel [may she rest in piece, the motel, not Shellee} Shellee is in the process of writing a book about the Coral Court Motel. The approximate ETA is spring of 2000. Had dinner at The , Chuck Berry plays there the third Wed of every month! Lulu was disappointed that she couldn't see one of the Icons of Rock-n-Roll History! Checked in at the Registration for the Motor Tour. So far there are 110 cars ready to roll on down that highway tomorrow morning! Caught up with some old friends and made some new ones that night! After getting settled in, Lulu was looking towards the morning in eager anticipation!


Lulu's  Big Adventure Day 2


Well, We're off to an early start. [Lulu's not a day person] The Tour started in the Rt. 66 State Park. The MO. Motor tour officially opened it. We were there for the ceremonies and the cutting of the ribbon! The official, who gave the speech said "He no longer wanted this area referred to as Times Beach, It's the Rt. 66 State Park!" I don't think that will happen in our lifetime. It was learned the previous week, that there was a reunion of the former residents of the area. Can you Imagine?  There was an old Trailways Bus that lumbered through the Park. Lulu wanted to catch up with it later and take pictures, it wasn't on the Tour though. It was eerie driving through this area that once was a thriving town. You could see where the streets had been. I also noticed no signs of wildlife, I figured they were so used to the peace and quiet for all this time, that they were spooked and ran. It was reported that 4000 cars went through the park that day!

On to Meramec Caverns......  The Tour was offered a mini-tour through the Cave. The Gift Shop had refreshments sent up for the Tour. Next Stop, Devil's Elbow, so named because of the bend of the River and much to their chagrin it would get caught in that bend. Occasionally they had to use dynamite to unclog it!  It was a sack lunch provided to us by the kind people at Allman's Market. As we were enjoying our lunches on the hood of our cars, Lulu received her adoring public.

On the road to Springfield, an interesting little find of Lulu's. If you set your odometer at 00 at junction's Business Loop 44 and I 44, at the 9 mile point, to your left is an OLD Phillips 66 Gas Station, circa 1924. If Lulu can remember correctly the building is made out of shingle like material. A neat little building.

Got into Springfield and checked into the Rail Haven Motel [now a part of the Best Western family] It was originally called The Rail Haven Motor Court. Founded by the Lippman Family in 1938. It was originally 8 sandstone cottages with adjoining garages. A small fence was put around it, and as they say the rest is history. The Banquet Dinner was fun. Jerry McClanhaan gave a slide presentation and Jim Ross gave us the History of RT. 66, how Cy Avery wheeled and dealed to get the Highway built. It's been a very long day, Lulu offered her services to help "the boys" {Jerry and Jim} pack up all their gear. They graciously declined. Off to bed, with new adventures waiting in the morning



Lulu's Big Adventure Day 3


It was an overcast morning......rain perhaps? The first stop was at the Chesapeke Fish Hatchery in Chesapeke, MO. It is a
detour off the Mother Road, but well worth the trip. The Hatchery was once a private owned pond. The Government acquired it in 1928. It was a CCC project during the War. The group of us got the Grand Tour. The best part is that it is free and open to the general public! It only takes 60 days to go from egg to a fish that can be released! The fish are free from the government to us the constituents, IF you can meet the 3 requirements. An 8 ft pond, wide or deep? I don't know {I'm a Chick who doesn't Fish, The closest Lulu gets to fish are fish sticks!} That there are no other fish in the pond [So the Stock fish don't get eaten] That it has to be "fished" it doesn't matter whether it is for public or private use, or even if a fee is charged!

Then it started to rain, Lulu headed off to Carthage, to see the newly restored "Drive-in" She has a special affection for Drive-ins! There were a ton of pictures taken by everybody! There was a fellow who had a 57 Chevy that was Aqua and White. The same color of the back of the restored Screen. He parked his car in front of the screen, what a photo op! Lulu was checking out the ticket booth. Somebody yelled "Freeze" and Lulu again made it into infamy! The MO. Association had made arrangements to have a group picture taken if front of the screen. Lulu was right in front in between Jeff, Lynn and Shellee Graham. The gift shop was open and Lulu stood in line to make her purchases. On to Eisler's General Store, marking the end of the MO. Motor Tour. They had a lunch set up for us. Scott Dean was directing traffic, he was in his
element. A few days after we passed through, Dean was the newly elected Pres of The, KS. Association. Lulu chatted with some old friends and she made new ones, as per the norm, She was the last to leave. Lulu needs to "Head out on the Highway, Looking for Adventure in whatever comes her way!"

armadilloOn to OK, Lulu spotted a "Armadillo Roadkill" a 1/2 hour in that state! Go figure! Lulu checked out the "Buffalo Ranch" It had been in business since 1953. When Lynn and Jeff had passed through here in October of 98, the place and it's contents were being auctioned off. The woman who owned it had passed away, and it's contents were dispersed. In 1999 the building was empty of contents. The hamburger place next door was still open though. Tooling along the highway, the next unexpected delight would be The Blue Whale in Catoosa. It was a gift to a woman from her husband.  In it's heyday, families would spend time here swimming and picnicking and having fun at The ole' Swimming Hole. Then liabilities, rules and, etc., set in. It fell into disrepair until some concerned citizens became involved. The Blue Whale has been restored, to it's formal glory! You can't swim in the water though. Dinner is in Tulsa at the Metro Diner. While Jeff and Lynn were dining the couple from The Motor tour from Rockford came in, Chris and Dave. It was their first Motor Tour. They were fledgling Rt. 66'rs. Lulu tried to reel them in. She felt a nibble! Lulu wound up in Bristow, OK, in a Motel called, "The Sooner" You can't get more of the "Old Road Feel" then this place. The desk chair was like a 1950s kitchen chair. The towels were stacked on the counter like you would do at home, no special fold, different colors, etc. No ice machine outdoors, We had to ask the clerk for ice. She came out with a bucket to give to us. $30 for the nite. 2 people and 2 beds. Is this what it REALLY like in the Heyday of 66?


Lulu's Big Adventure - Day 4 (9-14-99)

    Well, Lulu got off to a fairly early start. She headed out to the Cadillac Ranch. A gentleman by the name of Stanley Marsh 3 'planted' 10 Cadillacs in the ground. The 10 Cadillacs represent the 10 different models of the tail fins, from 1947 to 1964 when the fin was discontinued. They are also buried at the same angle that The Great Pyramid was built. He wanted the Ranch to be at a location that was away from the urban setting. With the urban sprawl of Amarillo, He felt like it was being closed in on. Therefore 3 years ago, he uprooted them and moved them 2 miles farther west!

    While Jeff and Lulu were out there, we ran into a couple from Carey, IL with friends of theirs from Europe. They chatted awhile, in the background Lynn noticed a fellow running for all he was worth. Are you Jeff Meyers? are you Laura? Yes, that is Jeff but Laura is his ex-wife. That's Lynn. From what Lynn understands that Jeff's name and his license plate MR RT 66 is a a Japanese book. This kid, Fuji Egoshi was SO excited, he was tickled to death. Everyone took pictures and then back to the Road. A little bit further there is a HUGE cattle ranch! Cows all over the place. Lulu met a German couple. Their English wasn't very good but the enthusiasm was contagious. They asked Lynn to take their picture at this ranch, but of course! Lulu posed with them as well, She is such a picture hog.

    Headed on down the road to Adrian, TX. This is the midpoint of RT 66, you are halfway to California, or halfway to Chicago. Stanley Marsh has adopted this town. There are signs scattered around that mean absolutely nothing!  One that is now missing "Don't trust cats, they lie!" Another one "Crock of  Gin." I guess because Mr.Marsh has money he is considered eccentric. If He didn't have money, he would be called 'Crazy'.  On to the Midpoint Cafe to have lunch. While Jeff and Lynn were ordering their meals Fuji walked in the door so they asked him to join them. They learned that he was from Japan and was 24 years old. He worked a part-time job for 4 years and went to school to make this trip. His English was kid of broken. Jeff had a hard time trying to understand him. Lynn has worked a lot with foreign people so she didn't have a problem at all.

    What Lynn and Jeff found out "Highway News Alert!" Melanie was the waitress. She explained for the 75th Anniversary in 2001 that the Her boss Fran, who was too busy in the kitchen to meet Lulu, hooked up with the people in Detroit, MI. The Cafe is going to sell raffle tickets for $100 a piece. If  you win the drawing, the Grand Prize is either The Restaurant itself or a brand new Corvette!  If anybody is interested you can contact them at www.midpoint66.com. Tell them Lulu sent you.

    Jeff offered to show Fuji the back way into to San Jon from Glen Rio TX. He kind of hesitated, Said to Lynn, "You drive way to fast." Lynn smirked and said, " I promise I'll slow down" If anybody wants to take the older alignment, continue west on the gravel road in front of the "Last Hotel First Motel" [So named, because the Motel was on the Texas, New Mexico borderline. It was the First Motel as you entered Texas and the Last Motel as you left Texas. It is 18 miles of old alignment that has be returned to a gravel state and you travel through open ranges. So be on the lookout for Cows, they will be standing right in the middle of the road! They will turn and look at the vehicle, interested in you as you are in them.

    We got to Tucumcari and said our Good-byes to Fuji, he is staying at The Blue Swallow. Jeff and Lynn went to the store across the street, TeePee Curios to visit with friends Mike and Betty Callens. Another business that is still trying to stay in business after all these years. As Lulu headed to Santa Rosa there was a rain storm! Big deal, right? Being from the Midwest, storms kind of sneak up on you. Out west you can see them for miles ahead! It's like there is a curtain of one huge gray cloud from the sky to the ground. To heighten the incredible display of Mother Nature's Fury, She tosses in this massive light show!  This Midwesterner was duly impressed!

    As Lulu headed up north to Santa Fe, on an older alignment, again another storm! The storms oout there are so different. There are mountains out there! When driving through the Mts. There is sunshine, looking in the other direction is a storm brewing and Rainbows! In Santa Fe, dinner was at a place called Maria's. Spanish food of course. The attraction to this place is a their choice of over 100 Margaritas!  Make Lulu's a double! Tomorrow's game plan is a breakfast date with Lulu's Idol, Michael Wallis. Lulu is so excited she can barely sleep!


Lulu's Big Adventure - Day 6 (9-16-99)

    Woke up in Grant's.  Useless Trivia Alert! For a piece of Bob Waldmire lore. He bought his bus here in 1987. He paid  $1800 for it. The bus was once the property of the Gallup School System. He bought his VW bus in 1985, at about the same time he decided to do the Bird's eye view drawings. Our next door neighbors, had a car with Hawaii [?] plates on it! It turns out that he was in the Service and was on his way Fort Sill, OK. Stopped at a gift shop called "What a Bargain" There was a fella outside "roasting peppers." Lulu had no clue as to what was going on. She went up and said, " I'm from IL, what are you doing?" He had a grated 50 gallon drum that was sideways and full of peppers. It was turning, full of peppers with heat being projected at it. She was clueless. This very patient man explained, He was firing up the peppers so the peels would come off at the softest touch. Kind of like blanching vegetables in the Midwest. What that means is you cook the vegetable very fast and very hot and the skin just peels off. As far as the peppers being hot or mild, this is the way THAT works. It doesn't matter when the pepper is picked early or later in the season, it still has the same heat. For example, some people pick tomatoes early. It doesn't matter what time of the year you pick them, they still taste the same. Hence, green peppers or red peppers, it makes no difference of the heat, they were just picked early in the season.

     Lulu stopped to take a picture of the sign "Stay at the El Rancho in Gallup, NM." As she got out of the car, Lulu saw all kinds of Prairie Dogs, she almost stepped in an entrance to one of their dens! Then they were not happy with her and they yipped and yapped until she got back into the car and left. Lulu stopped at Gallup's Chamber of Commerce. On the front of the building is one of Jerry McClanahan's artwork in NEON! It's mounted to the front of the building. It's way too cool! But then it doesn't take much to impress Lulu!

On toward Winslow......She crossed the Continental Divide, elevation 7275 ft. It is an imaginary line that runs atop of the ridge of the Rocky Mountains. Rain that falls on the East side of here runs towards the Atlantic or Arctic Oceans. Rain that falls to the west of here runs towards the Pacific Ocean. There is also an old Whiting Bros. Station along the old alignment, that runs right next to the Interstate. Lulu tried to make time, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Last week, Lulu was 7 days behind Bob Waldmire. He just left Winslow, AZ. Lulu missed him by 3 hours!

Jeff took Lulu to "The Old Trading Post" from the Painted Desert. (Photos of Painted Desert and PetrifiedForest) It is in the middle of nowhere!!  It is A VERY OLD Alignment of the Road! In the wash, next to the old post were very old cars there from the 30's or 40's! To give you a little piece of useless info about "Washes":  Lynn moved out west in the late 70's, She had an Uncle, who lived in Lake Havusu, AZ who explained a lot of things to her. A "Wash" is a Mother Nature thing. When It rains in the Mts. the water runs off to the closest river. The natural flow of water erodes and makes it's own 'ditches' Because it rains so seldom in the desert, they don't build bridges over these ditches They build the road along the topography of the land. They build "Dips." The signs along the roadway say, "Do not enter if full of water" I heard a story, years ago about a VW entering a wash full of water! The car was washed into the River never to be seen again! Headed to the "Jackrabbit" Trading Post, Tony had a side job to do, "Catch you on the way back." So we visited with Cindy, his wife. She said business has been slow this year. Our next stop is Winslow, AZ.

Got to Winslow. They had their dedication of the "Park" last weekend. Lulu couldn't make it, as she was on the MO Tour, Lulu heard the weather was horrible! Lulu also heard that they had a cool Eagles cover band. The band had such a good time the guys stayed all weekend! Sorry she missed it as she is such a party animal. As we were looking for our fundraising "brick" purchased last year, resounding in the air was The Eagles tune, "Take it Easy!" It was one of the highlights of the trip! {next to meeting Michael Wallis}

    Lulu turned around and there was Lynn's road-sister, Diane Patterson hanging out of her window, "Hi Guys." Diane owns a shop across the street from "the corner" Roadworks. She sells 66 stuff and also has a very nice collection of tin signs. If you stop and see her, tell her Lulu sent you! She will get a big kick out of it. Lulu stayed at La Pasada. It was an old Harvey House. It was a hotel and restaurant inside of the train station where the Santa Fe trains came through. When traveling by train was the fastest way of transportation across the country. The first Harvey House was built in 1878 in Florence, Kansas. There were eventually 23 Hotels built across the West. La Pasada was opened in 1929 and it was closed in 1957. It is in the progress of renovation and the people behind it are doing a magnificent job! Dan Lutzick is the GM and his partner Allen? {can't read my own notes! Have been hard at work to bring this thing of beauty to her original Grandeur}. Lulu talked to the two of them and hopefully they might break ground this fall and put a restaurant in there as well. As Lynn was writing of the days events, the trains going by were sounds of music to her ears. In 2 hours 9 trains came through. Somebody had a fire burning and the smell wafted to her nose. What a way to end a day!


Lulu's Big Adventure Day 7 (9-17-99)

Before Lulu left, She had to take more pictures of the grounds at La Posada. It started to rain, but it didn't dampen her spirits! Dan Lutzick's partner's name is Allen Affeldt. Even if you don't have the chance to stay at this Grand Beauty, you can still take a walking tour through the grounds and the building itself. You can pick up Souvenir Guide and Map of the Walking Tour in the lobby. It is a must see! Lulu went back to Roadworks to say good-bye to Diane Patterson.  It was raining out, there were no pics taken at 'The Corner' maybe on the way back the sun will be shining.

Back to the Highway. Didn't make it to far, got to Meteor City. A gift shop that has been on the old Highway for quite some time. It's a huge white fiberglass dome. You can't miss it. Bob Waldmire is in the process of painting the biggest mural [66ft] of Rt. 66 on the side of the building on a fence. Stop by and see Dale and Judi, really nice people and again, tell them Lulu sent you. Further on down the road is what's left of the Old Curio Shop and Observatory Center for Meteor Crater. Lulu went exploring even though there are 'No Trespassing' signs posted. She becomes so illiterate at the most inopportune times. At one time there was a telescope here so people could view the huge hole in the ground when a Meteor hit here, it a very long time ago. Another tourist trap along the highway to draw in the masses, so they could spend their hard earned dollars on trinkets to remind them of their trips once they returned home.

One of the places Lynn really wanted to see is Two Guns, an old abandoned town. It was once considered one of the roughest towns in the territory. It is home to the infamous Canyon Diablo.There are many stories of the canyon about people having really bad luck here. There was also a Zoo that housed Mountain Lions, Coyotes and Bobcats. There are Ruins that you can still see "Bobcats" painted on the side of the building. The road is now fenced off. You can't gain any legal access to it. Lulu had heard about a back way in, but she wasn't in a SUV. She was very disappointed.

     On the Road, next stop Walnut Canyon Nat'l Park, east of Flagstaff. Lulu wanted to take a hike into the Canyon. It was starting to storm. The thunder echoing off the canyon walls was deafening. Lulu started to walk down a very steep incline. There were no safety rails. She then had a change of heart and hightailed back to the car. We checked out Winona. It consists of a gas station and a few homes. That's it!

     On the West side Bellemont, AZ is an old Whiting Gas Station. A part of this building was built with wood from the powder boxes from an old Army Depot. When Lulu was checking out the old site, the prairie dogs decided to play 'dodgeball' with the car while Lynn was driving! If you continue west here, you are back to an old alignment thru the Kaibob National Forest. It has been returned to a gravel road. This is the 1921 alignment. Here in this stretch is the highest point of Rt. 66 at 7427 ft. A fun stop when you get back to hard road is, The Deer Farm. You buy the feed, the deer are loose, and they know the game!

     Into Williams, first stop is at the Rt. 66 Shop to see Jeff and Lynn's friends, Paul and Sandi Taylor. Lulu helped them close up shop. Off to the Mountain Side Inn [formally The Ramada Inn]. The Taylors have opened a gift shop off the lobby.  Author Bob Moore [The illustrated guidebook to the Mother Road] is helping take some of the pressure off the Taylors and is
helping them at the new store. Lulu got to meet the Author of our Road Bible, Bob Moore. She asked if she could meet T E Behr. He said T E had a previous engagement that evening and would be delighted to meet her in the morning. Had a delightful dinner with Paul and Sandi. We caught up on news of what's going on down the highway.


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