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June 5, 2008 | 6 Comments

Mr. Keillor:
We are, perhaps unwisely, planning to drive the old Route 66 (Chicago to Sante Fe) in September. It would be fantastic if one of the broadcast or tour dates and our itinerary coincided.

Will there be any additional late August dates? — and when will those and September dates be announced please?

London, England.

The band and Suzy Bogguss and Fred Newman and I are doing a Prairie Home Rhubarb show in Des Moines on August 17 and in Santa Fe on August 26. Des Moines is home to the fabulous Iowa State Fair which is a must-see event. There is an old stretch of 66 through Arizona that you really shouldn't miss, mountain driving, hairpin turns, no guard rail. And in one little town you'll find a rickety little hotel where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon, or so it is said. So rethink your itinerary, so as to start in LA, in Santa Monica, and head east. And if you can drive it in a convertible, all the better. And don't forget to hike down the trail into the Grand Canyon, one of the great experiences.


Just wanted to note: that drive through Arizona is the route from Kingman to Oatman (heading west). Such a great drive, exactly the way Garrison describes it! Make sure you have a full tank of gas and that the A/C in your car is working. Oatman definitely has the feel of a Wild West town - watch for "wild" burros wandering the streets.
Also, farther east in Arizona is Holbrook, location of another great Route 66 spot: the Wigwam motel ( stay here if you can. The rooms are nothing fancy, but they're very clean and the experience was great. You'll find a classic car parked in front of every wigwam!

That sounds like a wonderful road trip! We were wondering where in AZ the old stretch of Route 66 is? Could someone let us know.

GK .... We all know that you have a great sense of humor but you must also have a hidden sadistic side. You are telling these fair skinned Brits to drive along Route 66 in a convertible during the late summer months in the deserts of Arizona!! They will end up looking like lobsters on the end of their first day! No native Arizonian owns a convertible, only the tourists rent them here or new people who have just moved here.

It is not uncommon to keep kitchen mitts in our non-convertibles autos during the summer months to be able to touch the steering wheel without having to wait for the air conditioner to run for 20 minutes.

Be sure to have them send you photos, especially before the drive and afterwards'll really get a kick!

An overheated fan in Tucson.

DO NOT miss Oatman, AZ. I agree with the reverse route.

You're right -- the Iowa State Fair is
fabulous. I haven't been since I was a kid,
but the memory lingers...
As far as Route 66, I grew up blocks from
it in a charming small town in SoCal called Glendora.
It's worth the few blocks to turn off and
take a walk through time.
Long ago the town folk changed the name
of the road to "Alosta," but last time I visited
I noticed "Route 66" signs everywhere. Must be
nostalgia for a "simpler" time.
Now if I could just afford the gas for the
entire trip East...
Maybe after next January?
San Clemente

I always wanted to do that. Have fun!!!

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