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Route 66 Adventure Handbook: Expanded Third Edition Paperback – June 1, 2006
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"Drew Knowles' phenomenal guidebook makes a great read, whether or not you have ever put your pedal to the metal." Newsday
"This book is a terrific resource for anyone interested in Route 66, whether traveling by car, RV, motorcycle, or armchair." RoadTripAmerica.com
"Knowles' third edition offers insights to offbeat roadside attractions, vintage motels and cafés, natural wonders and quirky sidetrips." Salt Lake Tribune
"May even inspire you to become a road warrior and get your kicks on Route 66." Detroit News
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We also weren't sure from the descriptions whether some of the sites still existed, and we spent time looking for sites that aren't there. We had to find local people who knew the history.
Jerry Mc Clanahan (5 stars), Route 66 Adventure Handbook: Turbocharged Fourth Edition by Drew Knowles (3 stars) and Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways by Jamie Jensen (4 stars) from Amazon (best prices you'll find). My plan was to drive to Chicago, IL from Providence, RI and from there to Santa Monica, CA following old RT 66.
For the Providence to Chicago leg of my trip I used Road Trip USA. While this book gives you a general idea of the routes you want to take it is NOT a turn by turn guide (good driving directions would have been appreciated). It does give many sightseeing suggestions that I did use extensively. Paired with a good GPS unit or additional maps this book is idea for road trips throughout the USA.
On reaching Chicago I found RT 66 and switched over to Route 66: EZ Guide and Route 66 Adventure Handbook. I found RT 66: EZ Guide to be indispensible for traveling 66. I did manage to get lost in nearly every city I drove through as I was both driver and navigator but this would have been solved with the inclusion of the street name of 66 as it passed through cities. Route 66 Adventure Handbook was less useful. It does give you great ideas for sightseeing but finding these locations can be a problem. The addition of street addresses or GPS coordinates would be helpful! Highlights along 66 were Pontiac, IL, Meramec Caverns, the Painted Desert and Grand Canyon.
On reaching Santa Monica I had no plan so I pieced together several of the routes in Road Trip USA to return home. The highlights of the return trip were the Pacific Coast Highway and Yellowstone, not to be missed.
In particular, I enjoy photographing abandoned towns and buildings (the old Salton Sea resort area, for example) and Route 66 is replete with those kinds of sites. It's both a bit of a sad tour and a fascinating one, in that regard. This book not only guided my through innumerable locations of that kind, but also, critically, to some awesome roadside restaurants and motels.
Fortunately, we met some very nice Brits at the Munger Moss Motel (a great overnight stay in Lebanon, MO) who recommended a different Route 66 travel guide that we purchased at our first opportunity. So I highly recommend that you pass over this book in favor of Jerry McClanahan's "EZ66 GUIDE For Travelers, 3rd Edition" which we found far more complete and useful for the balance of our trip. It is available from Amazon for about $20, although we found it at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK for a few dollars less. Met those helpful Brits once again at that museum. Thanks for the great advice!!