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Best Time To Travel

General discussion on traveling Route 66. Ask here when to go, how long it takes, what to see, where to stay, where to eat, what not to miss etc.

Best Time To Travel

Postby drewman1962 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:28 pm

My wife and I are planning on doing a 21 day trip from Chicago to Santa Monica. She wants to do it in June. We do not want to plan our stop overs with a couple of exceptions. I'm thinking it may be hard to find rooms in june to sleep unless we make reservations. What do you think??
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby Charlie » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:19 pm

In June, you should have no trouble finding lodging in general. However, if you want to hit some of the iconic Route 66 motels such as the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari or the Wig Wams in Holbrook, I would advise making reservations. These facilities are small and very popular with touring groups such as motorcycle or classic car clubs. If you happen to hit town on a day such a group is there, you could well be out of luck.

http://blueswallowmotel.com/

http://www.galerie-kokopelli.com/wigwam/

Some others you might want to check on are the El Rancho in Gallup, NM
http://www.elranchohotel.com/

The La Posada in Winslow, AZ http://www.laposada.org/

The Munger Moss in Lebanon, MO http://www.mungermoss.com/index.htm

Although you don't mention the Grand Canyon, if you do plan on a visit and want to stay in the park, make a reservation as soon as possible.

Have a great trip!!
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby JNB » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:23 pm

Preface this with "IMHO" :lol:

Best times to travel - Middle to end of May (before Memorial Day) ; First to middle of September (after Labor Day). :D
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby burgerboy » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:52 am

I am planning a trip to the US early in 2010. Unfortunately for me, my employer wants me to take the vacation in February but I am led to believe that is NOT a good time to be doing the Route 66 trip. I may be able to stall them until March but that would be the best I could manage. I have two 'engagements' - one is a week in Wisconsin and Illinois (work-related) and the other is a visit to my wife's friends in Portland Oregon. I was thinking of flying in from Australia (forgot THAT important bit of info) to Portland for 3 days and then across to the work week, hopefully ending that in Illinois so we can begin our drive west via the 'mother road'. I will only have 14 days left for the drive but plan to end it around the Grand Canyon (wife reckons we have to ride the mules down and camp out - do they still do that?) and then fly from somewhere in Arizona to LA and thence back to Oz. The big cities don't interest us - wife's nuts about history and I am a country boy.
So the question is: would it be foolish to do the trip in February or April? Would it be insane to do it in a convertible then?
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby TheEditor » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:31 pm

Would it be foolish to do the trip in February or April?

In my opinion, yes and no, respectively -- especially if you plan to visit states like Missouri and Illinois (also known as the Midwest).

February is the heart of winter in the Midwest, and the worst blizzard of my lifetime occurred on Jan. 25, 1978, only about a week before the first of February. And even if you get lucky (no major snowstorms or ice on the road), the best you can usually hope for is 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. That's tolerable, but it's not good outdoor weather ... and yes, I would call it insane to want to drive that part of Route 66 in a convertible at that time of year.

Note, however, that the West and Southwest -- California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas -- might not be that bad, although at 7,000 feet, Flagstaff gets plenty of snow.

April is a different story. At that point you'd be dealing with early spring temperatures, which are sweater or jacket weather at best and sometimes coat weather, but it's unlikely you'd have any snow to deal with (other than the rare fluke storm in early April).

And late April often sees temperatures in the 50s and even 60s.

So if you have a choice, I'd suggest pushing the date to April. Aside from the weather, remember that many Route 66 businesses close for the season during late fall and winter, which could limit your choices in February but probably not as much in April.

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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby Lou-Lou » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:24 pm

My Sister and I thinking of doing Route 66 in October 2010 as part of her 30th Birthday, any comments on doing it this time of year, is it ok???
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby La Regina » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:43 pm

October should be fine. You could bump into fall weater but you could just as well have decent weather all the way. Not too hot. I took my first trip down Route 66 for my 30th b-day as well. It will be the treat of a life time for your sister!
Image Drove the 2440 miles in Fall 2007
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby JNB » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:55 pm

Just a little caveat. As just about anywhere, weather can be unpredictable on Route 66. I was planning to travel from Texas to Winslow, Arizona one October, but turned back at Cline's Corners, New Mexico due to predictions of cold and freezing rain westward. One the other hand, we ran into a sleet storm at Flagstaff, Arizona near the end of May on one trip in the Spring.
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby TheEditor » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:10 pm

Good point, JNB. The weather between Chicago and Los Angeles is so vastly different in several places along the way (compare Chicago in December to the California desert, for instance) that the best you can do is play the odds.

But Mother Nature always deals the cards and names the game.
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While you're still alive,
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby Lou-Lou » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:40 pm

We live in Scotland, so weather not an issue, ha ha!!! Thanks for the replys
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Re: Best Time To Travel

Postby JNB » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:34 am

drewman1962 wrote
I'm thinking it may be hard to find rooms in june to sleep unless we make reservations. What do you think??


It's been our experience that reservations are highly recommended any time between Memorial Day (Last Monday in May) and Labor Day (First Monday in September.)
Don't Miss Delbert Trew, Ugly Crust, Road Kill, And the Delgadillo's, too,
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