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Driving Route 66 Summer 2012
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February 1, 2012
9:15 pm
Alice Q
Virginia
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February 1, 2012
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Hello I am planning a road trip this summer July( only time I could get from work),  I have a 1979 Fiat Spider. my teenage daughter and I would like to drive across the US , We will have a total of 3 weeks to travel, I am looking to collect as much information as I can , to see as much as we can while  Keeping us both safe,  we both do photography as a hobby ( black and white film and digital) We will be starting in Richmond Virginia, All advice is welcome  Laugh  

February 2, 2012
7:43 pm
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Hi Alice - welcome to the forum 🙂

Three weeks is a good length of time for a rich trip along Route 66. Arizona and New Mexico can be very, very hot during July so remember to take lots of sun block. I went in August, and I'm from the UK, and it was incredibly hot (loved doing it in the sun though and would recommend it to anyone).

As you have three weeks you might consider doing a detour to the Grand Canyon for a night seeing as you'll be near. You could also take a side trip to Santa Fe. See here for more info on both.

Drove Route 66 in August 2007 - hope to do it again one day in the not too distant future.

February 2, 2012
10:28 pm
Alice Q
Virginia
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Thank You, I am planning to always have sun block and water in the car along with easy to store energy / protein bars, about  2 years ago we spent 1 week at the grand canyon, so I think we will look for other stops

February 4, 2012
3:42 am
frank
usa
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Alice--I got as far as "1979 Fiat"--which stopped me cold.  What if you need a fuel pump replaced in Tucumcari...or a carburetor (!) repair in Hackberry AZ?  Even the handful of Fiat dealers Chrysler has managed to assemble recently won't be able to help you with a '79.

Other than that, it looks like a good plan.  Steve is right about the time--if you try to cover too much, you will miss things.  I'd recommend getting the EZ66 Guide (under $20.) and planning out your nightly stops early.  There's way too much sun for good daytime photography from Oklahoma westward, so being in position after 6PM and before 9AM for your images will be very important. 

February 4, 2012
6:47 pm
Alice Q
Virginia
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Thanks I have been doing alot of reading about the drive. I am thinking we should plan on driving early in the morning and evening then at the hottest part of the day rest out of the sun.

I have been rebuilding this car for the last year.  the new engine will be finished in about a week, I plan on having my tools in the trunk along with spare parts , hoses , carb rebuild kit , oil ect.. ( maybe I'll put a  mechanical fule pump in there too), Fiat dealers and shops can't help me its not the same car , they can't work on it.

I guess what I am trying to do is plan what I should carry?, Is it realistic to to drive there and back in 3 weeks? Are there places we should not miss? If we drive out Route 66 should we take a more northern route comming home? 

I am thinking that in the trunk I should pack, Tools, Spare parts, oil, extra water, first aid kit, Energy Bars, space blanket, These items would stay there.

For the back seat I am building a box that will hold a cooler , and camer gear, maps and books, chargers, lap top.

I would like to put a water proof box on the luggage rack to hold 5 days of cloths each. 

I am told I plan too much, but I want this trip to be fun and full of great pics

February 6, 2012
3:00 am
frank
usa
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Alice--You apparently have more mechanical savvy than I gave you credit for.  Just realize that you will be the only Fiat mechanic for hundreds of miles, with the only parts for thousands of miles.  I would also pack a PRINTED Chilton's Guide or Fiat shop manual along with everything else you mentioned.

As for the rest of your trip plan, it sounds great.  Three weeks would allow several options and one great one would be to go up to nearby Cumberland MD and start out on the National (or Cumberland) Road.  I've got details in the Travel section of my site https://www.rt66pix.com.

This would add three fascinating photo-filled days to your trip, and give your daughter an up-close look at American history, on what was (in a sense) the first "interstate" highway.  You've got to drive out to Illinois anyhow, and this will get you within one-hour of Rt 66!

Really seeing (and photographing) 66 will take about two-weeks, going one-way.  So you could come back the same way, using I-40 etc. as necessary to make time.  You're bound to miss things--or catch them in less-than-great light for images--and this gives you a second chance.

As for in-car supplies, I'd also recommend a 2-gallon insulated water jug and a similar picnic cooler suitable for your camera bag and other gear, to keep everything out of the sun.  Walmart has both.  And a tripod!  Very handy for neon signs.

The recommendations for what to see are on my site along with websites for the main attractions and state tourism offices.  Many of them have good Route 66-related brochures and guides they will mail free.  You should also get the EZ66 Guide soon--it will be invaluable both in planning and when you are on the road.

February 6, 2012
9:49 pm
Alice Q
Virginia
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Thanks Frank,  

A shop manual always stays in the car so that would be part of tools, believe it or not I get a lot  of Fiat parts from  a guy in Texas who ships them in from Europe ( I know Texas is a big place). LOL

I will look in to Cumberland MD that sounds good you are right I will have to start somewhere, and suggestions are what I am looking for. I have gotten 2 books on Rt 66 so far and a map I will pick up EZ66 Guide.

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What started as a record of my personal Route 66 experience has grown into an active community of Route 66 veterans and newcomers alike. This website relies entirely on the experiences of its users so please feel free to recommend your own personal favourites.

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