A Brief History of Route 66

All Seasons RV is a proud member of the ROUTE 66 RV Network, the largest network of independent RV dealers in North America. But not too many people know the real history of America’s Mother Road. Time magazine offers a great summary here: 

For nearly six decades, a two-lane road, running 2,448 miles, connected Chicago to Los Angeles. It was the path to Western promise for “Okies” escaping the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, the road under the soles of American nomads like Jack Kerouac. Route 66 was once considered an essential artery, its travelers a measure of America’s pulse. But by the mid-1980s, the road was deemed obsolete.

 Twenty-five years ago on June 27, Route 66 was decommissioned. But even as the no-tell motels and mom-and-pop shops along the road disappeared, the fables of America’s “Mother Road” continued to ramble on.

In the 1920s, federal highway officials, faced with growing automobile ownership (registered motor vehicles grew from 500,000 in 1910 to almost 10 million in 1920) and the impracticality of disjointed, named trails, began to develop a numbered road system. Oklahoma real estate agent and coal company owner Cyrus Avery worked with John Woodruff, a highway proponent, to advocate a diagonal roadway running from Chicago to Los Angeles. 

As an Oklahoman, Avery, who was also largely responsible for getting America’s Main Street its name, lobbied for the route because it would redirect traffic from Kansas City, Mo., and Denver and boost the state’s prosperity. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) initially named the road Route 60 and then Route 62. 

Avery “strenuously objected” to the switch, even penning a letter to AASHTO executive secretary William Markham saying, “You are making a joke of the interstate highway.” On April 30, 1926, the route was renamed. Avery became known as the “Father of Route 66,” with Springfield, Mo., its birthplace.

 

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Rules For Riding Shotgun

c16a8ed1e2152ca31dabdcf2ab70e800As a passenger in any vehicle, you may think that you’re off the hook from having to do any work, but you’re really a second pair of eyes and hands for the driver. Knowing how to be the best shotgun rider can help out your driver and make the ride that much more fun (and safe) for everyone.

Let The Driver Be In Charge

No one likes a backseat driver, especially from the front seat. As a passenger, you usually don’t get to choose the radio station or decide if it’s too cold, although you’re welcome to make suggestions. But, you should be the one to adjust those things when the driver is ready. In the front seat, you have the unique advantage of being there to help your friend behind the wheel. Reaching for controls takes the focus off of the road and an extra pair of hands can be incredibly advantageous in a moment where a second’s glance towards the dash could cause trouble.

Watch The Road Too

Your driver obviously knows the rules of the road. They wouldn’t have a set of keys if they didn’t. But things come up quickly and if it looks like your driver hasn’t seen something that you have from your vantage point, bring it up calmly. (I mention “calmly” as the way to do it because there’s nothing scarier as a driver than a passenger yelling about possible danger.) This is just as true for highway driving as it is for backing out of a parking space. With cars on either side, it can be difficult to see if anyone is coming your way and a passenger can be a second pair of eyes to be sure that your vehicle is in the clear.

Road Tripping It?

If you’re heading out for a longer trip, you’re responsibilities as a shotgun rider are even greater. You might be in charge of food distribution if you stop at a drive-thru, keeping the driver (and yourself) attentive and awake, giving directions, and much more. If you’re traveling with a group, keep the rest of the car in line and protect your driver from more distraction from the crowd.

Remember that even though you’re not the one behind the wheel, you’ll want to be just as attentive to the road, conditions, and other passengers as if you were, simply to help the driver out. You’ll want to be the best front seat passenger you can be for your driver so that nothing (preventable) goes wrong on your drive.

Motorhome Maintenance

class-a-motorhome

So you went out and got yourself a fancy motorhome. These RVs are an awesome choice for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about hitching up and towing a trailer and for RVers who simply want the convenience of hopping in the RV and heading out for adventure. Unlike towables, there’s a little more maintenance that goes into a motorhome than what goes into a trailer. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your motorhome.

Change Your Oil Regularly | It might seem obvious, but we once knew someone who let their oil go 18,000 miles OVER. Yeah, not a smart move. Change your oil regularly, following exactly what the owner’s manual says to. If you know you’re going to end up going over on your mileage while traveling, just change your oil before you head out. And, while you’re at it, make sure you check your oil and top it off if necessary before you depart for your next trip.

Check Fluids | Make sure you change your transmission fluid once a year. Additionally, ensure your coolant is up to par and the cooling system is flushed and cleaned on a yearly basis. Every three months check your fuel filter to ensure it is still viable. A quality fuel filter can help save on fuel costs and fuel efficiency.

Brakes | Have these checked anytime you’re getting the oil changed. A professional mechanic will be able to tell how your brakes are wearing, estimate when they might need to be changed, and alert you of any issues that might impact them. Your brakes are incredibly important because you don’t have a tow vehicle to stop. Keep up with them and you’ll be keeping your family safe and happy.

Body | Check your rig’s exterior to make sure it’s free of any corrosion, rust, or damage that could turn into something bigger in the future. After you vacation in dusty or salty air make sure you rinse off your RV with fresh water.

If you’re still in the market for a motorhome be sure to check out our selection of motorhomes for sale in Yuba City. View our selection online or contact us with questions.

Camping Recipe: Chilaquiles with Blistered Tomatillo Salsa and Eggs

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 4

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grill
  • 2 pounds tomatillos (about 20 medium), husks removed, rinsed
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 1 large white onion, quartered through root end
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 10-ounce bag yellow corn tortilla chips
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), crumbled
  • Hot sauce and cilantro leaves

Preparation

  • Prepare campfire for medium-high heat; lightly oil grate. Grill tomatillos and jalapeños, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and beginning to collapse, 8–10 minutes; transfer to a cutting board.
  • Meanwhile, grill onion, turning occasionally, until charred and beginning to soften, 10–12 minutes; transfer to cutting board with charred tomatillos and jalapeños.
  • Finely chop tomatillos, chiles, and onion and transfer to a large skillet. Add lime juice and toss to combine; season salsa with salt and pepper. Set aside (keep in skillet).
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in another large skillet on camp stove over medium-high. Crack eggs into skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, rotating skillet occasionally, until whites are golden brown and crisp at the edges and set around the yolk (which should still be runny), about 2 minutes.
  • Heat reserved salsa on camp stove over medium just to warm through. Mix in black beans and tortilla chips and cook, tossing and adding up to ¼ cup water if needed to loosen, until chips are just softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Serve chilaquiles in skillet topped with eggs, dollops of yogurt, ricotta salata, hot sauce, and cilantro.