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Louisville KY to San Diego CA via Route 66

I've taken a new job back in San Diego and will be relocating there with this trip. This seemed like the perfect occasion to try and cover the entire length of Route 66 and travel as much of the original pavement sections as is possible. I've been researching this trip for some time now, because on various other trips I have done bits and pieces of the route. I've gathered a selection of books and maps over the years and decided to finally put them to some use.

The following tools were used to help me stay on the route and discover some of the special interest items in the towns I would be driving through:

  • Route 66 Traveler's Guide and Roadside Companion by Tom Snyder - Good travelogue explaining what can be seen along the way, but no real directions
  • A Guidebook to the Mother Road - Bob Moore and Patrick Grauwels - point by point mileage and directions
  • Traveling the New Historic Route 66 of Illinois by John Weiss - detailed directions and side trips
  • The Complete Guidebook to Route 66 and The Complete Atlas of Route 66 by Bob Moore and Rich Cunningham this book is unique in that it lists direction for east/west and west/east
  • GPS coordinates located here: http://route66.backroadsplanet.com/global-positioning-system.html.
  • Garmin GPS

I was really hoping the GPS coordinates would help me on this trip. I chose the coordinates that were used in the production of the The Complete Guidebook to Route 66 and The Complete Atlas of Route 66. I was able to load the way points into my GPS but it only displayed a portion of what was loaded and I would have had to select each way point. Some of the way points were directions to stay on Route 66 and others were sights along the way. Nothing would keep the GPS following Route 66.

I ended up using the book and following the signs that have been posted along the route. This became a little confusing because the route in the book is not necessarily the route that is signed. There were just enough signs that would agree that would then throw me off. It was so bad that I ended up heading back north and to St Louis when I was in MO. The GPS was very handy in trying to understand some of the directions because it was easy to see the roads that were around or detect the names of streets I was to turn on. Still it didn't keep me 100% on track and there were a number of times I had to double back, re-read the instructions and try again. Typically this was where I was following the historical Route 66 signs instead of tracking with the book. There were a few situations where the book was confusing and a couple of times where road construction or closures had me looking for ways to get back on track.

Select one of the following: