Route 66 Caravan

Preserving Route 66 Today for Tomorrow!

Washington DC Trip: Day One

February 16, 2004

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The Smithsonian

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On Sunday February 15th our Washington DC group began to arrive. Jim Conkle and his wife Frances, along with Glen Duncan and his wife Pat flew into Washington DC from California. I flew in from Denver, Colorado. We were joined by Patty Kuhn of the Illinois Heritage Project, Diana Hutton  with the Texas Old Route 66 Association, and Steve Henthorn the President and CEO of the San Bernardino Visitor's and Convention Bureau. Michael Wallis and the Hampton folks would arrive in Washington on Monday in time for the meetings that were scheduled for Tuesday. We were here in Washington DC and now the adventure was about to begin. This was my first time in our nation's capitol and I was excited.
We had no meetings scheduled for Monday as it was President's Day. Many of the offices we wanted to visit were closed, but that was no problem at all. There was something we all wanted to do. We were going to the Smithsonian to see the new Route 66 display that had opened just recently. It was part of the newest attraction at the National Museum of American History, the "America on the Move" exhibit. This is one exhibit that would warm the hearts of all roadies everywhere.

National Museum of American History

The New America on the Move Smithsonian Exhibit
(left to right) Steve Henthorn, Frances & Jim Conkle, Dianna Hutton, Glen Duncan, Patty Kuhn, and Pat Duncan get ready to start the journey.
America on the Move takes the visitor through the history of the United States, a history shaped by transportation. I was particularly fascinated by the artifacts housed in this exhibition. Steam locomotives from a bygone era, heralded the importance that the railroads played in the settling of our country. Railroads were so important that many of our earliest roads like Route 66 followed their tracks. The first car driven across the United States, a 1903 Winton, was also on display. Of course the real reason to be there was to see the Route 66 exhibit. I know all of us had been looking forward to this for a very long time.


The Smithsonian Route 66 Display

The Route 66 exhibit at the Smithsonian is a first class act. Vintage autos, authentic signs and shields, including the Hamons Court sign from Lucilles in Hydro, Oklahoma, are all part of the display. This is one great exhibit to spread the word about the importance of Route 66 to the general public. Who knows how many new roadies we will get from this exhibit!

Perhaps the best part of the exhibit is that it is housed on an original piece of the old Portland Cement roadbed from Oklahoma.

The Route 66 Exhibit

Oklahoma Route 66 Section Visitors can walk on this real piece of Route 66, a relic from our past, that once saw thousands, maybe millions of vehicles pass on through. The spirit of old Route 66 is certainly captured here at the Smithsonian.

Diana Hutton and I (left) point to the image of the Oklahoma Route 66 shield projected onto the original Route 66 roadbed. This part of our Mother Road was a gift to the Smithsonian from the fine folks of Oklahoma.

Auto Court Exhibit

1950s Route 66 Exhibit

Among the other exhibits in the exhibition of America on the Move are these two celebrating the era of the early Motor Courts and the Fabulous Fifties. Route 66 fans will instantly identify with these two fine displays. Route 66 is the Mother Road, and probably the most celebrated road in our history, but she has sisters too. Scenes like these could once be found on all of the major highways in America.

For a special treat explore the Route 66 exhibit at the Smithsonian online by clicking the link:
[Smithsonian Route 66 Exhibit]


America on the Move Gift Shop

Be sure to pick up your souvenirs in the America on the Move gift shop. They have some pretty intriguing items there. Noriko Dorwin will be glad to help you with your purchases too. She sure helped our group as we paused for mementos of the trip.

Pictured at right from left to right - Noriko Dorwin, Jim Conkle, Diana Hutton, Frances Conkle, Patty Kuhn, and Steve Henthorn. Of course I'm behind the camera as usual.

America on the Move Gift Shop


Capital Conkles and Diana Hutton After our sightseeing at the Smithsonian, Patty Kuhn and Steve Henthorn went to see the Lincoln Memorial in honor of President's Day while Jim, Frances, Dianna and I took in the sights around the Washington Mall. The weather was beautiful in the sense that the sun was shining, but it was mighty cold non-the-less. Still we had a nice stroll to the subway station for our ride back to Alexandria where we were staying at the Hampton Inn Old Town South. We all knew that our real work would begin in the morning.


Route 66
Corridor Act

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Washington DC Trip

Showing support for the Preservation of the Mother Road Today and Tomorrow!

Day Two
February 17, 2004

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[DC Trip Home]   [DC Trip Day One]   [DC Trip Day Two]   [DC Trip Day Three]


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Shadows of Old Route 66 For more information about Route 66, its history, and a contemporary look at the Mother Road from Chicago to L.A. be sure to check out the Road Wanderer web site. Over one hundred pages and thousands of photos show all facets of our celebrated highway yesterday and today. Great resource!

66 Caravan Web Site and Washington DC Trip
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