G. M. Baker - Author

Category: Roaming

Posts on travel.

Grand Tour 6: Tulsa to Oklahoma City

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

May 4, 2018, Tulsa to Oklahoma City.

Today we continue westward through Oklahoma. The themes are not so different from yesterday in Missouri: pride in service, helpful locals, and frustrating navigation units. Also, a small transgression and some disappointing trees.

Grand Tour 5: Springfield MO to Tulsa

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

May 3, 2018. Springfield Missouri to Tulsa Oklahoma. Themes of the day are ugly English tourists, underwhelming attractions, and decent ice cream.

Springfield MO to Tulsa OK

A storm system passes overnight and it continues raining for most of the morning. The day’s planned route is not terribly long so we make a leisurely morning and hope for the weather to clear.

There are three loud Englishmen at breakfast in the motel’s breakfast room. Apparently they are doing Route 66 west to east. As a Canadian born in England, who has experienced the ugly American tourist in Europe, it is nice to see roles reversed and the ugly English tourist being obnoxious in America.

Grand Tour 4: St. Louis to Springfield MO

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

May 2, 2018. We head out of St. Louis toward Springfield, Missouri on a route that takes us through the Ozarks.  Themes for the  day: thousands of tiny attractions, bridges that memorialize

Grand Tour 3: Springfield to St Louis

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

I resume the long-delayed transcribing of my Grand Tour travel diary in the midst of a pandemic which has meant, among other inconveniences, that I am at home on my laptop instead of somewhere in Utah, as originally planned for this October. Some say that the purpose of travel is to accumulate memories. If so, revisiting these diaries ought to be better than actually travelling. In some sense it is. Memory leaves out the tedious bits, the inconveniences, the frustrations and delays. Hopefully this account leaves them out too. Still, I’d rather be on the road right now. But here I sit and reminisce.

Route Map Springfield to St. Louis

On this day, May 1, 2018, we take a fairly short drive from Springfield to St. Louis, leaving time for various detours and bits of sight seeing.

While Route 66 is a 2500 mile open air museum, a Beamish Museum / Upper Canada Village / Colonial Williamsburg, right down to the original section of red brick pavement or the concrete section with the turkey tracks, both of which we drive today, it is less “authentic” than those sites in the sense that the old bits are scattered among all the new bits.

Grand Tour 2: All Things Lincoln

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

This post originally appeared on my other blog, Every Page is Page One. The series on our Grand Tour will continue here.

The second day of our Grand Tour, Monday, April 30, 2018, covered only 100 km from Bloomington to Springfield Illinois. The day was really about all things Lincoln.

The route here is simple enough. The old road runs parallel to the Interstate, going through towns rather than around them. Actually, at some point in its history, Route 66 was given a semi-circular bypass around some of the towns, some of which have since expanded around the bypass, so on the map you can see both the old and new bypass routes, one wrapped around the other. This also means that there is a choice of Route 66 routes through these towns, one going through downtown and one on the old bypass route. The landscape is mostly farmland, pleasant but unremarkable. Given the early hour and the fact that the Interstate attracts all the through traffic, the road is quiet.

Grand Tour 1: Chicago to Bloomington

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

The post was originally published on my other blog Every Page is Page One. The series our our Grand Tour will continue here.

This is the beginning of the diary of the Grand Tour that my wife and I took in the spring of 2018. The tour consisted of doing the whole of Route 66, then following the Pacific Coast Highway north as far as the Columbia Gorge before heading back east through Yellowstone and the Badlands.

The obvious question is, why? What it the point of a road trip? And why Route 66? Route 66 was one of the original transcontinental US highways, running from Chicago to LA. It was decommissioned in 1985 after it was made redundant by, and in some cases buried under, various Interstates. Nothing about this makes it special. It was not the longest transcontinental highway. In fact, it was not strictly transcontinental at all, since it starts in Chicago, not on the Atlantic. It was not one of the major ends-with-zero routes (though its backers tried hard to have it designated Route 60). Really, there isn’t anything special about the route itself. But it has acquired romantic associations. And, really, travel is mostly about romance.

© Copyright G. M. Baker 2020