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Where Should We Go Next?

The Next Roadtrip

I know we’re not even halfway down our US-6 trip, but I’d like your help with an important question. Where will Roadtrip-’62 ™ go next? Some of you must have favorite US-numbered highways that everyone else could enjoy a trip on. And hunting for secrets from 1962 will add fun even if you’ve been down those roads before. So, where should we go?

 
pages from 1959 Rand McNally US Road Atlas
pages from 1959 Rand McNally US Road Atlas

A few rules before you send your suggestions. First, it must be a US-numbered route: no interstates and no state numbered highways. Next, I want to avoid the most famous and popular routes, because everyone else has done them. There are plenty of websites and books that look at US-1, US-40, US-30, US-101, and of course the Mother Road, US-66. I won’t be going that way. Third, I will be most interested in the north-south routes, because with the completion of US-6 we will have just finished an east-west route and I hope to alternate. But other east-west highways will be in the running, if you make a compelling case. Use the photos below for inspiration and e-mail me with the form below.

 
Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas (Photo by David Herrera, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

As the meat packing industry dispersed from these stockyard centers in the late 1950s, the Fort Worth Stockyards found many of its buildings were vacant by 1962. It’s now the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. One odd piece of history there that is actually easier to see now than in 1962 is the Palace Theater Light Bulb. This is the second oldest operating light bulb in the world, first installed in 1908! In 1962 it was still burning at the Palace Theater, and was saved when that building was demolished in 1977. Today, it's still burning brightly at the Stockyards Museum. Fort Worth, Texas, is on both US-80 and US-81.

 
fumaroles in Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Fumaroles in Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest area in Yellowstone National Park. A loop walkway with several other paths traverses part of the basin and something is always active. You can see spectacular geysers, steam vents known as fumaroles (like in the photo), bubbling hot springs and more. And it features a museum of Yellowstone. An online tour is available in case you can't drive there today. Several eligible highways will take you to Yellowstone: US-14, US-16, US-20, US-89, US-191, US-212, and US-287.

 
Pink Motel, Cherokee, North Carolina
Pink Motel, Cherokee, North Carolina

The Pink Motel is one of the better looking old motels in Cherokee, North Carolina. For a fun review with interior photos, visit the Mr. Modtomic blog. Near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee is located on US-441, US-19 and within a few miles of US-74.

 

The visitor center at Dinosaur National Monument, off US-40 in Jensen, Utah was completed in 1958. It was closed in 2006 due to structural damage from unstable soils and the rotunda structure is being demolished. You can see dinosaur bones still in the rock, undergoing excavation.

 
Dinosaur National Monument, Jensen, Utah, late 1950s postcard
Dinosaur National Monument, Jensen, Utah (late 1950s postcard from Brian Clouse’s Places To Go Buildings To See.)
 

So, where should we go? Should we travel out west and see some canyons? Should we travel through forests? How about visiting a string of big cities? Maybe drive US-2 along the border with Canada or abandoned US-99 through California? One reader already suggested I stop in Fort Worth, Texas! What are your favorite places around the country? My absolute favorites are Yellowstone National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Use the photos on the page for inspiration. Just considering these four, we already have a list of 12 routes to choose from! So put your thinking caps on and e-mail me with the form below. Wherever we go, I’ll need time to plan and research the trip, so send your ideas soon. And, if I select your route (first person submitting the selected route before December 31, 2015, I will send you a Roadtrip-’62 ™ cap so you're ready to travel! I'm anxious to hear from all of you!

 

Tell me where to go next. You'll also be signed up for the Roadtrip-'62 ™ newsletter, to receive special articles and deals not published here. And, a chance for a free Roadtrip-'62 ™ cap if you are the first person to sumbit the route I select from the entries before December 31, 2015!

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All photos by the author and Copyright © 2015 - Milne Enterprises, Inc., except as noted.

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What's the weather in 1962?

Weather on April 7, 1962 for Cherokee, NC, from the National Climatic Data Center:

  • Low = 52°F
  • High = 60°F
  • Precipitation = no data
  • Mean Wind Speed = 6mph

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