Camping recommendation please - RT66

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by Ladybug, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    Hi Everyone :wave

    In July I intend to ride the full length of Route 66 to celebrate being 66 years old and still riding. :clap

    My route is created using as much of the 1926 sections as I could find and if 1926 isn't available the next oldest section so on. The original plan was to do this in May and since I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to camping in the cold I planned on cheap motels until getting into the warmer states.

    With changing my ride to July I want to camp as much as possible but I'm having difficulty finding places to camp that aren't expensive. If tent camping is going to cost $40 I'll head for a cheap motel. With being from out of state I have discovered state parks are outrageous. Yikes!

    I'm spoiled with living and riding in the Pacific Northwest where there are National Forests all over and plenty of free dispersed camping.

    I did find this:
    https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/...e-to-pitch-your-tent-on-the-iconic-road-trip/
    I'll probably use some of their suggestions but I'm planning to take my time, check all the sites along RT66 and only do about 150 to 200 miles a day.

    Any suggestion on how to find inexpensive camping nearish to RT66 is appreciated. :thumb
    #1
  2. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    Subscribed!

    I can help you out on the '26 route in the St. Louis city streets area.
    I practically live a mile away from that alignment.
    Grew up next to the '32 alignment and know it all quite well from West Central Illinois to Oklahoma.
    Camping options are plentiful, and cheap.
    #2
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  3. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    I can't help with camping suggestions, but look forward to the Ride Report. Sounds like a great trip!
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  4. DSquared

    DSquared Dilly Dilly! Supporter

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    How about the ADV Tent Space Thread? A quick look shows a number of inmates in the area.
    #4
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  5. Scott in Missouri

    Scott in Missouri Lake of the Ozarks, MO

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    Mermac state park is a large, very nice state park off 66 about an hour from St Louis. They're plenty of places to stay.
    https://mostateparks.com/park/meramec-state-park
    Rubys Landon is 9 miles off the beaten path of 66 but on the spur of Historic Waynesville.
    http://roudi.tech/

    And since I live here...I'd tell you 66 can be a bit boring, but lucky for you one of the very best historic stretches is from Cuba to Lebanon. Lots of the old road ending along the new road to include the Devils Elbow stretch.
    #5
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  6. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    Chicago, St Louis, & Los Angeles are all places that I am a bit apprehensive about doing. I'm not a fan of riding in cities and usually route to avoid them. For this ride I am making an exception since they were a big part of RT66.

    This is what I have routed for St. Louis and if you have suggestions I welcome them.

    Crossing river from MO to IL on 270 (I plan to see the Chain of Rocks Bridge)
    S on Riverview & Broadway to see the Arch
    W on Chouteau the SW on Tucker & Gravois
    W & S on Chippewa, & Watson
    N on S Gayer Rd to Big Bend Rd then W
    N on 141 to Manchester and W to connect to 100
    St Louis.jpg


    I will be doing a ride report but probably not until fall or winter, when I will have more time to work on it. But, I plan to post at least one pic a day on my ongoing ride report when I have internet access. The link for that report is in my signature line. That reminds me I need to update it to bring it current.

    I was aware of the Tent Space thread but basically discounted that idea for this ride but now I'm reconsidering. Thanks for the reminder that this is really a terrific resource.

    I'm good with taking a detour off the main RT66 to camp in interesting areas. I'm expecting a lot of boring stretches but I'm good at entertaining myself. I do some geocaching and sometimes the caches will lead to interesting spots in the most boring areas at the very least give me a reason to stop and wander around a bit.

    If there are any things along the way that are do not miss spots, please let me know.

    Thanks everyone.
    #6
  7. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    Between Rolla and Lebanon, MO Route 66 goes though parts of the Mark Twain National Forest. There is plenty of camping in the National Forest.

    At Devils Elbow, MO make sure you stop at the Elbow Inn. It is a one of a kind place.

    In Missouri, the public owns to the highwater mark on navigable rivers. While traveling MO, find a canoe-able river with a river crossing and most likely you'll find a campground.
    #7
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  8. Scott in Missouri

    Scott in Missouri Lake of the Ozarks, MO

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    Elbow Inn has been closed for years. Still Need to see Devils Elbow detour though. Cuba is called the "mural city" so lots of stuff in town. There's still stuff in Rolla but the university dwarfed everything.
    #8
  9. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    I guess it has been 2 years since I have been there. That is too bad it is closed. I was a unique place.
    #9
  10. 1wheelwonder

    1wheelwonder Adventurer

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    That's a great idea.... I'm about 10 min from rt66 . Just across the river from stl.. I'd lend my back yard for a camping spot, even a hot meal and a bonfire
    #10
  11. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    When I went to mark Devils Elbow on my routing and discovered I already have it marked since there is a geocache there. It's nice to know it is worth a stop.

    @1wheelwonder, I'll make a note of that just in case. I do have friends in the St. Louis area that I might be stopping to visit and if I do I will stay at their place.
    #11
  12. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Hey @Ladybug...although the “KY” in KYMike stands for Kentucky, I grew up in St. Louis.

    I don’t know if you’ve been there before, but I recommend you visit Ted Drewes while passing through STL. It’s on Historic RT66.

    2BDD4BD5-AE69-49C8-9B2A-E12E3C1BB8E1.jpeg
    #12
  13. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    Frozen Custard got my attention. It's not common in the Pacific Northwest so when I get to have some it's a real treat. I found the website. What's a concrete?
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  14. RAGBrian

    RAGBrian jonesing for a ride

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    @Ladybug - good route selection through St. Louis. Pretty much follows the original Route 66 alignments.
    There were some CY 66 routes (City 66) that would route a vehicle in different parts of the city down towards Forest Park, then back out to the main road.
    Your route will have more scenic places for stops and pictures!

    @KYMike bruced me on the Ted Drewes recommendation! Not only on the route, but was featured in the first Alton Brown "Feasting on Asphalt" DVD series show.
    What's a concrete? It's a really thick shake, and to prove you ordered it they would turn it upside down and show that NOTHING is dripping out.
    It was a hangout for me in high school, as I had a lot of friends that worked there during the 70's.

    Good on your for having friends in St. Louis for a possible reststop. The closest camping on the west side of the Mississippi River and St. Louis is Babler State Park, just north of the route off of MO 109 in Wildwood.
    It does get filled up during the summer and on the weekends. Other sites mentioned further west in Missouri are good choices.
    Be aware that Missouri state parks are on a reservation basis, and that you will need to use the websites to do so. They have a 2 day requirement for Friday - Sunday dates (which is OK unless you only need one night).
    Private campgrounds dot the route, so that's a possibility.

    I discovered this website this week and will pass it along if you don't have it: https://www.theroute-66.com/saint-louis.html
    I has a lot of information on the route, and I found out some things that I didn't know myself!
    #14
  15. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    Thank you for the input on the St. Louis area. That's very helpful and I now feel better about my routing through the city. Generally, when I need to go through a city I try to go early in the morning before rush time traffic but I'm going to make an exception here so I can go to Ted Drewes.

    I see on the Ted Drewes website it is 80 years old, I like old things and it being a '70s era hang out makes it even better. I graduated in 72 so I relate to those types of hangouts. Cruising the main streets and hanging at a local place seems to be something younger folks don't do anymore. Times change. I have very fond memories of doing those things.

    These suggestions are great!

    Thank you for the website. I did find that one and used it a lot for my routing but I seemed to miss some of the sites in St. Louis. Ted Drewes is on the website and I didn't have it marked for as a stop. I'm glad I was alerted to this stop, I wouldn't want to miss it. I'm going to go over the St. Louis attractions and see if there is anything else I miss.

    Thanks for the info on the MO State Parks, I didn't realize it was on a reservation basis. I have found that in other places since covid and it makes it difficult for traveling without being on a tight schedule. Camping has become a lot more difficult since the covid thing but things always work out one way or another. I did decide if I can't find camping after one or two tries I will go find a, hopefully, cheap motel.
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  16. TheBigH

    TheBigH Been here awhile

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    Make sure you roll back home via Wisconsin, good way to recover from the Illi-noise. Can give you a few places to camp depending on where you land in Wisco.
    #16
  17. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    I'll be riding to Chicago then RT66 to CA and N to home.

    I don't think I will be going to Wisconsin during this trip but I try to go there at least once a year. I have two sisters that live in the Wausau area. When I looked for camping on the way there or in that area what I found was pretty expensive. WI camping suggestions would be appreciated for future rides.
    #17
  18. miller806

    miller806 Adventurer

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    the only advise I would give is get a America The Beautiful Senior Pass. It gets you free admission to all National Parks and most important 1/2 price at all COE and US Forest campgrounds. You might also consider putting an app called RV Parky on your phone it is very useful for finding camp ground of all types. It is designed for the RV community and I use it all the time when in our motorhome, but I see no reason why it would not be useful while camping on a bike.
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  19. DirtyOldMan

    DirtyOldMan Motorsickle enthusiast

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    Dang! I’ll be 66 this year as well. Maybe I should at least ride some of the MO section. As others have said, plenty of good camping in MTNF.
    #19
  20. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    I think it should be a rule for motorcyclists to go out and at least experience a little of RT66 when they are 66. :ricky

    MTNF? I read that as Montana Nation Forest and I know you are referring to a different forest.
    #20