Getting Kicks: Route 66 East to Galena, Kansas

Posted on: June 30th, 2008 by Lori Feinman

The Original Tow Mater!Ever see the movie Cars? It's an animated feature film done by the magicians at Pixar Studios, and it rocks Route 66. Everyone considering coming to Tulsa for the conference should go down to your (local, independent) video store and rent it, then sign up for the Route 66 West and Route 66 East field sessions. Because when I rode along last Monday with Kaisa Barthulli, the Park Service's Route 66 Empress (not her real title), I actually met people who inspired the Pixar team and influenced the characters, AND was able to see the real vehicle on which the character of Tow Mater was based (and met the colorful local resident who inspired its personality).

tow_mater.jpgWe saw the original roadbed, several excellent bridges, and heard from our tour guide, author of several Route 66 Travel Guides, Jerry McClanahan, the stories of the rise, fall, and resurgence of this only-in-America landscape.

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