Queer Travel Along Route 66

Route 66The sign at the intersection of Adams Street and Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago that reads “Illinois US 66: Historic Route Begins” is small, unremarkable, and arguably an unworthy trumpeting of the road that is ahead. Indeed, not a single office drone pays it any mind on this gloomy fall morning as they rush from the city’s lumbering El trains to their designated steel and glass towers for the day. Nevertheless, Ryan and I stand in front of it with beaming smiles and angle our iPhones just right so that we can snap a selfie that will surely be the envy of all. This is day one of an eight-day, turn-by-turn journey that will cover all 2,448 iconic miles of Route 66, the most famous highway in the United States. It was designated in 1926 and made famous by westward thrill seekers, Dust Bowl migrants, and the oft-covered song of the same name. During its six-decade span it was realigned several times, decommissioned in 1985 in favor of the Interstate Highway System, and brought back to life more recently by road trip enthusiasts, municipalities looking to bolster tourism, and folks wistful of a vanishing America. Although the road is book ended by Chicago and Los Angeles and winds through the heart of several cities including St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque, the highway is really a journey through numerous small towns to countless to name, some of which have survived and even thrived, off Route 66 nostalgia, and others which have all but rotted. To cross the country via interstate highway is to merely skim the continent, but to do it via painstakingly slow Route 66 is to discover an America that is undeniably friendly, often kitschy, and ultimately vanishing rapidly.

By Jason Heidemann – Full Story at Passport

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TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Buses

travel auto In the United States, there are basically only four ways to travel and that is by plane, train, automobile and buses. They all have their advantages as well as disadvantages. We prefer traveling by automobile since we have the luxury of time. Living in the center of the country, it only takes a couple of days or at the most 3 days to travel to either coast. Plus we enjoy seeing the sights and sounds and meeting new and interesting people along the way. If you fly, you usually need to rent an automobile anyway. Plus when driving you can take more clothing with you and purchase more items to bring back home with you. Our theory is ‘getting to a destination can be half the fun’. However we fully understand if you do live on either coast or do not have a lot of time, you have no choice than to fly. travel planeFor those who live in the upper Midwest or Northeast, they are forced to fly if they only have a week if they want to go to South Florida. Thousands of Gay men fly into Ft. Lauderdale during the winter months to get away from the frigid cold and snow. Fortunately in that town, the Gay resorts are close to the bars and shopping so an automobile is not always necessary. Otherwise one does need to rent an automobile. With all of the hassles in flying, we just prefer not to fly. travel trainAmtrak is another alternative however they scheduling is very ‘iffy’ to say the best. We took an Amtrak trip to California and back two years ago and although we were very lucky in not having any scheduling problems, Amtrak does present a lot of problems for travelers. Check out this website, http://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/amtrak.html to read some of the hundreds of complaints about what passengers have written about their experiences riding on Amtrak and then decide for yourself if you want to try Amtrak. We now only would take Amtrak for a short trip less than 300 miles. travel busBuses are still around and although we have never taken one on a trip, there are those who really enjoy it. We have taken tour bus trips which is not to be confused with traveling across the country. With a tour bus trip you get on at one location and go directly to your destination and your luggage and accommodations are all taken care for you, whereas on a regular bus travel you have to book everything yourself. The bus terminals are usually downtown and sometimes right at the Amtrak station. On Amtrak they do have full restaurant services whereas on buses they do not. Some websites to check out are, for buses, www.greyhound.com and for trains, www.amtrak.com There are several automobile rental companies and many have great specials from time to time so check those out. Don and Ray Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone! TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at [email protected] and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources
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