Sunday, May 27, 2018

CCC Route 66 - The Mother Road

Crazy Challenge Connection discussion on goodreads

Create Your Own Challenge      Route 66 - The Mother Road    

ROUTE 66 – The Mother Road
Challenge Begins: June 1, 2018
No ending date

75+ books total

Welcome to our 2,884 mile journey from the heartland in Illinois to the beautiful seashore of Santa Monica, California! In this challenge, we will face tornadoes, tumbleweeds, cattle crossing, and a fun butter slide. We welcome all members to join in the fun! Standard challenge rules apply, noted below.

Most stops will have 2 options to choose from, a few stops will have only 1 option, and some stops will require TWO BOOKS to complete the stop. There will also be a few stops that do not have a reading task. Just enjoy the photo op. The books must be read in succession in order to advance to the next stop in the road.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to follow Route 66 from Illinois to California. As many of you know, Route 66 is slowly disappearing from our landscape and in some places, the route has disappeared entirely. We may take a little trek off Route 66 in order to do some sight-seeing.

Challenge Rules:

* In some tasks you will be asked to post the cover. If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here - Link Instructions. In all tasks, you must post the book name, the book author, and the date you finished the book. If you would like for others to know how much you liked (or disliked) the book, please use up to 5 stars or whatever icons you prefer. Feel free to cut and paste stars from here: ★★★★★

* If you want to participate in a challenge, please post a template of the challenge. WE RECOMMEND YOU RESERVE AT LEAST 8 SPACES. I will post a template under my name in Post #11. Feel free to cut and paste the template under your own name. Posting "I'm in," or "I want to play" doesn't give us a post to which we can link your name. And again, please reserve at least 8 spaces.

* We will create a link for each participant. You can use that link to update your books read as the challenge progresses.

*All books must be at least 150 pages long, unless otherwise specified. Graphic novels will not be allowed in this challenge.

* Re-reads are allowed, as long as you re-read the entire book. No skimming please.

* If you want the moderator to check your progress as you work on the challenge, copy/paste your update into a new message, but please tell us you're updating. We cannot scroll back through the entire thread looking for "message #15," or to follow links back to an original post.

* Cross challenge posting is encouraged, but each book can only be used once.

* If you use books that are in a language other than English, please translate those titles into English for the purposes of this challenge.

* When you complete this challenge, please copy and paste your post as a new message in the challenge thread, so we can all see what you’ve read for the challenge. If you do this while you're in the "edit" window (before you click on "edit post"), it will retain all of the links and formatting you've included in your original post. If you don't repost your list, you won't be included in the list of those who have completed the challenge.

* There is no deadline to finish this challenge, however sign-up to begin the challenge will end May 31, 2019.

Our thanks to the following websites for valuable information:

A very heartfelt thank you to our terrific moderators who helped me with some great ideas for this challenge and for their assistance in editing.

We begin our journey at the very beginning of the original Route 66 in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois:

START: Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois
Originally known as Lake Park, the name was changed in 1901 to honor Ulysses S. Grant. The park is 319 acres and its most notable features are Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Grant Park’s nickname is “Chicago’s front yard.”

Task 1 - Read a book that is a stand-alone (not part of a series) OR book #1 in a new-to-you series.
A Nantucket Wedding Nancy Thayer 6/4/18

STOP: Joliet, Illinois
While known for many things, The City of Excitement is well known for being featured in the hit movie “The Blues Brothers” with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

Task 2 - Read a book with someone dancing on the cover OR read a book with 1 “B” in the book title and 1 “B “ in the author’s name (the B in the title and author’s name does NOT have to be the first letter or capitalized). There can be additional B’s, but both the title and author’s name must contain at least 1 “B” each. Please link both the book title and the author’s name if choosing that option. Please post the cover if choosing the dancing option.
Wedding Bells Bundle: Four Fun Romantic Comedies Ginny Baird 6/8/18

STOP: Gemini Giant, Wilmington, Illinois
The Gemini Giant is a 30 foot tall, bright green statue at the Eastern entrance to Wilmington. He was named after the Gemini space program and currently stands in front of the Launching Pad Drive-In. The property is currently for sale.

Task 3 - Read a book where a character goes to a movie or drive-in OR read a book with a hat or helmet on the cover. Please post the cover if choosing the hat/helmet option.
MacKenzie Fire (Shine Not Burn, #2) by Elle Casey MacKenzie Fire Elle Casey 6/18/18

STOP: Cardiff Memorial, Dwight, Illinois
The Cardiff Memorial is dedicated to 18 coal miners who passed away in a series of explosions in the early 1900’s. Customers then refused to purchase coal from the town and the town became a ghost town. It has been returned to farmland, but the memorial stands proud to remind us all of those who lost their lives.

Task 4 – Read a book set between 1900 – 1999 OR read a book with “Ghosts” listed as a genre on the book title’s main GR page.    
The Black Echo Michael Connelly 7/26/18

STOP: Pontiac, IllinoisThe Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame is found in Pontiac, as well as the Walldog Mural & Sign Museum and they have recently merged into one complex. The Museum’s mission is to appreciate folklore murals and similar advertisements that have been painted throughout the world and preserve this art for future generations. Admission is still free. After all, Illinois is where it all began!

Task 5 - Read a book that is an autobiography or a book that includes a (real) person of note OR read a book where the first letter in the first name of a main character can be found in WMASM. Please tell us the name of the character for either option.
Maud Walsh Swedish for Beginners Susanne O'Leary 7/29/18

STOP: Bloomington, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, was an attorney in Bloomington prior to running for office.

Task 6 - Read a book with any character who is any type of attorney OR read a book where the male on the book cover has facial hair OR read a book that is #16 in a series. Please post the cover if choosing the facial hair option. Tell us the name of the series if choosing the book #16 option.
Rock Solid (Book Boyfriend, #4) by Carly Phillips Rock Solid Carly Phillips 8/1/18

STOP: Funk’s Grove, Illinois
Funk’s Grove is a National Natural Landmark known for their Maple Sirup (yep, that’s how they spell it). While it is in the dictionary as a word, most of us see the word “syrup” much more frequently.

Task 7 -Read a book with (what you feel) is an annoying number of spelling or grammatical errors within the story OR read a book with an eccentric character (also acceptable are strange, odd, unstable). Tell us the name of the character if choosing that option.
Featherleigh Dale The Perfect Couple Elin Hilderbrand 8/2/18

STOP: Lincoln, Illinois
Lincoln is the first town named after Abraham Lincoln prior to him becoming President of the United States. On August 27, 1853, Mr. Lincoln christened the town by using watermelon juice and spitting seeds from a wagon full of watermelons.

Task 8 - Read a book where a baby is born within the story OR read a book with any fruit on the cover. Please post the cover if choosing the fruit option.
The Harder You Fall Gena Showalter 8/3/18

STOP: Oh no! One of the butter sculptures heading to the Illinois State Fair has slipped off the truck in front of us! We’re in a Butter Slide!

Task 9 – Read a book that has a predominately yellow cover. Please post the cover.
Settling Up by Eryn Scott Settling Up Eryn Scott 8/13/18 

Task 10 – Read a book with the book title in the color yellow (and only yellow). Please post the cover.
Between You and Me by Susan Wiggs Between You and Me Susan Wiggs 8/13/18

STOP: Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the Capitol of Illinois and the birthplace of the corn dog (The Cozy Dog Drive-In menu is on-line and they all sound yummy!)

Task 11 - Read a book with a hot dog or corn on the cover OR read a book which takes place in a United States capital city. Use this link for a complete list: Please post the cover if choosing the hot dog or corn option.
Boston, Massachusetts Hot for the Fireman Gina L. Maxwell 8/22/18

STOP: Mount Olive, Illinois
Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones) worked tirelessly for economic justice and decent working conditions in our young country for both men and women. She motivated and lifted the spirits of tired and underpaid miners and used whatever method she could to make their struggles heard. She participated in hundreds of strikes across the country and referred to herself as a “hell raiser”. Let’s celebrate this lady and read a book in her honor.

Task 12 – Read a book where the author’s last name begins with M or H or J (no first names please). Please be sure to link the author’s name.
The Opposite of Everyone Joshilyn Jackson 8/23/18

STOP: Collinsville, Illinois
Collinsville is home to the largest bottle of catsup (or ketchup if you prefer) and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, a pre-Columbian Native American city.

Task 13 - Read a book with a tall building, spire, or tall object on the cover OR read a book with “History” or “Historical” listed as a genre on the book title’s main GR page. Please post the cover if choosing the tall building/spire/tall object option.
A Dangerous Game (New York Confidential #3) by Heather Graham A Dangerous Game Heather Graham 8/24/18

STOP: Crossing the Mississippi River
We are going to cross the original Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri. It will be a slow process, because as of now, it’s only open to bicycles and walkers. After almost 50 years of being used, the old bridge was retired but not removed. A new Chain of Rocks Bridge was installed just up the road. The old bridge has undergone renovations and reopened to the public as part of the Route 66 Bikeway in 1999. Don’t tell anyone we’re driving on it because wow – that ticket would be costly.

Task 14 - Read a book with any type of water transportation on the cover OR read a book where a river is important to the story. Please post the cover if choosing the water transportation option.    
Iron Lake William Kent Krueger 8/31/18

STOP: Times Beach, Missouri
In 1982, it was discovered that the oil used to keep the dust down in this area was toxic. Then the Meramec River flooded and the area became uninhabitable. The government bought the property for 33 million dollars and re-opened it in 1999 as the Route 66 State Park.

Task 15 - Read a book where something is restored to its original glory (a house, jewelry, building, clothing, land, etc) OR read a book with a character employed by the U.S. Government. Please tell us the object restored if choosing that option.
Better To Rest Dana Stabenow 8/31/18

STOP: Gray Summit, Missouri
Home of Purina Farms. Their address in Gray Summit is 200 Checkerboard Drive (pretty sure that address was planned).

Task 16 - Read a book with a dog in the story or on the cover. Please tell us the dog’s name. Please post the cover if choosing that option.
Sugar Cooper's Charm (Summer Resort, #1) by Lori Foster Cooper's Charm Lori Foster 8/31/18

STOP: St. Clair, Missouri
Photo op!! We have to stop and see the Hot and Cold Water Towers! There is no reading task assigned with this stop.

STOP: Meramec Caverns, Sullivan, Missouri
Beneath the rolling hills of the Meramac Valley lie complex mineral formations of rare beauty. Guided tours are conducted along walkways to escort you to a 7-story mansion all built underground. Down in the caves, they hold Easter services, Art and Craft shows, and community dances. It is also rumored this was a favored hide-out of Jesse James.

Task 17 – Read a book with a large mansion-type home on the cover OR read a book with an event that takes place in a cave or underground structure. Please post the cover if choosing the large home option.
Into the Fire Jeaniene Frost 9/1/18

STOP: Cuba, Missouri
Cuba’s nickname is “Mural City”. There are 12 outdoor murals along the Route 66 corridor, including one that captures Amelia Earhart’s emergency landing in a field in 1928. Another depicts Bette Davis during her visit in 1948.

Task 18 - Read a book with a farm or field on the cover OR read a book with a flying machine on the cover. Please post the cover for either option.
One Perfect Kiss (Hope, #8) by Jaci Burton One Perfect Kiss Jaci Burton 9/8/18

STOP: Rolla, Missouri
Rolla is known for many things, but two stand out: 1) They have recreated Stonehenge as a monument to man’s drive for knowledge and engineering, and 2) each St. Patrick’s Day they paint the streets green and slay rubber snakes. All right, I know you want to know why... The history goes back to 1912. It was a rite of passage by S&T juniors as a way to initiate freshman. Tradition continues thru today, where they continue to hold their annual snake invasion.

Task 19 - Read a book with a predominantly green cover. Please post the cover.
Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson Backseat Saints Joshilyn Jackson 9/11/18

STOP: Devil’s Elbow, Missouri
Devil’s Elbow is an area on the Big Piney River that is known for repeated logjams. Earlier this year, the area was hit by severe flooding and was partially washed out. The Pulaski County Emergency Management Team advises we do not cross Route 66 here right now, so we need to detour. Before we journey to the detour, we need to stop at the Elbow Inn & BBQ Pit. Ladies, before you go in, we recommend you remove your bra outside, as you don’t want gawkers watching you if you choose to remove it once you enter. While you’re enjoying your lunch, just head on over to hang that bra from the ceiling with the hundreds of others.

Task 20 – Read a book in which a flood takes place OR read a book with any type of lingerie on the cover. Please post the cover if choosing the lingerie option.
The New Mrs D by Heather Hill The New Mrs D Heather Hill 11/21/18

STOP: Carthage, Missouri
The Jasper County Courthouse elevator has been hand-operated off and on for over a hundred years. The current operator, Geraldine, works on Thursday and Friday if you want to take a lift. After that we will go over to the Precious Moments Chapel.

Task 21 – Read a book with a character who works for a local government (Sheriff, Deputy, Police Officer, Bailiff, Judge, etc – not Federal government) OR read a book where a wedding takes place.
Shell Game Sara Paretsky 11/22/18

STOP: Oh no! Tornado!
Task 22 - Read a book with any weather related word in the title.
Fire and Ice J.A. Jance 12/12/18

Task 23 - Your trip will be delayed for a couple of days due to storm clean-up, so tell us about the worst book you’ve ever read and why. Does not need to be re-read to be in this task.
Keep Me Safe Maya Banks
I could not get into the story. It seemed like it was just recycled from past books.

STOP: Baxter Springs, Kansas
Route 66 barely covers 13.2 miles in the State of Kansas. And yet, it has the unfortunate nickname of “the most robbed town in America”. Bonnie & Clyde and Jesse James were just some of the outlaws who helped Baxter Springs gain their fame.

Task 24 - Read a book with LESS THAN 150 pages. (This can only be used for this task as all others require over 150 pages) OR read a book where any character has stolen something. What did they steal?
The Tale of Cuffy Bear Arthur Scott Bailey 12/20/18

STOP: Commerce, Oklahoma
When Route 66 came through Commerce, the town did not have the finances to pave the entire road, so they paved it wide enough for only one lane of traffic. It was nicknamed “Sidewalk Highway”. It’s still open to drive, so let’s head that way!

Task 25 - Read a book with any form of money on the cover OR read a book with a roadway on the cover. Please post the cover for both options.
Field of Bones (Joanna Brady, #18) by J.A. Jance J.A. Jance 1/14/19

STOP: Vinita, Oklahoma
Welcome to the World’s Largest Calf Fry Festival! For those who are not familiar with the term “calf fry”, perhaps you know the term Rocky Mountain Oysters, Cowboy Caviar, Montana Tendergroins, Dusted Nuts, or Bull Fries? Yes, we are talking about baked, broiled, boiled, sautéed, or raw animal testicles. But, we’re here for the fair. Hopefully we can find something else to eat.

Task 26 - Read a book that takes place on a farm OR read a book that begins with “V” (disregard A, An, The).
Vials Alec Peche 2/19/19

STOP: Foyil, Oklahoma
Home to one of the world’s largest totem poles and built by Ed Galloway when he created an outdoor garden. Foyil is named after the town’s first postmaster, Alfred Foyil.

Task 27 - Read a book with any type of artist OR read a book where a postal worker is mentioned by name. Please give us the name of the postal worker. 
Secrets of the Lost Summer Carla Neggers 3/2/19

STOP: Claremore, OklahomaWill Rogers lived part-time in Claremore and after his tragic death in 1935, the town dedicated the Will Rogers Museum in his honor. Will Rogers was known for his rope tricks in rodeo, vaudeville, and acting roles. A real cowboy!

Task 28 - Read a book where a main character lives through a near-death accident OR read a book where at least part of the book takes place in Oklahoma.
Three Weeks With a Bull Rider Cat Johnson 3/15/19

STOP: Catoosa, Oklahoma
While researching towns to write this challenge, I came across The Blue Whale in Catoosa. It was an animal themed tourist attraction and I thought I could have some fun with it. When I clicked onto their webpage, my screen went blue and I got a huge white notice with an alert stating my computer was now infected with something. I had to reboot several times before I got my normal screen and didn’t dare try The Blue Whale webpage again. So for this challenge,

Task 29 – Read any book of your choosing (as long as it’s over 150 pages).
Peaceful Pines Crystal Harper 3/16/19

STOP: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is known as the “Oil Capital of the World”

Task 30 - Read a book where the first word of the title begins with a T (disregard A, An, The)

STOP: Oh no! What is that on the roadway? Oil Slick!

Task 31 – Read a book with a predominantly black cover. Please post the cover.

Task 32 - Read a book with the book title in the color black (and only black). Please post the cover.

STOP: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
The historic Rock Creek Bridge was closed for several years due to age and neglect. It was strengthened and reopened in January 2015.

Task 33 - Read a book with either rocks or a bridge on the cover. Please post the cover.

STOP: Chandler, Oklahoma
The Lincoln Motel opened in 1939 and it doesn’t appear to have changed much through the years: Yellow, 2 room cabins and green benches outside each unit.

Task 34 – Read a book where a character goes on vacation. Please tell us where they go.

STOP: Warwick, Oklahoma
Let’s visit the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, known for their displays of the Iron Horse.

Task 35 – Read a book with a motorcycle, bicycle, or unicycle on the cover. Please post the cover.

STOP: Arcadia, Oklahoma
We need to see the Arcadia Round Barn, which was at one time the most photographed landmark on Route 66. Then we will head over to Pop’s gas station and café. He has over 700 varieties of soda! And we don’t want to miss Washington Irving’s Monument who visited Arcadia in 1832.

Task 36 - Read a book with a beverage on the cover OR read a book with a stone statue or a stone monument (tombstones are acceptable) on the cover. Please post the cover for any of these options.

STOP: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
One of this country’s most tragic events happened in Oklahoma City in 1995. We need to stop and pay our respects to the 168 men, women, and children who lost their lives that day.

Task 37 - Read a book with a sunrise/sunset on the cover OR read a book with a police officer within the story. Please post the cover if choosing the sunrise/sunset option.

STOP: El Reno, Oklahoma
Glad we made it to El Reno because I’m hungry! Let’s head to the El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival. They have a 750 lb hamburger!

Task 38 – Read a book where a character goes to a festival or fair OR read a book in which the author’s first or last name begins with an E. Please link the author’s name.

STOP: Weatherford, Oklahoma
Lucille’s Roadhouse was built in 1927 and has the best food around. So good in fact, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. With its black and white checked floor and aqua colored chairs, it’s very retro chic.

Task 39 – Read a book that was originally published between 1900 and 1999. Tell us the year.

STOP: Elk City, Oklahoma
We have to eat dessert at the Country Dove Tea Room – they are known for their French Silk Pie (4.9 stars out of 5!)

Task 40 - Read a book with any wild animal (not a house pet, but horses, cows, zoo animals, shifters are acceptable) within the story OR read a book with a 4.5 rating or higher on GR. Tell us the rating if choosing the GR option.

STOP: Sayre, Oklahoma
The Beckham Country Courthouse was used in the filming of “The Grapes of Wrath”. And let’s be sure to view the Giant Grain Elevator at the end of town. They say it glows when the sun begins to set.

Task 41 - Read a book where a character is rather old-fashioned OR read a book with fog or an aura on the cover. Please post the cover if choosing the fog/aura option.    

STOP: Erick, OklahomaThe town that is known for its “wide, sun baked streets, frequent horsemen, occasional sidewalk awnings and similar touches”. All the buildings at the main intersection and its only stop light have chamfered corners to improve the view. That’s a great reason to visit Erick.

Task 42 - Read a book with a view or vista on the cover OR read a book with an author with the first or last name of Eric (Erick, Erica, Erich or any spelling deviation is okay). Please post the cover if choosing the view/vista option. Please link the author’s name if choosing the Eric option.

STOP: McLean, Texas
Welcome to McLean, where you can still buy gas for 99 cents a gallon at the Phillips 66 service station. The founder of the town, Alfred Rowe, died on the Titanic in 1912.

Task 43 – Read a book in which a character dies OR read a book that you obtained for less than 99 cents (freebies okay)

STOP: Groom, Texas
We need to take a photo of the water tower, as it is said when it falls, it will not be replaced.

Task 44 - Read a book in which a wedding takes place within the storyline OR read a book where a character takes a fall or has an accident.

STOP: Cadillac Ranch, outside Amarillo, Texas
Ten classic Cadillacs, all facing downward buried in the sand. It began as an art installation in 1974 and each vehicle cost no more than $200. The cars are dated from 1949 to 1964 and each one represents the latest version of the Cadillac tail fin.

Task 45 - Read a book with a car on the cover. Please post the cover.

STOP: Cattle crossing! That’s a big herd; we are going to be here for a while.

Task 46 -Read a book with over 500 pages OR read the next 2 books in the same series of your choosing. Please tell us the name of the series, the names of both books, and the numbers where they fall in the series if choosing that option.

STOP: Amarillo, Texas
Dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch!! If you eat a 72 oz steak, salad, baked potato and dessert in under an hour, you get your meal for free. If it takes over an hour, you pay $72. There is no reading task assigned with this stop.

Check out their menu here – {}

STOP: Tucumcari, New Mexico
Tucumcari is also known as “the town that’s 2 blocks wide and 2 miles long”. We will want to drive past the Blue Swallow Motel. Smithsonian Magazine called the Blue Swallow “the last, best, and friendliest of the old-time motels”. Each motel room gets its own garage.

Task 47 - Read a book with page count that has two 2’s in it (do not have to be consecutive) OR read a book where at least one character speaks Spanish. Tell us the name of the Spanish speaking character. Tell us the page count if choosing that option.

STOP: Santa Rosa, New Mexico
We’ll stop at the Club Café, which opened in 1935. Then we will stop off at the Blue Hole, where scuba divers practice. The swimming hole is an 80 ft wide and 80 ft deep artisan well. After we’ve rested from our swim, we will head to the cemetery and pay our respects to Billy the Kid.

Task 48 – Read a book with a cemetery/crypt/tombstone on the cover OR read a book with a large body of water on the cover. Please post the cover for either choice.

STOP: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Let’s head to Sandia Peak, which is 10,378 ft above sea level. We can take the tramway to the top to check out the view. Afterwards, we will have lunch at the Dog House Drive-In, which appeared in the TV show “Breaking Bad”. And then onto the American Rattlesnake Museum, which holds over 50 types of snakes, tarantulas, and even a Gila Monster!

Task 49 – Read a book that is out of your comfort zone OR read a different genre than you would normally read. Please tell us the different genre.

STOP: Bernalillo, New Mexico
We will follow along the Rio Puerco for the afternoon and enjoy this gorgeous day. And I believe the Laguna Reservation is having an event at sunset, so let’s stop in for a visit. Their church has been standing since 1699.

Task 50 – Read a book with a place of worship on the cover OR read a book with a river on the cover. Please post the cover for either choice.    

STOP: Pie-Town and Lightning Field, New MexicoWe need dessert. Badly. We will walk off the calories afterwards by visiting the Lightning Field. It began as an art installation to attract lightning strikes.

Task 51 – Read a book with a dessert on the cover or in the book title name OR read a book with lightning on the cover. Please post the cover for either cover option.

STOP: El Morro National Monument, Ramah, New Mexico
We are going to take a lovely walk through this ancient east-west trail in western New Mexico and visit Inscription Rock, where people have been signing their names for over 700 years.

Task 52 – Read a book with either the book title or author’s name written in cursive. Please post the cover.

STOP: Gallup, New Mexico
Great time to rest for the night. We will head to the Historic El Rancho Hotel, which was once “home to the movie stars”, and what a list! To name just a few - Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Mitchum, Errol Flynn, William Holden, Troy Donahue, John Wayne, W.C. Fields, Jackie Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Alan Ladd, Rita Hayworth, Ronald Reagan, Gregory Peck, Peter Graves, and Paul McCartney.

Task 53 – Read a book in which the authors’ first or last name is in the list above. While no variations or other spelling of the names are allowed for this task, feel free to use any of the names above as first or last names when choosing your author (e.g. Spencer Tracy = author Tracy Chevalier or Spencer Tracy = LaVyrle Spencer)

STOP: Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Arizona
Not far from the New Mexico/Arizona border is one of the most spectacular places found in this country. The Petrified Forest spreads over 93,000 acres and it is estimated the remainder of the forest is over 225 million years old. It is illegal to remove any wood from the desert floor, but we can buy a souvenir at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, which is a frontier store well preserved as it was in the 1870’s. The Painted Desert is composed of stratified layers of siltstone, mudstone, and shale and is about 120 miles long and 60 miles wide.

Task 54 – Read a book with 2 or more trees on the cover OR read a book with a framed painting or framed photograph on the cover. Please post the cover for either option.

STOP: Holbrook, Arizona
We are definitely staying the night in Wigwam Village, the iconic postcard of Route 66. They were fashioned in the manner of the Plains Indians back in 1950 by Architect Frank Redford for the Lewis family, who still owns and operates the classic Route 66 experience. Outside of each unit is a classic car to remind you just how long they have been around. Each unit has been updated with furniture, facilities, air conditioning, and television. It wasn’t always this way, so let’s enjoy the evening here.

Task 55 – Read a book where any character visits a motel/hotel/inn/B&B OR read a book where any character owns their own business.

STOP: Winslow, Arizona
… Well, I’m a-standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona …
Who hasn’t heard the song “Take It Easy” written by Jackson Browne and performed and made famous by The Eagles? It was the band’s first single, released on May 1, 1971 and to this day, it remains in the top “500 Songs That Shaped Rock” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s our next stop!

Task 56 – Read a book where any character is a musician OR read a book with over 500 ratings on Goodreads. Please tell us how many ratings.

STOP: Meteor Crater, outside Winslow, Arizona
About 50,000 years ago, an asteroid traveling approximately 26,000 mph struck this desert floor creating a hole 1 mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference, and 550 ft deep. It is said to have created the energy of more than 20 million tons of TNT.

Task 57 – Read a book with “Science Fiction” or “Fantasy” listed on the book’s main GR page OR read a book that takes place in one of the 4 corner states (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico).

STOP: Twin Arrows, Arizona
Once an iconic stop, the Twin Arrows marked the infamous location of the Twin Arrows Trading Post, an absolute stopover for those traveling the Mother Road. Sadly, the Arrows have fallen into disrepair and the trading post now stands in ruin. Even though there is little to see, we still need to wave as we pass by.

Task 58: Read a book with twins OR read a book with an arrow on the cover OR read a book with a direction in the book title (North, South, East, West, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast only please). Please post the cover if choosing the arrow option.

STOP: Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff has it all – mountains, desert, ponderosa pine forests. It is also home to Arizona’s tallest mountain, Humphrey’s Peak and the Lowell Observatory, which found the planet Pluto in 1930. Interestingly, Pluto was declassified as a planet in 2006. Needless to say, people who grew up learning there were 9 planets were furious about the change and there was much ado in social media. In April 2017, Pluto was reclassified as a planet – a dwarf planet, but still a planet.

Task 59 – Read a book that was originally published in a year with a “9” in it. Tell us the year.

STOP: Side trip to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, Arizona
What wonderful vistas in this area! Sedona is a desert town outside Flagstaff with red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. It is known for its mild climate and vibrant art community. In recent years, Sedona has welcomed New Age shops, spas, and art galleries, most focusing on their own local artists. Sedona’s hotel and motel rates have skyrocketed in the past 15 years, so we aren’t staying here tonight, but we do have to buy something.

Task 60 – Read a book that you either purchased or was recommended to you (from any source).

STOP: Oh no! Wind Storm! We need to stop and wait for the storm to pass. We could be here awhile, so plan for two books.

Task 61 – As long as they follow the challenge rules, read 2 books of your choosing. Please post the names of both books.

STOP: Williams, Arizona
When Route 66 was to be bypassed by Interstate 40, singer Bobby Troup sang his time honored song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” in the middle of Main Street on October 13, 1984. Once a real western town full of shootouts, saloons and brothels, Williams became the Gate to the Grand Canyon and to this day, celebrates its legacy nightly during the summer months for visiting guests.

Task 62 – Read a book by any author with the first name Bobby, Bob, Robert, Will, Bill, or William OR read a book with any character whose first name is Bobby, Bob, Robert, Will, Bill, or William. First names only please.    

STOP: Kingman, ArizonaAh! The love of turquoise.

Task 63 – Read a book with one human male on the cover and no others (men or women). Yes, part of that one human male is acceptable OR read a book with a crown on the cover. Please post the cover with either choice.

STOP: Side trip to the Black Mountains, Arizona
Photo op! There is no task associated with this stop. The Black Mountains are a little northwest of Kingman. There is a 2100 ft change in elevation in just 8 miles, leading to switchbacks that require the driver to keep to 15 mph. But isn’t it pretty!

STOP: Side trip to London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Originally constructed in England in the 1830’s, London Bridge was put up for sale in 1967. It was purchased by Robert McCulloch for 2.4 million dollars. He then spent over 7 million dollars to have it reconstructed over the Colorado River.

Task 64 – Read a book that takes place in the 1800’s OR read a book that mostly takes place in England.

STOP: Needles, California
With its sharp stone spires and views over the Colorado River, this would be a good place to stop for a spell. Although since it is one of the hottest places in the country with normal temperatures between 100 and 120 degrees in the summer, we won’t linger here long.

Task 65 – Read a book that takes place in the summer months (June, July, August and/or September) OR read a book that takes place completely in California (please tell us the location).

STOP: Well, well, well. What have we got here? A loop just south of what is now Interstate 40. There are several towns in this loop.

Task 66 - Please choose one town and spell out the name using the first letter of the book title (exclude A, An, The) or the first or last name of the author. You do not need to choose the town name when you sign up for the challenge, nor do you have to read the books that you choose for a town in order. Feel free to wait until you get to Task 66 before choosing a town name. Choose from one of these town names only:


STOP: Barstow, CaliforniaBarstow is the casually accepted mid-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It is also home to the Desert Discovery Center which houses the “Old Woman Meteorite.” The meteorite weighs just over 6,000 lbs and was found in the Old Woman Mountains in Bernardino County in 1975. Because of its weight and where it was found, the Marines were brought in to assist lifting the meteorite using helicopters. Most of the meteorite is at home at the Desert Discovery Center, while 15% of it is in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian Institute being studied for its composition.

Task 67 – Read a book with an elderly woman as a character OR read a book over 400 pages.

STOP: Oro Grande, California
We need to stop at Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch, where Elmer Long builds every bottle tree by hand. While the tree ranch was not there when Route 66 was mostly traveled, this quirky roadside attraction has become a favorite.

Task 68 – Read a book with a bottle or glass object on the cover. Please post the cover.

STOP: San Bernardino, California
The birthplace of McDonald’s! You may not be in the mood for fast food right now, but we have to stop and visit the original location, which is now a McDonald museum. Want to do a photo op with the original Ronald McDonald? Not afraid of clowns? Take a good look and you will be.

Task 69 – Read a book with food on the cover (food or dessert – no beverages) OR read a book with a food or dessert mentioned in the title. Please post the cover if choosing that option.

STOP: Fontana, California
Thirsty? Let’s do a drive-by to Bono’s Giant Orange. Bono’s was once an orange juice stand and yes, you guessed it, the stand is in the shape and color of a giant orange.

Task 70 – Read a book with a circle of some sort on the cover (yes, award circles count!) OR read a book with a predominantly orange cover. Please post the cover for either option.

STOP: Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California
The Huntington is a private, non-profit institution and was founded in 1919 by Henry Huntington, a business leader and lifetime collector. The Huntington is host to more than 750,000 visitors a year.

Task 71 – Read a book with a book on the cover OR read a book with wild flowers (not potted or picked) on the cover. Please post the cover for either option.

STOP: Pasadena, California
Old Pasadena is known for its shopping and dining district, as well for its Victorian and art deco buildings. And of course, Pasadena hosts the annual Rose Bowl Game in the Rose Bowl stadium.

Task 72 - Read a book where any character participates in a sporting event (either player or watcher) OR read a book with roses on the cover. Please post the cover if choosing that option.

STOP: Los Angeles, California
What’s not to love! Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Griffith Observatory and Planetarium, Disneyland, 5 star restaurants, sports, coastline, hiking, and so much more! This is a 2-task stop.

Task 73 – Read a book with a celebrity of some sort (real or fictitious) OR read a book that takes place mostly in Los Angeles. Please tell us the name of the celebrity if choosing that option.

Task 74 – Read a book whose title begins with an “H” or “G” (exclude A, An, The).

STOP: Santa Monica, California
We end our trip on Santa Monica Boulevard where a small sign designates the completion of Route 66. This challenge seems to be all about the numbers, so our final task will also be about numbers.

Task 75 – As we have just traveled 2,884 miles using 75 tasks over Route 66, read a book with a page count using any of the these numbers – 2,4,5,6,6,7,8,8. The numbers do not have to be consecutive and should be used only as many times as they appear in 2,4,5,6,6,7,8,8.


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