Summer Voyage Down Root 66 And More

Summer will be here soon and that means it's time for a road trip! And there's no more of a classic American road trip than a journey down the "Mother Road," Route 66. Our column presents news that might be useful to you wherever you may roam this summer, but we begin with a glance at the new book "The Best Hits on Route 66."

"The Best Hits on Route 66: 100 Essential Stops on the Mother Road" by Amy Bizzarri
It's true that the glory days of Route 66 are a thing of the past. But lots of interesting, fun, and yes quirky things remain to do on the Chicago-to-Santa Monica, CA highway. Having just traveled the route last summer, author Bizzarri provides up-to-date information here, with photos, and she offers her take on attractions in all eight of the states that Route 66 passes through. You can of course drive Route 66 in either direction or explore just a portion of it, but the Chicago end is considered the starting point of the Mother Road. And if you start there, Bizzarri makes sure you won't go hungry, suggesting a stop at Lou Mitchell's Restaurant and Bakery where you can grab some Mitchell's Mouse pancakes (mouse shaped with Milk Dud eyes!) and a cup of "The World's Best Coffee." Route 66 is famed for its many oddball attractions; find the "World's Largest Catsup Bottle" in Collinsville, IL, book the Elvis Room (room 409) at the Best Western Rail Haven in Springfield, MO (do this well in advance), see Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park in Foyil, OK, find the 50-foot-tall marionette Zozobra in Santa Fe, NM and lodge in a (concrete and steel) tepee at Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ. Tons of history, good comfort food and classic Americana is awaiting road trippers on Route 66, and this book is a fun way to find it while you're on the road or to plan out an itinerary before you travel.

Art 4 All Hats by Abby Paffrath
They're perfect for road trips or outdoor activity of any kind, and to top it off you'll look stylish in any one of the new snapback cap designs from Art 4 All. Each comfy cap features unique, Western landscape-inspired artwork created by Abby Paffrath, a Colorado native who loves spending time in the great outdoors. Some of Paffrath's designs include "Liquid Light," a colorful river and sky landscape, "Sunset Surf" where a giant, breaking wave blends with the beauty of a beach sunset, the self-explanatory "Bull Moose" (there's also a fancier moose design called "Forest King") and the also self-explanatory "Colorful Canyon." A bunch of designs are custom made for fans of fishing; bison, mountain goats and peacock feathers feature on others. There's even a design called "Ashes to Ashes," a very cool design featuring fish skeletons and a deer skull with antlers. Paffrath's designs, created with the batik process, are all limited edition, so when they're gone, they're gone. Also available are beanies, shirts, water bottles, headbands and bandanas, pins and stickers and original art to hang on your wall. See all available items here.
Art 4 All Hats by Abby Paffrath

It's never any fun to experience flagging energy, and it's especially frustrating to run out of steam when you're traveling. Energydots are small and thin self-adhesive disks that look like decorative stickers but that have technology inside that helps to counter the pesky EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies) that we are constantly bombarded with and that can sap energy. Help comes in the form of various kinds of Energydots; stick a Smartdot on your wireless item, computer, game console and the like to fight EMFs while the Biodot is for personal wear and can be stuck to the back of a watch or a piece of jewelry. Stick the Aquadot on your reusable drink container, water filter or coaster, and place a Spacedot on an object and then place that object in the center of your room to harmonize the space (they're great for hotel rooms.) There's even a Petdot for your four-legged friend. To purchase Energydots and read a full explanation of how they work, go here.

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