US 62 Sign

US-62's West End Locator map

Day 1
Back to Sixty-Two

Day 2
Sun at Last

Day 3
Eureka Plus

Day 4
Some Oklahoma

Day 5
Altus Aglow

Day 6
A White Christmas Eve

Day 7
A Jolly Holly Christmas

Day 8
Going Underground

Day 9
To Mexico -- Almost

Day 10
Retired Again

Day 11
Mo' Snow

Day 12
Downtown Big D

Day 13
Ba Ding A Dong Ding

Day 14
Sugar Bowled Over

Day 15
Ham, Cars, & Cars

Postlude - January 3, 2010
I would certainly have preferred a lot less snow but the trip to the far end of US-62 was most enjoyable. I'm not an organizer and like to spread my attention around to various roads but, if there was a US-62 organization, I'd certainly join. You've got to like a road that runs from Canada to Mexico and connects Niagara Falls with Carlsbad Caverns. There's some mundane divided 4-lane and some city miles that are not attractive at all but I think it has higher than the normal percentage of roads that are curvy enough to be fun but not so curvy as to be scary. And there is often some great scenery along those curves. There is, indeed, Much to do on Route Sixty-Two.

January 2, 2010
I started the day with breakfast at a spot I'd found closed on a previous try then revisited a different sort of car museum. The trip ending drive was all expressway with a stop at the familiar National Corvette Museum to look at some of the Corvettes visiting cousins.

January 1, 2010
A sunny start to the new year prompted me to take some 2-lane to Memphis where I got to say hi to a friend. I got in a couple of unplanned railroad museum visits and had a great meal at the Loveless. The Bearcats winning streak ended but they still had a fantastic season.

December 31, 2009
It was generally cloudy and wet on this last day of 2009. I ended the year in the Arkansas capital and checked out the blue moon from there.

December 30, 2009
It was a day with no snow and even a fair amount of sunshine. In Dallas, I looked through the window next to the one that Oswald allegedly fired from and stood on the grassy knoll. Was that really 46 years ago?

December 29, 2009
Although it wasn't as bad as some predicted, snow did arrive overnight and it reappeared occasionally throughout the day. My only off-expressway excursion was to an impressive collection of meteorites at the edge of the Odessa Meteor Crater.

December 28, 2009
I got to try that BBQ today but not much more. A nail in a tire cut significantly into my travel time. Good thing I had nothing planned.

December 27, 2009
I reached El Paso today and will consider that the end of US-62. No visit to Mexico for cowardly me today. Nice scenery along the way.

December 26, 2009
I managed to get inside the Buddy Holly Center and Carlsbad Caverns in one day. The weather's looking better and road conditions, too.

December 25, 2009
It was no place for cruise control but, with a little care, US-62 from Altus to Lubbock was quite passable. I had holiday chats with family via telephone and am safe, warm, and merry in Buddy Holly's home town.

December 24, 2009
Oklahoma's worst snow event of all time keeps me off the road and safe in Altus.

December 23, 2009
Famous Indians, big guns, and lots of lights.

December 22, 2009
After visiting an Arkansas battlefield, I crossed into Oklahoma to seek out closed forts and museums. I was quite successful. I even found what looked like an almost closed town but now I'm not so sure.

December 21, 2009
I made it to Eureka Springs, Rogers, Bentonville, and what's left of Monte Ne. Then, I found a gun museum that I wasn't expecting at all.

December 20, 2009
The early part of the day was gray but sun appeared in the afternoon. I ended the day in an eighty year old hotel in the 18th happiest state in the union.

December 19, 2009
Leaving snow behind me, I picked up US-62 where I had left it in 2007. I visited a delightful roadside attraction in Kentucky and flubbed a catch in Missouri.

Prelude 2 - December 7, 2009
Why 62? As I mentioned in the first prelude, it started with a more or less accidental drive on the road in May of 2004. I'd driven US-6 in western Pennsylvania then followed US-62 from around Warren to just west of Mercer. I liked it. Just a month later, I happened to include a bit of the road in Kentucky in a day trip. At the time, I called the section between the Kentucky towns of Bloomfield and Lawrenceburg "fantastic" and noted that "around every curve there is another curve". I was starting to take a liking to the route and looked into it a little. Its even number says it should be an east-west route but, like the much more famous US-66, its course is really diagonal. East of Ohio, it's actually signed north-south.

The road is unique in being an even numbered US route that touches both the Canadian and Mexican borders. It didn't start out that way. It didn't even start out with the first batch of US highways. The first US highways came into existence in 1926. US-62 was first commissioned in 1930 with end points in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and Maysville, Kentucky. Two years later the west end was extended to El Paso, Texas, with the east (signed north) end moving to Niagara Falls, New York. In July of 2004, I managed to visit the northern terminus and follow the route all the way back to that "fantastic" stretch in Kentucky. I added no more until Thankgiving of 2007 when I covered the 110 miles between Elizabethtown and Nortonville, Kentucky.

By my measurements, I've covered about 780 miles of US-62 and have about 1450 miles remaining. A week or so before Christmas, I'll head back to Nortonville to pick up US-62 and follow it to Mexico.

Prelude 1 - November 27, 2009
Way back in aught four, I had a chance meeting with US-62 that lead to an attraction for the road and a desire to drive the whole thing. I got lucky and was able to cover the eastern third of the route by year's end. However, in the five years since then, I've only managed to add about a hundred miles. Ever since I started leaving home for Christmas, the remainder of Sixty-Two has been a candidate for my Christmas Escape Route but doing all of it called for more time than I had and doing a portion just didn't seem as attractive as something else. But this year, with no job to limit my time, a drive to El Paso, and the end of US-62, jumped to the top of the list.

I'm posting this on the day after Thanksgiving. It's a day that, along with the holiday itself, has seen me on the road for its last five occurrences. This year, I actually returned home for Thanksgiving from a short trip to Illinois and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving Day's feast with friends. And I considered sticking around for Christmas, too. One reason my Thanksgiving and Christmas drives started was to take advantage of the off time and all time is off time now. But that wasn't the only reason; particularly for Christmas and New Year's. I talked of escaping the pressure and pandemonium but honestly, for me, that was more jest than fact. There was a certain amount of escapism involved but I discovered that holiday travel has its own attractions. That may be less true of Thanksgiving than others since, by its very nature, it involves a certain amount of clustering and looking inward. But Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Independence Day are celebrated not only in dining and family rooms but also in town squares and Main Streets. Yes, there's way too much commercialism and too much of that is the same all across America. And yes, many businesses, including lots of eating spots, are closed on Christmas day. But there's other stuff, like local decorating traditions, that is really fun to see. I've enjoyed Christmas in Natchez, New Orleans, and Gibsonton, Florida, and I'm looking forward to Christmas in El Paso, or Lubbock or wherever I end up this year.

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