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View Full Version : Accessible Ghost Towns Using Delicate Minivan!?



OnThePike
07-16-2011, 01:13 PM
Our primary (only, lol) road trip vehicle is a 2003 Chevy Venture minivan that I've outfitted with a lot of custom junk (for road trips, not ghost town hunting). I'm wondering if there are many (or any) easily accessible ghost towns using such a vehicle that wouldn't require very much walking?

Really doesn't matter where the ghost towns are, just that I can get to one or more via soccer mom car. We travel across the United States from New York to most points west every few months, so we're sure to be near something.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Jeff

bad bob
07-16-2011, 02:17 PM
Our primary (only, lol) road trip vehicle is a 2003 Chevy Venture minivan that I've outfitted with a lot of custom junk (for road trips, not ghost town hunting). I'm wondering if there are many (or any) easily accessible ghost towns using such a vehicle that wouldn't require very much walking?

Really doesn't matter where the ghost towns are, just that I can get to one or more via soccer mom car. We travel across the United States from New York to most points west every few months, so we're sure to be near something.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Jeff



I'd guess the majority of ghost/historic/mining towns are accessible by most 2wd vehicles. However, "suggestions" would be difficult until you pick a travel route, as they're quite numerous.

You have at least a couple of options. You can pick a route, then go this home page and use the drop-down menu under "United States" to scroll thru some sites you'd like to see on the way. Or you can go to the drop-down menu first, make a list of some of the towns (state by state) you'd like to see, and plan yer route from that. :)

OnThePike
07-16-2011, 03:46 PM
Thanks for your response, Bob.

My concerns with the town menu are (a) reading about a few previously noted "fake" places listed and wanting to avoid those, and (b) looking for a few recommended and well documented towns/relics/ruins (as far as directions are concerned) that might be concentrated in one area or one general location, asking people who are here now and participating, as opposed to the listing that again, might not be as current as today, or may have been "minivan friendly" when posted, but not currently.

And, there's no substitute for getting "personalized" details and information from those who have the knowledge and experience. I will have a more in-depth look at the listings, but will still verify those here before I venture anywhere.

I guess I'm asking for opinions of some great places that are still standing and are easy to access. As I've said, the location itself isn't as important to me as the validity and entrance road. Southwestern/Western places such as Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, etc are easy for us because they lie within our normal cross-country I-40/I-70/I-80 path, but I am not opposed to traveling anywhere else I may find a "grouping" of potential towns.

Thanks
Jeff

bad bob
07-16-2011, 09:39 PM
Thanks for your response, Bob.

My concerns with the town menu are (a) reading about a few previously noted "fake" places listed and wanting to avoid those, and (b) looking for a few recommended and well documented towns/relics/ruins (as far as directions are concerned) that might be concentrated in one area or one general location, asking people who are here now and participating, as opposed to the listing that again, might not be as current as today, or may have been "minivan friendly" when posted, but not currently.

And, there's no substitute for getting "personalized" details and information from those who have the knowledge and experience. I will have a more in-depth look at the listings, but will still verify those here before I venture anywhere.

I guess I'm asking for opinions of some great places that are still standing and are easy to access. As I've said, the location itself isn't as important to me as the validity and entrance road. Southwestern/Western places such as Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, etc are easy for us because they lie within our normal cross-country I-40/I-70/I-80 path, but I am not opposed to traveling anywhere else I may find a "grouping" of potential towns.

Thanks
Jeff


Quite right, Jeff. Many of the sites listings are outdated, which will affect some of the places, not all. I've only read about one or two "fake" sites, thank God for that.

I failed to mention that the drop-down menu was only a starting point for making a list of places to visit. Using maps, the internet, Google Earth, and asking about sites in here, AKA, "doing yer homework", should save much grief (and disappointment) on the road.

But still, it's much better to choose the route(s) both ways, then ask about what towns to see. What I'm getting at is, there are too many great places remaining to list them all at random. That is of course, unless you're only looking for 10-12 total.

SW Montana alone has a concentration of about 10 good towns, all 2wd. CA's Mother Lode has roughly 50-60 or more, all 2wd. You know Texas will have a huge number. WA, OR, and NV all have large numbers of historic towns scattered around their states.

Even if you narrowed it down to "must see" places, the number could still be huge b/c each member in here has their own idea of what a "must see" ghost town is. BTW, these are only MY ideas. If you can think of a way to inquire within here, based on your travel plans, I'd say give it a go. I HAVE been wrong b4 (once or twice). :D

OnThePike
07-17-2011, 03:05 AM
Thanks again, Bob. Right off the bat, you've given me some good information and helpful suggestions. For instance, our upcoming road trip, tentatively planned for this October will be old US Route 66 which passes through northern Texas (among seven other states). I usually don't care to take side-trips from Route 66 because it's its own entity and I try and maintain that "roadie feel" sticking to the route as closely as possible. However, visiting ghost towns falls right into that same ideology of visiting past and former places that are now a relic of what they once were.

I'd like opinions on ghost towns that are closest to Route 66 (which for the most part, very roughly and generally speaking, would be I-55 out of Chicago to St Louis, then south into I-44 southwest into Tulsa proper, then along I-40 between Oklahoma City and Santa Monica Pier). Again, generally speaking, that's a close path to how 66 would run today.

We travel by minivan at least twice a year and probably compile around 12,000 miles annually in road trips alone. I've included a link to our road trip forum and gallery below that you can visit if you'd like to see where, when and how we travel. Give you a better idea and understanding of what we're about. We take our trippin'seriously! But not without all the comforts of home :-)

There's one book I just received about a month ago in preparation for our 66 trip about Route 66 ghost towns, but most of those are not really ghost towns, per-se, and most of those are visited by everyone who runs 66 whereas I'm of the preference of seeing things off the beaten path that most others don't care to travel to. I much prefer getting away from the touristy stuff -- and visiting places that aren't on everyone else's itinerary.

So please do list your personal recommendations for any of the eight states that Route 66 runs through: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, but as close to the interstates listed above as possible. If that's possible. Or, one state where there's a fair number of towns to visit (by fair, I guestimate 4 or so) in one of those states as near to the interstates as possible.

Thanks again for your help, Bob. If anyone else has suggestions, based on this updated routing, please do chime in.

Thanks
Jeff

Tsarevna
07-17-2011, 06:32 AM
Ok, how about, when you're on route 66, you pull into a car dealership and trade in the "delicate" minivan for a Subaru Outback. :D

I'm just kidding, I had to say it. :)

I'd say do the California mother lode. I don't think you'll be disappointed in that area.

bad bob
07-17-2011, 08:30 AM
Thanks again, Bob. Right off the bat, you've given me some good information and helpful suggestions. For instance, our upcoming road trip, tentatively planned for this October will be old US Route 66 which passes through northern Texas (among seven other states). I usually don't care to take side-trips from Route 66 because it's its own entity and I try and maintain that "roadie feel" sticking to the route as closely as possible. However, visiting ghost towns falls right into that same ideology of visiting past and former places that are now a relic of what they once were.

I'd like opinions on ghost towns that are closest to Route 66 (which for the most part, very roughly and generally speaking, would be I-55 out of Chicago to St Louis, then south into I-44 southwest into Tulsa proper, then along I-40 between Oklahoma City and Santa Monica Pier). Again, generally speaking, that's a close path to how 66 would run today.

We travel by minivan at least twice a year and probably compile around 12,000 miles annually in road trips alone. I've included a link to our road trip forum and gallery below that you can visit if you'd like to see where, when and how we travel. Give you a better idea and understanding of what we're about. We take our trippin'seriously! But not without all the comforts of home :-)

There's one book I just received about a month ago in preparation for our 66 trip about Route 66 ghost towns, but most of those are not really ghost towns, per-se, and most of those are visited by everyone who runs 66 whereas I'm of the preference of seeing things off the beaten path that most others don't care to travel to. I much prefer getting away from the touristy stuff -- and visiting places that aren't on everyone else's itinerary.

So please do list your personal recommendations for any of the eight states that Route 66 runs through: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, but as close to the interstates listed above as possible. If that's possible. Or, one state where there's a fair number of towns to visit (by fair, I guestimate 4 or so) in one of those states as near to the interstates as possible.

Thanks again for your help, Bob. If anyone else has suggestions, based on this updated routing, please do chime in.

Thanks
Jeff



Here's another site with a Rte 66 sub-category: http://legends.websitetoolbox.com/
It's an interesting forum, but I guess the lady webmaster has too many other things to do, as it is painfully slow, re: members posting.

Mikejts
07-17-2011, 10:48 AM
Our primary (only, lol) road trip vehicle is a 2003 Chevy Venture minivan that I've outfitted with a lot of custom junk (for road trips, not ghost town hunting). I'm wondering if there are many (or any) easily accessible ghost towns using such a vehicle that wouldn't require very much walking?

Really doesn't matter where the ghost towns are, just that I can get to one or more via soccer mom car. We travel across the United States from New York to most points west every few months, so we're sure to be near something.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Jeff

If you ever travel thru Colorado let me know and I will help you get across the state and to see some Soccer Mom accessible sites. A little help would be necessary to make sure I get you to what you are looking for. Is it a true ghost town with no people, a partial ghost town or one of the many towns that are now tourist towns? Everybody has their idea of what a ghost town should be and seldom do we agree.

Zardac
07-31-2011, 08:09 PM
Non-minivan drivers have no idea of the isolation and pain we feel... when we are forced to drive these symbols of bland soulless suburbia.

OnThePike
07-31-2011, 11:10 PM
Ok, how about, when you're on route 66, you pull into a car dealership and trade in the "delicate" minivan for a Subaru Outback. :D
I'm just kidding, I had to say it. :)
I'd say do the California mother lode. I don't think you'll be disappointed in that area.

We plan to dump the Venture and the Lucerne once we move to Utah, but for now, we want the room and comfort the Venture offers. We'll go four wheel off road vehicle when the time is right for us. Here on Long Island, New York, unless we want to drive a Hummer around the Hamptons, we don't see the need for one yet.

California for us is just out of reach at this time, but will be a more viable option once we've relocated to southern Utah. So we're looking as far west as Arizona for ghost towns, which fits our Utah routine quite well.

Thanks for the suggestions :-)

OnThePike
07-31-2011, 11:14 PM
Here's another site with a Rte 66 sub-category: http://legends.websitetoolbox.com/
It's an interesting forum, but I guess the lady webmaster has too many other things to do, as it is painfully slow, re: members posting.


I've seen and visited that site before, but it's very slow and somewhat inactive. I'm well versed in Route 66 stuff, that's not my concern. My interest here is ghost towns off route 66. I have plenty of material for the on 66 stuff. Matter of fact, just bought the new "Ghost Towns of Route 66" book published last month. When we do run 66, I'll come back here with some pictures and related info. For now though, while here. I'm looking away from 66.

OnThePike
07-31-2011, 11:21 PM
If you ever travel thru Colorado let me know and I will help you get across the state and to see some Soccer Mom accessible sites. A little help would be necessary to make sure I get you to what you are looking for. Is it a true ghost town with no people, a partial ghost town or one of the many towns that are now tourist towns? Everybody has their idea of what a ghost town should be and seldom do we agree.

Colorado works for us and is a great option. We actually decided to forego the interstate and take US-6 and US-50 from the Utah/Colorado state line through Indiana before getting onto I-70 for the remainder of the trip home. We ran US-6 to US-50 to US-40 and drove a few old original portions of Portland. I have video of those, if anyone is interested. You can find them (Link removed, website closed)

Anyway, yes, please do detail a few ghost towns that are completely abandoned and desolate! I'm looking for a few existing structures, with signs that show at one time, there was life. But definitely not a "living" town. Something old, decaying and, well even "sad". Similar to the pictures of Johnson Canyon I'd posted earlier. Any help toward that end would be greatly appreciated.

OnThePike
07-31-2011, 11:23 PM
Non-minivan drivers have no idea of the isolation and pain we feel... when we are forced to drive these symbols of bland soulless suburbia.

LOL!! Where do I sign up?!?!?

If you're serious, I can create a board on my forum for suffering minivan owners :-)

Zardac
08-06-2011, 06:48 PM
but the vehicle officially belongs to my wife, and I try to pretend it's not really there.

TedCebula
01-07-2012, 07:57 PM
OnThePike: I know this thread is well dead and you probably already made your trip last year, but I have a thing or two to say.

First, AFAIK, most of the info on the main page was put there several years ago and should still be good, albiet maybe the sites are more degraded; updates on the main page stopped I don't know how long ago. I say this because about ten+ years ago I was able to submit info and pics for the main page. Back then however, there wasn't a forum at this site. AFAIK, it seems as though the owner/admin of this site handed off the reigns or changed their outlook to only allow new submissions to the forums and stopped updating the main page pics/sites/locations.

So that said, there are a boat load of places to see off Hwy 66, check out Zeniff. It's west of Snowflake, AZ. Last time I was there I was able to add a pic or two to the main page. And then there's a boatload of other places to see well off Hwy 66, check out Alta, CO, and Maverick, AZ. Yeah, I'm tooting my horns there. . . .

just saying . . . . . .