Good News! If you’re here, you’re halfway there. Adrian, Texas holds a special honor along Route 66. It’s the only point on the road where you’re no closer to Chicago, than you are to Los Angeles. Either direction, it’s 1,139 miles.
If it weren’t for this big sign at the side of the road, you could easily zip through Adrian and never know you were there. The town itself is north of Route 66, and easy to miss, unless you make a conscious effort to explore it.
The Route 66 midpoint is just off I-40 exit 22, and just west of the roads that lead to downtown Adrian.
Next to the big sign are a couple of smaller ones–replicas of signs posted by AAA (back when local automobile clubs, not states and counties, posted road signs). Signs like these were displayed as early as 1914–a dozen years before Route 66 existed. The National Old Trails Road followed the same route as 66 in places, but it also continued beyond Chicago, all the way to New York City.
The Midpoint Cafe probably isn’t the only business in Adrian, but it’s the only one I saw.
The cafe itself shuts down during the winter months, and upon my visit in March, the owners were busily preparing to re-open. So, there were no Ugly Crust Pies waiting for me. I almost didn’t go inside, since there was a “Closed” sign in the window, but one of the women working inside came out and waved me in. The gift shop is always open, she told me. It’s a good thing. I’d hate to have left the Midpoint without a souvenir.
A little further…
A few miles west of Adrian, I was amazed to find a surviving Stuckey’s store. And this wasn’t one of those “part-of-a-truck-stop” Stuckey’s (the Stuckey’s part of these stores always consists of just a few Navajo blankets and a few peanut logs). No, this was the real thing…
… an authentic, free-standing Stuckey’s, in a Stuckey’s shaped building, with gas pumps out front…
… a kitchen that serves milk shakes, and of course, rows and rows of tacky gifts. I didn’t think there were any left. Who knows? Maybe this one, and another similar Stuckey’s, just a few miles west of here, are the only two remaining authentic Stuckey’s stores.
Note: This trip was first published in 2008.