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Written by Chris Lee   



Nancy and Joe Giguere (middle) are pictured with Ken Oltjenbruns of the Colorado U.S. Route 6 Heritage Corp. (left) and Chamber of Commerce executive director Mary Tomky (right) with a Route 6 sign. The couple is from Holyoke, Mass. and is heading home via the historic route.  
—Enterprise photo




Thursday was a busy day in downtown Holyoke as people enjoyed the Phillips County Arts Council’s Spring Fling salad luncheon at the Peerless.

Also, a couple traveling from California stopped in Holyoke on their way back to their home state of Massachusetts. Who cares, right? Lots of people travel through Holyoke each year. Well, this couple is traveling along the historic Route 6, and they are originally from Holyoke, Mass.

If they would’ve come through town just over a week later they would’ve been able to participate in the Colorado U.S. Route 6 Heritage Corporation event which will be held at the Peerless Saturday, April 24.

Nevertheless, they were able to spend some time in Holyoke before moving on down the road via Route 6.

The couple has been on the road since Oct. 26, 2009 when they left Massachusetts for California. They spent the winter months in southern California. On the way back, they decided to use Route 6 to head back home. After seeing some family, they picked up the historic route in eastern Nevada by Big Basin National Park.

Taking a different route each time is something this couple likes to do.

“We like to stay off the interstates,” Joe said. “We’re poky,” Nancy added. They said traveling off the interstate allows them to relax, drive slower and see all the sites. “We stop and mess around and check different things out,” Joe said. He also said he sets the cruise at about 55 m.p.h.

Nancy said over and over, the country has many different and unique sites. Speeding down an interstate, one doesn’t get to see the numerous sites. “We have a beautiful country,” she added.

They knew there was a Holyoke, Colo., and when they decided to travel back on Route 6 they knew they wanted to stop here. Many years ago they were in Rocky Mountain National Park and Nancy had a Holyoke, Mass. t-shirt on when a girl approached her and asked her if she was from Holyoke, Colo. The one difference was her shirt was purple and white, not Dragon green. That is when they found out there was such a town in Colorado.

Both have been retired for nearly 11 years and traveling has been about the only thing on their mind ever since.

Joe grew up in Holyoke, Mass. but the couple now lives 20 minutes to the southwest in Westfield, Mass. Well, sort of. They spend nearly half the year, if not more, traveling all over the United States. To date, they have traveled and spent time with each other in 48 of the 50 states. Although they have both been to Hawaii, they haven’t been there together. Kentucky is the other state they have yet to explore.

The trip from Massachusetts to California that began Oct. 26, took two months. They like to stop to see pretty much everything and to stop to spend time with family along the way.

When they came into Holyoke Thursday, they parked their pickup and camper on the west end of town. They went into a gas station and some of the stores downtown and then enjoyed the Phillips County Arts Council’s Spring Fling salad luncheon.

They even sat down with Ken Oltjenbruns of the Colorado U.S. Route 6 Heritage Corp. to learn a little more about the famous Route 6. Chamber executive director Mary Tomky threw up a welcome shout to them on the Holyoke Activities sign near the courthouse.

Nancy said in the short time they were in Holyoke, everyone seemed really nice and they were very humbled and thankful for the reception and hospitality they received.