Friday, January 16, 2009

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

What is this fascination people have, including myself, with U.S. Route 66? I guess for me, it's the nostalgia, the quaint buildings, the novelty stores that draws me in.

From what I can gather from my research, this is America's first roadway stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles for an approximate 2,400 miles. The idea for such a road hatched in 1926, but it wasn't completed until the late 1930's after the Depression. It was proclaimed the "Mother Road" in John Steinbeck's book "Grapes of Wrath". People started to use it to migrate from place to place and businesses started to spring up along the way. The trip across Route 66 became the journey as well as the destination. However, after 2 short decades, parts of the road became dilapidated from overuse and super highways were built in its place far from town. With multiple lanes and better workmanship, Route 66 was soon forgotten, businesses and towns declined. Not even hit songs or television shows about it, kept it going.

Luckily, nostalgists started the the Route 66 Historical Associations to preserve treasures along its route. From what I read, only 85% of this road is travel-able by car today. The parts that have been saved, as you can see from the next 3 photos, there is no doubt you are on the "Mother Road".

If you have been on this road before, I would like to hear your story.






- Karen

9 comments:

RuneE said...

Interesting. I have of course heard and read (not to mention listened and watched) about it. Thank you for sharing the information!

PS The picture of the storm was taken shortly before I took these.

Ackworth born said...

heard all about it of course - we have our own (mini-version by your standards) of route 66 in the A66 that crosses the Northern Pennines from Middlesbrough to Cockermouth.

dot said...

I love the colorful signs and the water tower. I imagine there are many things of interest on that highway.
In the 60's there was a popular tv series by that name.

OregonArtGuy said...

Nice rte 66 pic's - my story is that I'm old enough to remember the song and TV show - man am I old! :-}

Lilli & Nevada said...

Oh Karen, I love Rt 66 we have traveled on a lot of it in our motor home. The one place that is very interesting is the town of Oatman AZ Have you been there? There are a lot of things to see there,Many ghost towns Chloride which is another Ghost town. All are great to see. In Oatman they have donky's that roam the streets and come begging for food.If one likes old history Rt 66 is the definite place to go and see

Adrian LaRoque said...

Great shots of route 66!

betchai said...

i have heard a lot about route 66, but sadly i do not know if we have passed or may have passed this road :( but maybe not, otherwise, i may have taken a picture. i love best your 2nd picture.

photowannabe said...

This is something I have always wanted to do. I would love to travel the backroads of the US.
Lucky you for doing it.

Neva said...

WE have been to the start of Rt 66 ...it is on the south side of Chicago...I will have to go back and take a picture and send it to you...there is an awesome greasy fried chicken place at the start that has been there for YEARS....love your post...there are actually some great books about rt 66....aptly named...Route 66 ....with fabulous photos.