ROUTE 66 SERIES – An Intro and General History

I first read the Grapes of Wrath when I was in junior high. Perhaps a bit young for such heavy content, but sneaking “grown up” books was one of my favorite childhood past times. I’m glad I got my hands on this one, because it remains one of my favorite novels ever written. It wasn’t just the dramatic struggle of the family Joad that hooked my attention (although, that was hard to turn away from, and you’ll never forget that ending). It was the story of the so-called “Okies” in general. Because in the Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck used a brilliant technique of weaving the Joad family into the history as a whole. Side by side, he told two stories. He unfolded the trials of the Dust Bowl at large, but he also made it human with his family Joad.

He also introduced me to a road. A mother road. A road of flight. A single road that was a vital artery for Westward travelers, and that spanned most of the way across the United States. “Route 66 is the main migrant road,” Steinbeck wrote in his novel. “…66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land… they come into 66 from the tributary roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads… Cars pulled up beside the road, engine heads off, tires mended. Cars limping along the 66 like wounded things, panting and struggling… People in flight along 66. And the concrete road shown like a mirror under the sun…”

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Cool Springs, Arizona

It was the first I heard of Route 66, and something about it pulled at my heart. First of all, I simply couldn’t imagine those broken people packing everything they owned, piling into those old jalopy cars, and throwing the dice on a highway that, especially back then, was quite sketchy in places. It was also the way Steinbeck spoke of the road itself. Route 66 became its own character in the sweeping story. It engrained so deep that when I lit out of the Midwest for California as a young adult, I definitely had Steinbeck in mind. The Route 66, winding from Chicago to LA, also wound deep into my imagination.

Route 66 pulled me in deeper when the movie Cars came out. While most of my interest in that old road was rooted in the 1930s, Cars introduced me to a whole new era of the 66. An era of bright neon lights, sleek, colorful cars, and pump stations and motels that were injected with their own breed of character. The movie, underneath all its comical characters and Pixar charm, was also was a poignant reminder of how times have changed. No one travels the mother road anymore. The vibrant small towns have mostly been forgotten. With the advent of the fast-moving interstate system, towns like “Radiator Springs” (which some 66 buffs think is based on Arizona’s Peach Springs) were left in the dust and the rust.

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Restored 1929 Phillips Station – McLean, TX

When I moved to California in 2009, I couldn’t take the old highway. I had accepted a new job and I was on a tight clock to reach my destination. So, like all travelers in a hurry, I used the interstate system that bypassed old 66. However, I made myself a promise. I would return someday and travel that road. I would make a cross-country trip the Steinbeck way.

This summer, with a very enthusiastic husband in tow, I finally got to make that dream a reality. I will have lots of tales to weave from that marvelous cross-country adventure, but before I dive into all that, I wanted to explore the road’s entire story. I wanted to understand 66 from its very origins to its modern-day cracked concrete. So, as an introduction to the “Route 66 Series” that you will soon see often on this website, I would like to give you the broad strokes of this most-famous road.

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Cool Springs, Arizona

Route 66, or “the Mother Road,” was born out of necessity. We all yearn for a good road that’s easy to travel, but that was especially so in the 1800s. Back then, they had nothing better than a confused network of paths beaten into the wilderness, where horses and buggies were easily snagged and bogged down in the rough. While railroads temporarily distracted Americans from the pain of the backroads, the need resurfaced when the automobile took the world by storm.

Car fever struck hard during the first world war, and with it came the need for manageable roads. Uncle Sam came up with the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, which provided funds for states to improve their highway systems and make them car compatible. Work was slow-going and bumpy, much like a Model-T would be on those muddy, country roads. Even with all the Federal help, by 1920, only 36,000 of the roughly three million American roadways could be traveled by car. Meanwhile, the car had taken a firm hold on American culture. The need for the highways to catch up was more urgent than ever. A road superhero was needed. A determined Oklahoman named Cyrus Stevens Avery answered the shield-shaped, federal road marker bat signal.

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Oklahoma

Commonly known as the Father of Route 66, “Cy” Avery lived in Tulsa with his wife and family. By the end of the first world war, he was a major success. He had a real estate firm and coal company. He dabbled in the Oklahoma oil scene. He also ran an inn and service station for weary auto travelers hungry for a home-cooked meal. Given all his many businesses, Cy was a staunch supporter of improved roadway systems. In 1921, he was elected to the Associated Highways Association where he served as President. He made such sweeping changes there that in 1923, he became the state highway commissioner for Oklahoma. He went national in 1924 when he gained a position at the American Association of State Highway Officials.

It was here that he caught the eye of Secretary of Agriculture Howard M. Gore. Cy was chosen as the highway specialist in a government endeavor to create a federal highway system. Over the next few years, with Cy at the helm, the 21-person commission untangled the mess of over 250 marked trails that existed throughout the states. They combined many of them into one, big path that wound from Chicago to Kansas, diverted south, conveniently passed right through Cy’s hometown of Tulsa, and then eventually made it all the way west. The Mother Road, in its most primitive form, was born.

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Conoco Hole in the Wall – Commerce, OK

But what to call it? The commission came up with a numbering system for federal roads. Routes going north and south would have odd numbers, while those moving east and west would have even. Initially, the number chosen for the now-famous highway was “Route 60,” but some folks wanted that same name for a Virginia-Missouri route. The fight was on, and Cy didn’t give ground easily. He had thousands of maps printed that gave his own route the desired name, and he put into production dozens of road signs, just to rub salt in the wound. When the Virginia-Missouri faction still didn’t back down, Cy and his team bowed to the pressure, fearing Congressional intervention that would tie up the highway system for years. Begrudgingly, they chose another number… Route 66.

It was a lost fight that was a big win in the end, because “Route 66” sounded pretty darn catchy. It was very easy to remember, and it would stand out on maps and road signs. “We assure you that U.S. 66 will be a road through Oklahoma [shameless plug, Cy!] that the U.S. Government will be proud of.” Boy, I wonder if he knew then how famous his road was destined to become. Either way, on November 11, 1926, Route 66 leapt out of board room meetings and became a very real highway.

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Galena, Kansas

Like any project, Route 66 needed some elbow grease when it first entered the arena.  A lot of it was still unpaved. Some stretches had nothing but wooden boards to keep drivers on the road. To fix up the newly-coined “Main Street of America,” it would need to attract some serious business, which would bring in more capital.

Well, when a highway needs a boost, there’s only one person to call. Cyrus Avery, of course. The Father of Route 66 put his publicity skills to work, and he began a series of programs to… shall we say… put Route 66 on the map (see what I did there?) The most famous of these was the 1928 Bunion Derby. It was just a little jog to bring some foot traffic and sight-seers onto the highway. A mere trek of 3,422 miles, on foot, from Los Angeles to New York. It might sound crazy, especially since it cost $100 a person to enter (in 1928, that was a decent sum). However, the derby met with astounding enthusiasm. Almost three-hundred runners gathered at the starting line on March 4, 1928, while a cheering crowd of about a half a million looked on from the sidelines. Only fifty-five runners actually crossed the finish line in New York, with a part-Cherokee and very crafty boy named Andy Payne coming in first. However, the better success was the attention that the marathon brought to the highway. After the craziness of the Bunion Derby, Route 66 was a household name.

It was just in time for the US fortunes to take a serious turn. The crash of 1929 brought a screeching halt to the roaring 20s. It was followed in short order by one of the worst draughts in American History. The entire Midwest dried up. Farmers were choked off by dust storms. Their livelihoods were literally stripped to the winds. Homes were shuttered and torn down. Possessions were sold off to keep families fed. In a last desperate gamble, these families converged on Route 66. They loaded down rusty cars with everything they could carry, and they struck out on the highway for California. In the burning hot sun of the far west, in cars that were clunky and unreliable, the journey was a perilous one. The road’s sharp twists and curves toppled plenty of jalopies. Radiators overheated. Tires popped and went flat. Many of the Okies didn’t survive the trip. If they reached California, they found angry police who turned them back at the border. Those who were admitted had a dismal future of low-paying manual labor jobs on fruit orchards.

It’s a bleak picture. The 1930s were so bad that it took a vast and devastating world war to snap the country back into action. So, it’s no wonder that by the mid-1940s, Americans were thirsty for an escape. As it did for the Okies, Route 66 gave it to them.

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Tower Station & U-Drop Inn – Shamrock, TX

Colorful, bold, and shiny new automobiles replaced the rusty jalopies of the Dust Bowl. Bright pump stations and quirky motels popped up like mushrooms after a rain storm. Neon lights cast the highway in a romantic, rainbow glow. Adding to the allure was the first official Route 66 guidebook, published by Jack D. Rittenhouse in 1946. It was the same year that one of the most iconic road trip songs ever made first appeared on the radio. Thanks to Bobby Troupe, and many artists who duplicated the song after him, travelers now knew exactly where to “get their kicks.” By the 1950s, Route 66 was a constant traffic jam of travel-hungry tourists.

However, it was also the 1950s that rang the first death tolls for the Main Street of America. It started in 1954, with President Eisenhower’s advisory committee for an updated federal highway system. Rumored to be inspired by the efficiency of the German autobahn, this was the beginning of the mass interstate system, and the beginning of the end for Route 66. The Federal Aid Highway Act came in 1956, which called for a 42,500-mile interstate highway to better accommodate the logjams of traffic. Construction began shortly after, and Route 66 was gradually chipped away at. A little piece here. A bigger piece there. Lovely tourist towns were bypassed to save drive time.

Although Cyrus Avery was too old to take up the mantle, the road still saw some ardent defenders. The first champion warrior was Jack Kerouac, who’s novel “On the Road” was published to vast acclaim in 1955. CBS Television jumped into the fray in the 1960s. They released a series called “Route 66,” a show about a pair of highway daredevils that tackled the road in a sleek Corvette. In the 1970s, one of the roads earliest and most devoted supporters, Jack Cuthbert, drew his sword for a final time and lobbied to name the new interstate I-66, to at least keep the mother road’s legacy alive in spirit. This motion was denied when I-66 was given to a separate highway connecting Virginia to DC.

Despite the many soldiers willing to battle for their beloved road, no one could stop the inevitable. In 1984, the last section of Route 66 was bypassed by the Interstate Highways. The Mother Road was officially decommissioned in 1985. The road maps replaced the bold 66 line with a sad, tiny gray one. A lot of the big road signs were taken down and auctioned. Towns that once saw hoards of customers went quiet, and one by one, the neon lights flickered and went out. The road’s only travelers were quieter folks who wanted an escape from the busy highway, and maybe some people who were lost (Lightning McQueen, anyone?)

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Conoco Hole in the Wall – Commerce, OK

In the summer of 2019, after everything it had been through, Route 66 played host to two history-hungry travelers. I’m not sure what we expected when we hit that old highway. In truth, I knew I would see some sadness. Sadness in the form of boarded up buildings and closed-down main streets. Rusty street lamps and even rustier cars. Dug out ditches where road used to be. Cracks in the pavement. Once-stunning truss bridges that were dilapidated and closed off. Empty motels that had fallen to ruin. Neon signs that were long-since out of juice. I saw many of these things and it was enough to draw tears. The business lost to these once-booming towns must have been devastating. People headed out and moved on, migrated out of town on a four-lane interstate instead of the migrant road. Yes… it was sad.

Yet, underneath the rust, there were magnificent stops, many of which I will be telling about in future “Route 66 Series” posts. Stops that, in all of our modern-day madness, you just don’t see anymore. Like an amazing maple syrup farm where everything is fresh. A town in Arizona where wild burros run the show. Sweeping old mansions that were lived in by famous faces. A town square where Wild Bill had his first shoot-out. Hole-in-the-wall diners like Midpoint Café, where the burgers are insane and the pies are homemade.

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Midpoint Cafe – Adrian, TX

There were also the people. So many interesting people, like Crazy Ray in Arizona, who prepares chili dogs for his guests. A Kansas local who can turn his feet completely backwards. A Missouri man who had his pet rabbit run for president (he has the stickers to prove it). A man with a most impressive Hot Wheels collection, pieces of which the actual Hot Wheels owner is jealous of.

There were other kinds of people too. Travelers, just like us. In fact, I was surprised just how many there were. We met people from Sweden, Italy, and France. We met some folks who were retired, and some who were young adventurers. Some were moving to start new lives. Some were in it for the long haul, some were committed to only a state or two. I noticed how different they were from other travelers. Nothing like the tired and weary drivers I have encountered on other trips.  These people were excited and happy. They enjoyed slow meals and they befriended strangers. Photo ops were everywhere. They were “having a good time instead of making good time,” as Porsche Sally puts it in “Cars.”

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Perhaps that was one of the best takeaways from our Route 66 adventure. We learned that the forgotten road is experiencing a bit of a revival. Business owners mentioned their uptick in customers over recent years. I can only imagine that they were helped by Pixar’s Cars, since beloved characters from the movie were scattered all along the route. If that is indeed true, it is a potent reminder of the power of storytelling. It made me realize how great of a responsibility it truly is, and how big of an impact it can have. Storytelling is one of the few forces that resurrects something long-dead and makes it alive again. People have found their way back to the mother road because of storytelling.

In that vein, I will be telling many stories in the months ahead of the many adventures on the mother road. The “Route 66 Series” will appear in parts as I sort through everything, and if I spark even one person to take one tiny piece of that road, I will consider it a success. Because deeply embedded in the maps of America, there is a place where, believe you me, you can still get your kicks.

The Mother Road – Old Route 66.

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Conoco Hole in the Wall – Commerce, OK

SOURCES

Route 66 Road Trip

“Route 66 Road Trip” – Moon & C. Taylor

“Route 66 – the Mother Road” – M. Wallis

“The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas” – J. Hinckley

“The Grapes of Wrath” – J. Steinbeck

Take a photographic journey on Route 66 by clicking here

Stay tuned for more from the “Route 66 Series” that details our many stops and adventures. Looking forward to having you along! 

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU!

Last week, I reached 500 followers on this blog. It is an achievement that blew me away. When I first started here on WordPress, I wasn’t sure what people would think. I think I expected more trolling than anything! Instead, I found an incredibly supportive community of bloggers who feel a lot more like friends. People who with every comment and like, they validate my crazy dream to be a writer. They make it feel more real, and they cheer me every step of the way. I am more than flattered and overwhelmed by all of you! With your fine support, I am so much looking forward to uncovering more amazing footsteps on the trail of history.

With all my very sincere thanks,

M.B. Henry

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129 Comments on “ROUTE 66 SERIES – An Intro and General History

  1. I had to read The Grapes of Wrath in HS – I think Freshman or Sophomore year as part of an Honors class. It was not a favorite book or story, such as you describe, but one that definitely stuck in my memory. In addition, I’ve never been on route 66 but would definitely enjoy the ride. And, lastly, I enjoy historical fiction now, as an adult, and have read many such books, so perhaps I should revisit The Grapes of Wrath. Thanks!

    • We read some Steinbeck in high school, but it was more his novella work. I’m so glad you enjoy historical-fiction now! 🙂 So many great reads in the genre floating around out there. If you do revisit Grapes of Wrath, I hope you enjoy it very much! 🙂 I think you would like the 66. I dare say there’s a little something for everyone on that old highway. Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. Great piece! It’s obvious why you reached 500 followers (congratulations!) and will continue to have more. 🙂 Route 66 is definitely an iconic road, and your post today captured its ups and downs (and ups?) through the years. “The Grapes of Wrath”? One of my very favorite novels, too. Looking forward to your future Route 66 posts!

    • Thanks so much Dave! That’s very kind of you to say. And I knew you would appreciate the Grapes of Wrath tie-in 🙂 Looking forward to having you along for the many future posts!

    • Iconic – yes a perfect word for it 🙂 I really hope you enjoy the series as it unfolds, I’ll be glad to have you along for it!

    • Right? So many cool old pump stations! We loved it. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. What a treat you are sharing with us, from the opening quotation from Steinbeck, through the gas station Americana, the Mother Road is a delightful commentary. I’m motivated to at least travel sections of it and see it for myself! I look forward to the next installment.

    • Yay! If you ever do travel parts of it, I’d love to hear about it! 🙂 I also have lots of tips if you ever want them. I’ll be glad to have you along for the rest of the series – I hope you enjoy it

  4. I look forward to this. I have vague childhood memories of a 1965 car trip from northern Indiana to California and parts of the drive were on 66.

    It should be noted that safety was a problem on those old 2 lane highways when they were busy and this was probably as big of a selling point for the interstate system as faster travel.

    • That is definitely worthy of note! We used a travel guide for our trip, and I was amazed at how many “Dead Man’s Curves” that were noted in there, along with mentions of accidents and mishaps. Even today, parts of the road are very sketchy, especially in the far west. The Oatman Highway portion was definitely a doozy.

      • Wow what a story! And a good statement to go with it! There were definitely dangerous spots of that road even for today. So, I can’t imagine back then, with the cars they had

  5. More marvellous history, beautifully written as ever, and with impressive research. I look forward to this continuation of a promising series

    • Thanks so much! 🙂 I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I think you will love the rest of the series, some of the places we stopped seemed right up your alley 🙂

  6. Good for you!! Route 66 was a big part of our youth, whether we were ever on it or not. I’m sure you must have seen some of the “Route 66” TV episodes!!

  7. So looking forward to your posts on this, it’s still my top travel-dream, so I will do it vicariously through your posts. Also one day- it WILL be me! Congrats on 500!

    • Yes, it will be you! And when it is, you let me know. I will have loads of tips for you 🙂

      • It took us a little over two weeks – however, we also did a lot of little detours through nearby National Parks and other such sight seeing. If you stuck solely to the road, you may not need quite that long. But I would still take your time, as there are a lot of cool things to see and do! 🙂

      • Yes – perfect. And get a guidebook! There’s a ton of really good ones out there, and it’s kind of necessary to stay on the route. Some states don’t mark it very well, and since it’s a bit broken up now, the maps and guides help you stay on track!

  8. As you say, storytelling definitely is a force that resurrects and you do it so well. Our book club re-read Grapes of Wrath this summer so I am primed and ready to learn more about the ‘Mother Road.’

    • Thank you very much, that is very kind of you to say 🙂 How exciting about Grapes of Wrath! I actually run a book club here in LA, and I had a Steinbeck week where we read two of his short novellas. Someday I might drop Grapes of Wrath on them and see what happens 🙂 I’ll be excited to share with you our mother road adventures!

    • Niiice! Yes -I’m sure he had that in mind when he moved for an updated road system. You know even today with modern cars, I would call some parts of that old 66 “rough” 🙂

  9. Congratulations on the 500 followers – that’s awesome! 😀

    A really entertaining and interesting post MB, I have of course heard of Route 66 but I didn’t know anything of it’s story. Fascinating. A real slice through American History. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

    As an aside – Cars was a brilliant film (as was the 3rd one to an extent). Once you got past the talking cars it was actually a very well written, well thought out story – some parts are actually quite sad.

    Good Stuff – I hope you car is suitably covered in bumper stickers! 😀

    • Yay! Thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, it truly is a unique part of American History, and we were glad to have made the whole trek. They even gave us a certificate of completion at the end of the route which I thought was super cool. Although our car is not covered in bumper stickers, our fridge is very covered in new magnets! 🙂

      • Cool – I love fridge magnets! 😀

        I’m glad you enjoyed it – it’s something I’d love to do myself. It’s one of ‘those’ trips, a bit like travelling the Trans-Siberian railway.

      • Ooooh nice. Yeah, I know all about “those trips” 🙂 I may have knocked one off, but I got LOTS more to go 🙂

  10. Thank you for sharing your insights, M.B. I am glad that stretches of this highway are experiencing a renaissance, and I look forward to reading more about your impressions.

  11. Brilliant story matey ,really interesting ,my wife and I just travelled parts of the old highway to my old home town and it was interesting to see how the small towns have survived be bypassed years ago .Give yourself a big pat on the back for a great story well told .

    • Yes – it is nice to see that some of them survived! Definitely through Missouri and Oklahoma there were some shuttered towns, but a lot of the places in Illinois and farther West seem to be doing okay still. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and shared your thoughts.

  12. I love this and appreciated learning some of the history (and was relieved when you mentioned Pixar’s “CARS”, because honestly, that’s one of my most accurate frames of reference for the western 3/4 of Route 66!) Have traveled portions of the Eastern Route and have always appreciated the scenery… Thanks for sharing!

    • Always a pleasure meeting another Cars fan! 🙂 Such a great movie! I watch it quite often, although I must admit I haven’t seen the subsequent other two. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and shared your thoughts, and your own experience on the 66 🙂

  13. I’m so enjoying this read but need to be elsewhere now so will have to finish it in installments!
    Well done, thanks 🙂

  14. Love those gas stations. I have been looking forward to this series so much! You haven’t disappointed. 😊

    • Yay! I’m very glad to hear that. So glad you’re enjoying it so far

  15. Super looking forward to many posts to come from the road. This was a great overview! I’ve only done 66 in IL, MO, KS, and OK; looking forward to finishing it one day.

  16. I so enjoyed exploring Route 66 as you and your husband lived your dream, M.B. Great narrative with the Steinbeck background, history, and photos. I lived in Bloomington-Normal IL as a young girl and this was a great road, we often sang the “Get your kicks” tune loudly and proudly.

    • Nice! It is indeed a very good tune! And oh yes, we drove through that area 🙂 I thought Illinois was one of the best-preserved spots of the road. I’m so glad you liked the post and that it stirred some memories.

  17. You really brought the “Mother Road” to life, MB. So glad the two of you got to go on that adventure. One of these days, maybe I’ll dust off an old dream and do the same.

    • Oooooh you should! You would absolutely love it. And when you do, I’m happy to provide lots of tips! 🙂

      • It was enough fun just to write about. Years ago, a buddy and I planned a tour up the AlCan and down US Rt 1, on large motorcycles. It never happened but it still sounds mighty good.

      • Oh on motorcycles, that would be sweet. We saw a lot of bikers (both motor and regular) out on the 66 as well. They even have a bicycle path that runs along a lot of the route now.

  18. got back to finish this … had to take my time on route 66!

    You have amazing writing skills, I wish you could rewrite the history books I had to study! In fact if I won lotto I would pay you to write a more factual history of my country. A living culture of 65,000 years who have survived an ice age and many other climate changes. an ancient living culture who have not been correctly documented.

    You tell a great story and I’m looking forward to further installments …. and I’m not a fan of history 🙂

    • You have made my day with this comment. Thank you so, so much for flattering me like this! 🙂 I am so glad you enjoyed the post and have enjoyed the others here.

      • 🙂 Well your truth is very, very flattering to me. And it means an awful lot! <3

      • somehow flattery seems more like a false statement trying to gain ground … but if you’re a happy flattered then guess that’s good 🙂

      • I see what you mean, but I definitely meant flattering in the good, happy way 🙂 More akin to honored. The writing journey is a tough one, and compliments like this make it worth while! <3

  19. Aww, this is a cool post MB! I think I was supposed to read the grapes of wrath, but probably only read the cliff notes, which I don’t remember 😬. I studied boys in school. Sadly. Now I want to read the book and drive the road!

    • Hahahaha I don’t blame you, I think a lot of us studied boys in school! 🙂 That’s funny. Grapes of Wrath is a fantastic book though if you ever find the time, I do think you would like it. And you would DEFINITELY like the road 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

    • They definitely have their own breed of charm 🙂 So glad you enjoyed them

  20. I’ve got my seat belt on, and I’m ready for the ride on Route 66. No doubt about it. You are a great writer.

    • Thank you so much for saying so <3 You have no idea how much it brightens my day! Looking forward to having you along for some future Route 66 posts!

  21. Wow! I had no idea this road had such an interesting history. Fascinating! Loved the photos of old service stations.

  22. Thanks for this history of Route 66. We’ve driven along parts of it in a couple of states. Your post makes me want to go back to see more!

  23. Ah – my parents were alive during the dust bowl. I was born in 1942 and have traveled Route 66 since I was born. Use to stop at gas stations going from Arizona to Missouri and share a small bottle of coke (5 cents) with my 3 siblings. I often feel sad when I realize Route 66 is not the same – I saw it in its hay day. I was around when Eisenhower was president. Loved your story about Route 66. It brought a lot of memories back. Thanks for sharing the history of this great highway. Peggy.

    • How cool that you saw it in its hay day. I would have loved to see that! 🙂 What a great perspective you were able to lend to this post, thanks so much for sharing your experiences and your family history here. I’m so glad the post brought back fond memories for you! <3

  24. Fascinating, MB. Like most people, I suspect, my first knowledge of Route 66 was via the Bobby Troupe number, courtesy (in my case) of the Stones (Rolling) and Chuck Berry. A band I was in used to cover it too – so the place has always had a kind of ‘something’ to it. Loved your account. And HUGE congrats on your 500!!

    • Ooooh nice that your band did a cover. It is a very catchy song isn’t it? 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for being one of the 500! 🙂

  25. A great piece of work on your part on an important part of our travel history. I have been on parts of Rte 66 and I love your images.

    • Thank you very much! I’m so glad you liked it. It was an amazing trip! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 I always love it when people enjoy the posts. And thanks for being one of the 500!

  26. First, congrats on 500 followers! Not surprising at all, though, given your fab writing and research skills.

    Second, thanks for the history on this highway. I always wondered why the “66” in the name, so that was really interesting.

    Third, this was beautifully written, and a lovely tribute to this legendary highway.

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, we sure had a wonderful time on that old highway 🙂 I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it again someday! And thanks for being one of the 500 that follows along with my crazy historical adventures 🙂

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  28. A decade ago we queued up for ice cream at a popular place on Route 66 near St. Louis. Five years ago we stayed at a motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque. Three years ago we ate in a Mexican restaurant on Route 66 in Flagstaff. We’ve also been on the road in Amarillo and Tulsa and Oklahoma City. It’s easy to understand the fun you had on your trip.

    • Yay!!! So glad you got to experience pieces of it too! It is indeed a very fun little road. I wouldn’t mind visiting again someday 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the post and that it stirred some fond memories.

  29. I grew up visiting two grandmothers that lived in Carthage, Missouri. Consequently, I road down Route 66 quite a bit – most often with Grandma #1 at the wheel because she had a pretty adventurous spirit. Also, saw quite a few movies at Route 66 Drive-In right outside of town. Thank you for sharing!

    • How cool!! 🙂 So glad you shared your own history with the 66 here. It’s been fun reading other people’s experiences. Thanks so much for stopping by, so glad you enjoyed the post.

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