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Route 66 Adventures

Popularity 6Viewed 6968 times 2014-2-8 15:35 |Personal category:Travels|System category:Life| highway, travel, road trip, America, Americana

Route 66 is a famous American road. Well, it's not officially a highway anymore, but you can still see parts of it.Back in the mid twentieth century it was an important route between Chicago and Los Angeles. Poor farmers from Oklahoma drove it to California to find work. Vacationing families travelled on it. A guy named Bobby Troupe wrote a song about it that was recorded by popular singer Nat King Cole. Many interesting attractions were built along its route. 
My dad and I have taken it home from New Mexico twice. The first time we made sure to stop at many places, and the second time we went a bit more quickly, hitting only the highlights. We had some memorable experiences. 
 I remember a place called the Jackrabbit Trading post, where the main advertisement is a billboard with a silhouette of a Jackrabbit, and the words "Here It Is". 
We saw some scenic spots too. Both of us like to visit national parks, so we stopped to admire the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. There were trees there millions of years ago. After they fell down and were quickly buried, minerals began to seep into spaces in them. Eventually, there were no more trees. There were rocks in the shape of them.
After passing over a particularly windy part of 66, we came to the town of Oatman, Arizona. We pulled into a parking lot, and an elderly man in a cowboy hat walked up to our car. He must have said that nothing was open. So, he and my dad started talking. His name was Fred, and for the next hour or so we learned his life story. His dad had fought in WWI. He himself was in his 80s, and used to be a craftsman. But his eyesight started to fail, and treatment only made it worse. After the conversation had gone on for a while a woman (presumably his wife) walked over with a small dog. Fred asked "Who would want a black dog?". She threw the leash over his shoulder and responded "You would!"
I took a picture of Dad and Fred, and we mailed it to him soon after we got back to LA. 
On two separate trips, my Dad and I visited the town of Amboy, CA. Route 66 forced people to drive through towns, but when interstates were put in they could speed right on past. That's why Amboy's a ghost. When we passed through, the main business was a former motel called Roy's. The rooms themselves were closed. The cafe was closed too, but there was still a store. Our second time there I bought a "Route Beer" (Root Beer, a type of soda) to help combat the 116 degree heat. 
On our first visit, we threw some old shoes of mine into a "shoe tree". Those are trees on which many people have hung old pairs of shoes. By our second visit it had blown down. But of course everything changes eventually.
For myself and many others, Route 66 is a highway of fun places, interesting people, and good memories.

The book that first got me interested in this historic highway is called "Route 66" and was written by Tim Steil, with photography by Jim Luning. I also thought I would share Tim's journals from their trip, and Jim's documentary about a second trip they took down 66. Please tell me if either of the links don't work.
The journal:
The film:

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Shake hands


Friends who just made a statement (3 Person)

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Comment Comment (6 comments)

Reply Report snowipine 2014-2-8 17:48
"The journal" is well linked.
Reply Report SoCalChevy 2014-2-9 02:21
snowipine: "The journal" is well linked.
But the video is not?
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-2-10 09:18
Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Reply Report SoCalChevy 2014-2-10 10:09
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Reply Report robert237 2014-2-12 10:52
I've been on Route 66 many times in Missouri. Many original parts are still used as side roads today. It follows roughly the same
path as present day Interstate 44 through the Ozarks in Missouri. There's a Route 66 souvenir shop in Lebanon, Missouri.
Reply Report tonysong2000 2014-2-12 13:20

facelist doodle Doodle board

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