People are still getting their kicks on Route 66
Route 66 was one of the original highways in the United States of America, and most likely the most famous highway of all. It was established in 1926, the entire distance was completely paved in 1938, and Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985. Route 66 was nick named "The Main Street of America", and stretches a distance of 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.
Route 66 was one of the very first roads in all of the United States to connect the main streets together of American towns. It crosses through eight states, which include Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, California, and Arizona. Route 66 reached it hay day in the early 1950s, following World War Two, and prospered from motor commerce and tourism.
There were many roadside services like diners, motels, and gas stations that established their businesses along Route 66, and it's believed that Route 66 led to the invention of motels. Route 66 represents the pioneering spirit of Americans, and it played a big role in the growth and development of the Southwestern United States.
This is a constantly changing world, and with that Route 66 had to take a back seat to the new Interstate system in America. Interstate 40 in particular completely replaced Route 66 in the Southwestern United States. Today it's no longer possible to drive all of the original Route 66, because many portions of the original roadway no longer exist. Parts of Route 66 have been replaced by service roads for Interstate 40 which runs parallel to Route 66 in Texas, and many other areas. Because of the Interstate system, many of the towns that were on Route 66 are no longer around today.
Even with the competition of the Interstate system, Route 66 still has a lot of prosperity, and preserved portions. I've traveled a lot on Route 66, and the portion of Route 66 going through the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is very well maintained and quite beautiful. A sightseeing drive down old route 66 is certainly among fun things to do when your bored.
It's kind of like this, if you have to travel somewhere in a hurry and be there fast, Then the Interstate system is what you want to drive on. If you are not in any particular hurry, and you want to eat great food, and see fabulous things and historical places, then Route 66 is for you.
There are some Route 66 towns that use trickery along the Interstate in an attempt to get you to stop. I saw one such instance where a town had a sign posted on the Interstate, which advertised 34 motels, 27 gas stations, and 29 restaurants. After I finished driving the entire eight miles through that town, I didn't see but a couple of restaurants, five motels of which you would not have wanted to stay in, and two gas stations which probably weren't open for 24 hour periods. So if you stopped there for gas at night, then you would be out of luck.
In other areas Route 66 still has plenty of great motels to stay in, 24 hour gas stations, and some of the best restaurants that you would ever want to eat at in the world. People today can still enjoy the splendor of Route 66, that so many of our fathers and grandfathers enjoyed in yesteryear.
There's still plenty of room for travel adventures along Route 66. I was driving down a long hot dry portion of Route 66 in Arizona one day when all of a sudden out of nowhere a prairie dog ran out in front of me, and I ran it over. Let me finish first before you start thinking that this part of the story has a bad ending. I saw the prairie dog through my windshield, run right out in front of me and stop. I couldn't do anything else but keep driving forward. The prairie dog turned and looked at me, and then he ducked. I drove right over him, and as I looked back in my rear view mirror, I saw him stand back up, look at me again, and run over to the side of the road. You just never know what's going to happen on Route 66.
A while back I met a nice couple, in California, who were both on vacation from New Zealand. They brought their motorcycle with them, and they were in the process of traveling all 2,448 miles of Route 66. They said that they began their trip in Santa Monica, California, and that they are driving about 150 miles each day on their way to Chicago, Illinois. The two of them were getting ready to cross over the Rocky Mountains into Arizona, and I figured that all together they would probably make it to their destination in a total of about 16 days or two weeks. They both looked liked they were enjoying themselves, and having a lot of fun. So as you can see there are still some people out there that are getting their kicks on Route 66!