ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

People are still getting their kicks on Route 66

Updated on November 17, 2015

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 Parts of Route 66 have been replaced by service roads for Interstate 40 which runs parallel to Route 66 in Texas, and many other areas.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.

This photo was taken on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they are very proud of the old road.
This photo was taken on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they are very proud of the old road.

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.

There are interesting spots like this all along Route 66.
There are interesting spots like this all along Route 66.

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.

A well maintained sign is all that's left from this old motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The motel was torn down and has been gone for many years.
A well maintained sign is all that's left from this old motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The motel was torn down and has been gone for many years.

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.

Old motels like this along Route 66 are victims of the Interstate system.
Old motels like this along Route 66 are victims of the Interstate system.
This is all that remains of an old gas station on Route 66.
This is all that remains of an old gas station on Route 66.
Sights like this can be a common sight at times along Route 66.
Sights like this can be a common sight at times along Route 66.

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.

The front of the "Rockin'Y's Roadhouse" restaurant on Route 66 in Tucumari, New Mexico.
The front of the "Rockin'Y's Roadhouse" restaurant on Route 66 in Tucumari, New Mexico.
A beautiful mural painted on the outside wall of the "Rockin'Y's Roadhouse" restaurant on Route 66 in Tucumari, New Mexico. They have some great food here!
A beautiful mural painted on the outside wall of the "Rockin'Y's Roadhouse" restaurant on Route 66 in Tucumari, New Mexico. They have some great food here!

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!

Modern day casino on old Route 66.
Modern day casino on old Route 66.
5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Route 66

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

      I enjoyed the pictures after reading this I felt like I just went on a road trip.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 4 years ago

      Very interesting. I am old enough to remember Nat King Cole singing "Get Your Kicks on Route 66," and the adventures of Todd and Buzz as they drove their Corvette, on the old TV Show Route 66 from town to town, always managing to find a job and help a person in distress.

    • Patriette profile image

      Patriette 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I share flashmakeit's reaction to this very interesting and thoughtful hub. Voting up and awesome.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      First I heard of Route 66 was on the Stones' cover. We have a MUCH shorter Route 66, really the A66 that runs across country, over the Pennines between Middlesbrough on the east coast (with great views for passengers, of the Transporter Bridge - with its travelling deck - and the Newport Bridge that used to have a lifting deck until it was 'fixed' in position as part of a through route off the A66) and Workington on the west coast, near the Lake District. Near its halfway point the route passes below Stainmore Common where King Eirik 'Blood-Axe' Haraldsson was slain in battle in AD954.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, THS. I remember that old TV program, Route 66, so it's a little sad to learn that much of the original highway no longer exists. Thanks for the update and the great photos.

    • paul pruel profile image

      Paul Odien Pruel 4 years ago from Philippines and Saudi Arabia

      Seemed like I have gone there through this awesome hub. Packed of facts. Those photos are fantastic!

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 4 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Really enjoyed taking the trip on Route 66. What a wonderful hub. And withgreat picture!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Sometimes new isn't always better. The condition of it today, although some parts are maintained makes me so sad.

      I enjoyed this article.

    • Lightshare profile image

      Lightshare 4 years ago

      It was an interesting journey with you! Thank you.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Lots of memories for lots of people, from songs to tv shows and more. You did Route 66 proud with your descriptions and your awesome pictures! The information you packed in here is useful as well. This was fun to read!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      When I moved to OK at the end of July in 2010, we were on Rte 66. There are still some pretty interesting stops there.

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 4 years ago

      That article is so good. Route 66 still rocks too. I definitely voted up.

    • e-five profile image

      e-five 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois, USA

      I live three blocks away from the old route in Central Illinois. Part of the road near here has been made into a bike trail and park.

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 4 years ago

      Your hub makes a great ad. I would like to drive it someday.

    • MsQuestion profile image

      MsQuestion 4 years ago from New Jersey

      This was a very fun hub to read! My family and I got our kicks on rt. 66 in Illinois...we stopped at a restaurant there with Elvis and Betty Boop pictures on the wall, and had milk shakes!

    • JanHeath profile image

      JanHeath 4 years ago from Australia

      Looks like a great plan for a holiday. Billy Connolly did a TV series on it too, cruising down Route 66 on his motorbike finding interesting people and places. Great hub!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Very cool. I too remember the TV series (just barely) , but I do remember the Nat King Cole song. At the time I didn't have a clue about the meaning behind it all, but this hub sure answers a lot! Fun stuff. cheers!

    • Romian1 profile image

      Romian1 4 years ago

      My late dad traveled this road twice when I was just a toddler. I am glad it is still around to give me an opportunity to experience what he experienced.

    • A Little TRUTH profile image

      A Little TRUTH 4 years ago

      Heard of Route 66, but never knew what it was until now!

    • profile image

      Fanan 2 years ago

      I appreciate your kind and gereouns advice a lot!. I have been trying it hardly and did not get those amazing results!. It is nice to see that you got my comment in a good way!God bless you!VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

    Click to Rate This Article