DRIVING ROUTE 66
History and Significance of US Route 66 Painted Desert Point Trading Post US Highway 66, popularly known as “Route 66,” is significant as the nation’s first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. May 04, · U.S. Highway 66 -- popularly known as Route 66 or the Mother Road -- holds a special place in American consciousness and evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, and the icons of a mobile nation on the road.
Route 66 what is radioactive half- life one of the United State's first continuous stretches of paved histtoric, and served as a major path for those who migrated west. From its beginning in Chicago, Route 66 headed south through Illinois and Missouri, and a small section of southeast Kansas. From id it turned in histlric more westward direction through Oklahoma and Roue, with the final stretches in New Mexico and Arizona before its termination point in Los Angeles.
Alignments of the road changed often over the years, as improved sections of highway were constructed. In the early years many sections connected only one small town to the next, and had no official federal route number. Over time the route was formalized as a Federal Highway numbered as "U.
Included on this website are photographs, personal experiences, commentary and travel recommendations on the various segments of the Mother Road. We hope that this site will help planning your next vacation or holiday, and get Route 66 checked off your bucket list of destinations! Route 66 became one of the most famous roads in the United States, outdistancing others such as the Lincoln Highway.
The legendary highway was known far and wide for its variety of "mom and pop" motels, neon lights, drive-ins, quirky roadside attractions, flat tires, cars with no air conditioning, dangerous curves, steep hills, and narrow lanes. The movie "Easy Rider" was filmed at several locations along Route The move "Thelma and Louise" also featured Route 66 references and scenes. Map of Historic Route 66 from Illinois to California.
A popular television show during the early s bore the road's name: "Route 66". Despite the name of the series, most episodes did NOT take place on the historic road, but in 25 different U.
The show was filmed mostly on location, and became known for its cinematography. A long list of well-known actors and actresses appeared on the series. The interest in the show continues today by "Baby Boomers" who remember the original showings, and new generations of viewers fascinated by the show who watch it on DVD. Historix more about the Route 66 TV series Kansas to Tulsa.
Oklahoma City to Texas. Shamrock near Oklahoma to Amarillo. Amarillo thru Adrian to Glenrio. Tucumcari thru Santa Rosa to Santa Fe. Santa Fe thru Albuquerque to Gallup. Holbrook to Flagstaff. Seligman to Kingman. Flagstaff to Seligman. Kingman to Oatman. The passage of the Federal Highway Act of sounded the death knell for the old road, and gradually segments were replaced with new, safer and faster superhighways.
Its final demise was the completion of the Interstate Highway System. The last town by-passed by the Interstate system was Williams, Arizona, on October hisgoric, Subsequently, U. Today, several states recognize the historical significance of the road, and have it marked with "66" in the state hisyoric number.
The road is also a major tourist attraction, so many states openly market attractions and lodging along the old route. Different people choose different modes of transportation to tour the Wuat Road. While some elect guided bus tours, or drive their foute vehicles, others seek new destinations in their RV or motor home. Many travelers on Route 66 rent motorcycles to seek new open-air adventures on their USA road trip!
Whqt variety of motorcycle rental plans are routf, such as those from Eaglerider Motorcycle Rentals. If you are starting your Route 66 trip further north, motorcycle pickup locations in Illinois are available. Model options are plentiful, and cycles from manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson and Indian are available. Trikes can also be rented. If you don't want to ride independently, choose from one of many guided motorcycle tours. Self-drive tours often include rental of the motorcycle, hotel reservations and detailed tour route information.
Some companies offer one-way rentals, hotel pickups, luggage storage, helmets and other amenities. Route 66 on Motorcycle. Rpute you ever plan to motor west, travel routs way, take the highway that is best. Get your kicks on Route sixty-six. It winds from Chicago to LA, more than two thousand miles all the way. Won't you whhat hip 666 this timely tip: when you make that California trip Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.
Along the length of Route 66, there are hundreds, probably thousands of attractions. And there are dozens of cities and towns. Different travelers have different interests, so we can't list everything. But here are a few favorites! Let's get how to do crosstabs in spss the Road The museum is a repository for thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia from the glory days of the Mother Road.
This is a rpute place to learn the history of Route 66 in Illinois, see images of the road's wonderful history, and hear a few great stories about life in America when Route 66 was the most important highway in the nation. Formerly known as "4 Women on the Route", the attraction sells sandwiches, antiques, Route 66 memorabilia and work by local artists.
It has connections with the movie "Cars" featuring the rusted tow truck "Tow Tater" and other restored vehicles on display. Lucille's Service Station, a classic gas station built in along Route 66 near Hydro, what is historic route 66 one of only two upper-story, out-thrust porch style stations left on Oklahoma's stretch of Route Inthe Hamons family took over the operation of the station and Lucille Hamons, ran the business for 60 years.
Routf, who quickly became known for her friendly assistance to motorists, earned the nickname "Mother of the Mother Road. Dozens of old gas stations were located along Route The early Hjstoric stations, like the one in McLean, were designed in the "Cottage Look" to blend with local residential neighborhoods.
Route 66 is known for its quirky and unusual attractions. Shown here is one of those, the Cadillac Histpric, just west of Amarillo, on present-day I Access is from the service road on the south side of what is a fuel injected engine interstate. Park and walk across the field The townsite still has noticeable traces of Route 66 and the motels and restaurants that used to thrive there before the arrival of I The district emcompasses the Route 66 roadbed and 17 abandoned structures.
Remains can still be seen of an old motel, cafe, service station, the post office, and a few other buildings, dhat well as the old Route 66 roadbed. InAngel Delgadillo moved his barber shop so that he could take advantage of the traffic on the new alignment of Route 66 through Seligman. To stimulate tourism, Angel, his wife Hiwtoric, and other shop 66 in northwest Arizona established the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.
Read more at www. Elvis and friend take a break along Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona. Roy's Motel and Cafe in Amboy, California. The original terminus of U. Route 66 was at 7th and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The route was later extended to the intersection of Lincoln and Wgat boulevards in Santa Monica, about one histric from the Pacific Ocean. This is often referred to as the official ending point of Route The End of the Trail Santa Monica, California Staff Photo. Travel Guide to Historic Route The Mother Road Map of Route 66, The Mother Road, whar in this vintage postcard Route 66 was one of the United State's first continuous stretches of paved ks, and served as a major path for those who migrated west.
The movie "Easy RIder" The popularity stuck, and continues to grow today! The show ran from October,through Historid,and created a huge following. Here are the travel guides and reviews by state Standin on a Corner, in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see Route 66 Today Today, several states recognize the historical significance of the road, and have it marked with "66" in the state highway number. Touring Route 66 by Motorcycle Get your motor running!
Get out on the highway! Taking a Ride on Route 66? Highlights of Attractions and Cities Along Route 66 Along the length of Route 66, there are hundreds, probably thousands of attractions. It is located at W. Howard Street yistoric Pontiac. Lucille's Service Station and Roadhouse, in Hydro, Oklahoma Lucille's Service Station, a classic gas station built in how to fix the cable box Route 66 near Hydro, is one of only two upper-story, out-thrust porch style stations left on Oklahoma's stretch of Route Located at West First Street.
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas Route 66 is known for its quirky and unusual attractions. And be sure to bring a can of spray paint!
Tips for Driving Route 66
The worldwide, non-profit organization dedicated to directing the public’s attention to the importance of U.S. Highway Route 66 in America’s cultural heritage and acquiring the federal, state and private support necessary to preserve the historic landmarks and revitalize the economies of communities along the entire 2,mile stretch of road. Historic Route 66 travel guide Above: Route 66 Begin sign in Chicago, Illinois. Route 66 in Illinois Chicago is where it all begins, on the shores of Lake Michigan, in the shadow of some of highest skyscrapers of the continent. Route 66 was one of the United State's first continuous stretches of paved highway, and served as a major path for those who migrated west. "The Mother Road" was established on November 11, , and ultimately stretched 2, miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Route 66 or U. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, , with road signs erected the following year. US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed.
People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.
US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was officially removed from the United States Highway System in  after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System.
Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been communally designated a National Scenic Byway by the name " Historic Route 66 ", returning the name to some maps. The corridor is also being redeveloped into U. In , Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale , a naval officer in the service of the U. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers , was ordered by the War Department to build a government-funded wagon road along the 35th Parallel.
His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. This road became part of US Parts of the original Route 66 from , prior to its official naming and commissioning, can still be seen north of the Cajon Pass. The paved road becomes a dirt road, south of Cajon, which was also the original Route Before a nationwide network of numbered highways was adopted by the states, what were named auto trails were marked by private organizations.
The route that would become US 66 was covered by three highways. The Lone Star Route passed through St. Again, a shorter route was taken, here following the Postal Highway between Oklahoma City and Amarillo.
While legislation for public highways first appeared in , with revisions in , until Congress enacted an even more comprehensive version of the act in , the government had not executed its plan for national highway construction. From the outset, public road planners intended US 66 to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities along its course for the most practical of reasons: most small towns had no prior access to a major national thoroughfare.
The numerical designation 66 was assigned to the Chicago-to-Los Angeles route on April 30, ,  in Springfield, Missouri. Louis streets and on Route to Halltown, Missouri. Championed by Avery when the first talks about a national highway system began, US 66 was first signed into law in as one of the original U. Highways , although it was not completely paved until Avery was adamant that the highway have a round number and had proposed number 60 to identify it. The state of Missouri released its state highway map with the highway labeled as US After the new federal highway system was officially created, Cyrus Avery called for the establishment of the U.
Highway 66 Association to promote the complete paving of the highway from end to end and to promote travel down the highway. In , in Tulsa, the association was officially established with John T. Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri, elected the first president. The U. Highway 66 Association also placed its first advertisement in the July 16, , issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Highway 66 Association office in Oklahoma received hundreds of requests for information after the ad was published.
Traffic grew on the highway because of the geography through which it passed. Much of the highway was essentially flat and this made the highway a popular truck route. The Dust Bowl of the s saw many farming families, mainly from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas, heading west for agricultural jobs in California.
US 66 became the main road of travel for these people, often derogatorily called " Okies " or "Arkies". During the Depression, it gave some relief to communities located on the highway. The route passed through numerous small towns and, with the growing traffic on the highway, helped create the rise of mom-and-pop businesses , such as service stations , restaurants , and motor courts , all readily accessible to passing motorists. Much of the early highway, like all the other early highways, was gravel or graded dirt.
Due to the efforts of the U. Highway 66 Association, US 66 became the first highway to be completely paved in Several places were dangerous: more than one part of the highway was nicknamed "Bloody 66" and gradually work was done to realign these segments to remove dangerous curves. However, one section through the Black Mountains outside Oatman, Arizona , was fraught with hairpin turns and was the steepest along the entire route, so much so that some early travelers, too frightened at the prospect of driving such a potentially dangerous road, hired locals to navigate the winding grade.
The section remained as US 66 until and is still open to traffic today as the Oatman Highway. Despite such hazards in some areas, US 66 continued to be a popular route. US 66, already popular and fully paved, became one of the main routes and also served for moving military equipment.
Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri was located near the highway, which was locally upgraded quickly to a divided highway to help with military traffic. When Richard Feynman was working on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos , he used to travel nearly miles km to visit his wife, who was dying of tuberculosis , in a sanatorium located on US 66 in Albuquerque.
In the s, US 66 became the main highway for vacationers heading to Los Angeles. The road passed through the Painted Desert and near the Grand Canyon. Meteor Crater in Arizona was another popular stop.
This sharp increase in tourism in turn gave rise to a burgeoning trade in all manner of roadside attractions, including teepee - shaped motels , frozen custard stands, Indian curio shops, and reptile farms. Meramec Caverns near St. Louis , began advertising on barns, billing itself as the " Jesse James hideout". The Big Texan advertised a free ounce 2. It also marked the birth of the fast-food industry: Red's Giant Hamburg in Springfield, Missouri , site of the first drive-through restaurant, and the first McDonald's in San Bernardino, California.
Changes like these to the landscape further cemented 66's reputation as a near-perfect microcosm of the culture of America, now linked by the automobile. In , between the Illinois cities of Springfield and East St. Louis , US 66 was shifted farther east to what is now roughly Interstate 55 I The original alignment followed the current Illinois Route 4 IL 4. From downtown St. In , this route was changed and the original alignment was never viewed as anything more than temporary.
The planned route was down Watson Road, which is now Route but Watson Road had not been completed yet. In , a straighter cut-off route was completed from west of El Reno to one mile 1. In , a straight-line route was completed from west of Santa Rosa through Moriarty and east—west through Albuquerque and west to Laguna. This newer routing saved travelers as much as four hours of travel through New Mexico.
According to legend, the rerouting was done at the behest of Democratic Governor Arthur T. In , the Oatman Highway through the Black Mountains was completely bypassed by a new route between Kingman, Arizona , and Needles, California ;  by the s, Oatman, Arizona , was virtually abandoned as a ghost town.
Since the s, as Interstates were being constructed, sections of US 66 not only saw the traffic drain to them, but often the route number itself was moved to the faster means of travel.
In some cases, such as to the east of St. Louis, this was done as soon as the Interstate was finished to the next exit. The displacement of US 66 signage to the new freeways, combined with restrictions in the Highway Beautification Act that often denied merchants on the old road access to signage on the freeway, became factors in the closure of many established US 66 businesses as travelers could no longer easily find or reach them.
US 66 was rerouted around several larger cities via bypass or beltline routes to permit travelers to avoid city traffic congestion. Some of those cities included Springfield, Illinois ; St.
The route was also a foundation for many chain stores back in the s, sprouting up next to it to increase business and sales. Eisenhower who was influenced by his experiences in as a young Army officer crossing the country in a truck convoy following the route of the Lincoln Highway , and his appreciation of the autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system.
During its nearly year existence, US 66 was under constant change. As highway engineering became more sophisticated, engineers constantly sought more direct routes between cities and towns. Increased traffic led to a number of major and minor realignments of US 66 through the years, particularly in the years immediately following World War II when Illinois began widening US 66 to four lanes through virtually the entire state from Chicago to the Mississippi River just east of St.
Louis , and included bypasses around virtually all of the towns. By the early to mids, Missouri also upgraded its sections of US 66 to four lanes complete with bypasses. Most of the newer four-lane 66 paving in both states was upgraded to freeway status in later years.
The new mile km toll road paralleled US 66 for its entire length and bypassed each of the towns along The Turner Turnpike was joined in by the new Will Rogers Turnpike , which connected Tulsa with the Oklahoma-Missouri border west of Joplin, Missouri , again paralleling US 66 and bypassing the towns in northeastern Oklahoma in addition to its entire stretch through Kansas. Both Oklahoma turnpikes were soon designated as I , along with the US 66 bypass at Tulsa that connected the city with both turnpikes.
In some cases, such as many areas in Illinois, the new Interstate Highway not only paralleled the old US 66, it actually used much of the same roadway. A typical approach was to build one new set of lanes, then move one direction of traffic to it, while retaining the original road for traffic flowing in the opposite direction.
Then a second set of lanes for traffic flowing in the other direction would be constructed, finally followed by abandoning the other old set of lanes or converting them into a frontage road. The same scenario was used in western Oklahoma when US 66 was initially upgraded to a four-lane highway such as from Sayre through Erick to the Texas border at Texola in and where the old paving was retained for westbound traffic and a new parallel lane built for eastbound traffic much of this section was entirely bypassed by I in , and on two other sections; from Canute to Elk City in and Hydro to Weatherford in , both of which were upgraded with the construction of a new westbound lane in to bring the highway up to full interstate standards and demoting the old US 66 paving to frontage road status.
In the initial process of constructing I across western Oklahoma, the state also included projects to upgrade the through routes in El Reno, Weatherford, Clinton, Canute, Elk City, Sayre, Erick, and Texola to four-lane highways not only to provide seamless transitions from the rural sections of I from both ends of town but also to provide easy access to those cities in later years after the I bypasses were completed. In New Mexico, as in most other states, rural sections of I were to be constructed first with bypasses around cities to come later.
However, some business and civic leaders in cities along US 66 were completely opposed to bypassing fearing loss of business and tax revenues. In , the New Mexico Legislature enacted legislation that banned the construction of interstate bypasses around cities by local request. This legislation was short-lived, however, due to pressures from Washington and threat of loss of federal highway funds so it was rescinded by In , Tucumcari and San Jon became the first cities in New Mexico to work out an agreement with state and federal officials in determining the locations of their I bypasses as close to their business areas as possible in order to permit easy access for highway travelers to their localities.
Other cities soon fell in line including Santa Rosa , Moriarty , Grants and Gallup although it wasn't until well into the s that most of those cities would be bypassed by I By the late s, most of the rural sections of US 66 had been replaced by I across New Mexico with the most notable exception being the mile 64 km strip from the Texas border at Glenrio west through San Jon to Tucumcari, which was becoming increasingly treacherous due to heavier and heavier traffic on the narrow two-lane highway.
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