Route 66, or "The Historical Route 66" had to be driven, we couldn't be on a road trip without hitting the legendary road immortalised in verse by Bobby Troup. For a road it has quite a history, originally know as the Will Rogers Highway it stretched across country from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California covering 2448miles. Over the years and with thanks to the new interstates, traffic went elsewhere and large parts of the route declined, renamed and moved.
Many associations were set up to preserve the route and In 1999 Bill Clinton signed a National Route 66 Preservation Bill, which provided $10 million to various states to persevering and maintaining historic places along the route.
We had driven two parts, the first which we picked up in Kingman had various "new looking" diners/road signs and led us to Flagstaff, Arizona but contained little else, except a wonderful shop which was decorated with old signs and used cars and a superb German/American diner which served great burgers! The second part was the "old" route which we accidentally stumbled on after deciding to get off the freeway to LA and detour to Joshua Tree. This part of the route was magic and equally sad, the old 66 sign had been spray painted on the road at various points (to stop theft of the road signs) and there were various old buildings spread throughout. Gas stations, motels, houses, they were all there laying empty, decaying, many with graffiti from passers by marking their own journey. At the turn off to Joshua Tree lay a wonderful gas station, diner and motel with the typical Americana neon sign and style all In tact-and that's where we left.
There's something about this road that conjures up wonderful emotions, driving window down, listening to the "Route 66" radio station, miles of empty road ahead of you. It's historical, beautiful, sometimes sad but still one of the greatest drives ever.