Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Signs, Signs: Route 66

When visiting the American Southwest, we always make sure to fit in another stretch of historic Route 66. It is a treat like no other driving down these old roads that so many before us have taken in search of a better life for their families.

Springfield, Missouri is recognized as the birthplace of U.S. Route 66, given its name there in 1926. Following the old trails laid out by the early explorers and railroads, this new highway quickly became a popular route for trucks because of its flat, open stretches.  It eventually reached across the country from the coast of California, up to the windy shores of Lake Michigan.

This was a road that offered hope. The Dust Storms of the 1930s forced many families from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas to head west to California in search of agricultural jobs.

 After World War II, Route 66 came to define a generation looking for adventure and freedom on the open road…businesses flourished along the roadside, eager to profit from this new tourist trade.

As progress escalated, faster highways began to replace the old roads. Route 66 was deemed irrelevant, and in 1985, was replaced by the new Interstate Highway System
Many changes were made to the route over the years, with sections altered, discontinued and rerouted; yet it remains today one of the best scenic drives to be found anywhere.
The stretches that survive
are a wonderful slice
of history.
Diners and gas stations
line the route, reminders
of a time when
 life seemed simpler
and the
future resonated
with hope.
Time slows down on this gentle
 route, and I never tire of it.
We’ve covered less than half of the route so far, from California, through Arizona to New Mexico, but eagerly anticipate completing the rest.

Amarillo, Texas to
Chicago, Illinois
 sounds like a heck
of a road trip,
 don’t you think?

For more signs from all over the world, drop in to visit Lesley at the link below....


James said...

Great post and very informative!

I was fortunate enough to drive long stretches of Rte 66 a little over a month ago. I drove from Eastern Pennsylvania to the Southern California coast. I don't recall where I started seeing the Route 66 signs but I do remember seeing them in Missouri,Oklahoma,Texas,New Mexico and Arizona. I stop at a Route 66 museum in Oklahoma but I didn't go in because a tornado was on the way.

I would never want to drive that far alone again but I'm glad I did.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, Lynette, I love hearing and reading about your driving holidays. I've wanted SO much to drive Route 66. I've wanted to do it for years and years, and never did. I must talk to Dick about it. We could even take Lindy!
Great to see you on Monday. You're lookin' good!
Luv — K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

the wild magnolia said...

Your travel posting is excellent, words and photos, are stellar.

Thank you, for sharing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh this is so interesting. I love little old dusty small towns. When I was a kid I remember watching a weekly tv show called Route 66 (yet cant remember a movie I watched last week, isnt that weird?) Love your photos and your travel pieces, Lynette, since you are trekking for both of us:)

Gemma Wiseman said...

This journey must be a wonderful glimpse of time capsules combined with scenic views! Fascinating photos!

Lois Evensen said...

Driving Route 66 is on our bucket list. Love your images. :)

RedPat said...

Great shots especially the 2nd. The romance of route 66 continues!

Pat said...

We've been on parts of Route 66 on our travels, too. I love the old diners and road signs. I enjoyed your photos.

Postcardy said...

I feel like I really missed out by not having a trip on Route 66 during its heyday.

Fireblossom said...

I love your photographs of this legendary road!

Breezy said...

I love the old route 66. I have traveled a portion of it and it is magical. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Luna Miranda said...

this is very interesting. i didn't know there's a real Route 66, aside from the Nat King Cole song.:p
the second photo is absolutely beautiful. i'd enjoy driving here.

Pat Tillett said...

AWESOME post Lynette! I traveled most of the route, but I was too young to appreciate it. One of these days, I'll do it again!

VioletSky said...

I enjoy driving secondary highways and seeing small old towns... but have never driven one quite so historic as this one.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I've driven almost the whole length of route 66 in Oklahoma and parts of it in Texas, New Mexico, and California. It is quite the thing all the nostalgia and reminders of an earlier era.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We love it too! Have always thought it would be fun to drive the whole thing as consecutively as possible. (We've done parts here and there at different times, probably all of it, but not all at once). So many possible roadtrip adventures, so little time ;>)

Lesley said...

That is a mess of signs in the 3rd pic!
Love the second one - such a beautiful scene (and even with the PT Cruiser - an old fashioned looking auto!)

Deborah said...

I'd love to do this, wonderful!