Imagine a dust-covered stretch of road against a background of hot, dizzying lengths, divided along a yellow line. On each side, weeds and plants of varying tones of green and orange. You’re transported back to a 60, 70’s or 80’s movie about a road trip across the heart of USA. Maybe you were even there, in your car, with your family or alone, to get somewhere and start a new life.
The only American road that would ever beg a careful introduction is Route 66. You’ve heard the name and you’ve seen the icon, but what exactly happened between Chicago and Los Angeles?
It’s a 2,400-mile stretch of some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes, through the gritty streets of St. Louis and Chicago, past the Native American communities and the Grand Canyon of the deserted Southwest and to the sunshine of Los Angeles.
It’s where Neon signs, truck stops, kitschy 50’s-style diners and motels, and general Americana artefacts are a landmark to behold.
It was paved in 1926 and, around the 1930’s, it allowed for the transportation of goods to become more expedient across the nation. To serve the truckers, many businesses in the travel and food industry were established and grew significantly.
Though known in part by its 1950’s diners, this decade marked the beginning of the end for the old route 66. High-speed Interstate Highways was built to replace the Mainstreet of America – and as the last stretch of highway was completed, in the 1984, the old route was deemed decommissioned. It is now designated as the Historic Route 66.
Nowadays the route and the landmarks are kept alive by nostalgic travellers who seek the ultimate American experience. And for these people, modern technology has been easy on them. Available are GPS Apps with detailed information specifically for Route 66, such as Route 66 Maps + Navigation.
Are you in for a ride?