Everyone heard about Route 66.. but I had no idea why it was so popular or why it’s so famous.
Well, let’s give you the run down!
- In the 30’s the New Deal program funded the first highway connecting the mid west to the growing state of California for those looking for new opportunities and became a popular truck route as well. It blinds from Chicago to L.A, more than 2,400 mi (4,000 km).
- During the 50’s, it became the main highway for vacationers heading to Los Angeles. It also marked the birth of the fast-food industry (Mac Donald in California) and produced the first drive-through restaurant.
Many people still ride the 66 everyday, but they don’t know it because it’s covered by modern interstates roads.
There are only a few portions of the original highway left, the Historical Road 66. These stretches attract tons of tourists every year and small towns like Seligman are entirely dedicated to this business. Everything is stamped “66”, from burgers and cigarettes to motels, old rusty cars from the 40’s laying in front yards and parking lots… All these props waiting for tour companies to unload buses of tourists eager to Instagram the whole thing.
I’m glad we went through it in January and avoided the crowds. We had the road for ourselves. We had the landscapes for ourselves. We passed old mining towns were donkeys are running loose. We had the local dinners for ourselves and locals took the time to talk to us.
It wasn’t the crazy experience most people have during the summer; instead we cruised through desert landscapes at 50 mph, trying to grasp what the journey was like before before 66, riding horses, stage coaches or the early stages of the Mother Road with the first automobiles.
And it gave us the chills. br>Because in a way, this road carries a lot of the American culture.