Route 66

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California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois

 
Photographs by Jeffrey Sward
 
The mother road. The Peculiar Enduring Appeal of Route 66
 
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California
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
Mojave Desert Mojave Desert Mojave Desert Mojave Desert
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
Mojave Desert Mojave Desert Mojave Desert Mojave Desert
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
Union Station, Los Angeles, California California Route 66 Museum, Victorville, California Amboy, California Wigwam Motel, Rialto, California
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward      
Summit Inn Cafe, Cajon Pass, Oak Hills, California      
Arizona
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
Galaxy Diner, Flagstaff, Arizona Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Joseph City, Arizona Meteor Crater, Winslow, Arizona Meteor City Trading Post, Meteor City, Arizona
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
La Posada Hotel and Harvey House Restaurant, Winslow, Arizona Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins, Flagstaff, Arizona Two Guns Trading Post and Ghost Town, Two Guns, Arizona
New Mexico
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Texas
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward    
Big Texan Steak Ranch Restaurant, Amarillo, Texas Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas    
Oklahoma
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
Packard service station and museum, Afton, Oklahoma Afton, Oklahoma Original pavement of Historic Route 66, Oklahoma Coleman Theatre Beautiful, Miami, Oklahoma
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward  
tbd tbd J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum, Calremore, Oklahoma  
Kansas
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward  
Rainbow Bridge, Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge, Riverton Kansas Rainbow Bridge, Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge, Riverton Kansas tbd  
Missouri
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward
Route 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage, Missouri Route 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage, Missouri Route 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage, Missouri Wooden Railroad Bridge, Carthage, Missouri
Route 66 California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois Photograph by Jeffrey Sward      
through-truss bridge over Johnson Creek, Paris Springs, Missouri      
Illinois
zend      
 
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The Peculiar Enduring Appeal of Route 66

Route 66 has a large romanticized cult following unlike any other road. US 83 traverses the lower 48 North and South.  US 50 transverses the lower 48 East and West.  Yet Route 66, traversing much less of the country,  has the cult following.   Here are some reasons for Route 66 disproportionate appeal:

  • Route 66 has a self-perpetuating ecosystem, such as: Every Route 66 roadside attraction sells Route 66 themed merchandise.  A multitude of Route 66 guidebooks, maps, etc. exist.
  • John Steinbeck called Route 66 the "Mother Road" in his novel The Grapes of Wrath
  • Major cities of Chicago and Los Angeles are the end points of Route 66
  • Route 66 was used by millions for migration West during the dust bowl of the Great Depression
  • Route 66 was the shortest year-round route between the Midwest and the Pacific Coast during the era before Interstate highways.
  • Route 66 symbolized unprecedented freedom and mobility for every citizen who could afford to own and operate a car.
  • Route 66 television show in the 1960s
  • Route 66 song by Bobby Troup

Additional Route 66 Background

  • Route 66 was an official US highway from 1926 to 1985.  After 1985, extant portions of the original road are often designated "Historic 66." 
  • The original length of Route 66 was 2,448 miles.  However, the road was under constant route modification during its lifetime.  Hence, there are many Route 66 routes.   
  • Route 66 would give many small towns their first access to a major road.
  • Major portions of Route 66 have been overlaid by, West to East, interstate highways 10, 15, 40, 44, and 55.
  • Eleven historic US highways are described in Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen. [1]
  • What's so special about Route 66? by Debra Ronca. [2]
  • History and Significance of US Route 66 [3]

[1] Jensen, Jamie. Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways. Expanded Edition. Moon Publications, 1999.

[2] Ronca, Debra. "What's so Special about Route 66?" HowStuffWorks, 17 Nov. 2009, www.howstuffworks.com/route-66.htm .

[3] Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. "History and Significance of US Route 66." National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2020, ncptt.nps.gov/rt66/history-and-significance-of-us-route-66/.

 
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