Let’s Get Our Kicks Out on Route 66!


Okay, let’s get our kicks out on Route 66. I guess I have to put a trip across the United States along the legendary Route 66 on my road trip bucket list. I’m not sure when I first heard of Route 66, but like many people, I do remember a television show of the same name.

Route 66 via public domain via wikimedia commons

The TV show Route 66 was on from 1960 until 1964. In the series two young men traveling in a Chevrolet Corvette encountered adventures each week along the way.

The show itself did not stick to the actual highway for its stories.  The series was filmed on location, but visited 23 states not just the 8 states that Route 66 passes through. Still it added to the mystique of Route 66.

Most of us have heard some version of the song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”. Originally recorded by Nat King Cole, the song has also been recorded by Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, and most recently by Glenn Frey.  The song takes us along a lyrical journey across the United States name dropping cities from St. Louis to San Bernardino.

U.S. Route 66 was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. It ran from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.

The road was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985. It has since been completely replaced by the Interstate Highway System. Still portions of the road in several states have been designated as a National Scenic Byway and some states designate portions of it as State Route 66.

66 road sign via scott nazelrod via wikimedia commons

Change has always been a part of Route 66. Realignments of the highway came as more direct routes between cities were desired.

Many times the highway would become a four lane road often bypassing the cities themselves.  Many of the new interstate highways would parallel Route 66; sometimes it was actually incorporated in the new highway system.

It is no longer possible to drive Route 66 uninterrupted from Chicago to Santa Monica. However, much of the original route can be driven with careful planning.

You will need to keep a close eye out for SR66 on your map as you try to recreate your trip back in time. I’m not sure what your GPS might think of this…

via marcin wickary via wikimedia commons

You will find that many places along the old highway have remained alive by catering to tourists wanting to experience the bygone days of highway travel.

You can find some of the old motels and cafes still hanging on and looking to the nostalgic traveler to keep them in business. When you find one of these, you do actually step back to a simpler time and place.

So I guess in some ways I must want to return to the early days of travel. I do enjoy traveling by car to places far away. I think the best way to see our country is riding through it, not flying over it.

Even though I am often in a hurry to get where I am going, I still enjoy stopping and visiting the many interesting spots along the way.

I guess the one thing I most need to add to my road trip bucket list is the patience to stop and smell the roses along the way.

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