U.S. Route 66 - A Unique American Roadway

A stretch of the former Route 66 that is now part of the Joshua Tree Desert Highway in southern California.
A stretch of the former Route 66 that is now part of the Joshua Tree Desert Highway in southern California.

5. Description

The U.S. Route 66 is said to be the "Main Street of America" or the "Mother Road". This unique American road is also known as the "Will Rogers Highway", and is said to be the original highway which was formed in the United States of America national highway system. The U.S. Route 66 was formed on the 11th of November, 1926. The road actually runs from Chicago, then Illinois, and takes the route through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and the Arizona. The route was a major path for the people who migrated from the west and especially during the 1930s' Dust Bowl. It is also seen that some states have also taken the sections along the road into the state road network which are known as the State Route 66.

4. Culture and Tourism

The U.S. Route 66 was an iconic road between the years 1926 and 1985, and one which was 2,455 miles long. The route is also seemed to be culturally strong as it is the main source of attraction for the tourists, and it runs from different states. One can find beautiful hotels, motels or the eating joints and even the famous bars and gift shops too. Some of them are Campbell Hotel in Oklahoma, Three Roses Bed and Breakfast Illinois, Blue Swallow Motel in the New Mexico, the Wigwam Motel in California and much more. If you are looking for café houses and bars, then one can visit the Ariston Café in Illinois, Lou Mitchell’s in Chicago, The Green Mill Cocktail lounge in Chicago, Dollar Bill Bar in Arizona, Route 66 Gift Shop, and many more places.

3. Uniqueness

The unique feature of U.S. Route 66 is that the roadway is being immortalized in the pop culture by the Bobby Troup’s song and the television show which was showcased in the year 1960’s. Another unique factor about this route is that it has also featured in the novel “The Grapes of Wrath” which was written by John Steinbeck, who called it “Mother Road” in it. One can also find many vintages and classic gas pumps or the automobiles which are placed outside the hotels or the motels. Even the general stores have Route 66 root beer or some memorable images which one can pick up.

2. Sites and Environment

The U.S. Route 66 has many historic sites, national parks and landmarks, which carry significance. One can see the landmarks like the Little Painted Desert, Sunset Crater National Monument, and the Meteor Fall of 1912. The historic sites are Bush Creek Bridge, The William’s Store, and Route 66 Canyon Diablo Bridge. The national parks along the way include Coconino National Forest, Sedona, and Red Rock Scenic Byway.

1. Current Status

The present condition of the U.S. Route 66 is said to be passable for around 85% of its length. Even the drivers have to pay much attention to the signs that are en route as its many segments are two-lane highways. However, some areas in this roadway show signs of bumps, undulations, and pot-holes. There were many accidents caused during the past years, and weather conditions like snow, wind and extreme heat also influence the drive.


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