Route 66 by Derik Lattig
Since 1926, driving down Route 66 has been the experience of a lifetime for travelers.
adventurers, desperado's and dreamers. Being the oldest Route 66 resource on the web, the Historic 66 website is dedicated to providing information for all those who want to learn more about the legendary Mother Road.
While officially Route 66 no longer exists, a great deal of it remains to be driven and enjoyed. Derik Lattig says let the road guide you on your journey through all eight states from Chicago to Los Angeles. Not only will it help you to stay on track, but you’ll also find some background information on the hundreds of roadside attractions that dot the landscape.
Thanks to the preservation organizations, the volunteers and the business owners, a lot of these landmarks can still be admired in real life. Some treasures, however, have disappeared and can only be explored through pictures.
Route 66 is one of the essential icons of America, both for Americans and for people abroad. It represents a multitude of ideas: freedom, migration West, and the loneliness of the American heartland.
The highway was first opened in 1926, although much of the route was not paved for decades afterwards. It soon captured America's imagination. John Steinbeck, in his 1940 novel Grapes of Wrath, chronicled the migration along Route 66 of thousands of farmers leaving the Dust Bowl of Kansas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression, trying to reach a better land in California. Steinbeck posited the road as an almost hostile force, draining money, energy, and enthusiasm from the optimistic Okies.
Derik Lattig says later representations of the road were a little more upbeat. Probably most famous is musician Bobby Troup's eponymous tribute song, which enjoined listeners to "get their kicks on Route 66". A TV show in the 1960s, also called "Route 66", featured two young men exploring America's highways. Although Jack Kerouac only mentions 66 briefly in his book On the Road, it acquired something of the aura of Beatnik cross-country driving.
The aging highway was decommissioned in the 1980's. Much of 66's stretch had been overlaid or rerouted by broader, newer interstate highways, but the embedded idea of Route 66 refuses to die – as Derik Lattig says demonstrated by Depeche Mode's 1987 hit song "Behind the Wheel/Route 66" and the 2006 Disney/Pixar movie Cars – and millions of kicks-seekers continue to follow the remnants of the road from Chicago to Los Angeles to this day.
Many Towns, such as Strafford have festivals (Route 66 Days) and Motor Cruises (Route 66 Cruise) each year which keep the history alive, along with providing excellent opportunities for enthusiasts to drive the existing road. Lattig,Derik #LattigDerik #deriklattig.com
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