Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Five People Share Their Memories Of Driving Along Route 66

Five People Share Their Memories Of Driving Along Route 66

“I remember it from my pre-teenage years. Once while traveling to New Mexico, we passed a gas station that advertised, ‘See the baby rattlers.’ My mother started to tell my dad that she wanted to see them. After a couple of miles further, he turned the car around, and back we went. While he filled up the gas tank, we went around back to the cages, only to find nests of hay and plastic baby rattles enclosed. Still laugh at that 60 years later.”

Flickr / 2ndPeter

“We drove Route 66 in the summer of 1964 from San Francisco to somewhere then turned north, ending up in Washington DC via Chicago. The scenery was spectacular. Dad drove a Chrysler Imperial (?) land yacht, pulling a trailer which we camped in. My sister and I loved the song and the names of the towns: Albuquerque, Gallup, Oklahoma City… such a long time ago!”

Flickr / aldenjewell

“I did a partial Route 66 trip. It was inadvertent because I just wanted to drive from Austin to St. Louis and then to Chicago. The interstate that I was on most of the way (44, I think) was essentially the replacement for Route 66. I didn’t know until I was on it and kept seeing signs for ‘Historic Route 66! Exit here!’

So I essentially did the Chicago to Oklahoma City portion.

Honestly, I thought it was cool. My trip ended up being crammed into a shorter timeframe than originally planned, and I was very bummed that I couldn’t stop for more roadside Americana and tourist traps, lol.

I passed exit signs for the most ridiculous things… a ‘Grain Elevator Museum’ and a ‘Vacuum Cleaner Museum.’ One sign just said ‘War Museum.’ Which war?? Who knows!!

Several cities had little Historical Route 66 visitor centers, but I never managed to hit any while they were open.

I did manage to check out the ‘World’s Largest Covered Wagon!’ There wasn’t anything more to it than what you see there… just, a GIANT-covered wagon with a statue of Abraham Lincoln.”

Flickr / russellstreet

“I did when I was about 18 (2008). It was primarily to help my grandma move from Long Island, NY, to the LA area of CA. We rented an RV and drove because she had some illnesses that prevented her from flying. I wasn’t a driver (uncle and grandpa also came with us and drove) so I don’t remember specific cities of where things were. It was really cool seeing the landscape change from flat to green and hilly, to flat again, to red soil and rocky, to the desert and then mountains. I dont know If that would be Route 66 specific though but I’d still definitely recommend it either way. It was a lot of fun and I wish we could’ve stopped more to see stuff along the way.”

Shutterstock / Darren Baker

“Yes, I’ve done Route 66 a few times and nothing in my travels has equaled it. It is, as I’m sure you know, referred to as the Mother Road. Over time, the interstate highways bypassed Rte. 66, putting an end to many of the restaurants, motels, and tourist traps. But don’t let that stop you! The oldest hotel and former stagecoach stop on 66 is the Eagle in Wilmington, Illinois. In 1925, Burma-shave signs appeared outside of Minneapolis. The sequential rhyming signs were one of the first successful ads on Route 66 and the most popular ones. The classics are now in the Smithsonian. Bloomington, IL ,has restored its downtown area to vintage Rte 66. Worth a stop. I suggest that you buy Greetings from Route 66 from Voyageur Press, ISBN 978–0–7603–3885–8. My utter failure to share the charm and amazing landmarks of this time warp, also known as ‘America’s Main Street’ has disappointed me, too,

So sleep in a teepee, watch Indian ceremonial dances, go to an old drive-in movie, visit the Regal Reptile Ranch: the ghost town of Snakes, and ‘Behave—use Burma Shave.’”

Flickr / Orin Zebest