Route 66 looms large in American culture. In song and story, the mother road carries us to the promise of a better life. Traveling Route 66 is still the ultimate road trip even now as we pick our way along a road disrupted by the modern, looking for remnants of an earlier path. Route 66 was years in the making as Americans sought the best path from the East to the West, and is being remade even today, as it continues to hold a special place in the imagination of travelers and wanderers of all kinds. Railroad scouts and surveyors, early auto adventurers, dust bowl migrants, suburban road-tripping families, all following their own paths, but all on the same road.
PHOTO: Vicinity of Route 66 through Arizona from Sketch of public surveys in New Mexico and Arizona, 1866.