January 2, 2017.
Way back when, when I first graduated from college in St. Louis I used to work as a hostess in a restaurant with a piano bar. One of the songs I heard almost nightly that has forever permeated the jukebox of my mind went like this… “Get your kicks on route 66…” I hated it. But the crowd of middle aged drinkers sitting around the piano ate it up, no doubt remembering those family trips in the old family station wagon, back before Eisenhower and the interstate highways driving through –
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, New Mexico,
Don’t forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino…”
– stopping at colorful hotels, pulling into the next town to fill her up, and buying knickknacks and mementos at kitschy gift shops.
Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System, established on November 11, 1926. People doing business along the route saw their businesses prosper with a growing popularity of this cross-country vacation route. But, alas the interstate highway was built and the draw of the Mother Road declined. It is not quite what it was way back when. Most of the gas stations in these small towns have been repurposed as some other type of business, but some of the hotels are still there, as well as a few roadside attractions, and a gift shop or two.
Have you taken a trip on Route 66? What’s your favorite kitschy place to visit?
If you have never heard it, here is a link to a cool version of the Route 66 by Asleep at the Wheel.
**** All pics are click to enlarge