Historic Route 66 and Reflections on our Road Trip Adventure across the USA
Route 66 in Arizona
- U.S. Route 66 runs through Arizona for 401 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica.
- The section of historic Route 66 which travels through western Arizona is reportedly the longest continuous stretch of the Mother Road.
- Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985; however, portions of this history highway remain in Arizona as AZ State Route 66.
A Detour to the Present
When I typed the rough draft for yesterday’s post, Flagstaff’s Route 66,
I found myself in Springfield, Missouri.
I found myself in Missouri with my Momma and Belle for a girl’s road trip to tour a college campus together, for Belle to attend a writing class, for me to attend a homeschool curriculum fair, and for Momma to get away and spend time with Belle and me.
I found it ironic that I was preparing for a post about Route 66 in the city that is officially recognized as the birthplace of the Mother Road. Springfield holds this title because Main Street of America’s name, Route 66, was first proposed
in this city.
A Detour to Route 66 in Missouri
- U.S. Route 66 runs through Missouri for 317 miles from St. Louis along the Mississippi River to the Kansas state line.
- Missouri was the first state to erect a historic marker for Route 66.
- The route between St. Louis and Springfield was originally a Native American trail known as the Osage Indian Trail.
- Historic Route 66 continues to traverse through Springfield along Chestnut Expressway, College Street, St. Louis Street, Glenstone Avenue, and Kearney Street. During our stay in Springfield, we stayed at the Marriott on Kearney Street, saw the Route 66 Information Center and went to the convention center
on St. Louis Street, ate breakfast and dinner at Panera’s on Glenstone Avenue, crossed Chestnut Expressway several times, and were probably on College Street during one of my many premature turns.
- Missouri was the first state to erect a historic marker for Route 66 and this marker was placed at Kearney Street and Glenstone Avenue.
- Two Route 66 icons in Springfield are the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque and the Red Giant Hamburg. Momma, Belle, and I passed the arabesque design Shrine Mosque everyday during our stay in Springfield. We did not see the Red Giant Hamburg, but reportedly this diner is the first drive-thru restaurant.
When I found myself in Missouri on another road trip, I couldn’t help but reflect on our family’s grand Road Trip adventure across the USA.
Historic Route 66 and Reflections of a Road Trip Adventure across the USA
Route 66 is “synonymous with a classic American Road Trip”.
Our family’s Road Trip adventure across the USA provided Gary and I the opportunity to show Belle and Buddy how to dream and how to make your dream a reality.
The stops, sites, and stories of Main Street America “paint a romantic picture of simpler times”.
Our family’s Road Trip adventure across the USA provided our family of four
an entire year to not simply exist and endure life but to live life fully and simply.
“Red booths and gleaming chrome in mom-and-pop diners, the stone cottages of tourists courts, and many service stations along this route saw America fall in love with the automobile.”
Our family’s Road Trip adventure across the USA saw me fall in love with a home on wheels.
The Mother Road “conjures up images of weary travelers in classic cars resting for a night at rustic auto courts in quaint times”.
Our family’s Road Trip adventure reminds me of numerous travel days across this country, uncounted temporary addresses at campgrounds across our nation, and countless sightseeing adventures in cities, national parks, and small towns throughout the USA.
Historic Route 66 “quietly reveres the sad lot of people who were displaced from their homes and driven by ravages of the Dustbowl and the Great Depression”.
For Gary and me, the decision to take a road trip adventure across the USA
came as a result of following the path of expectations and trying to live the American Dream and not our own Dreams.
Yesterdays’ the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present.
– Bill Keane ( the cartoonist for The Family Circus)