Route 66

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to be on it, there’s no time like the present. Route 66 was one of the original U.S. Highways established back in November of 1926 which originally ran from Illinois (Chicago) and ended in California (Los Angeles) cutting through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the process.The highway has been made famous by songs such as “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66″ originally performed by Nat King Cole in 1946 and later by artists such as Chuck Berry (1961), the Rolling Stones (1964) and Depeche Mode (1987).The reason for this highway’s popularity is multi-fold: it opened easy access to points west to many agricultural families; much of the highway was essentially flat; and it helped build America’s newly-sprung “mom and pop” businesses along the way since many depression-era travelers using the route to seek employment and better opportunities accessed the convenient amenities such as gas stations, motels, and restaurants.Sadly, the decline of Route 66 started with the signing of the Interstate Highway Act by then-President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 after his appreciation for the German Autobahn system during his Army days. Over time, many sections of the road were disposed of along the way when cities renamed the sections as “business loops” for the main interstate system.Although it is no longer possible to drive the original route as laid out in 1926, much of it can still be accessed with pre-planning and some states have even kept the “66″ designation for parts of their roadways. If you’re lucky enough to travel along a portion of this storied alternate route you might want to “motor west” and stop in Clinton, Oklahoma to visit the Route 66 Museum there.You just might get your kicks.