Travel Blog

Historic Route 66

Historic Route 66We have traveled across the USA many times by car and have seen signs for historic route 66 in many states. For those that may not be aware this route was the two-lane road that travelers took when they were traveling from Chicago across the prairies to the coast in California. Before there was a highway, there was a wagon trail that wound its way across the prairies and through the mountains.

Historic Route 66

Many small towns and villages grew up at strategic places along the trail. These were places to rest up, refuel horses and obtain some water. Later motels sprung up and restaurants for weary travelers to stop at to spend the night and have something to eat. For years these hotels and restaurants provided a great service and they prospered as well.

Frontier restaurant on route 66But then in the 30’s after the depression, the US began building the interstate system with 4 lane roads that negotiated the most direct route possible and bypassed many of these same towns and villages. Almost overnight new restaurants, hotels, and towns grew up along the interstate and suddenly many of the locations along route 66 went out of business because they simply could not survive when traffic no longer came their way. The picture on the left is one such location that still exists on old route 66 in Arizona not far from Kingman. You can still stay at the Frontier Motel and eat in the restaurant. The food is good and the people are friendly.

Oatman Arizona

oatman arizonaWe have driven parts of Route 66 and seen some of the historic buildings. We have driven through the mountains and seen some of the locations that existed. Any that can still make it as historic places to visit are still in business. Some sell trinkets to keep them going that become souvenirs for tourists who are trying to experience some of the nostalgia of the early 1900’s. Oatman is an old mining town in Arizona on route 66 that still exists because of the wild donkeys that roam the street. These donkeys are descendants from the donkeys that the minors used at the beginning of the century when they were looking for gold.

Traveling across the prairies on route 66 is an experience that everyone should have at least once. You begin to realize just how big this country is and how lonely you feel out on the prairie without another person or car in sight. Always ensure you have water and some food with you.

For a thousand miles there may be only a few small towns and villages and just about nothing else. This is what the pioneers had to face along with dust storms, rain storms and tornadoes. Many people really have no idea just how hard it was for them.

For more information about places to stay in Arizona and things to do in the state, click here.

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