Tag Archives: Route 66

Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 Outside Amarillo, Texas

As part of our latest trip west in April 2018 we drove across I-40 in Texas, which replaced Route 66 as the connector for the Texas Panhandle.  We did not get off of the Interstate to explore Route 66 in Texas other than just outside Amarillo to visit the Cadillac Ranch.  Here are our notes from the Cadillac Ranch.

On the western edge of Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch.  It is a Stonehenge of Cadillacs, with part of the car buried in the ground.  Although we went during the school year there were plenty of people there, but most were people traveling along Route 66 to see the sights.

Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas

The scene doesn’t look like much until you walk up close.

Years and years of people visiting Cadillac Ranch have spray painted their welcoming slogans onto the Cadillacs. There is an endless supply of spray paint cans inside each car for you to leave your mark. I don’t like the spray paint, but it is what it is.

Cruising Through New Mexico on Route 66

We explored Route 66 across the extent of New Mexico in April 2018.  New Mexico is a beautiful state with lots of Route 66 history.  We traveled from east to west across New Mexico and the first icon that you notice when entering the state is the fantastic Visitor’s Center.

Welcome to New Mexico

The Visitor’s Center is full of Route 66 information and includes a great New Mexico Route 66 Map.  I have inserted a photo of the map below.  They have a signup sheet in the Visitor’s Center where if you provide them with your E-Mail address they will send you some Route 66 electronic files including a photo of the map and a spreadsheet of New Mexico Route 66 Attractions.  You can get to a PDF of the spreadsheet here.  Link.

New Mexico Route 66 Map

New Mexico contains a lot of small towns who are very proud of their Route 66 heritage.  The first town that we drove through after entering New Mexico was Tucumcari.  This beautiful mural is found just a block off of Route 66 at the corner of McGee and Second streets.

The Legendary Road Mural, Tucumcari, New Mexico

Tucumcari also included the Tucumcari Historical Museum and the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum.  Both are well worth your time to visit.

Tucumcari Historical Museum

Firehouse No 1 Tucumcari Historical Museum

My love for Route 66 started when I read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  In the novel the Joad family truck breaks down near the town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  I always wanted to visit Santa Rosa.  So, after Tucumcari, we drove through Santa Rosa.  It is a very small town, but has an incredible Route 66 Auto Museum.  It was a lot of fun to visit and they had a large amount of Route 66 memorabilia for sale.

Route 66 Auto Museum Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Albuquerque was the next town we drove through and it has a great assortment of Route 66 icons on the landscape.  Everywhere you look there is a refurbished motel or restaurant commemorating Route 66.  The Route 66 Diner was not open yet when we drove by, so we took the next two photos in the parking lot

Route 66 Diner, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The El Rey Theater has become a great venue for music and theater and still looks iconic.

El Rey Theater, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Kimo Theater is old and beautiful and is in the center of downtown Albuquerque. We walked around this theater for quite a while soaking in the great southwestern architecture and the location. It looks magnificent.

The Kimo Theater, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Kimo Theater Box Office

Albuquerque loves Route 66

There are several murals depicting Route 66 in Downtown Albuquerque

Mural, Downtown Albuquerque

Mural, Downtown Albuquerque

Mural, Downtown Albuquerque

Mural, Downtown Albuquerque

Just west of Albuquerque lies the Historic Route 66 Rio Puerco Bridge.  This bridge was built in 1933 and is still standing today, although it is not open to highway traffic.

Rio Puerco Bridge, New Mexico

Grants, New Mexico has an old theater called the West Theater. It still continues to play first run movies and is open for business. It still looks great after all these years.

West Theater, Grants, New Mexico

West Theater, Grants, NewMexio

Route 66 in Litchfield, Illinois

I had a great trip to Springfield, Illinois yesterday morning.  On the way back home I drove down historic Route 66 through Litchfield, Illinois.  Here’s a few photos of Litchfield I took with my phone.

Route 66 Banners line the historic highway as you drive through town.  Litchfield has embraced the Route 66 theme and is very proud of the transportation legacy that started with Route 66 and now continues with Interstate 55.

 

 

 

Route 66 is alive in Litchfield

 

SkyView Drive-In

There is a nice historical marker for the Sky View Drive In.  The Sky View still looks to be in good shape.

 

Historic Route 66 changed locations over the years.  Route 66 stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California.  It was not built as one new road from end to end, but was a collection of existing roads that were brought together as one.  As a result, the highway roadbed changed a few times over the years.  In Illinois it mostly parallels Interstate 55.

 

 

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Wolff Oil is across the street from the Sky View Drive In.  It has a nice Route 66 emblem and an antique gas pump on the side of the building commemorating the past.

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The Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center is a brand new effort to celebrate the history of Route 66 and the local area.

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Across the street from the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center is the Ariston Restaurant. This is one of the great examples of the Route 66 landscape. The owners have given the Ariston a lot of love and care over the years. It is beautiful.

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The sky View Drive In sign says it all. It is late October and the travel season along historic Route 66 is about over. See you next year! This is a wonderful way to leave town.

Interactive Map of Illinois Route 66

We added an interactive map for Illinois Route 66 for The American Digital Backroads Project today. The interactive map contains the a red line depicting the route Highway 66 takes across Illinois and different colored dots representing the cultural icons found along Route 66 in Illinois. If you click on the icon dots you will get a pop-up that includes information and photos of many of the historic locations found alongside historic Route 66. Here is the interactive web-map:


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