My wife and I were planning to ride Route 66 in 2011, it had long been her dream, unfortunately that wasn’t to be. In August 2012 I’ll be riding Route 66 on my own on a Harley Davidson® Electra Glide®. I’ll try to keep this blog updated with my progress and adventures on a daily basis as I go, internet connection willing!
Since my Route 66 trip I’ve added blogs from other trips, and will continue to do so, so keep checking back from time to time!
For the uninitiated Route 66 was established in 1926 and at that point not all sections were paved. It ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). During the depression many Oklahoma farmers headed west along it in an attempt to better their lot in California, as chronicled in John Steinbeck’s novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.
Over the years the route of Route 66 has changed many times to bypass town centres as the townships grew, giving rise to ‘alignments’ where modern day travellers can pick one of several ‘Route 66s’ to travel on. Today Route 66 no longer exists as a US highway it was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985 after it had been decided the route was no longer relevant and had been replaced by the Interstate Highway System. It is no longer possible to drive Route 66 uninterrupted all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles but much of the original route and alternate alignments are still drivable with careful planning.
Some people are fanatical about covering every mile of remaining Route 66 pavement. That is not my intention. I am more interested in travelling across middle America to meet the people and see the sights in a way that could not be done if I were to just travel on Interstates. Where I feel it would be more appropriate to use the Interstate roads I will do so, but want to keep that to a minimum.
(Parts of the above have been adapted (lifted!) from the Route 66 Wikipedia entry)
The trip is dedicated to the memory of Simone Monnier Handy, who wasn’t able to make the trip in her lifetime.