Route 66


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Will Rogers Highway

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- The Route 66 is 2448 miles long (about 4000 km).
- It was commissioned in 1926, picking up as many as possible bits and pieces of existing road.
- It crosses 8 states and 3 timezones.
- It starts in Chicago, and ends in L.A. (Santa Monica). Driving the Route in the opposite direction is historically wrong, and a lot harder as all available documentation goes the "right" way.
- In 1926 only 800 miles were paved, only in 1937 Route 66 got paved end-to-end.
- You can only drive parts of Route 66 these days... it has been replaced by the Interstate Highways I-55, I-44, I-40, I-15 and I-10, but still a surprisingly high amount of old road is waiting to be found by the more adventurous traveler.
- Route 66 is also known as "The Mother Road", "The Main Street of America" and as "The Will Rogers Highway".
- During all of its life, Route 66 continued to evolve, leaving many abandoned stretches of concrete, still waiting to be found by the more adventurous traveler.
- Route 66 was also the title of a TV series playing from 1960 till 1964.
- Cyrus Stevens Avery from Tulsa/Oklahoma can be called the father of Route 66.
- In 1985 Route 66 was officially decommissioned, but for daily use it was replaced far earlier by the Interstates.

Dear Reader,
In June 2003 Hal and his wife happened to drop by when they also found my few pictures about Route 66. We became friends and later he sent me this interesting story about his adventure on Route 66.
With his permission I add it below.
L i z

"I worked for Ford Motor Company in Chicago, Illinois, for thirty-three and a half years.
In June 29, 1952 the Will Rogers Highway Caravan, of 36 cars was being put together by Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan.
I was selected to lead the Caravan and was told that Warner Brothers Movie Company was to work with me to Rededicate Highway 66 as the New Will Rogers Highway.
All of this was being made possible as a result of the Government Transportation Dept. plan to eliminate Route 66 and to build a Super Highway around it.
The Caravan started in Chicago and at every State Line we placed a Bronze marker stating that it was a dedication to Will Rogers and would now be known as the "Will Rogers Highway". Warner Bros. stopped at every one of their movie theaters promoting their 'new' movie "The Will Rogers Story".
The purpose of the caravan was to draw attention to the old Highway 66, in order to help maintain the businesses that were left behind. With all the people in the little towns joining the caravan, there were eventually 136 cars. We had a state police escort from Chicago to Long Beach, Calif. It was a 10 day trip. Virginia Mayo, Phyllis Kirk, Will Rogers Jr., Brian Donleavy, and other Movie Stars traveled with us the full length of the journey. People came out in droves, from every little town along the way.
All the cars were equipped with only little water coolers which hung on the drivers side of the cars. They didn't have air conditioning in those days, so we crossed the desert at night because of the intense daytime heat, 110 degrees F. The snakes were migrating which caused many delays, hours at a time to allow them to cross the road.
- Hal."

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