There is an ambience of days gone by, the good old days, when Mom and Dad packed up the old Chevy with 3.5 kids, a dog, a cooler, Dad in his best driving hat, and Mom in her finest traveling clothes, and hit the road in search of adventures, or maybe a new life on the other side of Amercia.
The atmosphere, the sense of nostalgia along “The Mother Road” is so poignant, so acute, that it will bring tears to your eyes. At least, it did, to mine.
My husband and I set out yesterday in search of Americana history. We left Vegas about 7 AM and reached Kingman, Arizona about 3 hours later. With a few stops in the desert along the way, we had set up the perfect photo safari. But we had no idea just how perfect our day was going to be. Because the adventure that is Route 66 still lay ahead of us.
Read on . . .
Route 66, also nicknamed “The Mother Road” stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago all the way to Santa Monica, California. The highway was opened in 1926 and became one of the most traveled roads in American history. Because of the high traffic, many businesses, like the Delgadillo’s Snow Cap diner were birthed along Route 66.
The businesses thrived until the advent of the superhighway, the Interstate. In 1978, most of Route 66 was officially closed, sending the little Mom and Pop diners, motels, and gas stations to their death. But businessmen, like Angel Delgadillo, a barber from Seligman, Arizona, decided to fight back. And the Route 66 Preservation Society was born. To the delight of photographers everywhere.
If you are a photographer, or you are a lover of vintage Americana, or you love old cars, or you love road trips filled with ambience and that untouchable magical something that makes your heart sing and you eyes sting with tears, then you must locate some section of the nearly 2500 miles that makes up Route 66 and take a day trip. I promise you it is a trip you will forever hold dear in your memories. Just ask the thousands of bikers who will tell you that Route 66 is “a great ride!”
A suggested route? Head out of Vegas down 93 or 95; avoid the Hoover Dam (on 93) if construction is still going on. Go towards Needles, California instead (on 95), swing over to Kingman, and then travel up at least as far as Seligman. Buy some souvenirs, eat in a diner, snap a few or maybe a hundred shots (be sure to snap some vintage roadside signs in the low early evening light), and be sure to talk to others on their quest to absorb the ambience of the famous American roadway known as Route 66.
Here is another Route 66 link to assist you in your travel plans if you decide to try the route we took.
Wishing you safe and happy travels,
Tags: driving the mother road, great photography day trips in the united states, hackberry arizona, kingman arizona, old highway signs, photography along route 66, Route 66, seligman arizona, the best road trip in the united states