The most talked about road in American history, Route 66 is also the most iconic for representing the country’s evolution around our new found love affair with the automobile. In 1926 the our Federal Highway system began, major interstate routes ended in zero and lesser highways, Route 66 started as just a posting of signs along existing roads connecting Chicago to Los Angeles through the middle of the country.Though a fair amount of it has been bypassed by new freeways, parts of Route 66 with modern folk art intact can still be found. Join me as I revisit the glory days of this famous road to see what was once created along the magical trail. Our Route 66 road trip took us from Santa Fe, New Mexico to just outside Chicago. True to form some of these pictures are through the car window, so please excuse the lack of composition. Everybody play’s up their Route 66 connection. World famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX. Not seeing the cool factor of a bunch of cars stuck in the dirt so people can get off with a can of spray paint. The architecture for a simple gas station is what I think is truly amazing. Church or alien communication site? Love the exterior decoration and the antenna… this is art. Original monolithic dome – Arcadia Round Barn built in 1892. The Blue Whale roadside swimming hole in Catoosa, OK. Finally, the world’s largest totem pole (in dispute) built by Ed Galloway in 1937 – 1948 from 100 tons of sand and rock, 6 tons of steel and 28 tons of cement. I was now on kitsch overload and visited Frank Lloyd Wright homes along the remaining journey.
It has been said HGTV has brought design to middle America, I’ll have to disagree. There is ample proof along Route 66 that when hand drawing ruled people were incredibly creative.