Get Your Kicks On Route 66

19 Apr

Interstate highways changed the face of American small towns. Main Street America languished and  many towns failed completely. I am very pleased to share with you thoughts from a dear friend on one of America’s most famous highways, Route 66.

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

By Bill Lites

When my wife and I were first married, we lived in San Diego, California, and then Los Angeles while our parents lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico where we met.  We tried to visit our parents as often as we could.  In the mid 50s and 60s, the only route from the southern coast of California to Albuquerque was the famous two-lane Route 66.  We spent many hot, boring days traveling back and forth across that desert stretch.

Today with the Interstate highway system criss-crossing our country many of the older highways have been all but forgotten.  Not so for many of the small towns that thrived from that East-West traffic flow.  My most recent visit to an Aviation Air Museum took me to the historic Williams, Arizona (pop. 3475) where it was the last city on Route 66 to be by-passed by I-40.  This has not reduced the flavor or memories of those who live there. They have kept their city alive as a historic Arizona landmark.  As I sat eating dinner at Rob’s steakhouse, I was amazed to remember that back then Williams was just one of many small towns along Route 66 that we had to slow down for, causing our trip to be longer than I thought it needed to be.  Today I relaxed and enjoyed what was left of the historic downtown Williams, Arizona.  What a difference the years can make in our attitude toward a time or a place.


3 Responses to “Get Your Kicks On Route 66”

  1. Linda Lewis May 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    How right you are, Bill. Sometimes my husband and I choose to ‘take the scenic route” rather than the fastest, so we can go to wonderful places along the route we would have missed otherwise. We’ve gone on many ‘day trips’ or two-day trips in Arkansas where our route IS the trip. We check to find out what is in each town we’re going through, finding gems!



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