Route 66, that famous icon of an American road, is nearly dead. The federal highway system either by-passed or paved over what was Route 66. And, along with it, gone are the small businesses that sprung up to service all those travelers living a piece of the American dream: the open highway.
An AP post had me reminiscing about a long motorcycle journey down Route 66. In the article, the writer notes that the 3,000-odd existing hotels are crumbling and in poor repair, and tells stories of some of the owners. With names like The Cotton Boll Hotel, The Westwinds Hotel, El Rancho, and the Pow-Wow Inn, they evoke lost years and a different era.
Once it stretched from Chicago to LA. Oklahoma has the longest remaining parts of any of the eight original states. Today, you can struggle just to find the few remaining stretches. But, where you do find them, boy, do they satisfy that open-road dream.