Category Archives: California

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Before Decommissioning

Before Decommissioning

This video shows portions of Route 66 before decommissioning.  The video is an hour and 45 minutes long, but it presents a good overview of Route 66.  It’s worth watching…

I like how this video presents the people and communities.  While it is from the 1980s, it presents the importance of Route 66 and it’s place in history.  Imagine riding a bus for a week while traveling from Chicago to L.A.  Today, people fly.  Back then people couldn’t afford to fly, so they took the bus.

Bloody 66, Mother Road, and other nicknames have been given this highway.  Because you cannot drive it end-to-end any more, few people get off the Interstate to drive it.  That’s why we’re driving it.

Our Tour

Our tour will be spread out over a month.  We know many of you will never get a chance to drive Route 66.  For this reason we want to provide you with a virtual road trip along Route 66.

Paul and Brent plan to stop at every significant attraction – man made or natural.  Come night time, if we have access to the Internet, our pictures and videos will go online.  Our blog will post here along with links to our videos and social media posts.  We will also Tweet updates as they happen — signal strength permitting.

 


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Steinbeck

Steinbeck

Were you aware that John Steinbeck mentions Route 66 in the Grapes of Wrath?

Steinbeck

Yes, that’s right, Route 66 is mentioned in the classic Steinbeck novel the Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck writes,

Pa scratched the dry earth with his forefinger. “I kind a got a notion Tom’s right,” he said. “It ain’t goin’ ta do no good all of us stayin’ here. We can get fifty, a hunderd miles on ‘fore dark.”
Ma said worriedly, “How you gonna find us?”
“We’ll be on the same road,” said Tom. “Sixty-six right on through. Come to a place name’ Bakersfield’. Seen it on the map I got. You go straight on there.”
“Yeah, but when we get to California an’ spread out sideways off this road—?”
“Don’t you worry,” Tom reassured her. “We’re gonna find ya. California ain’t the
whole world.”

Chapter 12

Chapter 12 is his description and worth the read.  Here are some excepts:

“HIGHWAY 66 IS THE main migrant road. 66—the long concrete path across the country, waving gently up and down on the map, from the Mississippi to Bakersfield— over the red lands and the gray lands, twisting up into the mountains, crossing the Divide and down into the bright and terrible desert, and across the desert to the mountains again, and into the rich California valleys. 66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert’s slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there. From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads.”

The Route

Steinbeck continues…

“66 is the mother road, the road of flight. Clarksville and Ozark and Van Buren and Fort Smith on 64, and there’s an end of Arkansas. And all the roads into Oklahoma City, 66 down from Tulsa, 270 up from McAlester. 81 from Wichita Falls south, from Enid north. Edmond, McLoud, Purcell. 66 out of Oklahoma City; El Reno and Clinton, going west on 66. Hydro, Elk City, and Texola; and there’s an end to Oklahoma. 66 across the Panhandle of Texas. Shamrock and McLean, Conway and Amarillo, the yellow. Wildorado and Vega and Boise, and there’s an end of Texas. Tucumcari and Santa Rosa and into the New Mexican mountains to Albuquerque, where the road comes down from Santa Fe. Then down the gorged Rio Grande to Las Lunas and west again on 66 to Gallup, and there’s the border of New Mexico.

“And now the high mountains. Holbrook and Winslow and Flagstaff in the high mountains of Arizona. Then the great plateau rolling like a ground swell. Ashfork and Kingman and stone mountains again, where water must be hauled and sold. Then out of the broken sun-rotted mountains of Arizona to the Colorado, with green reeds on its banks, and that’s the end of Arizona. There’s California just over the river, and a pretty town to start it. Needles, on the river. But the river is a stranger in this place. Up from Needles and over a burned range, and there’s the desert. And 66 goes on over the terrible desert, where the distance shimmers and the black center mountains hang unbearably in the distance. At last there’s Barstow, and more desert until at last the mountains rise up again, the good mountains, and 66 winds through them. Then suddenly a pass, and below the beautiful valley, below orchards and vineyards and little houses, and in the distance a city. And, oh, my God, it’s over.”

Telling

The story is telling about road travel back then.  Published in 1939, the story illustrates a distant time when things weren’t as prosperous in the United States.  You might want to read it before driving Route 66.


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Goodbye 2016

Goodbye 2016

It’s goodbye to 2016, and tomorrow we say hello to 2017.  2017 ‘s big resolution for these photographers is to drive Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.

As I look back over 2016, I also look back to years past.  Backing up my server today, I saw some pictures one of my children took on our very first Route 66 road trip.  Route 66 was something we saw while driving to the Grand Canyon and we got hooked.

copyright 2016 db walton

My Son Zack on Route 66

We stopped at Alien Jerky and one of my children snapped the above photo of their brother standing by a car with an alien in the back seat.  Alien’s are a huge thing in this area with it’s ties to Area 51.

My daughter had to stop and kiss an alien…

copyright 2016 db walton

Kissing an Alien on Route 66

2017

2017 will be a great opportunity for businesses to come on board and sponsor our Route 66 tour.  Every day we’ll bring people updates and progress as we motor along Route 66.

As we blog (every night) we will mention those sponsors who helped make this trip possible.  This is a huge undertaking, and we will give our sponsors due credit.


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Surface Streets

Surface Streets

What I wrote about decommissioning Route 66 leads us to a discussion about surface streets.  Like most U.S. Highways, Route 66 (the former U.S. Highway 66) was never a freeway.  Today, sections of Route 66 are simply surface streets.

In cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Oklahoma City are examples where Route 66 is now just one of the streets in town.  Driving Route 66 through Pasadena, California, meant keeping my eyes open for street names.  Portions of it were marked with “Historic Route 66” signs in white and brown, but for the most part, sections looked like any other street in a Southern California city.

copyright 2016 db walton

Route 66 – Pasadena, California

Turns and Disconnects

When attempting to navigate Route 66 today one must watch for turns and disconnects.  Historic Route 66 can end, and then pickup later on the other side of town.  This is because when it was decommissioned, portions of Route 66 were completely removed and built over.

Some, I discovered, aren’t worth the drive to find.  Others, however, have you saying, “I’m glad I took time to find this!”

As Paul and Brent drive Route 66 they will let you know about those disconnects and you’ll be able to see for yourself whether it was worth the detour or not.

For Your Entertainment

Enjoy these four guys as they swing out on Route 66…


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Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

I’m reminded of a birthday girl today.  The first time I ever drove  I think my daughter Crystali got as much of a kick as I did.  We had visited the Grand Canyon, but I think she had more fun on Route 66 than she did at the canyon.

copyright 2016 db walton

Oil Cans

She, and the other children, were surprised that oil came in cans (see above).  A spigot sat nearby.  I explained how it worked.  It was an example of why things like this are important.  Route 66 is part of history.

copyright 2016 db walton

Chicago to L.A.

Sponsorships

Sponsorships are available for any business, anywhere.    Watch our sample VLOG by clicking here.  If you want, we’ll even mention your city when we post about your business.

“A special thanks to Bay Photo Labs in Scotts Valley, California,” is an example of what we will say.

Displaying your logo on our web site with a link to your website will increase your website’s search engine optimization too.

Bay Photo Labs Logo

 

For Your Entertainment

Van Morrison sang Moondance back in the early 70s. It was one of my favorite songs.

I didn’t realize he also covered the Route 66 song.  Here’s a great rendition of the theme song…


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Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway

Life is a highway when you’re traveling on Route 66.  By highway, I don’t mean freeway or Interstate.  I mean HIGH WAY.  It’s the better way to travel.

I never drove Route 66 when it was the main artery from Chicago to L.A.  I was too young and we lived too far away, however I remember much of those Americana icons.  I remember the top loading soda machines, the cans of oil, full-service service stations, Burma Shave signs, and other things you find along Route 66.

Why I-40 Killed Route 66

People ask why I-40 killed Route 66.  To understand why, watch the movie Cars.  While it is a cartoon, it explains what happened.  With an interstate freeway, people stop less often, and when they do stop, they stop at freeway exits.

The old way of travel took you through tiny towns.  You drove by mom-and-pop stores.  You might very well find a service station in the middle of nowhere.  True, it took longer to get from point A to B, but it is the journey that matters.

 

And now for your entertainment…

Life is a Highway, from the movie Cars, by Rascal Flatts applies to Route 66.  It’s not the Route 66 theme song, but the movie Cars is all about Route 66.

From our Friends at B&H


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Get Your Kicks

Get Your Kicks

When someone mentions Route 66, do you immediately think, “Get your kicks on Route 66”?

If you do, you’re not alone.  A lot of people think that.

What’s on Route 66 that justifies the lyrics, “Get your kicks on Route 66”?

Today it is mostly iconic diners and businesses, many of which have been restored.  Then, in big cities, like Pasadena, California, there are modern businesses that didn’t exist when Route 66 was in its prime.

Back in the pre-Interstate highway days, Route 66 hosted many gas stations, motels and restaurants.   It wasn’t unusual for your car to overheat on Route 66 in California, Arizona or other southwestern states.  For that reason, there were service stations and garages along the way.

copyright 2016 db walton

Abandoned Gas Station

More Than Just Ghost Towns

Route 66 is more than just ghost towns.  There are small communities that have survived the I-40 devastation. (When Interstate 40 was opened, many businesses and communities died.)  These communities benefit from the tourist traffic.  They host gift shops, restaurants, and other delights for the Route 66 travelers today.

copyright 2016 db walton

Diner in San Bernadino

Once you hit the L.A. basin, those portions of Route 66 are thriving as they are surface streets in cities like Pasadena and Santa Monica, for example.  It is when you get out of town that Route 66 becomes a piece of Americana from the past.

copyright 2016 db walton

Oatman, Arizona

Here’s Bobby Troup…

For your entertainment, here’s Bobby Troup’s version of the Route 66 theme song.  Bobby Troup WROTE the song, and then Nat King Cole brought it to the top of the Billboard hits that same year. (click here for the Wikipedia story)  Since then at least 50 artists have covered the Route 66 Song.

THANK YOU BOBBY TROUP!


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Welcome

Welcome to Route 66!

Welcome to our Route 66 Photographer’s website.  We are live!

Here is a map to our web site:

  • Home – just as it implies.  That’s our landing page.  You will find the latest blog entries at the bottom of this page.
  • About –  Paul’s and Brent’s biographies.
    • Tour dates – these are estimated dates of where we plan to be.
    • Route links – these are other Route 66 websites.
  • Sponsorships – This tells about sponsorship opportunities.  This is a “must visit” for business owners and managers.
  • Sponsors –  This lists our sponsors.
  • Models – Are you a model?  Do you want to meet us along the way?  Check out this page.
  • Terms of Use – Think twice before spamming us.  You need to read this page before you spam us.

Check Back Often

copyright 2016 db walton

Road to Oatman

Check back often.  We are updating this site constantly.  It will be updated regularly before the tour, during the tour, and for a period after the tour.  Who knows, we may do this again in which case we’ll update it then too.

copyright 2016 db walton

Route 66 Highway

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned because we are offering branded  items.  Shirts, hats and bags are all on the list of Route 66 Photographer tours items will will sell.  Watch our blog for the announcement.