Does Route 66 exist? and is there anything to see?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jun 30, 2013 11:02 AM Last Post By: Dutch_Uncle
Jun 27, 2013 11:21 PM
Does Route 66 exist? and is there anything to see?My wife and i will be driving from Santa Fe, NM to Flagstaff AZ and were thinking of taking route 66 for at least part the way. looking on google etc, i dont really see route 66 anywhere. does it even still exist? and if so, any recommendations on what to see along the way? actually, heh, even if it doesnt exist, any recommendations on what to see between santa fe and flagstaff?
Jun 28, 2013 1:36 AM
Jun 28, 2013 4:07 AM
2How much time do you have? What else are you visiting on your trip? You can take a long circuitous route of an infinite number of days that takes in some excellent sites. Or if you only have a day or two then you must stick to a more direct route. There is a lot to see in the Santa Fe area, which could technically count as "on the way."
Jun 28, 2013 4:17 AM
3This site may be of interest to you: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/route66/. It focuses on historic sites along the old route .
Here are links to a few TT threads about Route 66 travel:
Jun 28, 2013 4:24 AM
However, portions of what used to be the highway still exist. Arguably the only portion really worth driving is between Seligman and Kingman in Arizona, between Las Vegqas and the Grand Canyon.
Jun 28, 2013 6:21 AM
For the most part, your route is the old RT-66 right-of-way. It is now an interstate highway called I-40. The federal highway designation, US-66, was decommissioned in 1985. Various states have redesignated stretches of the old right-of-way that were not literally buried under the the interstate highways that replaced US-66 and are still useful as state highways . The best example of this is AZ-66. Unfortunately for you, AZ-66 begins just west of Flagstaff. You'll have to extend your route to Kingman AZ to drive it. If you do this, be sure to stop at Delgadillos Snow Cap in Seligman. It is one of the few roadside attractions left from the glory days of Route 66 still in operation. The late owner, Juan Delgadillo, was largely responsible for the creation of AZ-66.
Jun 28, 2013 7:36 AM
6The old Rt. 66 alignment still more or less exists, unofficially anyway, where it used to form the "main drag" through the small towns along the route, which are now bypassed by the freeway. Examples include Central Ave. in Albuquerque, Sante Fe Ave through downtown Flastaff, and the various main streets in Gallup, Winslow and Holbrook. You'll find plenty of kitchy knick-knacks and ruins of 1950s motels in the smaller towns, which are all in varying states of delapidation and decay. I don't find most of this very interesting, but I've traveled with German tourists who definitely felt otherwise.
Tours of Acoma Pueblo outside of ABQ are excellent. Petrified Forest National Park is worth a stop, especially if you have even a passing interest in paleontology or natural history. Meteor Crater is likewise worth a stop if you have an interest. The La Posada hotel in Winslow is absolutely fabulous, well worth scheduling your drive to have lunch or dinner there - the historic property actually pre-dates Rt. 66, it's heyday being in the railroad age, and has been painstakingly restored to its former glory.
Jun 28, 2013 7:40 AM
7I think this is the best discussion of Route 66 on Thorntree. It covers the route, the history, the mythology of it, why Europeans are fascinated with it (and Americans aren't), and more. I recommend reading all 83 posts of it, although some posts were removed so references ot post numbers are off.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 28, 2013 9:50 AM
8The initial New Mexico, alignment of "The 66" was from West of Santa Rosa North,to A bit West, of Las Vegas(New Mexico). Then West, into Santa Fe... From Santa Fe the route tended South, through Albuquerque to Las lunas ... Then West, again to Laguna Pueblo. The realignment of the "offically" designated route, is one of many "Rt 66" stories...So pilgrim, it's not driving the pavement... It's knowing the histories, that make the drive interesting ... carracar
Jun 28, 2013 10:18 AM
9I live along the original Route #66, in Santa Fe. There are historic highway signs designating the route through downtown Santa Fe, then south along Cerrillos Road to merge with Interstate-25. Driving south toward Albuquerque, there are signs designating remaining sections of the old highway. Central Road through Old Town, Albuquerque, is also the original Route #66.
Santa Fe is 400 years old and also has remnants of the El Camino Real to Mexico City, along current Agua Fria Road. The original Stage Coach Inn, on Cerrillos Road/Route #66, had a well used for watering horses and people -- the property has just been converted to new low-income housing; however, the original building for the Stage Coach Inn still exists at the front of the property along with its sign. The Old Santa Fe Trail from the Midwest roughly follows near the original Route #66 from Chicago. The Old Santa Fe Trail ends near the St. Francis Mission and La Fonda Hotel in downtown Santa Fe, across from the Plaza. The oldest church in the USA, St. Michael's, is one block away on the Old Santa Fe Trail. There are other historic buildings dating to around 400 years near the Plaza.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas is an historic ranch dating from El Camino Real, where stagecoaches stopped to water horses and spend the night -- signs are along Interstate-25, about 3 miles south of Santa Fe. The ranch is open to the public on the weekends for tourists to see how the ranches were operated during the early Spanish days, 400 years ago.
Currently, there is a Movie Trails Map being published for enthusiasts of Breaking Bad and Lone Ranger and other well-known TV series and movies produced here in Northern New Mexico. Many of the movie actors are lodged in Santa Fe's hotels.
There are 300 art galleries in Santa Fe and a dozen museums. On Museum Hill, across from the International Folk Art Museum, a $7 million Santa Fe Botanical Garden is being created -- its first section will open in mid-July 2013. It includes a bicycle path along the arroyo. There are many miles of maintained hiking/bicycling/equestrian trails (Dale Ball Trails) in the foothills and mountains above Santa Fe. The Randall Davies Audubon Center has trails leading to the headwaters of the Santa Fe River in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Jun 28, 2013 6:10 PM
10As before, I recommend a stop at Meteor Crater, east of Flagstaff on I-40. Great conrtrast with the Grand Canyon.
Jun 30, 2013 12:24 AM
Jun 30, 2013 11:02 AM
12"Does Route 66 exist?"
Yes, Virginia, Route 66 does exist. It will continue to exist as long human beings look at the horizon and wonder what is across the next valley, what can be seen from the top of the next hill, and what it is like in the town country or continent next door.
Pilgrims, the footloose, and the seekers after new experiences will continue to blaze new Route 66s across both the wilderness and the lands trod by their predecessors over thousands of years.
Everyone has his own Route 66, go and find yours.
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