Route 66 Caravan

America's Biggest Road Trip!

Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
Reflections on the 66 Caravan


66 Caravan Home Page

California Route 66

Arizona Route 66

New Mexico Route 66

Texas Route 66

Oklahoma Route 66

Kansas Route 66

Missouri Route 66

Illinois Route 66

2003 Route 66 Caravan Schedule

The Legacy of the Route 66 Caravan

From April 29th through July 4th the Route 66 Caravan traveled the entire length of Route 66, pier to pier so to say, in a celebration of America. What we found reinforced the idea that our great country is doing well despite what may be presented on the five-o-clock news. Route 66, though no longer a federal highway, is still vibrant. The communities that this celebrated corridor of asphalt and Portland cement pass through are experiencing a renaissance along with the road itself. Route 66 winds its way from the green, well watered plains of Illinois, through the Ozarks of Missouri and Kansas on into the rangeland of Oklahoma and Texas, climbing into the canyonlands and plateaus of New Mexico and Arizona, across the Painted Desert, and high into the mountains only to drop down into California's Mojave Desert - gateway to the far Pacific. Route 66 passes through cultures as diverse as the land that it traverses. From the farms of middle America, through the land of the cowboys and Native Americans, old Spanish conquistadors, treasure hunters and prospectors, outlaws and pioneers, all the way to California, that promised land of Hollywood and movie stars, of beach boys and hot rods. Route 66 cuts through the heart of our great land. Dreams of summer nights at the drive-in, family vacations to the Grand Canyon, or relocations in hopes of a better life are all part of the Route 66 experience. The story of Route 66 is our collective story.

 

 

 

The Mother Road

Route 66 belongs to all of us, to laugh with, cry with, and hope with. It can be a shining beacon of better things to come or the harsh whiplash of the worst life has to offer. Good or bad, Route 66 can be all things to a country that thrives on diversity. Yes, Route 66 is truly the "Main Street of America."

      

The 66 Caravan was an attempt to educate the traveler to the wonders that await just off the Interstate in the small towns and communities of two-lane America. As Micheal Wallis, noted Route 66 author is wont to say, "Life begins at the end of the off-ramp."

Erick's West Winds Motel
   
What then is the legacy of the Route 66 Caravan? Is it the awareness generated about life away from the fast lane in the small towns across America? Is it the need for preservation of our remaining roadside icons so we can pass the experience on to our children? Is it the support of the roadside mom and pop businesses that still exist in a modern prefab generic America? Is it a celebration of the American Dream, where all things are possible for those that set their minds to it? Yes it is all of those things and more. As I sit back and reflect on all the great events of these past few months I am in awe of the discoveries I made all along the Mother Road. Once America was intangible to me but now it is very real. I've touched the heart of a great nation and I no longer am the same person I was when I left home in late April. The people of the Mother Road have inspired me, made me proud of my country, and have renewed my commitment to the simple philosophy that life is tremendous indeed. But one fact stands out among all the others - the very nature of Route 66. Route 66 is not the cracked and crumbling pavement we find today, the abandoned motor courts and gas stations, faded signs and flashy neons that line her avenue. Those are important and part of her story, but Route 66 is also alive with a thousand heartbeats. Route 66  lives through the lives of her people. Their dreams, their hopes, and their toil  keep the Mother Road from fading away. Route 66 is about the people!

~ Guy Randall, 19 July 2003

     

Route 66 is about the people who live, work and play along her corridor...

Route 66 People

Celebrate the People, Celebrate America, and Celebrate Route 66!

 

The Route 66 Caravan is not over. It has just begun. Every time someone gets off the Interstate to explore roadside America the legacy continues. We are on the brink of great things. The face of Corporate America has changed in the process. Hampton Inn has given it a heart. Dedicated individuals in every state work to preserve what is left of our heritage for future generations to enjoy. One-of-a-kind businesses strive to remind us what our country used to be like before we became generic. This then is our America, and our Mother Road along with all the other wonderful two-lanes. You see, the Route 66 Caravan will go on and on because of you all!

Celebrate America ~ Take a Road Trip!

 

  

  

The Route 66 Caravan crew, Jim Conkle, Bill & Jaimie Hall, Kevin Hansel, Dennis Karlstad and me, Guy Randall, along with Hampton Inn thank you for joining us on America's Biggest Road Trip.

We'll see you down the road!

 

 


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

Road Log pages read like a book:

Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

Thanks for joining us on "America's Biggest Road Trip"

 

 

66 Caravan Home Page

2003 Route 66 Caravan Schedule

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E-Mail Guy Randall

       

66 Caravan Web Site Written, Photographed & Designed by Guy Randall


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