There is so much information available about Route 66 in countless books, articles, Websites, maps, movies and TV shows. If you Google Route 66 you’ll find over 18 million websites loaded with information, many of them selling Route 66 memoribilia. So, I’ve picked up a few interesting tidbits and learned a few things I didn’t know. I'll be sharing some of that with you as we travel from town to town.
1. For those fans of the Disney/Pixar movie Cars, this is hot off the press at The Route 66 Pulse:
Michael Wallis, Author of Route 66: The Mother Road, seven Imagineers from Walt Disney Imagineering, and executive and creative directors from Pixar all descended on Amarillo, Tx. March 3rd with eyes and minds open. Theirs was a fact-finding mission on Route 66 from Erick, Okla. to Kingman, Ariz. to get the feel and heartbeat of the Mother Road and to experience first-hand the people and places that make Route 66 the unique destination it is.The Disney and Pixar executives are interested in learning more about Route 66 in preparation for Disney’s new twelve acre theme park which will be located next to Disneyland and aptly named “Cars Land.” The park is scheduled to open the summer of 2012. For months there have been rumors along the Mother Road about Cars Land and that has sparked debates over whether or not a sequel to the “Cars” movie is in the works. Wallis and those from Pixar say there is no official word yet from director John Lasseter, so “Cars” fans will just have to wait and see.
2. Route 66 came into existence on Nov. 11, 1926. It went through several realignments during its lifetime. The first came in 1936 when the end changed from Los Angeles to Santa Monica; it was changed again in 1964 to Pasadena, Ca. Finally, between 1974 and 1985 the end went from Topok, Az. to Kingman, Az.
3. US 66 was officially decommissioned in 1985 and was replaced by the Interstate Highway System.
4. Route 66 started out as mostly gravel and graded dirt. Then in 1938, thanks to the US Highway Route 66 association, it became the first highway completely paved.
5. The Chain of Rocks Bridge was used in the 1981 film Escape from New York starring Kurt Russell and
Adrianne Barbeau. Her character meets her demise, while Kurt Russell makes his escape.
6. Can’t remember the lyrics to Bobby Troups song recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole.
Here you go:
“If you ever plan to motor West
Travel my way, take the highway that’s the best
Get your kicks on Route 66
It winds from Chicago to LA
More than 2,000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66
You go through St. Louie, Joplin, Missouri
And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty
You’ll see Amirillo, Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaf, Arizona, don’t forget Winona
Kingman, Bartsow, San Bernadino
Won’t you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that California Trip
Get your kicks on Route 66.”
More to follow, check back daily.