Almost 18 years ago my wife and I quit our jobs, jumped in my convertible and headed for L.A….a loong drive out from Chicago, following what was left of the old Route 66. It was already fragmented with only the occasional old rest stop, store or sign left to tell the story of what life was like along the road in the 1930′s and 40′s.
The last 18 years haven’t been too kind to the remaining mementos of the road.
Granted, this time we were jumping on it in Northern Arizona. We also were more interested in trying to get back home to Detroit, rather than seeing as much of the old 66 as possible. But we jumped off the interstate often to see sites that we remembered fondly from our previous trip.
Most of the old neon signs that were in bad shape in the 1990′s are now gone. A few have been moved to neon museums, and restored, which is better than the dump.
Many of the old hotels and motels that we remembered were now replaced by a building from a giant hotel chain…or were empty lots.
But if you are into 30′s – 60′s roadside architecture and signage, there are still a few jems out there. Below are some pix from our trip, taken along old 66, mostly in Oklahoma, New Mexico and the Texas panhandle.
As you can probably tell from these photos, some of these establishments are nothing more than their weather beaten signs. Others appear to still be going strong, 50 or 60 years after opening.
Next up- a few amazing stops that are still part of the mother road. Check back soon for part 2.