Much LAZIER than your average blogger  
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8.13.2009 - 13 comments 

Well folks... Mrs. LZ and I have just returned from a pretty extensive road trip of some almost 3,500 miles. So rather than just doing this chronologically, I thought I'd mix this up a little and start with the ending and move backwards and confuse both myself and the reader.

I am not so sure I can say that I have ever done a post about a road before, but in our travels this summer, we came across the signs for the old historic "Route 66" in many of our travel destinations. Any of you who may have seen the "Great American Travel Adventure" on TV this summer will already know about this historic route and where it goes and its derivation, but for those of you who may not, here's some facts that may be useful.

Officially, the numerical designation 66 was assigned to the Chicago to Los Angeles route in the summer of 1926. With that designation came its acknowledgment as one of the nation's principal east-west arteries.

From the outset, public road planners intended U.S. 66 to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities along its course for the most practical of reasons: most small towns had no prior access to a major national thoroughfare.

While legislation for public highways first appeared in 1916, with revisions in 1921, it was not until Congress enacted an even more comprehensive version of the act in 1925 that the government executed its plan for national highway construction.

Albuquerque boosters began pushing for a straighter route, and in 1931, federal money was designated to realign the road to a more east-west direction. By 1937, the entire route from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California was paved.

The new road carried thousands of GI's longing for a better look at America and yearning to see what the country held in store for them. Route 66 was fixed in the memory of many by John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath and Bobby Troup's lyric "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" as well as CBS TV's "Route 66". Today I-40 runs over much of the original roadbed, but many parts of the old highway can be seen today just beside I-40.

Albuquerque and Santa Fe as well as many other then relatively small towns grew up along Route 66. Near Route 66, you'll also find the Albuquerque Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and the National Atomic Museum.

Walking or driving along Central Avenue in the downtown area, you can enjoy the majesty of this vibrant district. Step into the Pueblo-Deco KiMo Theater and the ambiance of diners and boutiques along the way. You can stop for a bite at one of the revitalized diners and other restaurants that line the route. We found many many of those in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but we were trying to find Maria's (a favorite of our youngest son and his wife). We finally gave up that effort and just decided to keep moving toward home. But in spite of that the revitalized Route 66 was a real treat for us.

As you can see from several of the photos I have attached to this post, many familiar old signs could be seen all along those Old Route 66 Highways all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles. In fact I was so taken by a Texas Highway Rest stop about 50 miles outside of Amarillo, Texas that I included many shots that I took not only of the rest-stop, but also from the inside of the ladies room (which Mrs. LZ consented to help me with).

This highway technically is now called US Interstate 40 (which we took) all the way to Oklahoma City before parting ways with it. One of the other signs I have posted as the top picture here was one of the "Historic Route 66" signs we took while in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

You may also notice that one of these signs in the Texas rest area was particularly concerning to us. I am sure you can figure out which one I am referring to? And... you can believe me when I say that neither Mrs. LZ nor I either one ventured in the rocks or grasses around that particular stop. Most of the other signs were actually hung inside the rest stop.

Mrs. LZ did manage to find us a couple of our new favorite delicacy called a Texas Cinnamon Bun. While probably not on the Zagot's List as a classic dining facility, we did enjoy our restful stop there on our way back home.

"About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation." ~ Will Rogers