By Steve Monz, Afternoons on Cool 101.3
Traveling cross country there is a stretch of highway that takes you back in time. The famous Route 66. Also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. It original ran from Chicago, to Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles. These days you can travel Route 66 as it parallels major highways across the country. On our return trip of the family cross country road trip this past summer, we hopped on and off Route 66 around Arizona and New Mexico. There are stretches of the highway where nostalgia is embraced and even turned profitable. Right in the middle of nowhere.
The first stop was Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman, AZ. We just stumbled upon it. But it turns out to be one of the more popular stops for a bite. The line goes out the door with good reason. The food was awesome, the decor a total flashback in time but the secret to this roadside gem was the staff. Family owned for who knows how many years. My kids were entertained with the classic squirting string mustard bottle and the old “Need a straw?” only to be handed a mini bale of hay and so on. So much fun. They even have cars in the yard that look like the cars for the movie “Cars”. As we headed back out onto Route 66 there was a bucket list stop ahead.
We pull in to Winslow Arizona. Home to the “Standin’ On A Corner” statue on Route 66 from the Jackson Browne/Eagles song “Take It Easy”. After Glenn Frey passed away earlier this year, this was a bucket list stop for me. As we pull into town on Route 66 you come in to a four way intersection. That has a huge Route 66 highway sign painted on the intersection. And sure enough, there it is. The statue on the corner of a dude holding a guitar. Someone had placed a framed picture of Glenn Frey at the statue’s feet. The kids took my picture and we walked around the intersection. On the first corner there is a gift shop of sorts… but it was all things “Eagles”. With a speaker playing songs by the Eagles out onto the sidewalk. On the next corner there is a shop with a huge guitar out front. And more of the same. Pictures, instruments, everything “Eagles”. I could have very easily popped into the local bar on the next corner, sat down to some afternoon day drinking chatting with whoever about one of my favorite bands of all time. Alas, with kids in tow, that was not an option. We headed out of town with Take It easy playing on the car stereo as I attempted to educate my children on the importance of Glenn Frey and Don Henley in American music history.
The Musical Highway in the village of Tijeras, New Mexico (just east of Albuquerque New Mexico) was next. It was funded by National Geographic in October 2014. There is a rumble strip that if you drive over it at the correct speed, you hear America The Beautiful. It worked! After the third try, I got the speed right. Check out our video below.
Those are just a few of the hundreds of things you can do and see on Route 66. All you need is time. Ferris Bueller said it best. “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” One day we’ll go back and experience more. So much to see, so little time. Glad I ‘Got My Kicks on Route 66″.
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