Route 66 An American Road Trip

What is Route 66?

In the 1920’s automobiles caused demands for better roads.

In 1921 the 1916 Federal Highway Act was modified so federal money was used to form a system of interconnected interstate highway. Requiring states to designate as much as 7% of their roads as national highways.

Dedicated in 1926 ----> Completed in 1937. Route 66 extends more than 2,400 miles long and crosses three time zones and eight states.

Best way to see some of the scenic wonders of the United States, including the Grand Canyon and the Pacific Ocean.


Route 66, US 66, Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America or Mother Road.

One of the original US highway systems

US 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.

From Illinois to California

Relations to The Grapes of Wrath

Tom Joad returns home after four years in prison. Road’s are synonymous for both home and opportunity, comfort and hardship, the known and the unknown. In Ch 2: Tom gazes at the road that will take him home at last, his "dark quiet eyes became amused as he stared."

As the Joads travel westward, Route 66 becomes "the mother road, the road of flight" (ch.12)—it's the lifeline, allows thousands of families to pursue their hopes and dreams. It is also the road that leads to their misery for some families.

It goes in two directions only, you can either go forward in search of opportunity and possible hardship, or you can go backwards and return to the poverty and familiarity you came from.

We also learn that roads are dangerous places. If you're a turtle or a dog trying to cross the road, beware: there's a good chance that you will get smooshed by a sadistic driver.

Road Trip!!

Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California

Blue Swallow Motel, New Mexico
Petrified wood at the Petrified Forest National Park Holbrook, AZ
Roy's Cafe in Amboy, CA
Route 66 Starting Point in Chicago, IL
Kan-O-Tex Service Station & Diner, Galena KS
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas

From Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA

Past vs. Present

Past: Once connected hundreds of small towns to travelers to connect urban and rural communities.

Present: Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System effectively bypassed Route 66. Straight-lined, speedy interstates to large cities, cut paths far from Route 66's small, idiosyncratic towns.

Air travel.

Route 66 is no longer fully continuous and requires some navigational process.

Geographic Changes:



New Mexico


Traveling with the Joad's:

Around 22 hours of traveling straight through.



Gas stations


For More Info:

Fun facts:

Google Map:

Road Trip: and

Cost: $2,925 /person for 15 days

Works Referenceed:

"The History of Route 66." National Historic Route 66. N.p., 26 May 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"Illinois." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States. . 20 Apr. 2017 <>.

Mcnamee, Gregory. "California." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

Ranger, Park. "Route 66 Top Ten Attractions." Route 66 Attractions state by state. N.p., 15 Apr. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.


Created with images by sdminor81 - "Route 66" • Alexas_Fotos - "biker route 66 freedom"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.