29 January 2009


If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six!

It winds from Chicago to L.A.,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six!

Now you go thru Saint Looey and Joplin, Missouri
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty;
You'll see Amarillo; Gallup, New Mexico;
Flagstaff, Arizona; don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip:
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six!

-- by bobby troop, 1946

note: originally recorded by nat "king" cole, "Get Your Kicks on Route Sixty-Six" has been covered by singers as diverse as the andrews sisters, bing crosby, chuck berry, the rolling stones, asleep at the wheel, manhattan transfer, mel torme, depeche mode, michael martin murphy and many others.

i highly recommend the following:

~ the definitive travel book, Route 66: The Mother Road, by michael wallis.
~ Travels With Charley, by john steinbeck (the first to observe that "66 is the Mother Road").
~ On The Road, by jack kerouac.
~ the excellent animated movie Cars.
~ reruns from the early 60s tv series Route 66 or the early 70s tv series Then Came Bronson (try youtube).

all of this is in the spirit of returning travel from just-get-there-as-fast-as-we-can, to taking our time touring and really seeing this country of ours, with frequent stops to look and explore, preferably on the secondary highways described by william least heat moon in his book Blue Highways (routes depicted in that color on older state maps). unlikely places, and unlikely people, have a way of turning out to be the most colorful and memorable.

"open-road travelers are made more than born. they are as different from theme-park tourists as anything you can imagine. tourists rush; travelers mosey. tourists look for souvenirs; travelers seek out the souvenir makers. tourists want to see all the right places; travelers simply go into the country. travelers are openly romantic about the going itself, the adventurous possibility of it all."

so yeah, get your kicks on route 66!

(left-click on map to enlarge)

1 comment:

  1. I could get into that Blue Highways concept. I promise to finish my "virtual road trip" on US 2 soon. Soon.