Route 66 Winslow: A rock song brought to life

I have come to Winslow, Arizona seeking the most famous corner of the most legendary road in the world. A corner immortalized in the Eagles’s first single from their eponymous debut album. A corner emblazoned with a Route 66 shield so enormous it can be spotted easily by travelers running down the road, eagles soaring overhead and, I am certain, astronauts in orbit.

I arrive to such a fine sight: a classic American rock song brought to life.

Continue reading Route 66 Winslow: A rock song brought to life

Route 66 Seligman: Home to the Angel of Route 66

The high desert village of Seligman, Arizona, A seemingly endless collection of classic cars and Route 66 symbolism scrolls past both sides as I roll down the main drag; this must be the legendary highway’s spiritual heart. But why this place? The answer lies with the story of the Angel who resurrected Route 66 from the dead. This is his home.

Continue reading Route 66 Seligman: Home to the Angel of Route 66

Route 66 Sitgreaves Pass: Mother Road’s Wild Ride

Suddenly, the road has narrowed and taken the form of an angry, writhing serpent. This stretch of Route 66 winds through the Sitgreaves Pass, at 3,500 feet the highest point along the Mother Road. With its tightly coiled switchbacks, narrow track and modest, but sudden drops off the edge, it is also the most venomous.

Continue reading Route 66 Sitgreaves Pass: Mother Road’s Wild Ride

Route 66 Oatman: A town run by wild asses

I mosey in under the early morning sun to find the old Wild West mining town of Oatman, Arizona wide awake, with its residents cavorting wildly in the street. The towns appears to be inhabited entirely by wild burros, with no humans in sight, save for a single Austrian sporting a Civil War-era Confederate soldier’s cap.

Continue reading Route 66 Oatman: A town run by wild asses

Route 66 Amboy: An unearthly magnet for the surreal

Amboy. There are many strange places along Route 66. Amboy is by wide margin the strangest.

Miles from anywhere, anything or anyone, Amboy is a giant sign rising alone from the desert; a sign that says both “Roy’s,” and you have gone too far, turn back. 

Continue reading Route 66 Amboy: An unearthly magnet for the surreal

Route 66 Bagdad Cafe: This strange diner is not where it should be

I arrive 10 minutes before closing. Three peculiarities greet me at the lonely Bagdad Cafe. The first is the cafe’s alpine roof jutting up from the middle of the snowless Mojave desert. The second is a realization, as I roll to a stop in the dusty dirt surrounding the diner, that the Bagdad Cafe is not, in fact, anywhere near Bagdad. The third anomaly is revealed as I walk through door, just as a pair of Germans exits the cafe: This strange alpine hut is a raging hotbed of international activity.

Continue reading Route 66 Bagdad Cafe: This strange diner is not where it should be

Route 66 Santa Monica: Where in The Seven Hells is the end of the road, exactly?

From afar, nothing hints at the Santa Monica Pier as the western end of Route 66. The pier is far removed from the vast, archaic emptiness that characterizes the rest of Route 66, and there are far too many distractions—the beach, the dizziness of Santa Monica and the novelty of the pier, a world-class landmark in its own right—for it to feel like a part of the grand old highway.

Continue reading Route 66 Santa Monica: Where in The Seven Hells is the end of the road, exactly?