Lost on Route 66

Two years ago, my husband and I went a road trip from New York all the way to Arizona. One of the memories that still stand out today, is that of an old white and black sign that read Route 66 as well as the signs that read ‘Historic Route 66.″ It was not until we entered an old gas station in Texas that we learned how old that road was. Post cards with route 66 printed on them lay all over that gas station. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review this book.

In reading Lost on Route 66: Tales from the Mother Road, written by Katelyn Bohl and Eric Wilder, I was able to relate and appreciate this highway’s rich history. This road meant so many different things to so many different people, and I was one of them.

Lost on Route 66 is a collection of short stories, essays and poems about the famous highway and those that traveled on it or lived close to it. These stories gives you life lessons that entails the life of being an American at the turn of the century, which molded the American life of today. As I read each story, I was able to place myself on that road at the particular time. The stories are heartfelt, sad and some are humorous but in all, each story teaches us a lesson, as in my favorite story in the book “Life’s Little Lessons”, which describes a leather dressed, tattooed biker helping a couple with a flat tire. What he wanted in return? For the couple just to pass on the favor and help others. This story teaches us that simple lesson, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” as in the case of this gentle-hearted biker.

Lost on Route 66: Tales from the Mother Road is a beautiful art of American history compiled in written memories which has now left me wanting to explore more. I wait for the day I am back on the road, face to face with that sign that’s reads “Route 66″.

Buy It: Lost on Route 66: Tales from the Mother Road is available for purchase at Amazon.com

Route 66 Adventure Handbook

“Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was a popular song from the 40’s, sung by Nat King Cole, that helped bring that long stretch of road – Route 66 – to fame. Now you can get your own kicks on Route 66 if you bring along the Route 66 Adventure Handbook, as it will lead you to many of the hidden, and not-so-hidden, gems along this road.

Route 66 was one of the first highways in the United States, with completion coming in 1926. It runs from Chicago to California, and travels through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, on its way to Santa Monica, California. In the 1950s, following President Eisenhower’s signing of a bill which saw the creation of the “Interstate Highway system” and numerous major, “super highways” being built, many people assumed the famous road was all but dead. But while these new highways challenged the reign of Route 66 and as the author of the Route 66 Adventure Handbook notes, it seemed for a while that the famous road was fading into oblivion, thankfully, travelers eventually recognized the unique qualities of this famous route, and now it is enjoying a resurgence.

Now in its fifth edition, the Route 66 Adventure Handbook is divided into chapters by state, running southwest from Illinois to California. Each chapter includes multitudes of attractions, far more than I’ve seen in other travel books. And many of these attractions are spots that are missed by other books, places that are about as unique as Cadillac Ranch where car “art” shows real Cadillacs partially buried, “… which are said to be positioned at the same angle as the sides of the Great Pyramids of Egypt.” (pg. 290) In addition, each chapter also includes a “Further Afield” section where attractions, just a short distance away from the famous route, can be found.

The Route 66 Adventure Handbook is written in an easy-to-read/follow style and the layout is easy on the eyes which makes this book perfect for picking up and referring to over and over. There is so much to choose from for your road-trip visits within its pages that you’ll want to start searching through the book long before your trip begins. My top pick from the plethora of attractions in this book has to be “Big Brutus” – a giant, and I mean GIANT! (“the second-largest ever built”) – power shovel in West Mineral, KS. A photograph of Brutus shows a car parked next to it which gives you a good idea of just how large Brutus is. And I must mention all the photographs because this book is chock full of them – almost every attraction mentioned is accompanied by a good, clear photo. To make it even easier to find, below each photo is the GPS location of the attraction. If you’re planning a trip to explore Route 66, whether a quick escape along a portion of the road, or an adventure enjoying the full, 2,000-plus mile route, be sure to take the Route 66 Adventure Handbook with you so you won’t miss a single attraction on this famous road.

Quill says: John Steinbeck called Route 66 “The Mother Road” in The Grapes of Wrath, and for good reason. Now, with the Route 66 Adventure Handbook, you can explore this fantastic stretch of asphalt and enjoy all the unique jewels it has to offer, jewels that others without the handbook may miss. Get the book, hop in your car, and start driving!