It has been called the "Main Street of America" because it wound through small towns "from Chicago to L.A., more than 2000 miles all the way". In Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck called it the "Mother Road" as hundreds of thousands of farm families, displaced by the Dust Bowl, made their way west during the Great Depression. After World War 2, it was "Route 66" that represented the demographic shift from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt as thousands left the industrial east for the suburban promise of Southern California. This road, which was a partner to so much of the history of this country, eventually had to succumb to progress and the advent of high speed interstate highways. Route 66 was officially decommissioned in the 1980's and the old route is now designated at "Historic Route 66".
This old road still attracts those who are history buffs (as I am) or those simply seeking a nostalgic connection to the past. Old diners and motels stay alive by playing up their Route 66 connection. Gas stations charge up to $4.99 per gallon. Rusted old cars, miles of railroad tracks, creative oddities, and crumbling buildings dot the desert landscape. This gallery, starts in Barstow, CA and ventures out a short distance to towns like Daggett, Newberry Springs, and Amboy also dots on the vast Mojave landscape and on Historic Route 66.