Rather than play "Oh look, a squirrel!" with Tim Moore's Coast to Coast saga, I thought I'd put this under its own heading for anybody who's contemplating a trip on Steinbeck's Mother Road. While I-40, I-44, and other interstates have replaced a lot of it, long stretches of it still exist as state highways. The longest are in western Arizona and eastern California. If you plan to make the trip, be sure you include the section from Kingman to Topock by way of Oatman. When you see it for the first time, and realize that this was the main east-west artery that carried heavy car and truck traffic, it's quite a revelation.
The road to Oatman is a great one - particularly in the early morning on a weekday.
Just don't be a dumb@ss pulling a trailer like I did many years ago - you can round one of many hairpin curves and come face to face with another @ss of sorts ...
One or more wild burros who live in the area.
Also bring lots of gas...they may be far and few between...at least they are on the California side of things.
For anyone contemplating driving on the old 66 highways (yes, there are more than one in places), I highly recommend the "EZ66 Guide for Travelers" by Jerry McClanahan. It is published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation and is available at any of the recognized gift shops along the way.
This book shows maps of all the various alignments of the highway through the years, so you can drive on the 1920's highways or the 40's ones or 50's as you choose. There are also descriptions and drawings of points of interest all along the route. All in all, it is a very informative and helpful book.
As an aside, our AR Tin Lizzies Model T club held a tour based in Grove, OK a few years ago. The locals who helped me plan the daily routes mentioned the original 9-foot pavement which still exists near there. I thought they meant 9-foot lanes, but I was surprised to discover that the pavement is actually 9 feet wide! There are pull-outs every now and then where you can pull over to let another car pass.
Route 66 gets a lot of press. I have to smile when ever I hear mention of Route 66 and its importance to travel westward. Why are the roads that connect to Route 66 not acclaimed too?
We've driven various parts of the "real" 66 a few times in years gone by. Always a great, nostalgic drive. My bucket list is to drive the whole thing, but probly never happen. Would love to do it in a Model T, but that will REALLY never happen!
Much of the Missouri Route 66 is still drivable and in places the original pavement is still in place. A few years ago Show-Me T's drove from the Kansas state line to the Arch in St Louis all on Route 66 and return to Springfield. A great drive.
Several years back, the HCCA had their convention in Laughlin, NV and we drove Rt 66 from there to Kingman, AZ. I rode in a 1911 Regal Underslung for that trip. It was fantastic and traffic was not a problem. Oatman was full of burros.
"...and traffic was not a problem." What a change from the forties! I well remember crawling up the grade from Oatman in the old 1941 Plymouth in a line of cars backed up behind a truck slowly toiling toward the summit. At every turnout there would be a car with the hood up as the driver waited for it to quit steaming. Something else I remember from that trip was that the road through New Mexico was paved, but not very well. Crossing the state line into Texas was like suddenly driving on a sheet of glass.
I have also driven our 13 T from Laughlin. NV thru Oatman and had lunch in Kingman, AZ before returning to Laughlin. Seen a lot of Burros in Oatman. A friend parked his model T in Oatman and had to chase one of the Burros away when he tried biting his rear fender. Scratched the paint a little but no real damage. Don't trust wild Burros...never know what they may do.
Wilbur, I remember that trip. It was apparently in 2010. Some of the St. Louis people met you in the far western suburbs and drove down to the Arch with you.
I drove the old 66 from Pasadena, CA to some point in Missouri in 1968. It was a fantastic trip that probably cannot be exactly duplicated today.