Well, it looks as though we have a successful launch, at least in regards to the addition of an option to purchase a signed copy of Ghost Towns of Route 66 directly from the blog. The hope is that in the next week we will also be able to offer Ghost Towns of the Southwest, now in a third printing, Backroads of Arizona, and Route 66 Backroads.
Meanwhile, lets talk ghost towns. Specifically the very unique ghost towns, some with origins stretching to before the time that there was a United States, that are found along Route 66 from Illinois to California.
Each has a very unique personality but they all have one thing in common, a main street that will forever be Route 66. Moreover, the demise of each is directly tied to the wave of progress that continuously transformed Route 66 from its inception with an almost never ending progression of realignment and that eventually swept the Main Street of America from center stage.
One of the goals in writing this book was to add depth and context to the Route 66 experience as well as tinge the restored glow of colorful neon with a hint of sepia. Additionally, I wanted to give forgotten places where the resurgent interest in this amazing highway came to late a well deserved moment in the spotlight, places like Goffs bypassed in 1932, and Spencer, Missouri, as well as Afton, Oklahoma, and Lawndale in Illinois. 
Few segments of Route 66 are as haunting or as delightful as the pre 1952 alignment from San Jon in New Mexico to Glenrio in Texas. All along this dusty track the second hand became the hour hand when Route 66 was moved to the north to accommodate the ever rising tide of traffic and it stopped completely when the destination became more important than the journey leaving Route 66 as an historic footnote.
San Jon withered on the vine. Bard vanished. Endee was left to the ghosts and will soon return to the soil from which it was carved. Glenrio was suspended in time and the winds whisper the stories for those who take the time to listen.
In Endee the era of the frontier succumbed slowly to the advent of a new era. In 1907 rustlers were rousted from their safe haven hear by a stalwart passe and in 1909, a few cowboys made their point on the subject of temperance by riding their horses through a meeting with guns blazing.
Glenrio just may be every Route 66 enthusiasts favorite ghost town. However, few who stop to give the imagination free reign at the old Longhorn Cafe and Motel, realize that long before there was a highway signed with two sixes, this was a prosperous community with a hotel, a newspaper, and a train depot.
For timelessness, my favorite drive is the pre 1937 alignment from Santa Fe to Romeroville in New Mexico. Here amongst the pines and ruins that were ancient when the conquistador “discovered” New Mexico, legendary Route 66 follows the Santa Fe Trail through towns founded, and almost unchanged, from the dawn of the American republic, and past the hallowed grounds of Glorieta Pass, the scene of a pitched battle during the Civil War fought to preserve that great republic.
For raw beauty of the jaw dropping, awe inspiring kind, there is no place like Sitgreaves Pass on the pre 1952 alignment of Route 66 in western Arizona. Here the ghosts of better times, Goldroad and Oatman, are of the modern era with origins dating to the dawn of the 20th century. 
Route 66 has always the road of dreams and shows little sign of relinquishing that role. The next time you motor west, or east, on the highway that is best, save some time for an empty place or two as the ghost of the lost highway have many stories to share.

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