http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=076033885X&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrFor obvious reasons, the editor vetoed my idea to christen the Route 66 encyclopedia with  the subtitle, “Everything You Did Not Know You Wanted To Know About Route 66.” Still, that proposed title sums up my experience in the research and writing of this book quite nicely.
As an example, I was never very curious about the path followed by I-40 across western Arizona into California but a series of newspaper articles from the late 1950s, and early 1960s piqued my interest. Soon, I was unraveling a fascinating tale of political intrigue and discovering an amazing story.
Original surveys for this highway called for it to follow a course west from Kingman over Coyote Pass, the current path of U.S. 93, then across Golden Valley along what is now state highway 68, over Union Pass, and then a Colorado River crossing just below Davis Dam. The highway would then go through Searchlight to connect with I-15 at a point near the California/Nevada border.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0738580295&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrAs a result the entire course of Route 66 from Kingman to Barstow would have been bypassed. This would have had a dramatic affect on Needles, the creation of Lake Havasu City, and the development of the Laughlin, Nevada and Bulhead City, Arizona area.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0738583855&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrHowever, the roots for this story predate the development of the interstate highway system. It was politics rather than practicality that led to the routing of U.S. 66 through Oatman and over the Black Mountains rather than through Yucca, the course followed by Route 66 after 1952 and I-40 after that. Guide books published in 1914 listed the road through Yucca as an alternate course for those traveling the National Old Trails Highway.
But there is much more to this story. Initially the National Old Trails Highway was to join with Trail to Sunset at Santa Fe, and follow the same path to Yuma and into California.
It was a group of businessmen and civic leaders, with backing from the railroad, from Kingman and Needles that swayed the 1913 National Old Trails Highway convention to chart the course for that highway across northern Arizona and the Mojave Desert to Barstow. And so the predecessor of Route 66 ran south from Albuquerque to Socorro and then through Springerville to Holbrook, hence the Madonna of the Trail statue in Springerville.
So, how did this highway, and subsequently Route 66 end up following a course that took it through Grants and Gallup? That is a mystery still be unraveled.
The evolution of the highway and the course it followed is but one of thousands of fascinating stories that together are the colorful tapestry that is Route 66. In my quest of discovery I have met, and discovered, a wide array of fascinating authors and their books. Here are a few titles I can highly recommend. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0738579424&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760334927&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr