Saying that Route 66 is legendary would be akin to saying Needles is warm in the summer. Surprisingly, however, this legendary status just doesn’t seem to translate into American as well as it does in Dutch, German, Australian, English, French, Polish, Chinese, Russian, Czech, or even Norwegian.
When traveling the old double six today you will find Americans searching for a neon past, for links to what is perceived as simpler times, for sepia toned dreams, and for the pure joy that is only found with a road trip. Meanwhile, especially during the busy season between April and October,the road is so dominated by visitors from foreign shores it is easy to wonder who is keeping the lights on back in Holland, or German, or Australia.
If I were to hazard a guess it would be that our foreign friends and guests get it. They understand what an increasingly rare gem this old road is.
While we often take the open spaces of the desert southwest for granted, they see it with awe and reverence. Where most Americans see an abandoned station or motel as the price paid for progress, our friends see it as another tangible link to the past that is about to be lost forever.
Regardless of your level of passion for this old road, this year fire up that enthusiasm by sharing in the infectious enthusiasm of our foreign visitors over dinner in a roadside cafe, or around the fire at the Blue Swallow Motel. And if you are one of those folks who just doesn’t understand what the fuss is about, tag along with a merry band of Aussies on an adventure across the Texas Panhandle, grab a seat at the Midpoint Cafe about noon anytime this summer, or show up in Kingman on the first weekend in May during the annual Route 66 fun run.