From its inception, Route 66 mirrored the changing face of America. That trend continues today.
In recent years there has been a tsunami of interest in Route 66 that has yet to crest. If this can be sustained or nurtured, there is little doubt that this national treasure will thrive to its centennial and beyond.
Examples of the highways prominence in regard to tourism development, economic development in rural communities, and the perception that the old road is still the Main Street of America, an increasingly rare opportunity to experience the people, the places, and the vast landscapes in a raw unfiltered state are manifest in amazingly diverse locations.
Try a simple Google search of Route 66 and you will be amazed where the name surfaces, the blogs and websites about the old highway, and by the companies linking themselves to the road for a promotional edge.
On a more personal level, the popularity of the double six has provided me with previously unimaginable opportunities for some of my favorite things; adventure on the back roads, and sharing those adventures.
Next week I make a presentation before a Route 66 bicycle tour group about the highways history in western Arizona. In May, the date has not been set as of yet, I will make a presentation at the Dambar in Kingman, which will be followed with a presentation at Grand Canyon Caverns, the Route 66 festival in Holdbrook, and then at the festival in Germany.
Route 66 celebrates 90 in 2016, and it is at the crossroads. But from where I stand, the old road today may be more popular than ever, and its future seems quite bright indeed.