Gift ideas and suggestions for building a Route 66 reference library –
As we are drawing close to the Christmas holiday it seemed an excellent time to discuss gift ideas or hints that you can give friends and family. For the Route 66 enthusiast, nothing short of a road trip itself beats a well stocked library.
First on the list should be EZ 66 Guide For Travelers by Jerry McClanhan. Without a doubt this is THE essential guide for anyone planning a trip on the old double six. We never leave on a trip without our copy.
This is a bit of shameless self promotion but as a companion to the EZ Guide, I suggest Travel Route 66. This is a guide book to Route 66 with suggestions for short detours to enhance the trip, a bit of history, and a few of our favorite stops along the way.
My next suggestion is the latest book from Joe Sonderman. Joe draws from his extensive collection of historic images and post cards, and with fascinating, crisp text and photographs provided by folks like my dearest friend and I, and Jeroen and Maggie Boersma of the Netherlands, he tells the story of Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisement.
I also suggest that you consider the series of regional Route 66 books Joe has written for Arcadia Press. For the most part these are historic photo essays on topics such as Route 66 in Arizona and Route 66 in Texas. The photos themselves are well worth the purchase price but lengthy, informative captions present a multi dimensional portrait of Route 66 evolution.
Next I would add Route 66 Adventure Handbook by Drew Knowles. This book will inspire a trip or two, and enhance a weekend adventure on Route 66 or a grand odyssey from Chicago to Santa Monica.
For an interesting look into Route 66 at the time of decommissioning when the highways future was uncertain, I suggest Route 66: The Highway and Its People by Susan Croce Kelly and Quinta Scott. Published in 1988, this book, as with the highway itself, is about the people. They are at the core of what makes a Route 66 experience just as they have for nine decades.
Another great little time capsule to add to the library would be A Guide Book to Highway 66 by Jack Rittenhouse. First published in 1946, and reprinted in 1989, this is more time capsule than book.
The little pocket guide gives a mile post by mile post reference to service stations, garages, attractions, hotel and motels, and trading posts along Route 66. There are also notes about history and points of interest in communities, and other details that make this book a portal in the world of Route 66 in the immediate post war years.
Not exactly Route 66 related, By Motor to The Golden Gate by Emily Post is another interesting time capsule and a most fascinating read. First published in 1916, the book chronicles Post’s adventures to California from New York. In the southwest her journey followed the National Old Trails Highway, predecessor to Route 66.
Watch for part two of this guide latter this week –