By Joseph Zahnle
Today directional travel east to west or west to east in the U.S. is simply a drive on one of the Interstate highways. But older people might remember Route 66. You can’t be in a hurry if you would like to explore the old route. It is accessible along busy Interstate 40. Take every exit possible to see the signs and old buildings, and don’t forget your camera. Here are some highlights, starting in Oklahoma…
Lucille’s in Hydro, Oklahoma, was built in 1929. It was first named the Provine Station in 1934. The building has an over-the-drive design and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Conoco Gas Station and Café in Shamrock, Texas, is a distinctive tower building built in 1936. This is an excellent example of a gas station/diner of the 1930s. Listed as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1994.
Tee Pee Curios in Tucumcari, New Mexico, was built in the 1940s as a gas station and was doing well until Route 66 widened. Tee Pee Curios had to give up its gas pumps for the road. It is a very distinctive building design.
The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, is a unique set of teepee rooms. They were built in 1950. There are
15 teepees, each 14 feet in diameter and 32 feet high. They are still in use today, so if you have never stayed in a teepee, here’s your chance.
This portion of old Route 66 is a step back in time. The little town of Oatman, Arizona, originally called Vivian, came into being in 1902. The name was changed in 1909 to Oatman. Oatman was bypassed in 1953 by the new alignment of Route 66. Be careful because there are donkeys everywhere and they are protected.
Located in Needles, California, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant was built in the 1950s as Lynn’s Broiler. It became the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in 1978.
Enjoy your trip on Route 66!
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