Route 66: Let It Entertain You
This latest guest post takes in part of the US I have yet to visit — Route 66!
Vacationers may take flights to San Francisco to see its Golden Gate Bridge or head for Washington D.C to see the White House, but there are few things as American as Route 66. Maybe Ted Nugent, but that’s a bit of a stretch. What started as one of the original highways within the US highway system, it’s now a symbol of Americana, with drinks and clothes all proudly bearing its name. If you’re looking for an efficient way to travel, look somewhere else. Instead, here are five sites that you’ll see on a Route 66 road trip. They’re a combination of the best, the coolest, and the strangest!
Back in 1974, in Amarillo, Texas, Stanley Marsh decided to bury 10 vintage Cadillacs nose deep in concrete. Today these cars draw thousands of visitors each year: where people use the cars as their personal canvas and spray paint to their hearts content, it’s one of the few places where graffiti is not only welcome. In fact, it’s encouraged. All the cool kids are doing it!
The Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma
Doing what it says on the tin, it’s a giant blue whale with a slide coming out of its side. It’s kitschy and wholeheartedly “Route 66.” The whale was built by Hugh Davis in the 70s as a surprise gift for his wife (who had a thing for whales). It fell into disrepair after Davis and his wife passed away, but today it has been restored to its full glory, even including a picnic area next to the whale.
Wigwam Village Motel #6
When road tripping, you have to sleep sometime, and what better place to sleep than in a wigwam? For the uninitiated, a wigwam is essentially a large tent, and in Holbrook, Arizona you have your choice of 15 of them. Vintage automobiles parked in the lot and flashing, half working neon signs complete the atmosphere.
Totem Pole Park
One day while enjoying the Oklahoma air, Ed Galloway decided he wanted to build a bunch of totem poles, and so he did. Today, the Totem Pole Park in Rogers County houses a wide range of colorful totem poles. It even has the world’s largest concrete totem, which sits on the back of a giant turtle (as they do!).
The Tower Station
Instead of having an architect design his gas station, John Nunn decided he’d be better off doing it himself. So he etched a crude model into the dirt, and voilà, the Tower Station in Shamrock, Texas. A view up close reaffirms Mr. Nunn’s architectural ability, and the world of architecture is a better place because of this weird, strange building.
So there you have it, some of the strangest sights on route 66. There are plenty of tourist traps and random things to do along the way, but the quirky sights listed here are the things that make the route so quintessentially Route 66. Now get in your car and hit that open road!
Images by Tydence, Doug Wertman, and KB35, used under Creative Commons license.