Motel Pool locations 6: Route 66

I’ve been posting about some of the locations featured in my new novel, Motel. Pool. Today is the sixth and final stop: Route 66.

I’m not generally a huge fan of nostalgia, although I did own a ’55 Ford pickup (fire engine red!) until my second kid was born. And I have a special fondness for Route 66, maybe because it began in my birthdplace–Chicago–and ended in California, where I live now. Most of it’s gone now, replaced by interstate highways.

When Route 66 died, it left ghosts. Stretches of cracked, weed-choked asphalt. Abandoned gas stations, restaurants, and tourist traps. Entire towns gone to ruin.

Last year we took a family road trip to the Grand Canyon. Along the way we passed a former piece of Route 66. You could see where a motel and gas station had once stood, but all that was left were faded signs. I’m a little bit fascinated with abandoned places and the way they seem to reach out and promise you stories. This one reached out and gave me Jack Dayton, Tag Manning, and Motel. Pool. So, you know, I got my kicks.

I hope you do too.

4 thoughts on “Motel Pool locations 6: Route 66”

  1. Most of Route 66 is NOT gone now. You can remain on most all of the old road from Chicago to LA. Get a good guide book.

    1. I’ve only travelled some of the parts in Arizona and California. In some places, the old route has been absorbed by freeways and in some–like in LA–it remains as part of city streets. In other places the new freeways parallel the old route, but don’t quite follow it. Sometimes you can see the old road running very close to the highway. So yes, you can still drive on much of it, but from what I’ve seen doing so takes some planning. And a lot of the businesses along the riginal route died–I’ve seen some of those myself.

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