I've suddenly decided to write a blog based on memorable and notable places along old Route 66, 'the road that built America'! To me, it was an overnight thing. I've had a strong interest in the highway for more than two decades, and I still have not traveled on most of it. A lot of the old highway does cross through my hometown, Edwardsville (IL), along with parts of the St. Louis region. So I thought I'd devote a page based on what is not worth missing.
To most people will be many confusing parts of researching the highway. This is because Route 66 changed over the years since its inception in 1925. You may see on the road signs underneath the 'Historic Route 66' what years it was designated that highway. I will note them under each post.
And in case you are wondering where the 'More Than Just a Road' title came in, I'll be glad to tell you a story. The city of Edwardsville hosts an annual Route 66 Summerfest every June. There's usually the average carnival (food, drinks, some rides, social gatherings, contests, games, etc.), plus there's the car cruise. Several members of certain classic car clubs bring out their old cars and drive them in a parade. I worked at Steak 'n Shake in Edwardsville for the longest time, up until three years ago. I don't remember what exact year it was, but it was sometime in the early 2000s. Every year at Steak 'n Shake the car cruise would end in the huge parking lot behind us, and most of the people would end up eating at S'nS. Needless to say, this was our busiest night of the year! Even though servers were guaranteed great tips, no one was looking forward to working that night. It's like an Irish pub on St. Patricks Day. Over the years though, as the city of Edwardsville added more places and restaurants, S'n S lost much business due to that. Anyway, me and a manager were in the back talking about what was to be expected on Route 66 night, which was coming up. I don't remember what made him say it, but the manager was like: 'It's just a road.' Me: 'Yeah, but it was the road that built America. It was the FIRST road!'. He just shook his head and walked away. I've never heard anybody call Route 66 that, and needless to say it kind of stuck with me.