Myths about Route 66: #5 Route 66 is boring
When I talked about Route 66 to people from different European countries, I was shocked by the myths and inaccurate information I learned during the conversations. Route 66 needs to be discussed much more and so I have decided to explain and even debunk some of these myths. Here is myth #5.
Why is Route 66 still attractive when it was officially closed more than 30 years ago? There are several reasons. In the US, private property is protected so effectively that a large number of original buildings and facilities have remained along Route 66 to this day. Some have been preserved or restored to their original state, others have gradually deteriorated and been absorbed by nature. It is, however, unusually exciting to travel on a route where each step is encompassed by historic sites in different stages of decay.
Route 66 passes through eight US states, with three time zones, and nature changing before one’s eyes every few kilometers. Illinois and Missouri are similar to the Czech Republic, with mainly fields and dense forests. The landscape gradually changes in Oklahoma, with an increasing number of endless pastures in the prairie. Texas and New Mexico are full of volcanic formations and the plains are replaced by hills concealing the Grand Canyon, one of the most beautiful, deepest and most extensive tectonic faults in the world. You will reach the desert in Arizona, where sand is removed from roads using shovels like we do with snow. And you end up at the PacificOcean. This is something we don’t have in Europe. And regardless of how much you love Europe, the USA is still worth a visit.
And the last reason why you’ll want to see Route 66, only to become enchanted by an insufferable lust for return, are the people. Pleasant people at every step, always in a good mood. You’ll make new friends. You’ll have a nice chat. Not only at the road stops, but also while getting gas at the stations. You can enjoy this without knowing any English. The real ones recognize each other at first glance and get along without words. People on Route 66 are pleasantly relaxed, they don’t intrude, and can talk for hours about living on the road. With and without beer. And during these conversations you realize that you had a lot of unnecessary prejudice against the USA. And that your experiences on Route 66 is the real USA.