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Rockford (CHI)

Samana Island
Relax on one of the most beautiful beaches on Samaná Island
Central America and the Caribbean · Dominican Republic
Jan 11, 2016 2 min read
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Kilometers of freedom on Route 66

How do you get at least a vague concept about the legendary American road that the rebels ride? Imagine a 200-kilometer route from Prague to Brno. Imagine a D1 completely empty without columns and speed limits. Step on it and run it in your mind twenty times. Roughly, the 4000-kilometer-long Route 66 could operate. Except that it runs across America, it extends to eight states, several Native American reservations, and three time zones.

Route 66 starts in Santa Monica, California and ends in Grant Park, Chicago, near the fountain you know from Married of Commitments. Leads through the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois. It was established in the 1920s and served as an important artery for a long time. Over time, however, its newly built network of more modern interstate highways took over, and in 1985 it was officially removed from the US highway map.

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Nostalgia is not a dead end

Is it okay to delete such a piece of history? Americans don’t think so. In the same year it was declared a historical monument and since then bikers, enthusiasts and historians have dusted and fliked it again. They preserve abandoned cafes and hotels, historic signs, road signs and old advertising signs to preserve the free spirit of Route 66 for generations to come. In 1999, for example, President Clinton signed the Conservation Act 66, which subsidized the restoration of historic elements on the route through grants.

Search, escape, find new selves

In Steinbeck’s novel Grapes of Wrath, Route 66 symbolizes a new start for endless cords of cars traveling to find new jobs and homes in times of economic crisis. “Sixty-six is the path of people on the run - the path of refugees from dust and vanishing land, to the thunder of tractors and vanishing property”

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Flymeto - Kilometers of freedom on Route 66
Flymeto - Kilometers of freedom on Route 66
Flymeto - Kilometers of freedom on Route 66
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Get Your Kicks on Route 66

And other heroes fleeing her to set new epochs. In the 1950s, Nabokov’s Humbert ran with her under age Lolita. In the 1960s, on the way along Kerouac’s model, beatlers found themselves running from reality for methamphetamine trips to their own heads. In the 1970s, the road was filled with lovers of powerful Harley Davidson motorcycles, inspired by Carefree Ride. After all, this enchantment never ceased. There is meditation in the ride - let yourself be carried away by the scent of hot asphalt, gasoline and wide horizons, for which nothing makes you rush.

A road that literally sings under the wheels

Play the anthem of the same name, Route 66 by Bobby Troup, recorded by over 100 artists, including the Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry. If you don’t have a car radio - never mind, the road plays alone. In one section of New Mexico there is a multi-meter strip with grooves of different depths and distances along the right edge. If you are driving at the right speed, 72 km / h, the surface of the wheels wins the tones of America the Beatiful on the road. If you go faster, the music sounds fake - those who have musical ears could motivate them to keep speed.

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