Bypassed by the high-speed Interstate highways that were begun in the 1950s, Route 66 was officially decommissioned in 1984. But its mystique is as strong as it ever was. Our trip began at the oldest continually operating hotel in North America – the Palmer House – which first welcomed guests in 1872. From there it was just a block to the official starting point of Route 66 on Adams St, a stone's throw from the shores of Lake Michigan.
Come along for the ride with us, in pictures.
Stretching 3,945-km from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, the legendary old road passed through the heartland of this huge country. First conceived in the early 1920s and paved by 1926, Route 66 earned the title of “Main Street of America” because it wound through small towns across the Midwest and southwest.
Nissan Canada thought a cool way to get some exposure for its new 2015 Altima and Rogue models, and have some fun at the same time, would be for a small group of journalists to drive the cars the full length of the “Mother Road” of America – or at least what's left of it.
Now designated it is designated as Historic Route 66 and although no longer a main route or even continuous, it remains popular as a tourism draw, particularly among the hundreds of small towns that were bypassed by newer multilane roads.
The opportunity to experience the kitsch, wonderful old diners, motels, buildings and giant statues that became part of the folklore of much of America was too good for us to turn down.
Souvenirs are the currency of the Mother Road
Local fixins are as plentiful as souvenirs along the Mother Road.
One of scores of beautifully restored buildings that reflect what used to be.
New Altima on the old Mother Road
The Mississippi River - a.k.a. 'Old Muddy' to the locals.
Retro is the norm on the Mother Road
Retractable-roof 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner looked right at home on the Mother Road.
Yet another old gas station.
Route 66 - We are here!
Like the Mother Road itself, this 1950 Chevrolet has seen better days.
Altima and Rogue on the Mother Road.
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