iconic route 66 in arizona

U.S. Route 66, established on November 11, 1926, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System.  The legendary highway, also known as the “Main Street of America” or the “Mother Road,” originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California.

Route 66 was officially removed from the U.S. Highway system in 1985, after being bypassed by the Interstate Highway system. Portions of the road have been designated as “Historic Route 66,” and people today can drive on many of these portions.  Since it was decertified, it has taken on a mythic status, becoming a symbol of freedom and innocence, escape and loss; it has become emblematic of America’s last carefree times.


Desert Skies Mobile Home Park sign

In Arizona, over 200 miles of the original highway are still drivable.  The preservation movement began here, according to Arizona Kicks on Route 66 by Roger Naylor. When I drove from Flagstaff to Petrified Forest National Park, I made a number of stops to check out the Americana, nostalgic reminders of a bypassed America.

The 1924 steel truss Winona Bridge sits on a bit of abandoned roadway in Winona, AZ.


Winona Bridge

The Twin Arrows Trading Post is now an abandoned and derelict gathering of graffiti-marred buildings, but its Twin Arrows were restored in 2009.


Twin Arrows

Standin’ on the Corner Park in Winslow, AZ celebrates the Eagles song “Take It Easy,” which mentions a corner in Winslow. (See my previous post: 🎶 standing on a corner in winslow, arizona 🎶)


“It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me”

La Posada, built originally in 1930, was a high-class hotel on the Santa Fe Railway line.  It was restored in 1997. (See my previous post: la posada in winslow, arizona)


La Posada

Mesa Restaurant in Holbrook is still serving up good Italian food today. I like the old-fashioned sign.


Mesa Restaurant

Joe and Aggie’s Cafe boasts a map of the Mother Road on its side.  It was bought by Joe and Aggie Montano in 1945, two years after the eatery opened under a different name.


Joe & Aggies Cafe

Butterfield Stage Co. Steakhouse looks like it has seen better days.


Butterfield Stage Co. Steakhouse

I drove up and down the old Route 66, pulling into the small parking lots and driveways to take pictures of signs.  Some businesses are still operational, others appear to be defunct.


Roseway Inn


Street Eagle




Globetrotter Lodge


Video Games


Pow Wow Trading Post


Empty Pockets Saloon


Ryan’s Petrified Wood Co.


El Rancho Motel

The historical Holbrook saloon, The Corral, has iconic Route 66 wall murals on both sides.


Street art on The Corral


Street art on The Corral

Dinosaurs at the Rainbow Rock Shop are reminders that Petrified Forest National Park is nearby, with its fields of fossils.


Indian Rock Shop

The Horsehead Crossing Deli and Ice Cream Parlor must be named for Holbrook’s original name, Horsehead Crossing; the town was located where the Rio Pureco joined the Little Colorado.


Horsehead Crossing


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20 photos (fewer is better) and to write less than 350-400 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, December 19 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, December 20, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first and third (& 5th, if there is one) Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired!

Thanks to all of you who shared posts on the “photography” invitation. 🙂