Route 66 in the News
Book Review: Route 66 Adventure Handbook
"Route 66 Adventure Handbook" by Drew Knowles ($19.95, Santa Monica Press, 431 pages)
A certain nostalgic mystique is attached to Route 66. The most famous road in America inspired a hit song and a television show. A 40-foot stretch of asphalt from the route is featured in the "America on the Move" exhibit at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The highway was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985, but even today, it remains one of America's most traveled routes. And anyone who wants to turn Route 66 into the next great road trip should bring along the fourth edition of Drew Knowles' extensive and downright fun guide.
Previous editions already proved Knowles was the resident expert on Route 66. This latest update goes even further. He has included maps to highlight how the route passes through hundreds of cities. It's chock-full of more photos and Knowles has scoped out even more attractions.
By pictures alone, it's possible to build an itinerary of must-see stops along the route: the row of half-buried cars at the famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; a giant oil worker towering over the Tulsa Fairgrounds in Oklahoma; and the world's largest ketchup bottle in Collinsville, Ill., to name just a few.
Quirky side trips -- like checking out that ketchup bottle -- are what make Route 66 still popular today and are what set Knowles' guidebook apart from others. He seems to know where to find all of the offbeat attractions, mixes them up with standard museum fare and details the best motels and cafes for hunkering down as roadsters travel from Illinois to California.
Trivia buffs will love this book, too. It's overflowing with little morsels of facts, such as how the courthouse in Beckham County (Oklahoma) had a cameo in "The Grapes of Wrath" film.
Extras include "Further Afield" sections highlighting trails, roads and attractions not far from Route 66.
~Ann Tatko-Peterson, Contra Costa Times
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