On What's Left of America's 'Mother Road,' Remnants of Road Trips and Migrations
An escape route during the Depression, Route 66 is now an emblem of self-discovery—if you can find it. This is the second of three parts.
It's possible to drive from Oklahoma City to California's Central Valley in two days. But that wasn't our plan.
In his classic novel The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck called Route 66 the "Mother Road" because it beckoned to desperate migrants fleeing the Dust Bowl as they moved west in search of jobs in the 1930s.
But in the years after the Depression, the highway took on mythic status as America's main street for adventure. It's the road Woody Guthrie sang about and probably had in mind when he once asked a friend in New York: "How do you get from here to the United States?"
Our family of three—my husband, Teo; our 16-year-old son, Miro; and me—intended