Five Roadies, three staff members, and one photographer: This is the group that will be trekking across Route 66 from July 2 to August 3, documenting their experiences, attending meet-ups, and bringing attention to an icon of American history. Get to know the team below:
Roadie (Week One)
When Michael is home in New York City, he loves walking around his neighborhood in Astoria, Queens. “It has some of the worst vinyl-sided additions to historic houses,” he says. “I like to judge them.” His favorite things to listen to on a road trip are “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding and RuPaul’s “What’s the Tee?” podcast.
Route 66 Spotify Playlist: Featuring Sufjan Stevens, Depeche Mode, Carole King, and The Mamas & the Papas
Roadie (Week Two)
Lina’s favorite album to jam out to on a road trip is the BeeGee’s Greatest Hits. She’s also a fan of Les Miserables, and tends to sing through the soundtrack after a long day of driving. Lina is most excited to explore Oklahoma this summer, because it’s one of the most geographically diverse states in the country. She also can’t wait to eat all the fried pie.
Route 66 Spotify Playlist: Featuring the Cast of "Grease," A Tribe Called Quest, Shania Twain, and The Rolling Stones
Roadie (Week Three)
Morgan is most excited to explore the deserts of the Southwest United States during the Route 66 Road Trip. Her geographic perspective of the world growing up was shaped by winding, tree-lined East Coast roads, and it’s hard for her to imagine a horizon that large. She always carries a pocket notebook in her bag, based on some advice from a former mentor.
Route 66 Spotify Playlist: Featuring Maggie Rogers, Lady Gaga, HAIM, and The Indigo Girls
Roadie (Week Four)
Matthew, originally from Collinsville, Illinois—right off Route 66 and home of the World's Largest Catsup Bottle—is most excited to explore New Mexico this summer, because "it is full of mystery." After hours of driving, he likes to stop in a shop, meet some locals, and sip a refreshing beverage.
Route 66 Spotify Playlist: Featuring Basia Bulat, Wilco, DeVocthKa, and Blind Pilot
Roadie (Week Five)
Nicole hails from Washington, D.C., by way of Puerto Rico. Her favorite activities off the road are crafting, reading, and hanging out with her cat (Miko). Her favorite road trip snacks are Hot Cheetos and Taquis, and she has something to read and something to write on at all times.
Route 66 Spotify Playlist: Featuring Cake, Paul Simon, Jimmy Cliff, and Matisyahu
Photographer (Weeks One to Five)
In addition to his camera, David always takes a jump rope with him on his road trips: It’s easy to pack, and he can get some exercise in at any time. After hours of being on the road, he likes to play songs from when he was a kid, a la the ‘90s, 2000s, and—of course—some classic Disney tunes. David is excited to see all of Route 66, because he’s always been fascinated with photography projects that document people across the United States.
Jason Lloyd Clement
Staff (Week One)
When Jason is at home in Buffalo, New York, he likes to compulsively Instagram his dog, @AstrotheWonderMutt. His go-to road trip snacks are Funyuns and La Croix (but only the citrus flavors), and he prefers being the passenger to the driver on a road trip so he can control the music more easily. He can’t wait to explore the Illinois portion of Route 66—who doesn’t love a giant Paul Bunyan hot dog statue and the birthplace of the corn dog?
Route 66 Spotify Playlist: Featuring Cher, DEVOTED, Madonna, and Dixie Chicks
Staff (Weeks Three and Five)
Grant is from the Black Dirt Capital of the World (Conrad, Iowa), but he now spends his time in Denver, Colorado. According to Grant, “If I had to pick one summer jam, it’s got to be the new Janelle Monae album.” His early mornings on road trips are fueled by gas station coffee (as black as possible) and cheap glazed donuts (as large as possible).
Staff (Weeks Two and Four)
Diana is most excited to explore all 12 miles of Kansas. Since the stretch is so short, the team will have all the time in the world to check out the nearby towns and roadside attractions. She loves the National Trust’s #ThisPlaceMatters playlist for long road trips, and she always carries her harmonica with her—it’s great for improvising songs on the road.