photo by: David Kafer

March 19, 2019

Photo Essay: Waiting for Route 66

Somewhere on your trip on Route 66, you'll notice what's beyond that endless line of the horizon and the yellow-striped tarmac guiding you to your destination. Route 66 is a tribute to the American dream of traveling from sea to shining sea. It's no coincidence that the road trip is a staple of American pop culture. We like to imagine ourselves as pioneers.

photo by: David Kafer

Before taking its current name, Galena, Kansas, went through three different names: Cornwall, Short Creek, and Bonanza.

But sometimes all that pioneering leaves traces behind. Deserted buildings and empty lots. Places that once marked the height of commerce and industry that are now just more creaking structures beside the path outward and onward.

These are the children of Route 66 who have been left behind or forgotten along with the Mother Road.

By: Zubin Hill, Alex Green

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The Mother Road turns 100 years old in 2026—share your Route 66 story to celebrate the Centennial. Together, we’ll tell the full American story of Route 66!

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