Morgan Vickers stands on top of a half-buried Cadillac at Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas, to take a Polaroid photo.

photo by: Cadillac Ranch by Ant Farm (Lord, Michels and Marquez) copyright 1974. David Kafer

July 27, 2018

Route 66 Communities: Documenting Tight-Knit Connections in Disparate Places

Driving along Route 66 feels simple. It’s a mindless act: rubber tires against hot asphalt, gravel, and dirt roads; roadside rest stops filled with milkshakes and french fries; photo stops at historic and aging places. As a woman in Albuquerque told me, “Route 66 really reminds you to slow down and enjoy life."

Everything on Route 66 simultaneously feels familiar and foreign. Despite the fact that the small towns of Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico are thousands of miles from my hometowns of Massachusetts and North Carolina, each main street felt identical to my own. Yet, as we drove through an evolving landscape—where the green hills unfolded to expose golden plains, and the golden plains thinned out to reveal shrub-freckled copper clay—I found myself staring out the car window, wanting to capture a snapshot of it all. And, indeed, I spent every stop along the way snapping photos of novel landscapes and comfortable small towns using my Polaroid Snap Touch instant digital camera.

To read the rest of this story, head to our Route 66 road trip partners at Polaroid. Want to help us designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail? Sign the petition.

Note: Polaroid is a sponsor of the National Trust's Route 66 National Treasure campaign.

By: Morgan Vickers

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