My agent is shopping my Women’s Fiction road-trip story. Here’s the blurb:
Trouble with the Curve meets Peace, Love and Misunderstanding.
Third generation Jacqueline Oliver was born to be a hippie; she resisted. Through a series of odd events, she finds herself with the hippie grandmother she resents on a Route 66 road trip that could save her business and answer the questions from her damaged past. Or drive her crazy.
I’ve ridden Route 66 a bunch on my motorcycle, and I even got to ride part of the abandoned section on a bicycle! But still, I had to do research. I came up with some amazing facts I didn’t know:
- It was going to be named U.S. 60 but was changed to 66 as it did not run coast-to-coast.
- The moniker Mother Road was coined by John Steinbeck in his novel “Grapes of Wrath” (1939).
- Its original alignment went through Las Vegas and Santa Fe in New Mexico, but an irate governor re-routed it to bypass them in 1937 to punish politicians in Santa Fe.
- The segment across San Bernardino County in California from Needles to Upland with 244 miles (393 km) is the longest segment within one county of the whole route and is 20 mi. longer than the distance between London and Liverpool in the UK.
- The The expedition led by Lt. Edward Fitzgerald “Ned” Beale (1822 – 1893) to survey and build a wagon road from New Mexico to California, followed the 35th parallel, its course was later followed by Route 66. He used camels, imported from Tunis as pack animals. Though hardier than mules, the camels scared both horses and mules. The Army decided not to use camels in the future.
- The route is over 2,000 miles long: 2,448 miles in 1926
- Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Hollywood stars of the 1930s and 40s, spent their honeymoon in Oatman, Arizona. (I’ve seen that room!)
- Pixar‘s 2006 animated film Cars had the working title of Route 66,
- Wigwam Motels. There was a motel chain with rooms designed to resemble an Indian teepee. Two of these motels survive, one in San Bernardino, CA, the other in Holbrook, AZ.
- The very First ever McDonald’s opened on Route 66 in California: it was located on 14th and E Street in San Bernardino, CA. It opened on December 12, 1948. The McDonald brothers sold 15 cent hamburgers using a “Speedee Service System”. The place is now a museum.
- The World’s Largest Totem Pole is located in Foyil, OK.
- The World’s (second) Largest Rocking Chair is in Fanning, Missouri (I think someone’s trying too hard).
And finally, the photo I used for inspiration while I was writing.
Have you ever ridden the Mother Road? There’s an eerie throwback vibe to it that seems to echo the past. If you haven’t been on it, I highly recommend a road trip!