About the Series, Other Works in the Series, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xiv

read more

Plainsword: A Finn Gets His Kickson Route 66

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xviii

We learn from the following narrative that you do not have to be an American to buy into our grand myth of The Road. Woody Guthrie, The Grapes of Wrath, On the Road, and the rest of American road lore invite anyone so inclined into the suite of fantasies (freedom, adventure, self-creation, landscape, history, local...

Prologue: Before the Trip

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xix-xx

read more

My Connection with the Road

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xxi-2

I must have first heard about Route 66 through the song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” The song is older than I am, so it has always been there for me. I have always been able to recognize the song but have no recollection of when I first heard it. My younger brother claims that I can recognize only two songs: one is “Route...

read more

1. The Mother Road

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-37

It is the most famous highway in the world. The American road. Route 66.
Traveling on it, the Okies tried to leave behind the Depression and the Dust Bowl. With its name on his lips, Woody Guthrie sang people through the Southwest to California. Bobby Troup’s song gave it a place in musical history. And on it, Carl Bark’s Donald Duck is...

read more

2. Land of Pigs and Corn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 38-63

After all this introduction, finally, let’s put the pedal to the metal and hit the road itself, and be, as John Steinbeck wrote, “on 66—the great western road,” and, like the Joad family in his The Grapes of Wrath, “we stay on this road right straight through.”
Route 66 starts right here by the art museum. The sign says so. Just on the corner, the fine Irish-type Bennigan’s provides food before the

read more

3. Land of the Muddy River

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-83

Michael Wallis, the writer that really began the new boom of Route 66 books wrote of St. Louis that “after the Louisiana Purchase extended the boundary of the nation to the Rocky Mountains in 1803, all travel to new frontiers began in the city. It was considered a major destination. St. Louis was an open door to the virgin...

read more

4. Land of the South Wind

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 84-88

Kansas is named after the Kansa Indians living in the area. The word means “people of the south wind.” Indeed, there is a southern wind here that has forced the trees to lean north both in Kansas and Oklahoma.
The Old Highway US-66 made a Kansas bend only some thirteen miles long. It ran, and still does with the same number, from Joplin to...

read more

5. The Home for All Indians

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 89-115

In Oklahoma Route 66 returns home. Cyrus Avery created it here; Lon Scott and Andy Payne made it famous; Jack Cuthbert, Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie traveled it to introduce Oklahoma to the world.
If Cy Avery is considered the founding father of Route 66, Jack Cuthbert, a barber from Clinton, Oklahoma, must be the godfather. He...

read more

6. The Panhandle

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 116-128

When there is no river to cross or any other clear natural borderline, moving from one state to the next often goes unnoticed. Who would bother to register each sign by the roadside—if they even exist in the first place? The border between Oklahoma and Texas can nevertheless be determined, if not by the inch, at least approximately. A natural...

read more

7. Land of the Zia Sun

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 129-161

According to Tom Snyder, “New Mexico is descended from the sky.” His guidebook for the Road claims that “other places along old Route 66 have been formed from rivers, mountains, and plains. Other states have been forged by iron-willed men meeting in urgency behind closed doors to make a truce, a compromise, a set of defensible boundaries. But...

read more

8. The Arid Zone

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 162-213

After New Mexico follows Arizona. Once again John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath gives a proper description of Route 66 in the new state: “They crawled up the slopes, and the low twisted trees covered the slopes. Holbrook, Joseph City, Winslow. And then the tall trees began, and the cars spouted steam and labored up the slopes. And there...

read more

9. Through Purgatory to Paradise

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 214-242

Somewhere far north, where the journey began, it rained. It was cold. Fields lay on both sides of the Road, and woods as well. Then the trees disappeared, and nothing but the open prairie lay ahead. And to the sides. And behind. For a long time 66 was truly the prairie road. Then across the Staked Plains and up the hills through large stands of pine...

read more

For the Road—And Before

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 243-254

In addition to the interviews and discussions on the Road, and in addition to the fieldwork I have done along and in the vicinity of Route 66, I have also leaned heavily on the help of other travelers, researchers, storytellers, musicians, and artists while writing this book. The writings, songs, and films they have produced have been extra food for me while making this trip in writing. I have listed below some the most important...

The Remembrance

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 255-258

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 259-268

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 269-269

McDonnell Douglass Chair of American Studies at the University of Helsinki, Markku Henriksson has lectured on Route 66 in Estonia, Sweden, and Canada, as well as Finland and the United States.