The road is a compilation of three other iconic trade routes.
1. The National road which went from the Potomac river to the Ohio river and was the very first actual road “constructed” by the US Government.
2. The Santa Fe Trail which went from St. Louis Missouri to Santa Fe New Mexico.
3. The Old Spanish Trail which went from Santa Fe to Los Angeles
The picture on the right side of your screen is the cover of the Auto Club of Americas 1926 edition “guidebook” to the roadways of America, and the three trails mentioned above became Old Trails Road, which in large part became Route 66, but sections of it still exist and the goal for our expedition is to locate and explore these remaining fragments of the original “Old Trails Road”.
As we travel, we’re going to snoop around looking for fun stuff, and one item of interest will be the original “Madonna’s of the trail” which were built and located in each state that the road traveled through. The Madonna’s are like the “patron Saints” of the old roads which date all the way back to the pioneers who traveled the same routes in their covered wagons. A Madonna of the Trail is a pinkish, stony-faced pioneer Mom, in long dress and bonnet, strutting westward with a rifle on one arm, an infant on the other. The Madonna’s were a project of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. They were erected in 1928-29, strung along the National Old Trails Road, now mostly US 40. The sites were chosen with the help of the president of the National Old Trails Road Association, a then-little-known Missouri Justice of the Peace named Harry S Truman.
The old trail, and route 66 are littered with cool and funky relics of the past. We’ll stop at many of them (if only to take a picture) and move on and perhaps daydream a bit about the history and meaning of the highway that opened America to the automobile (or motorbike).
This is a camping trip – beginning at RawHyde. Bring everything you need to be comfortable camping and a luggage truck will accompany us on the trip. You won’t have to carry it while you ride.