Route 66 was originated in the 1920's as a combination of existing roads which were mostly unpaved. With its heavy use in the Depression of the 1930's, it became a road of both romance and despair as it was the route to California for both the more fortunate of that dreadful era and for those less fortunate that were fleeing the "dust bowl" of Oklahoma in search of a new life out west. The plight of these "Okies" was best described by John Steinbeck in THE GRAPES OF WRATH....."and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads, 66 is the mother road, the road of flight."
With the better economy in post World War II times, U. S. 66 became the busiest highway to the west and with that heavier traffic came various roadside businesses that were rather unique such as the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, the Route 66 diner in Albuquerque, and the Snocap Drive-in in Seligman, Arizona. These places still exist while many others have disappeared through the years after the demise of Route 66 in the mid 1980's.