Photos by David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder
) // #sponsored
// Words by Megan K. Stack (@megkstack76
) // We’re traveling the Mother Road all the way west from Chicago to Santa Monica this month, swinging through hardscrabble towns and booming cities; past tourist traps and national monuments and every imaginable roadside kitsch rendered in neon. Perhaps none of the passing icons can rival Route 66 itself, the pavement muse to John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac, retracing the journey of desperate Okies and Prohibition-era gangsters and the 1950s holiday makers of a newly mobile America. Nowadays the famed highway comes and goes in spurts, having been rerouted, eclipsed by the interstates and finally allowed to sink into disrepair. But the fascination with Route 66 endures. A new generation of tourists from around the planet still make the pilgrimage along the quirky, poignant and uniquely American roadway. From diners and drive-ins to thriving state parks and ordinary families, the road offers a rich portrait of what America has been, and what it may yet become. // Route 66 is the most celebrated stretch of highway in America. However, with more travelers opting for the interstate, it needs your help. Join @savingplaces
on our 2,400-mile journey across America’s most iconic roadway at natgeo.com/route-66.