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Perhaps the country's most iconic road, Route 66 carried many a traveler from Chicago to Los Angeles back in the day. Though much of the original road has been bypassed or uprooted, the mystique surrounding the road remains strong. The newly unveiled Route 66 mural in the Joplin, Missouri, City Hall acts as a backdrop for some of the many signs still along the 'Mother Road.'  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Boats on the Chicago River get a view of the Sears Tower as they pass under the Jackson Street Bridge. Illinois is where the Mother Road started winding its way west, and Jackson Street is downtown Chicago's portion of the original Route 66.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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St. Louis, Missouri's Museum of Transportation includes a section dedicated to Route 66. This diorama shows a '57 Chevy parked at a drive-in, which is showing, what else, 'The Spirit of St. Louis.'  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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There's a chance to meet plenty of characters along Route 66. The Elbow Inn in the Missouri Ozarks started as a Route 66 sandwich shop in 1933. Today it serves up brew and barbecue to travelers along the Mother Road like Shady Jack, a tattoo-parlor owner from St. Louis.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Route 66 runs right through historic downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. Street signs give directions to local sights and display the familiar Route 66 highway marker.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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The Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico, features 1950s favorites served by waitresses in '50s-style uniforms. Diners put cholesterol levels on the back-burner as they wolf down burgers, malts, and fries, plus daily blue plate specials like chicken and dumplings and a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Wigwam Motel #6 in Holbrook, Arizona, was built in 1950 and has been owned by the same family ever since. It was just the kind of kitsch that appealed to travelers on Route 66 in the '50s and today appeals to nostalgia buffs fascinated with the Mother Road.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Hackberry General Store is worth a quick detour. Located on a strip of Route 66 bypassed by the highway, the store sells just about anything a Route 66 aficionado could desire. It has been called 'the mother lode of Mother Road memorabilia' and sells Route 66 souvenirs that range from license plates to placemats.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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When Seligman, Arizona, was bypassed by the interstate, it looked like it might become just another Route 66 ghost town, but town barber Angel Delgadillo was having none of it. He was instrumental in starting the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona and turned part of his barber shop into the Route 66 Visitor Center.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Though technically Route 66 ends two blocks north at Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, California's historic pier is close enough to be considered the end of the Mother Road.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
 
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