Day 16 on Route 66 — We made it!

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

(July 9, 2016) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — We headed down Santa Monica Boulevard Friday morning, took a slight jog and then drove onto the famous Santa Monica pier. Our 2,400-mile Route 66 trip was a success. We reached our destination on July 8 after starting in downtown Chicago on Thursday, June 23. A monumental drive that duplicated those of millions of motorists from 1927 until the early '70s.

Route 66 was conceived in 1926 to give motorists one unbroken hard-surfaced road from Chicago to Los Angeles. At the time there was no national road, no way to easily achieve this goal. Businesses sprang up along the route, motels flourished, little backwater towns were turned into thriving enterprises. Route 66 became a legend. In the '70s it was made obsolete by the new interstate highway system.

The MotorwayAmerica road trip crew of editors Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman and their wives, Luci and Trudye, planned the two-week trip booking vintage motels along the way including a  night's stay in an old travel trailer in Albuquerque and a night's lodging in a wigwam in Holbrook, Ariz.

An account of all 16 days can be found at Road Trips

The MotorwayAmerica road warriors — Jim and Luci Meachen and Ted and Trudye Biederman — arrive!

It was easy to make friends along the way. People who are operating the old motels, manning the Route 66 gift shops and showing travelers what it was like to stop at a 1930s service station were more then ready to talk, to relay their experiences on Route 66.

Traveling the old highway has become a summer vacation for many people — especially for people from countries such as England, Australia and France — who want to immerse themselves in the nostalgia of the Mother Road.

We did some tourist things along the way to the pier, including stopping at Grauman's Chinese Theater, which was teeming with tourists and look at the names of stars cemented into the sidewalk. Trudye ran into Yoda and Luci found the star of her favorite actor, Tom Selleck.

On the pier, just as happened a dozen times before on our adventure, we ran into a man operating a Route 66 stand who enjoyed spending time with us about all the historic stops on the route. He was well versed.

About noon Friday we took pictures in front of the end-of-the-road sign and declared our adventure a success. Ted and Trudye returned to their Los Angeles home and Jim and Luci will board a plane today for a non-stop flight from LAX to Raleigh-Durham.

We created a lot of memories and we encourage others to plan their own Route 66 adventure. We think it will be worth every minute you spend on the Mother Road.