Bypass The Story Of A Road Essay

Brannigan Park to Parks, AZ: This segment is actively used as a local access road.  Driving west from Flagstaff on I-40, take exit 185.  Turn right and then left onto the Frontage Rd.  Head west for 2.2 miles.  The Frontage Rd. closely parallels I-40 until it heads northwest toward Brannigan Park.  At 2.5 miles, you will enter the Kaibab National Forest where you will find a Route 66 roadside interpretive sign giving history of the road.  The sign has a good map of Route 66 alignments in the area.  The National Register district begins at Brannigan Park (3.9 miles) where the pavement ends, and the road becomes gravel.  Continue on this alignment toward Parks.

Town of Parks, AZ:  Follow the instructions above to the dirt segment at Brannigan Park. About a half-mile after pavement resumes, there will be another Forest Service pull out where you can park your car. The abandoned 1931 section is only accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists. A roadside interpretive sign marks the entrance to this abandoned segment. To reach the 1921 segment,   drive west from the Parks Store.  On your right, a few feet away in the trees, is the 1921 road segment running along beside you on a raised bed.

Williams, AZ:  Heading westbound on I-40, take exit 165 and turn left under the interstate to follow BL 40 into Williams. Follow Railroad Ave. one-way through Williams (double back to drive both one-way streets). Continue out to I-40 exit 161.

Pine Springs, AZ:  The roadbed is visible from I-40. Driving west from Williams, as you descend the hill toward Ash Fork, you will see to your left the roadbed hugging the edge of the hillside.

Ash Fork, AZ: The two Ash Fork Hill road segments are cut in half by I-40, just west of Pine Springs.

For additional information on driving Route 66 in Arizona, visit these websites: Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, Arizona Scenic Roads, and Arizona Route 66 National Scenic Byway.

It’s Road Trip Month on and we’re celebrating with a trip back through our archives, revisiting some of our favorite road trip-themed essays from years past. These stories take us all the way from the rocky coasts of western Oregon to the rolling hills and valleys of France’s Route Nationale 7.

As any good traveler knows, the journey is just as important as the destination, and nowhere is that more apparent than when traveling by car. Windows down, miles disappearing beneath the wheels, the open road is romanticized for a reason; unfamiliar locales open up like an oyster to the observant explorer outfitted with an automobile.

And if the cities and towns are the oysters, then the pearls are the precious culinary checkpoints along the way. These savvy road trippers savor every crab shack, patisserie, and pancake house they roll past, leaving no roadside stand unturned.

On Route 66, a couple discovers establishments drenched in old-school Americana, and then in Oregon, soaks up the sun-drenched strip of iconic Highway 101. Virginia’s Highway 13 takes them up the coast to the state’s often-overlooked Atlantic peninsula and then to Florida’s “Forgotten Coast,” skirting the panhandle along Route 98 and offering a bountiful harvest of Gulf seafood. And in France, an expat revisits the summer road trips of her youth by driving La Route des Vacances (The Holiday Route) all the way from Paris to southern Menton.

Wherever your journey leads, there’s a story to be told along the way, so pack up these essays and go hit the open road!

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