Painted Cliffs Arizona
At the border of Arizona and New Mexico (Interstate 40, Arizona exit 359) the Painted Cliff’s Welcome Center awaits the Route 66 traveler. Layers of Triassic sedimentary rock along with Jurassic and Cretaceous formations provide splendid views from the Welcome Center’s picnic grounds. Nearby kitsch tourist shops offer all manner of Native American trade goods as well as snacks and fun.
Many years before automobiles and paved highways, Thomas Jefferson envisioned a grid system of roads across the United States. In 1925, a governmental board laid out interstate routes loosely based on the grid system. East-West routes were even numbered while North-South routes were given odd numbers.
A need for a route from Chicago to Los Angeles was apparent. The intended route was to head south from Chicago to Springfield, Illinois and then directly west to California. Cyrus Avery, an influential member of the committee, convinced the other committee members that a more southerly route through the flatlands of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and into California would be cheaper to build and also have the advantage of being an “all weather” road by avoiding the high Rocky Mountains which would have been crossed by the more northerly path. According to the grid pattern being followed, 62, 64 and 66 were available designations. Kansas used 62 for a secondary road so the board submitted its plan for Route 66. Approval came in 1926 and the rest is history.
Painted Desert. Petrified wood represents trees once alive over 200 million years ago. Petrified Fore...
July in the Painted Desert, part of the Petrified Forest National Park. This is at the Tawa Point sto...
Kachina point, Painted Desert. The badlands are composed of water-deposited layers of volcanic ash, i...
Kachina point at sunrise.Painted Desert Inn
Chindle point, sunset.
A 1932 Studebaker exhibit near the Historic Route 66 roadbed. The car was donated to the National Par...
Fallen stones - on top
Fallen stones, grey temple
Fallen stones, gold temple
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.