Midpoint: A wide stripe is painted across Route 66 in Adrian, Texas marking the midpoint of Historic Route 66, half way between Chicago and Los Angeles. In addition to the Midpoint stripe, a Midpoint sign allows travelers to take photos of their traveling group. The Route 66 shield also is painted on the pavement in both east and west traffic lanes. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Midpoint Cafe: Directly across the road from the Midpoint sign is the Midpoint Cafe and Gift Shop. The restaurant is a popular stop to eat lunch or just relax with a drink or malt. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
By GARY WARREN
Formerly of Los Alamos
Route 66, The Main Street of America, The Mother Road, Will Rogers Highway; however you refer to this iconic highway it is what the American road trip and Americana is all about.
This historic highway, opened in 1926, was America’s route to the west beginning in Chicago, Ill. and crossing through eight states on its way to Los Angeles, Calif. The route was realigned over the years and eventually replaced by the Interstate Highway System before being decommissioned in 1985.
Today, we have Historic Route 66, which travels many miles of the original route. There are stretches where the road no longer exists, or Interstate was built over the old road but the road that remains is a very popular route for the American road trip.
A tiny town just a few miles east of the New Mexico border is the official midpoint of Historic Route 66, Adrian, Texas, population 166. Every day of the week travelers stop to take photos at the midpoint sign, and it is not unusual to see people pose in the middle of the road for a photo as well.
After taking the obligatory photos at the midpoint sign and highway markings, many travelers slip into the Midpoint Cafe where burgers and other diner food are served along with homemade pies. The interior is decorated with Route 66 and other Americana memorabilia and there is a gift shop area, which sells many Route 66 souvenirs and clothing items.
This celebrated highway is full of interesting towns, businesses, architecture, and people. While not the main street that it once was, Historic Route 66 is still a fascinating and entertaining road to travel. The Disney movie Cars was based on Route 66 and many Route 66 locations and sites are recognizable in the movie.
Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country and he shares his photographs, which appear in the ‘Posts from the Road’ series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Route 66 Decor: The interior of the Midpoint Cafe is decorated with Route 66 memorabilia and other Americana items from mid-century America. Also shown in this corner display is a 1953 AMI Jukebox. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Americana: Along with the Route 66 decor is the Americana decor, items signifying travel in America especially travel in the 1940s and 50s when Route 66 was at its peak popularity and travel as well as items such as Coke products, which were used in that time period. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
57 Ford: A retired 1957 Ford sits to the side of the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas. The rusty finish and windows of the car have been repainted to honor Route 66 and the sites along the road. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Sign Up: On the opposite side of the Midpoint Cafe from the 57 Ford is this red pickup. Travelers have signed their names on about every exterior surface of the truck. For a town of just over 100 residents, Adrian, Texas has made the Midpoint of Historic Route 66 a popular stopping point when traveling this iconic roadway. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com