(Los Angeles, May 9, 2005) — The Automobile Club of Southern California has created a special web page so members and the public can follow an Auto Club travel writer and Auto Club photographer on an 80th anniversary of Route 66 map research trip that will take 22 days to complete.
The route's unique roadside eateries, historic motels, trading posts, ghost towns, scenic natural wonders and offbeat attractions will be served up in the Auto Club's Route 66 GreatestHits? Map to be published next year to pay tribute to the 80th anniversary of America's "Mother Road."
The page, www.aaa-calif.com/travel/promo/campaign/route66.asp, describes the Auto Club's historic contribution to the creation of the route, biographies about Route 66 travel writer Dave Brackney of Whittier and Auto Club staff photographer Todd Masinter of Irvine, historic images from the Auto Club's Corporate Archives, photos from a previous Auto Club road trip in 2000, plus a map with the pair's route and daily itinerary. A unique feature of the trip is a Route 66 "geocaching" treasure hunt. Among the prizes are discount coupons, T-shirts and travel guides.
Brackney and Masinter will begin their expedition in Chicago on May 17 and finish at the Santa Monica Pier, the western end point of Route 66, on June 7. Once under way, the interactive web page will feature a daily journal with journal entries and photos sent in electronically from the road. Progress will be tracked on a map of the entire road. Members and the public also will be able to send their own special memories of Route 66, comments and questions about the trip to Brackney and Masinter via email at Route66@aaa-calif.com.
"This is a top-selling map that describes eateries, small towns, landmarks and the colorful Route 66 history," said Auto Club Editorial Director John Austerman. "Members will enjoy the travel journal from the road, in addition to the new map we release for the 80th anniversary."
Hertz and Ford Motor Company are sponsors of the vehicles that Auto Club representatives will traverse Route 66 in: a 2005 Ford Mustang coupe and Mustang GT convertible.
Before the federal government took it over in 1927 and renamed it U.S. Route 66, the original transcontinental byway was called the National Old Trails Road. The Auto Club's signposting crew installed 4,000 directional signs between Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo.
Each GreatestHitsTM map is $4.95 for Auto Club members and $7.95 for the public. Other titles include New Orleans, California Missions and Hollywood. The Auto Club plans to release a laminated map for Alaska this month and another for Boston in the fall.