Group traveling the entire Route 66 stop in Springfield

Published: Jul. 8, 2018 at 11:17 PM CDT
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A group from the National Trust for Historic Preservation stopped in Springfield on a mission to make Route 66 a national trail.

The group is trying to travel the entirety of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in just a month.

They recently added Route 66 to their annual list of America's 11 most endangered historical places.

Which is why they are pushing to make it a national trail.

"The current program that the parks service has that protects the route is sun-setting in 2019. So we think passing this legislation to make it a trail, which is a permanent solution, the time is really now to do that." said Jason Clement, with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Clement says that making it a national trails comes with many perks.

"Having it be elevated in the parks system as a permanent piece of that system. But it also would come with increased financial resources for those people who own historic properties along the route." said Clement.

He says the trip has fueled their passion to preserve the historic road.

"Route 66 has a culture of people who call themselves roadies, people who's life is Route 66." said Clement.

"I love seeing all of the vintage signage, the mid century motels along the way. What I have been able to learn along the way is how Route 66 reflects American history in the 20th century." said Michael Ryan, who is volunteering on the trip.

They say there is nothing like hitting the open road on Route 66.

"It possibly is the best way to see America. And there are a lot of unique places along the way, that I just don't know exist anywhere else in the world." said Ryan.

The group will continue through Missouri and will be in Joplin on Tuesday.

The legislation to make Route 66 a national trail has passed the house of representatives and is now in the senate.