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Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003 02:20 pm

The Road on the Web

Route 66 lives on the information superhighway

The Internet is a great but often shallow sea. True to its populist and idiosyncratic nature, you find just about anything on it. There just aren't too many Marianas Trenches of information along the way. Illinois Times advises Route 66 fans and other readers to keep their library cards. You never outgrow your need for books--or primary research. At the same time, we advise you to keep on surfing. It will only get better.

The stories of how fast people traveled 66 in the early days are blood-curdling. But with T1 cable or a DSL connection, you can now get from one end of the Mother Road to the other as fast as your mouse can click. Old photos, new photos, music downloads, videos, live radio, newsletters, class projects, historical accounts, chatrooms--they're all there. As with most other subjects, the array of choices is bewildering.

For Route 66 neophytes, IT recommends the following six-pack:

New Mexico 66 at http://www.newmexico.org/ScenicAttractions/route66/roadtrip.html. Features photo tour, maps, and videos. Must have Real Time software, which can be downloaded free.

Funks Grove Maple Sirup at http://www.funksmaplesirup.com/. The best business-related site on 66. Sophisticated illustrations, good history of an Illinois landmark and family tradition.

Historic Route 66 at http://route66.netvision.be/. This is a nicely done Belgian site--one of the oldest on the Web. Includes turn-by-turn driving instructions, movie clips, photos, links, bibliographies, and list of 66 associations.

Norwegian Route 66 Association at http://www.route66.no/default2.htm. Primarily a record of a Norwegian club that has sponsored at least 10 Route 66 tours on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Translated.

WPA Guides, Missouri to California, at http://members.aol.com/hsauertieg/rt66/wpa_mo.htm. Features 66-related excerpts from the Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration Guides to Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Excellent detailed descriptions of time, place, and culture.

New Jersey Travelers at http://www.blast.net/mcginn5a/route66. A fifth-grade class in New Jersey rides a stationary bicycle down Route 66.

For an eight-page annotated bibliography of Route 66 sites, plus links to thousands more, send an e-mail to teague66@springnet1.com.

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