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Celebrated in song and story, Route 66 - the 'Main Street of America' - was decommissioned as a highway in 1985. But it is still a favourite journey for those searching not only for interesting sights and quirky souvenirs, but a piece of Americana itself.

The route starts (or ends) in downtown Chicago; there’s even a small sign on Michigan Avenue to mark the spot.Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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At Wilmington, Ill., there’s the Gemini Giant, a 30-foot kitschy statue outside the Launching Pad Drive-In. The Gemini Giant is one of at least four “Muffler Men” roadside figures still on Route 66, once-popular advertising props used to promote businesses in the 1960s.Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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The U-Drop Inn at Shamrock, Tex., an art deco service and food stop.Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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Driving down Route 66Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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The Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Tex. – bring spray paint to add an artistic touch to the row of Cadillacs half-buried in the sand.Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Ariz.Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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Roy’s Cafe and Motel, located near an extinct volcano, the Amboy Crater cinder cone.Neil Vorano/The Globe and Mail

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