Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Route 6 - A Primer

US Route 6 slopes gently clear across the United States. Otherwise known by the vaguely communist moniker, The Grand Army of the Republic Highway, Route 6 begins at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown, MA, and slants slightly southward, making its way west through 14 states. Then, at the Nevada/California border, Route 6 drops off precipitously, like the end of a good Viagra run, south to Long Beach, CA. Or at least it used to before the California powers that be decided to truncate the route in the tumbleweed tract of Bishop in 1964, lopping over 300 miles off its notable length.
Route 6 is not the oldest transcontinental road. That distinction goes to the graveled 1914 Lincoln Highway, which grew from the idealistic mind of Carl Fisher, founder of the Indianapolis 500 and who would later create Miami Beach out of a malarial Florida swamp. At 3,205 miles, Route 6 is not even currently the longest coast-to-coast road in America. That would be US Route 20; 3,345 miles from Boston, MA to Newport Oregon.
But before California went rogue with its routes in the crazy-mod 60’s, US Route 6 had been the longest transcontinental road for several glorious decades, stretching out at an impressive 3652 miles.


  1. I just discovered this blog searching for a pic of the Brewster General Store and for sure I'll be a regular reader--fabulous and fabled!

  2. I have lived my whole life on Cape Cod and for over 10 years it has been my dream to drive Route 6 from beginning to end. This summer I'm doing a mini-road trip with a friend of mine in the southwest and it has reignited my Rte. 6 fantasy. I'm so glad to see that you "paved the way" so to speak. I'm looking forward to reading through your travels.

  3. Hi again LS - I hope you are able to fulfill your Route 6 driving fantasy someday. For me, it was the trip of a lifetime, which can be replicated by anyone with six free weeks and a sense of adventure. I'm in the midst of getting a guidebook ready for publication.
    Again, thanks for reading and commenting!


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