• route 66 road trip

Route 66 Road Trip

Before I moved to India I was a travel nurse. If you are in the healthcare field I highly recommend traveling for work. It’s a great way to see America and gives you time off after each 13-week assignment! I get a few emails a week about travel nursing so I will write more about how it works soon. For now here is just a taste!

Journey nursing is when you work for a hospital that is in desperate need, so they’re willing to pay you a lot more, pay for you to come to them so they can keep treating their patients. My friend, Britani, and I couldn’t wait to try it out…

little did we know when you get an assignment across country, you don’t have any choice but to drive.

It’s over a thousand dollars to ship a car, the cost of flights. They don’t give you enough money for that. So we had no choice but to drive the 55 hours to Tacoma, Washington, our new home.

I drove from Ohio to Charlotte, NC to pick up Britani and we took the famous Route 66 partly because it’s pretty, but also because it was January and the shorter Northern route was snowy.

route 66 road trip

We couchsurfed across the entire way stopping in Russellville, Arkansas, Gallup, New Mexico (within New Mexico, there’s a pretty route from Santa Fe to Taos as well), Boise, Idaho, and Portland, Oregon. The views were incredible, so I have to share!

We stopped at the well-known Cadillac graveyard in Texas so we could spray paint our names. I’m not sure why really… we were told it’s a don’t miss (but to be honest, you can miss it and it’s just really not going to affect your life in any way).

We spent a lot of time on empty, hoping to find a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Signs constantly warned us there won’t be one for __ amount of miles and to exit now. There was one ticket for running a red light… Whoops! The cop was a smarty pants, “can you turn right on red in Ohio?” Yes, you can.. can you not here? “You can… you just have to stop first. Here’s your ticket”. 

We met some really cool people along the way, and thanks to Couchsurfing and packing snacks it hardly cost any money other than gas. Hope you enjoy tagging along on the adventure!

route 66 road trip

route 66 road trip

route 66 road trip

route 66 road tripour first CS sleepover in a lovely decorated New Direction room

route 66 road tripdon’t get tricked when you pass this distraction- it’s not the graveyard!

route 66 road tripThis is the real one, be prepared to get cow poo on your shoes

route 66 road trip

route 66 road trip

route 66 road tripWhiskey shots chased with pickle juice 

route 66 road tripNew Mexico sunset.. one of the best things about waking up early to drive

route 66 road trip

as you drive NW, it’s awesome to see the desert turn to mountains 

route 66 road tripColorado

route 66 road trip

route 66 road tripBritani’s first time in negative degree conditions… and the only car on the road without chains on their tires, other than semi-trucks. We’re basically pro drivers now.

route 66 road trip

route 66 road tripending with a perfect brunch in Portland, OR

After an awesome three months in Tacoma, just outside of Seattle, it was time to drive back. I was headed home to Ohio, then off to India and Britani was staying out west, headed to California. I was going to have to drive across on my own :( Luckily the roads had opened back up in the northern routes and it was only going to take me 35 hours and 3 stops overnight.

route 66 road trip

route 66 road trip

route 66 road trip

I couchsurfed in Billings, Montana, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and stayed with friends in Chicago before ending at home with my family! I love driving, and miss it so much here in India. If you have to get somewhere by car, you should make an adventure out of it!  I see that week on the road as a trip rather than just driving somewhere.

the great affair is to move




About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Taylor February 24, 2014 at 9:56 am - Reply

    I’ve always loved traveling in the US even though it’s considered “home base” and wanted to go through route 66. I’ve gone from the top of Wyoming down to Vegas, visiting the national parks along the way. It’s amazing scenery in the west and definitely a great trip to make. Nice tip on the fake graveyard. I probably would have stopped and thought that it was the one!

    • Rachel Jones February 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      It really is a area to drive in and is just as beautiful if not more than some places I’ve seen abroad!

  2. ablondearoundtheworld February 24, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Hey Rachel!
    Your post made me a bit nostalgic!
    I came back fro USA less than a month ago and at the moment are writing my memories on it on my blog :D
    We didn’t do the route 66 road trip, but we had to drive part of it to get from Vegas to Grand Canyon and then to L.A.
    I L-O-V-E-D it! It was my first road trip in USA.
    Actually my next post will be about it! Feel free to pass by and read it if you like :)
    xx Pam

    • Rachel Jones February 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      I will check out your post! I love a road trip, reading about them too :)

  3. Kaitlyn February 24, 2014 at 8:07 am - Reply

    1. That brunch looks amazing. I can’t remember the last time I had a real American brunch here in Spain. 2. Those pictures of the mountains are so beautiful! I always forget that the USA is a great place to travel and visit. I think since I’m from the USA, I feel like I have to go to a different country to “travel”, but that’s definitely not the case! I need to go out west when I get home!

    • Rachel Jones February 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Ahhh I know, I keep looking at that photo missing American brunch!! I hope when I’m old I rent a camper and wander through the west (of the US)

  4. Amber February 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    I just posted about a similar road trip! Complete with Cadillac Ranch!


    • Rachel Jones February 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      hahah! That’s great and you did it with a baby! Props to you.

  5. J in Beijing February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I do love a good road trip. A few years ago my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went on a pretty great road trip in Patagonia in Argentina. He had his driving license stolen when we were in Colombia, but we somehow still managed to hire a car with just his paper international license. The guy kept asking for his real one. We were like ‘we’ll bring it when we pick the car up tomorrow..’ then obviously never did. But then we ended up with a manual car and he only drives automatic. I don’t even have a license but have had some lessons back in the UK- so I had to drive it out the parking lot and teach him how to drive a manual car! Can’t believe we didn’t get busted!

    • Rachel Jones February 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Wow you’re lucky! That’s so cool. I had to learn to drive a manual in India as well, it’s not as easy as it looks!

  6. tammyonthemove February 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Love the pictures. It is such a classic road trip and I’d love to do it too one day. The only road trip I have done so far was a trip from England to Germany for the 2006 Football World Cup. The way there was quite fun, but the way back was miserable as the three English boys I travelled were upset that England got kicked out, and they hated the fact that Germany was still in the game. Since I am German it was a very long ride back! :-)

    • Rachel Jones February 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      England to Germany must have put you through some awesome scenery! That would be a long car ride back :)

  7. Renuka February 26, 2014 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Exciting journey! I want to know more about the travel nursing thing. How to go about it?

    • Rachel Jones February 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      I have gotten a few e-mails about that actually! I’m going to write a post soon.

  8. Elora February 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Loved this post! And when you mentioned the Cadillac Graveyard, I about leapt out of my seat. Know EXACTLY what you’re talkin’ about! I was so proud, so happy to see the pics. And the pics along the road–incredible. It’s one of my dreams to travel along Route 66–see America. I just can’t make up my mind if I want to do it on motorcycle or in a car first. ;D

    • Rachel Jones February 28, 2014 at 1:25 am - Reply

      It really was a great drive! I didn’t even mind waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. I think a motorcycle would be so fun if I wasn’t afraid of driving one! Maybe a scooter lol

  9. NZ Muse February 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    OK, the Caddy thing looks pretty cool! Wish I’d heard of it!

    I think the only part of Route 66 we travelled was a little bit in the Arizona area. Luckily we never really had issues with gas, we always made sure to stay as full as possible (I was so paranoid about running out!)

    • Rachel Jones February 28, 2014 at 1:27 am - Reply

      We were worried too and came close so many times, when driving 15 hours a day I would forget to look at how much gas we had!

  10. Marble Mountain Ranch July 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed your post! I love road trips and this one made me feel like I want to go for another trip soon.

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