It winds from Chicago to L.A. "-so says Nat "King" Cole's classic hit "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66." Beginning in 1926, Route 66 was the only U.S. highway providing a direct connection between the Windy City and the City of Angels; thus, it is no wonder that Route 66 would become the metaphor of the American journey. The crescent-shaped route from the shore of Lake Michigan to the southern Pacific Coast followed a corridor blazed by Native American footpaths, pioneer waterways, and transcontinental railroads. As the frontier moved across the Great Plains to the ocean, Chicago was the point of embarkation for people emigrating from the east, and it was the marketplace for the products harvested in the west. During the golden age of the car culture, Chicago was where people started their California trips as they took "the highway that's the best."