America is the home of the road trip, and Route 66 is its poster child. Evoking images of roadside motels, diners and 1950s Cadillacs, the Mother Road will always be a symbol of America’s post-war freedom and geographical mobility. While much of the road has either disappeared or been supplanted by interstate highways, good sections do remain, so in the autumn of 2022 I began scouted for locations in California and Arizona that were emphatically Route 66. With so many motels and diners abandoned or turned into kitsch tourist attractions, finding a set that was both authentic and operational seemed mutually exclusive. Then I stumbled upon the town of Holbrook, 100 miles east of Flagstaff in Arizona. There are some real gems in this small town, and none more so than the Wigwam Motel, right next to Route 66. We went to see the owner and he agreed to allow us to film in the courtyard out front. It was perfect. To embody the glamorous 1950s look, I chose Josie Canseco, who got the vibe straight away. This photograph is as good as I could have imagined when I started exploring the creative concept.