In October of 2016, Christina Dunbar, San Jose State - Gamma Lambda, participated in the National Miss Route 66 Pageant in Barstow, California.
"I saw this as an important opportunity to advocate for the preservation of this iconic piece of American history that my father and I are passionate about," Christina said. "I was very blessed to win the title, with the hope that I would be able to travel the historic route the following summer.
"This July 2017," Christina continued, "accompanied by my father, we traveled Route 66 from Santa Monica to Amarillo Texas, and back, stopping at the historical halfway mark at Adrian, Texas. We had the hope of driving the whole route; however, due to time and health restrictions, my father and I opted to drive halfway and back, seeing the sights we might have missed on the way home.
"On our journey, we were able to meet hundreds of travelers, local residents, veterans and native peoples. To encourage people to travel the route, and support these communities struggling to survive since the dawn of Interstate 40, signature cards and pageant business cards were left at every stop.
"I am currently in the process of developing the 'Southwestern Route Loop' to highlight the local communities and places of interest that I was able to visit. Those that complete the "Southwestern Route Loop' can receive a certificate of achievement from me.
"Above all, I hope that more people in my age group are encouraged to travel Route 66, and young women are encouraged to chase their dreams, no matter how crazy they sound. And I am anxiously looking forward to spending a whole day in 'Cars Land' Disneyland before the outgoing pageant, an attraction where Route 66 is brought to life at the famous theme park."