'How Many Miles You Got on That Thing?' NPR's Noah Adams recently took a leisurely trip following much of the storied Route 66 through the heartland of the nation. He gets folks along the way to tell their life stories with a simple question.

'How Many Miles You Got on That Thing?'

Profiles of People and Their Vehicles on the Road West

'How Many Miles You Got on That Thing?'

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Part 1: 192,306 Miles on a Chevy Conversion Van

Audio will be available later today.

Part 2: Long-Haul Trucker and a Puppy Named Ginger

Audio will be available later today.

Sandhills Curiousity Shop in Erick, Okla. Noah Adams, NPR hide caption

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Noah Adams, NPR

Sandhills Curiousity Shop in Erick, Okla. -- home of Harley and Annabelle, "The Mediocre Music Makers." Noah Adams, NPR hide caption

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Noah Adams, NPR

If you want to drive across the United States, you could cruise at speeds up to 75 mph in most regions and get from coast to coast in a big hurry. But NPR's Noah Adams recently took a more leisurely route from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, following much of the storied Route 66 through the heartland of the nation.

"Maybe it's better to stop and linger now and then and get a sense of your companions out there on the road," Adams says. Often, the vehicles on the road tell as much of a story as their drivers.

Adams talked to many people on his way West by introducing himself with a simple question: "How many miles you got on that thing?" The answers proved to be just as interesting as the people themselves.