Monthly Archives: July 2015

Roadtripping Route 66 (ish): Part 1 of ??

Ambler's Texaco Dwight IL picture of historical gas pump and electric car plugI went on my trip over a month ago and haven’t written about it, i.e. the opposite of my goal. I didn’t really think of how little I would want to write after tumbling into a motel at 9, 10, 11 pm, that I would be too busy directing and experiencing to write in the car, that I’d be trying to make coffee in a travel mug sans brewer instead of a few quiet hours in a coffee shop to think and reflect.

I did have three hours to myself once. I wrote part of a blog post but then gave up and looked at the internet instead.  Giant blue whale sculpture in Catoosa Oklahoma on Route 66The other thing that I didn’t think of is how difficult it would be to put so much experience into words. I could write every day for months and still not be able to get it all down. And where even to start? I came home with thousands of pictures, six states under my belt, two different giant whales as different as they are alike.

picture of Route 66 midpoint in Adrian Texas paint in the middle of the roadBut you have to start somewhere, and I’m choosing Route 66. While we didn’t generally drive Route 66 we stayed close to it, on the major highways that superceeded it, veering back to see giant things, tiny museums, and the constant search for a good ghost town.

One thing I learned preparing for this trip is that Europeans love traveling Route 66 and, for some reason, many Americans hate this fact.

I get it, though – the European perspective that is. There is something so American about Route 66, that we built a giant road so you could drive halfway across a continent because why not. It’s a way to see the US that isn’t just New York and Hollywood.

Route 66 is the prosperous 1950s but also the dust bowl. It’s some of the country’s richest cities but also so many small towns left to rot and age. It’s friendly people who love their homes and want to share and save them, who were delighted that our party consisted of someone from (kind of) each of the endpoints. It’s a road full of retro-restored gas stations, all with their own electric car plugs.

It is fantastic and so worth the trip even to drive a little bit of it.