Well we made it home weary, tired, sore and in Kristen’s case broken. The toll of not working out and eating like she does has caused her some pain. We visited Doctor Barrick and he was able to get her started on recovery. Her t-band on her left leg is very unhappy. She drank some grapefruit juice and that is helping a lot to put some much needed vitamins and minerals into her body. Hopefully in a week or so this will just be a distant memory. I asked her if she regretted the trip, which was greeted with an emphatic no. We had a lot of memories on this trip, we met a lot of really neat people. We saw parts of nine states, countless cities, towns and burgs. We visited old ghost towns. Took pictures of a lot of cool old buildings and signage. We saw sights that in ten years will be gone for ever. The road itself is a long arduous journey that some times has nothing to look at. I tried to imagine myself driving this road in the 1940’s. How totally scary that must have been. One flat tire or blown radiator and you probably died. We encountered 118 degree heat in some areas, and we had the luxury of water and iced tea. I can’t imagine seeing a sign with cross bones telling you 340 miles to the next water source, when you car only topped out at 40 miles an hour. We saw tiny roads the were only nine feet across, we saw roads in flood plains that washed out regularly. We truly live in the age of the pampered. Even in our Ford focus, bad seats and garbage suspension, we still had it a hundred times greater than the poor shlub rocking in his 1917 Ford Model T. We had air conditioning and Bluegrass on the radio. I bet that they had bluegrass too, but we had over three hundred songs to listen to. I imagine that Pops knew probably ten songs? On the fifth go round of when the saints go marching in on Pops busted up fiddle , I bet little Timmy was ready to go postal.
I’m very impressed with the people we met that have been able to keep their business alive on a dead road that only has traffic on it three to four months out of the year. I thought a lot about the empty gas stations, cafes and motels that we saw along the way. How many were doing really well until the 44, 40, 15 and the countless other interstates moved in and pulled their customer base for all time. I found myself thinking many times, wow I wonder what this looked like back in the day.
Chicago downtown was amazing. What man can do when all there is, is to build up. The city was clean. The roads we crap on a stick and yet the city keeps on inviting people to start the route with it’s best foot forward. Yeah, I get it’s the murder capitol of the world, we fortunately did not encounter any of that drama. The pizza was amazing and the people for the most part we friendly.
Missouri likes to kill animals, especially Armadillos, those poor guys just can’t play Frogger for anything. We met our first real cool guy at an old Sinclair filling station. We almost skipped past him, so glad we didn’t. Gary loves this road, it is his bread and butter. He made us feel right at home and spent thirty minutes with us giving us some great ideas. He is the one who sold up our yearbook, and we took his advice to make memories…and we did.
We stayed in iconic motels in Missouri and in New Mexico, both were better than we dreamed possible. The Wagon Wheel is where you go on a honeymoon. It was fantastic. We both wished we had stayed longer. The Blue Swallow in New Mexico was like being transported back in time. I was fascinated with everything about it.
We saw family that hasn’t been scene in eighteen years, and were treated like we never left.
We left Vegan-ism behind and did what Romans do in Rome. We ate Wal-Mart fried chicken, picked at a guitar and swamped stories with most excellent people. A Round Barn in Arcadia made us smile like we had never smiled on the road thus far. A 86 year old man with the spunk of some one a quarter of his age telling stories and loving what he did. Mr. Sam will always be fondly remembered. We missed out the Rattlesnake Museum sign as it fell victim to age and wind.
We saw parts of Oklahoma we never ever thought we would see….mostly because we got lost. THANKS TO THE CRAPPY GPS! LIAR!!!!! We found lost cities on those journey into the fringe. We had ugly crust pie and cafe food. We ate a steak in Texas and Seafood in Santa Monica. We dreamed up children stories about a brave Windmill named Wendy. We sang bluegrass songs to each other and tested our patriotism in singing the star spangled banner and the pledge of allegiance in St. Louis.
In Texas we saw that flat means FLAT. Where you can see the curvature of the earth baby. New Mexico greeted us with Sopapilla goodness and early onset back pain. We Saw the Rio grande river and creepy graveyards with Uncle Rick in Albuquerque.
Arizona showed us were kitsch and wackiness reigns king. We rode an rabbit (again) We dreamed of Two Guns and we saw many epic failures in the bones of old buildings. Kristen took her picture with giant things! We collect postcards and other memorabilia. We have magnets o plenty and we came, we saw, we got the t-shirt.
This trip was amazing fun. I highly recommend you do it. But give yourself time, get a year book, don’t be afraid to check a cooler as luggage. Above all else, be ready to see America as Europeans want to see America. A time lost to time, that only can be seen along the Mother Road.
Thank you for being apart of our great journey. I for one thank you for your comments, you were all great fun.
May the road take you where you have never been.
The times we spent here will last with me forever. AND…we only saw about a third of it. Can you imagine how much more is out there to discover?