Tag

Route 66

January 15, 2020

Williams – Day 19

Williams, Arizona, is where we spent the night. It was a little motel that comped our room.

“Hey, Charly,” I yelled, “they comped our room!”

“Why did they do that?” she asked.

“They took one look at me, and then you, and the guy felt sorry for me that I’ve spent almost 3 weeks on the road with you,” I said with my tongue-in-cheek.

“It’s a good thing you’re standing way over there else I’d punch you,” Charly yelled back.

“Come on,” I said, “let’s check out some of the shops.”

It was early in the morning, and most of the places weren’t open, but there were already tourist on the street.

“Hey, Brent,” Charly said as she turned towards a Route 66 Gift Shop, “I think this place is open.”

Williams, Arizona, shop
Open?

We went inside. I ended up buying some stickers and postcards to send to the grandchildren.

Leaving Williams

Williams was crowded due to its proximity to the Grand Canyon. It’s kind of the crossroads where you turn off Route 66 or I-40 to head north to the canyon. Even though businesses weren’t open, there were still people on the sidewalks, and parking was impossible.

We headed west on Historic Route 66 towards Siligman, Arizona.

I stopped to take some pictures and Charly jumped out of the car, and stated, “You know, that wasn’t very nice… what you said back there about him feeling sorry for you. I’m going to get a ride to Kingman.”

She walked to the other side of the street and stuck out her thumb and yelled back, “So, is this how you hitchhike?”

I could hardly hold back the laughing. While I knew she was kidding, I was trying not to let on, but I just couldn’t hold it. My lips flapped together as I burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?” she yelled from across the highway.

“Oh,” I said choking back the laughter, “nothing… much.”

“WHAT’S SO FUNNY?” she demanded.

Wrong side of the road for hitchhiking.
Hitchhiking?

“Well,” I said, “You’re on the wrong side of the road, or your facing the wrong way. Take your pick.”

“Isn’t this the direction we’re going?” she asked in a confused voice.

“It is if you’re on this side of the road. On that side, you’ll need to turn around and face traffic, but that will take you back to Williams,” I said with a smile.

December 19, 2019

Standing on a Corner – Day 18

Standing on a Corner in WInslow, Arizona, I just couldn't leave this place. Those lyrics were so much of my teenage years.

Standing on a Corner in WInslow, Arizona, I just couldn't leave this place. Those lyrics were so much of my teenage years.

Standing on a Corner in WInslow, Arizona, I just couldn’t leave this place. Those lyrics were so much of my teenage years.

“Charly,” I yelled with exuberance, “Go stand by that flatbed truck.”

Charly knew I was excited about this. I had been playing Take It Easy the entire trip. That song is part of Route 66 in my mind and always will be.

Charly standing next to a flatbed Ford
The Girl with the Flatbed Ford

That’s right, you guessed it. I went and stood on the corner.

“Charly,” I said with a stupid grin on my face, “it’s too bad you can drive it around the block. You could slow down and check me out.”

Charly rolled her eyes and then started to crack up, and then said, “You need to get over yourself.”

“Okay then, you go stand on the corner,” I replied, “and I’ll just check you out.”

“After I change my scarf and top,” she said, and then continued, “I have another set just like this, but in white cotton. I think it will be cooler in this dry heat.”

It was my turn to roll my eyes as the fashion diva went off to change her top. She ducked around the corner, and before I could set my camera settings came back with her top and scarf change.

“You didn’t… ” I started to say before she interrupted.

“I did!” she giggled.

“But, weren’t you concerned someone would see you?” I asked thinking I would never change my shirt on a public street, and I’m a guy.

“A girl has to have her secrets. Nobody would have seen anything,” she smugly said.

Standing on a corner with the Glen Frey statue, I managed to grab a shot.

Charly Standing on a Corner in Winslow Arizona
Standing on a Corner in Winslow

Moving On

Moving on, we sadly left Winslow to head to our next motel.

On the way, we stopped at an abandoned gas station for a few pictures. This place is kind of creepy at night, but it made for some cool photos.

Arrow Gas Station
Arrow Gas Station

It’s odd that during the daytime some place like this just looks vandalized, but at night, it becomes a spooky place where you expect zombies or post apocalyptic characters to emerge and attack.

After a few shots, I was ready to leave.

Arrows - What's Left of the Place
Arrows – What’s Left of the Place

October 31, 2019

New Mexico to Arizona – Day 17

New Mexico to Arizona is our start and end for today. We spent the night in Gallup, and tonight we'll be in Arizona. Charly is in for a treat today.

New Mexico to Arizona is our start and end for today. We spent the night in Gallup, and tonight we'll be in Arizona. Charly is in for a treat today.

New Mexico to Arizona is our start and end for today. We spent the night in Gallup, and tonight we’ll be in Arizona. Charly is in for a treat today.

New Mexico is great if you’re in to Native American art and turquoise jewelry. I get the impression a good portion of the state is Native American reservations. I love their laid-back way of talking. It’s kind of relaxing to hear the locals (mostly Native Americans) talk.

Petroglyphs are all over this area. We stopped at a couple of them. We also stopped where there are cliff dwellings. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why?

New Mexico to Arizona Cliff Dwellings
New Mexico to Arizona Cliff Dwellings

“Hey, Charly?” I shouted as we got out of the car, “Are you a sleep walker?”

“What? Why do you ask that?” she said with a confused look.

“Imagine your bedroom being on top over there,” I said as I pointed to the structure with a ladder leading to the top.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“That’s where people used to live. See that ladder? Imagine that being your bedroom up there,” I said.

“Whoa! No, I don’t sleep walk, but if I did, I wouldn’t want to have my bedroom up there,” she said with a gaze of amazement.

We studied the cliff walls as we walked around at the base.

“I have this strange feeling like I’ve been here before,” I said, “yet, I know this is my first time in New Mexico… that I know of. Perhaps we took a family trip here when I was a young child and I don’t remember. Unfortunately, my mom isn’t around to ask.”

“Maybe you did,” Charly said.

“Maybe, but this all seems strangely familiar, but here’s the weird part, I feel like I, as an adult, took my Boy Scouts here,” I said.

“That’s really odd. What do you think it means?” Charly asked.

“I have no idea, but this is beyond any déjà vu I’ve ever experienced before,” I said as I looked at places within view and had very distinct memories of a time I was there.

“That’s spooky,” Charly said with her eyes opened widely.

“No, it’s actually kind of intriguing. It’s not creeping me out, or anything, I just feel very familiar with this place. I remember the dinosaur, the fence, the wishing well… it’s all like I’ve been here and have vivid memories of the place,” I said.

(Note: This is really how I felt on my first visit here. I even walked around to see if there were things I expected to see, and there were. And, no, they aren’t memories of Internet photos.)

The Border New Mexico to Arizona

This place is right on the border between New Mexico and Arizona. The line runs right through the gift shop and is marked outside by this little sign.

Charly at the Stateline
Charly at the Stateline

One of the nearby shops had a sign for Buffalo Jerky (which I’d imagine is really American Bison Jerky, but who knows.) They were closed, and a local told us they already sold out for the season.

Buffalo Jerky Anyone?
Buffalo Jerky Anyone?

We managed to find another place, purchased some and it was quite good.

October 18, 2019

Albuquerque City – Day 16

Albuquerque City was interesting. It wasn’t quite what I envisioned. Because of its proximity to the mountains and Colorado, I expected more of a western feel. Tucumcari was more of what I expected Albuquerque to be like.

We woke and I went downstairs for breakfast; Charly stayed in her room getting ready for the day. Too often complementary breakfasts lack the protein I want. In this case, I was pleased they had the makings for a breakfast sandwich loaded with ham, egg and sausage.

Albuquerque City breakfast
Albuquerque City Breakfast

Downtown Albuquerque City

After breakfast we headed downtown Albuquerque City. I wanted to see this “Route 66 Bus Stop”. It sounded intriguing.

We finally found it. I was expecting something much older, but either way, it has a cool retro feeling anyway.

Massive Route 66 at Bus Stop - Downtown Albuquerque City.
Massive Route 66 at Bus Stop

The Roarin’ 20’s (now closed, and the sign is gone) made me think…

“Hey, Charly?” I began.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Do you have something that looks like a 1920’s flapper outfit?” I asked.

“Huh? Flapper?” she asked in a confused voice.

“Yes, that’s what they called girls who dressed in a trendy fashion in the 1920’s,” I explained while pulling up a photo on my phone.

“Oh, I get it,” she said, “I have something that might work.

Charly rolled her hair and braided it and wrapped it around her head to make her hair appear shorter, and then disappeared in to the lady’s room at a local fast food joint. She emerged in a pleated skirt and sweater.

“I guess that will do. I don’t think we’re going to get any closer no planning to speak of,” I responded. “You look great.”

A Modern Flapper - Roarin' 20s
A Modern Flapper

As we drove down I-40 in places, we had to watch for decommissioned sections of Route 66. Charly was navigating and had me pull off. Soon, we found ourselves at a dead-end. Not only was it a dead end, there were directional arrows point only in ONE direction – to the dead end.

Getting out of the car, I pointed and said, “I think we should have got on the frontage road back there.”

Charly stood there with a look on her face as if to say, “Yeah, right,” as she rolled her eyes.

Charly slipped back in to the car digging around in behind the seat.

“I’m hot. It’s hot out here in the desert,” she whined.

The next thing I knew it I felt this hot, heavy burden on my shoulders and back.

“What the heck are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m hot and thirsty and I can’t find any water in the car,” she said in an even whinier voice.

I’m Hot

“Gosh, get off my back… literally,” I said.

“How can you stand wearing that jacket in this heat?” she asked.

“It’s actually keeping the heat from hitting my skin. It’s acting like insulation,” I explained.

“You’re nuts,” she said stomping back to the car.

I jumped back in to the car and said, “Let’s go find something cold and wet to drink. There’s a service station just across the road.

Grants New Mexico

We came to the town of Grants. The main attraction here is a Route 66 drive-through sign-shaped structure in a local park. We drove by it the first time, and had to have our GPS tell us where to go. It’s not very noticeable from the road, but we found it.

As I drove through it I heard a scraping sound on my side of the car. I immediately maneuvered the car away from the sign.

Charly jumped out as quickly as I did. I went to survey the damage, and Charly stood there with a look of shock as she said, “You scratched my baby!”

“It’s not bad. I think it is just some paint transfer from this very NARROW opening. I can rub it out and you won’t notice it.

“I’m holding you to that,” she said sternly.

“Hey, I have insurance… I think,” I said as I chuckled to let her know I was only kidding about the ‘I think’ part.

October 1, 2019

Hello Albuquerque – Day 15

Hello Albuquerque and goodbye Tucumcari.

We made one last stop to grab some food before leaving Tucumcari.

“Hey, Charly!” I said, “Since I’m driving, will you go see if they are open? The sign says, ‘Open’, but I don’t see anyone around.”

Hello Albuquerque - Forgot to Turn the Light Off
Forgot to Turn the Light Off

“Sure,” she said as she leaped from the car to go check.

Pulling on the door, it was obviously locked. Charly then placed her face against the glass to get a better look inside.

“Nope,” she yelled back, “Not a soul in sight.”

She hopped back in the car and gave me the look.

“What?” I asked.

“It’s 10:30 in the morning. Do you expect them to be open for lunch already?” She said in a lecturing tone.

“Well, I’m hungry,” I retorted.

As we drove around the building to leave the parking lot, a man in a white white apron was out back throwing something in the trash. At this point I wasn’t willing to stop. My pride had been bruised and I figured I’d drive a little longer before satisfying my urge to eat.

One Last Stop

We made one last stop as we left town. What drew our attention was this cool sculpture paying homage to Route 66.

Tucumcari New Mexico Convention Center - Hello Alburquerque
Tucumcari New Mexico Convention Center

It was pretty quiet and empty, but we did find there’s a small museum inside. We wandered around, bought some drinks and snacks, and had a nice talk with the volunteer working at the desk. (A short, but well worth-it place to stop on Route 66.)

Hello Albuquerque, We Finally Meet

I had never been to New Mexico before which meant I hadn’t been to Albuquerque either. I big monument sat at the entrance to town. We stopped.

Not the Monument, but Next to it
Not the Monument, but Next to it

“Hey, Charly,” I said, “let’s see you immediate that monument with a pose.”

My request didn’t even phase her. She walked over it it, and struck a pose, holding it until I said I got the shot.

Hello Albuquerque New Mexico Monument
Albuquerque New Mexico Monument

Lunch, Check-in and Dinner

We grabbed lunch. Nothing memorable, just some fast food, found our hotel, and then headed to a Route 66 diner for dinner.

Route 66 Tribute Wall
Route 66 Tribute Wall

Wherever you go on Route 66 you’ll find walls and fences decorated with Route 66 memorabilia. Anything to do with travel on Route 66 when it was a U.S. Highway gets thrown on these walls. From hubcaps of era automobiles, to advertisements and logos from businesses along Route 66 adorn walls, fences and buildings.

Does This LIght Make My Hair Look Red?
Does This LIght Make My Hair Look Red?

Before we entered the restaurant, Charly stopped and asked, “Does this light make my hair look red?”

Laughing, I replied, “Your hair IS RED.”

I deserved the sticking out of the tongue that followed.

Tomorrow we’ll see the rest of Albuquerque.

September 23, 2019

Leaving Tucumcari – Day 15

Leaving Tucumcari today. We’re heading west to Albuquerque. I get the impression it is hot here in the summer. I’m glad we’re at the end of the summer and not here in July or August.

Tucumcari has a lot of rundown buildings. It’s sad. It really has some neat Route 66 features. When you see this sort of “rust-belt” you have to ask what are all the factors that turned it in to a rust-belt. Taxes? Business environment/regulations? Lack of traffic? Etc.

Before Leaving Tucumcari

Charly saw this cool steam-powered chopper. (Because this is a fictional story I can create fictional items.)

She looked at me and said, “I’ll be back in a minute.”

An old guy stood close by. He was dressed in brown leathers from his head to his toes, had a long ZZ Top beard and a handlebar mustache. His goggles looked like welding goggles, and his helmet was nothing more than an old leather flight helmet.

Charly returned wearing leathers and began sweet talking the guy. Before I knew it, she hopped on the chopper.

“Does this thing drive like a normal bike?” she asked the guy.

“Sure does,” he said in a gruff voice, and added, “just don’t dump it because it takes a crane to upright it again.”

At this point, I was getting real nervous.

The old guy looked at me and said, “She earned it. Any chick who travels with a get-up like that was born to ride a steam chopper.”

Dirt flew, and gravel too. The sound was that of a Harley crossed with a steam train. It rumbled like a Harley, with the sound of a hiss as steam escaped the cylinder.

I could hear the bike as Charly disappeared from view. While I lost sight of her, I never lost hearing that rumble-hiss-hiss-rumble-hiss-hiss sound.

She soon returned, sweat pouring down her forehead and chest and said, “You should give this a try.”

“No thanks, my bike riding days are over,” I said with a smile.

The old guy chimed in with a tone of disbelief, “You used to ride?”

“Yup,” I replied.

“What did you ride?” he asked.

“A Kawasaki KZ-440LTD2,” I responded.

I could read his mind by the look on his face as if he were thinking, “Oh, a rice rocket guy.”

“The KZ-440LTD2 was one of the first Japanese cruiser style motorcycles to have a belt-drive as well as a bit of a rumble sound,” I said to ease his mind.

“Ah,” was all he said as he took the keys from Charly and said to her, “You have a great day and let me know if you ever decide to go to Sturgis.”

He then winked, and rumble-hiss-hissed down Route 66.

September 16, 2019

Red or Green – Day 14

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, "Red or green?"It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both.

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, "Red or green?"It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both.

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, “Red or green?”

It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both. The green has a smooth hatch chili pepper flavor, and the red has a more robust and smoky flavor.

Glenrio Visitor Center

Our first New Mexico stop was the Glenrio Visitor Center. Charly couldn’t resist putting her feet in the fountain. She said the cool water felt good in that New Mexico dry heat.

Glenrio Visitor Center - Red or Green
Glenrio Visitor Center

It’s about the first thing you come to on I-40. It’s on the same exit you take to get back on the drivable part of Route 66 on the New Mexico side of the New Mexico/Texas border.

Visitor Center in Relation to Route 66 - red or green
Visitor Center in Relation to Route 66

New Mexico is a state with lots of Native American history and resources.

Red or Green or Cars

In Tucumcari, New Mexico, there’s a darling motel where you can park your car in a garage. The inside of the garages are painted with various themes. Of course, Pixar’s Cars is one of those themes.

Pixar Cars Theme Garage
Pixar Cars Theme Garage

“Oh, Brent,” Charly sighed with that tone that she wants something, “Look, it is Flo and  Lightning McQueen .”

“Okay, go stand in there and I’ll get your picture,” I said knowing she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I stepped back to make sure I got Mater too. In my opinion, Tow Mater is the most adorable character in the movie. Lightening, on the other hand is a bit adolescent in his character.

I found this on Wikipedia, “He’s the new rookie, he’s kinda sexy, he’s fast, he’s different. So he’s invented. We took the best of our favourite things, from GT40s to Chargers… just sketching them out, we came up with what McQueen looks like.”— Bob Pauley, one of two Cars production designers

Until I read this, I always thought LIghtening was based of a Mazda MX5 (the Miata). I still think he looks more like a Miata than a GT40 or a Charger.

An End to a Red or Green Day

We started the day in the dark, and we’ll end it in the dark. After a dip in the hotel pool and a nice red or green (I had both) dinner, we went back to the Blue Swallow Motel for a shot of the Model A pickup and Charly.

Blue Swallow Motel Route 66 Tucumcari
Blue Swallow Motel

August 20, 2019

Lone Star State – Day 12

Lone Star State, as people call it, is a wonderful place to visit. They once attempted to secede from the Union, but they hold strong to the ideals of being a sovereign state (as all states in the United States should) and that the Federal Government should not trample the rights of the state as long as the state holds fast to the U.S. Constitution. This makes its citizens proud to be part of such a strong state.

Lone Star State, as people call it, is a wonderful place to visit. They once attempted to secede from the Union, but they hold strong to the ideals of being a sovereign state (as all states in the United States should) and that the Federal Government should not trample the rights of the state as long as the state holds fast to the U.S. Constitution. This makes its citizens proud to be part of such a strong state.

Lone Star State, as people call it, is a wonderful place to visit. They once attempted to secede from the Union, but they hold strong to the ideals of being a sovereign state (as all states in the United States should) and that the Federal Government should not trample the rights of the state as long as the state holds fast to the U.S. Constitution. This makes its citizens proud to be part of such a strong state.

Charly and I first noticed this with the theme of one star wherever we would go. You see this on belt buckles, shirts, hats and decor. Yes, Texans are proud to be Texans.

Lone Star State Theme on Route 66 Motel
Lone Star State Theme on Route 66 Motel

“Oh, Brent,” Charly said with excitement, “look at that patriotic motel.”

I spun my head around and saw that Lone Star State them decorating a motel’s exterior.

“Now, that is Texan,” I exclaimed.

“It’s American too,” Charly said.

“Yes, but they call Texas the Lone Star State for a reason,” I said as I began an explanation of how Texas once threatened to leave the United States in defence of their sovereignty.

Surprisingly, Charly listened and was interested.

“That’s really interesting. Can we stop?” She asked, and immediately followed it with, “Can we spend the night here?”

Charly jumped out of the car and ran to a door. I surveyed our surroundings.

“Charly, I think they are closed for the season. There’s not a car or soul in sight,” I pointed out.

“Oh, bummer. It’s so cute,” she said.

I convinced her we should move on.

Earlier

I almost forgot to mention…

Earlier before we reached Texas, Charly wanted me to stop. She got in the car and asked me to take a photo of the long road in front of us.

“screeeeeeech,” was the sound from the tires.

“What the… ” I yelled.

Charly put her hand out the window and waved.

Carly Burning Rubber
Carly Burning Rubber

She burned out heading down this lonesome stretch of Route 66 leaving me coughing in the dense tire smoke.

Soon I saw brake lights, and she waved for me to catch up. With my camera gear, I jogged towards the car. It seemed like a mile.

“Okay, that was uncalled for,” I yelled.

“Come on old man,” she yelled back.

I jumped in the car and before I got the door closed she was off again.

We crossed over I-40 and were on a stretch of Route 66 on the other side.

“Hey, I want to get a shot of Old Route 66 and I-40. Pull over,” I said excitedly.

Catching Air
Catching Air

As soon as I got out of the car and shut the door, Charly was burning rubber again. This time, catching air as she headed down Route 66.

“DANG YOU!” I yelled shaking my camera in the air.

Again, she stopped, but this time she put the car in reverse and backed up to where I was standing.

“YOU TURKEY,” I shouted, “My turn to drive.”

Charly laughed and said, “It’s my car.”

“Yeah, but if you get it impounded I’m not bailing it out,” I said, “or you for that matter.”

“You wouldn’t leave me in jail,” she said confidently.

“Wanna try me?” I glared at her.

She ran around to the passenger side and said, “Okay, you can drive.”

That was our excitement for the day.

Dinner and a Free Steak in the Lone Star State

There’s a place on Route 66 in Amarillo where if you eat a 72 ounce steak within their time limits it is FREE. We caught a complimentary limo from our hotel to the restaurant. (Note: I would like to their website and mention their name, but when I attempted to go to their website Norton Security produced a warning that the site was not safe and a threat to my network security.)

Waiting for our Table
Waiting for our Table

Charly wore the same dress again.

“Didn’t you wear that last night?” I asked.

“Yes, but that wasn’t a fancy place. This is a steak place, it’s fancy,” she said.

I started to laugh and replied, “You don’t know Texas, do you? I bet if I wore a tie they’d cut it off.”

We enjoyed a great steak, but neither one of us went for the 72 ouncer.

July 30, 2019

Automobiles – Day 10

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are also found in museums along the way. They are worth the stop. Charly and I had a fun time visiting museums.

My Maserati Does 185 - Automobiles
My Maserati Does 185

Heart of Route 66 Automobiles Museum

The Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum is a fun, clean museum with staff that is super friendly. We entered, bought our tickets, and proceeded down a hall that looked like Route 66.

“Hey, Brent!” Charly screams, “Look at that Ferrari!”

“Maserati. That’s a Maserati,” I said, and then started singing, “My Maserati does 185; I lost my license and now I don’t drive…”

“Okay,” she said rolling her eyes, “you’re making this up, right?”

“Joe Walsh. Former of the Eagles, broke off and went solo. Known for trashing hotels…” I rattled off as she continued to look at me like I was some sort of freak. “It was a popular song, okay! Look it up on Pandora, or whatever you listen to.”

We hung out at the museum for a while until there was nothing left to see.

Charly would have made a great model for a flying lady hood ornament.

Charly as a Flying Lady
Charly as a Flying Lady

Soda Pop

Also there in Sepulta, Oklahoma, was this huge Coke bottle sculpture. My wheels were turning because I had an idea of how to photograph Charly, but she disappeared, and then came back wearing a green fish scale leotard.

“PERFECT!” I shouted.

She just smiled as if to say she knew I’d like it.

Wondering Where Coca Cola Got the Idea for the Shape of the Bottle - Automobiles
Wondering Where Coca Cola Got the Idea for the Shape of the Bottle

Pops on Route 66 for Automobiles Too

Then in Arcadia, Oklahoma, we found the BIGGEST soda pop store. Pops is cool. Every flavor you can imagine. There were so many diet root beers I had a hard time deciding which ones to purchase.

Charly put on the leotard again, and struck a pose.

Again, There's that Shape
Again, There’s that Shape

And, I should show a wider view. Even the gas pumps (from the front) look like soda dispensers.

Pops on 66 - where to fuel your automobile
Pops on 66

You can fuel your automobiles and your thirst at this place. If there were room in the car I would have bought cases of the stuff. Too many flavors and not enough room to bring them home.

Inside, Charly purchased a cold one and began sucking it down.

A Cold One
A Cold One

Roadside Junk

You find more than just cars abandoned on the side of Route 66. Someone, sadly, decided to dump their sofa. I made the best of it. I’ve always wanted to do this.

“Hey, Charly, go sit on that sofa,” I said.

Surprisingly, she didn’t turn up her nose at the idea, but changed in to another leotard.

“I want to look like I’m lounging,” she said as she stepped out of the car wearing this black lace leotard.

Roadside Lounging
Roadside Lounging

We soon found an old service station with this sign…

Command or Statement?
Command or Statement?

I wasn’t sure if it was some sort of social command or statement, but I’m betting they meant ‘doesn’t work’, and they aren’t telling us to go on welfare and not work at all. We found similar signs along the way. They always put a grin on my face.

When all was said and done, it was another great day cruising Route 66.

End of the Day on Route 66
End of the Day on Route 66

July 25, 2019

Blue Whale – Day 9

Blue Whale is out here somewhere. I've got it on today's MUST SEE list. Charly is excited about finding it too.

Blue Whale is out here somewhere. I've got it on today's MUST SEE list. Charly is excited about finding it too.

Blue Whale is out here somewhere. I’ve got it on today’s MUST SEE list. Charly is excited about finding it too. When driving Route 66 you don’t always see signs directing you to landmarks. (By the way, if you see someone stealing a sign on Route 66, PLEASE get their description and report them to the police. Route 66 is there for EVERYONE to enjoy, and their thievery only makes things less enjoyable for others.)

Cars are strategically abandoned, or placed, along Route 66. Charly liked this cute coupe.

Cute Coupe - Blue Whale Day 9
Cute Coupe

Stuff like this make for some great travel photos. That’s 99% of the fun, in my opinion, of traveling Route 66.

Back on the road and suddenly Charly yells, “Brent! Can we race?”

Joplin 66 Speedway - Blue Whale Day 9
Joplin 66 Speedway

“It looks like it’s closed,” I stated hoping that will diffuse the situation.

“Let’s stop and check,” she said with the enthusiasm as a child expecting ice cream.

As we pulled in the parking lot it was clear it was not operational. So, instead we took a photo.

“Charly, you do realize in order to race your car has to meet certain safety criteria like roll-bars, seat harness, fire extinguisher, and so forth. Not to mention, you have to wear a fire suit and helmet,” I explained.

Here only reply was, “Oh.”

Change of Clothes for Blue Whale

Anticipating the Blue Whale, Charly changed her clothes into her swimsuit.

“I cannot understand how anyone can drive around in a car wearing a swimsuit,” I commented.

“I want to be ready to swim,” she bubbled as she said it.

We soon saw a sign and turned off the road. Charly grabbed her goggles and was ready to hit the water.

“Wait, go to the car and get those fairy wings I brought,” I said as I spotted a field of “mushrooms”.

Charly as a Fairy Poses on a big Man Made Mushroom
Charly as a Fairy Poses on a big Man Made Mushroom

No sooner as I snapped the photo the wings came off and Charly went running in the opposite direction.

“Where the scrud are you going?” I yelled.

“Swimming!” she responded.

The Blue Whale

The Blue Whale is a swim hole a guy made back in the 1970s as a gift to his wife who collected whale figurines. You can read more here.

Today it is a Route 66 tourist attraction. (NOTE: It is not open for swimming. The swimming is only part of this fantasy story. YOU CANNOT GO SWIMMING HERE. Again, it is only part of this story.)

Splash

Splash
Splash

Before I knew it she hit the water. It was about then someone came out and yelled at her, “Hey! No swimming!”

Picnic at the River

From there we found a nice grassy area under a tree for a picnic with some food we picked up at a small grocery store.

Picnicking Along Route 66 in Oklahoma
Picnicking Along Route 66 in Oklahoma

My advice for driving Route 66 is to take your time. Having a picnic near the old Route 66 can often provide a view you can’t find elsewhere. You might see a group of motorcyclist cruising down the road, or someone in a 1930s vintage car. It’s fun to relax and take in the view.