Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rt 66

A few weekends ago I drove down to 29 Palms with a friend. We went to a train show there, but mainly the trip was the purpose not the destination. It's a three hour drive mostly on two lane roads through some of the most (try to think of some descriptions that aren't too worn out), well, what I thought was ‘Why the heck do people live out here?’. It was all flat, barren landscape with low scrub and distant mountains. (oh, yea, kind of like Vegas) with no water and an hour drive to the nearest store. But there were little shacks scattered all over, most of them vacant now. Must have been even harder to live out there years ago when cars weren’t as reliable. There were not farms, gardens, flowers, or anything green beyond the native shrub.

Part of the drive was along old Route 66, a road that used to be the main way from Los Angeles to Chicago. It’s been bypassed by much larger freeways now, but some nostalgic people still travel the road. We passed an old motel that is still open, even had a big grand piano in the lobby visible from the street. Comprised of that interesting lobby building and individual buildings for the bedrooms.

I was raised back east, but remember Route 66 from the old 1960 television series starring Martin Milner and George Maharis. There are lots of episodes on YouTube, one has the theme song

The series followed the two stars as they drove along Route 66 in their classy Corvette running into different adventures along the way. This opening showed more of the western area

But my favorite (after watching a variety of clips for a while) is an episode staring Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr. and Boris Karloff. This episode takes place on the eastern end of the highway, at Chicago.


chrissie_allen said...

Joe, that trip sounds fabulous. I do envy you! Really great.

SOL's view said...

I always remember Route 66 from a line from a song? Get your kicks on Route 66. Or something like that.

The way you describe the scenery on the drive left me thirsty and wanting to cough from breathing the dust. Well done.


bleu said...

Train show? My son would love that!

This posts reminds me of the first Cars movie... the animation featuring lightening mcqueen. He gets stuck in a town pretty much like the one you describe on rte 66.

So true, sometimes, it's not about the destinatin and more about the journey.

Croft said...

We drove a little of Old Route 66 on our way back from FL earlier this year. Not too many parts of it still exist and those that are suffer from lack of maintenance. It is a shame, it was a wonderful old road!