Dave

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Road Trip Ideas: Route 66...

I am still at the age where working a Monday through Friday job is going to be my reality for many, many more years. Thankfully, I work in a place with air conditioning and to be honest, I enjoy the work I do. But for even those of us who have it fairly easy when it comes to work, the mind wanders from time to time.

A few weeks ago I had spent a fairly busy morning answering e-mails, responding to phone calls, enlightening co-workers with my vast corporate knowledge (it's good to be needed), and it had crossed my mind that my wife won a free trip for two to Las Vegas, and we still hadn't even made the effort to plan a date to go. The trip includes hotel and airfare, but that got me thinking about a drive.

I pulled up a map of Las Vegas then did one of those "get directions" features and plugged in San Antonio. 1,326 miles. Holy crap! And then I thought to myself, why would a person drive all that way, only to turn around and drive back along the same road? So I added in a third destination of Oklahoma City* and somehow it occurred to me that for much of the journey from Vegas to OKC, you could drive along the famous Route 66.

I haven't really done a lot of research on this but since looking at the map a few weeks ago, I really have this urge to see some of those odd travel attractions along that famous path. I guess the original Route 66 went from Los Angeles all the way to Chicago. I think I'm more interested in the stretch from Flagstaff, Arizona to OKC. And I also am guessing that parts of Route 66 are now I-40, but I'm not sure that it is a one for one swap the entire way. I'll need to bust out the Internet to get some more specific ideas. Or if you have made this trip yourself, you might alert me to the important features that must be seen.

When we travel, we always seem to be in a rush. This is a fact of life when you do not take month long vacations. I have seen I-10 from San Antonio to Lake City, Florida at least 10 times, I'm sure, but I've always done it at between 75 and 80 miles an hour. We drive by the the same landmarks everyone else does but rarely have we ever slowed down to drive more than a mile or two off the highway. I would like to see the drive between Flagstaff and OKC at a much slower pace. Instead of driving straight for 13 or 14 hours, I'd like to take several days just so we can stop and take pictures in front of that old Wigwam Hotel, or even stay the night there! I want to see the leaning water tower in Groom, TX as well as that Cadillac Ranch.

So as I contemplated all these sites along Route 66, the idea of including Las Vegas on the trip seemed a bit out of place. I thought to myself, why should we drive all the way to Las Vegas when we have a free trip coming to us? And then the big revelation came. The Grand Canyon. If you are going to drive all the way from San Antonio to Flagstaff, why in the world wouldn't you drive a few inches more (on the map anyway) to see the Grand Canyon?

So I haven't even mentioned this to my wife - she's reading it here just like you are. It isn't something we need to pack our bags for anytime soon. I am not a fan of cold weather and any road trip like this would have to be one suitable for shorts. But between now and whenever it seems feasible that I could take off at least ten days from work, I am going to start planning a route, doing some research, and I'd love to receive some input from the many readers here who have crisscrossed the country via small highways and interstates and seen a site or two worth sharing.

The Doobie Brothers have a song about a sleepy little town around San Antone called China Grove; I've been there. I'd like to know what the Eagles were thinking when they were standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

A goal for 2010.

* Our son lives in OKC now and we'd like to visit.


6 comments:

Four Dinners said...

Not sure I could cope with a Mon - Fri 9 - 5 anymore. Too used to working when I feel like it!

Never been on Route 66 - never even been to the States yet. (That will be rectified next August when me and Barnsley Sime descend on Ann Arbor Michigan)

I'd recommend you stop anywhere where there is a bar....;-)

KeithAlanK said...

Take me with you?

The quality and quantity of potential blog posts is staggering.

Pancho said...

Everything you never wanted to know bout standin on the corner in Winslow, AZ. Like you we have made many trips at a break neck speed, and think it is time to slow down. Should be a hoot....

http://www.standinonthecorner.com/index.htm

AlanDP said...

There are lots of odd little towns out in NM and AZ that were on the original Route. I remember one, can't recall the name of it though, where all the storefront facades on the main street are decorated with mannequins dressed as famous dead celebrities like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

I've been in Winslow several times, but never saw anything but the truck stop and the Wal-Mart, which are right next to each other. Or were, at that time.

Paul Dawson said...

Moved to Winslow from Ogden Utah 2 years ago. It's amazing how many things there are to see just off I-40 on the old Route 66. Take your time and talk to the locals every chance you get. There really is a "Standing on the Corner" corner in downtown Winslow, away from the truck stop and Walmart. TeePees to sleep in in Holbrook, and "Apache death cave" in Two Guns. All kinds of interesting trivia.

M2 said...

Dave

Do it on a Harley!

http://www.mrzip66.com/2009/04/20/route-from-the-movie-easy-rider-map/

Cheers! M2

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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