Driving across Country along Route 40 and what remains of Route 66 is a very eye opening experience. As you watch the mile markers flash by you’re transported back in time, a time of imagination and wonder as people began to cross this great Country of ours, first in covered wagons and then in cars as the mighty Route 66 was born.
As we travel down the road in a car inundated with all the modern world has to offer, we are starkly reminded of what it cost us to get here.
It’s easy to glimpse a dream in the now dilapidated, crumbling boarded up buildings along the once wondrous road. A life or lives that once were. The unbridled excitement of the weary travelers that travelled down that road and faded into history.
The glint of the sun reflecting off the dusty broken windows reminds us of the brightness of hope in the young couples hearts as they travelled west to start a new life. The solitary sadness of the lone tumbleweed blowing across the road reminds us of the son headed east to bury his father. The brightness of the neon signs that remain, shine a light on the memory of the mom and dad, with kids in tow, travelling to some far off exciting vacation destination.
The endless signs that beckon you to travel just a bit further, to sleep here, to eat there, to visit the Petrified Forest or the Meteor Crater. The signs that count you down mile by mile and entice you to see the wonder of some place only to discover, to great amusement, that you’ve stopped at a place that sells cheap reminders that Route 66 once existed.
A drive through the heartlands, the mountains and the desert of this remarkably empty Country shows you the potential that it still seems poised for. The diversity of the people you meet along the way shows us the melting pot that America truly is. The silliness of the Cadillac Ranch reminds us of the uniqueness and good spirit that still permeants within us.
The storm in the distance quickly becomes the storm in the rear view mirror and the sun shines brightly on your face. The open road lies before you, get out and ride it, before its too late.