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Tuesday, October 4, 2016


    As you head east across the country you cross high-desert and amazing mountains, so foreign to us flatlanders. Fall comes early at 7000 feet on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. In mid-September the aspen leaves were turning for this Florida boy who rarely sees such things. 
   After winding down 3000 feet the evergreens around me were replaced by an everbrown desert.  I had reached the The Great Plains. Can you make out that that thin line at the roof line of my van? Ten minutes later I was on that asphalt ribbon leading to the fabled transcontinental highway, Route 66.

      66 was once the popular, south central, east-west route with teepee motels, neon-lit diners, and other kitschy stops. All that ended in the 1980's when Interstate 40 barrelled over it with super-highway efficiency. 

   There are still pieces of 66 left that  parallel I-40. Many signs tempt you to slow down, veer off and "Enjoy Historic Route 66". I did this many times
heading back to Florida.
    Here are a few photos from those excursions,

    You can buy lotaburgers as you enter Gallop, NM.


Holbrook, Arizona, is the middle of a "petrified forest", chucks of wood-turned-rock that lay hidden in the desert scrub. Locals gather it and sell it to tourists. While I-40 soars over the town, Route 66 weaves around and through it.

I was tempted to bunk at the Buckaroo Motel.


Gallop, New Mexico had my kind of doughnut shop.

While I passed on the doughnuts and caramel macchiatos, the scrambled eggs were delicious. 


 I've owned six VW's. When I saw Kester's Volkswagenwerks in Gallop, New Mexico,  I had to take a closer look.



 It was sweltering as I passed through Santo Rosa, New Mexico. Taking refuge in the town's library, I saw this screen saver. When he librarian told me it was the town's "Blue Hole", a magnificent spring just a mile away, I wanted to be that guy jumping in. 

     By the time I had packed up and headed for the door, a driving rainstorm was pounding outside. A half-hour later it had lightened up and I made my way to what had seemed to be the perfect end to a hot afternoon.
It was cooler now, still raining, and the blue hole had turned shades of grey.
The once inviting water matched the gloomy sky. I moved on. 

   If you want a taste of Route 66 in South Florida, head north on Highway 27 (it starts, appropriately, in Hialeah).  You'll find diners, funky motels, and "Gatorama" along the way.

     The next day I visiting relatives in Texas. Cousin Lori told me, "You've got to stop at "Buc-ee's!"  The next day I did and like Texas, it was big. 

There were sixty gas pumps outside

and twenty-eight urinals inside.

     All this and gas at $1.68 per gallon. Obviously, it was hard to leave this Texas-style filling station.  When my gas gauge ran low the next day in Louisiana, I was tempted to drive back 
for a fill up.

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