Tag archives for Route 66

Route 66: The End of the Road

It took me all day to drive across Los Angeles. Friends warned me about the traffic but after so many days of solitude in the dry and empty desert, I had forgotten the feel of a city. Los Angeles is a city of cars, built for cars. People are second-class bystanders to the rivers of…

Route 66: Crossing the Mojave

In early May, the Colorado River separates Arizona from California with a painted stripe of transparent turquoise. The blue water glowed in the sun and the black pavement on the bridge sent up waves of heat that felt pleasant at first, then oppressive. I had the whole desert to cross, but honestly, all I wanted…

Route 66: Friday Night in Flagstaff

I’ve never met a college town I didn’t like. There’s something about all that youthful energy bubbling up through a flat grid of streets, the free-flowing music from open windows and the shiny chrome bumpers plastered with psychedelic stickers proclaiming bands or bold mottos. On any given night, humble bungalow houses transform into epic parties…

Route 66: Six Awesome Stops in Arizona

“Don’t forget Winona,” says the song, but honestly, when I drove into Winona, there wasn’t a whole lot there  to forget. I mean, I saw the sign that said “Winona” and the old iron bridge, but the rest of the town seemed more like a spacious and sleepy suburb of Flagstaff (Sorry, Winona). Had I…

Route 66: Gallup

It’s amazing I didn’t crush the little guy. He was such a tiny little animal—smaller than my camera and smaller than the stuffed toys they sold at Wal-Mart. Zipped up inside my sweatshirt, the puppy barely moved, though he did stick is head out for a peek of the fluorescent-lit world of late-night shoppers that…

Route 66: Halfway There

The dust cloud followed me all the way from Oklahoma. Red-brown, like a storm on the ground, the dust rolled over my car in endless tidal waves, pushing me outside the lines on the road. Ahead of me, a pair of red brake lights glowed in the miasma, like a pair of snake eyes, warning…

Route 66: Six Significant Stops in Oklahoma

I spent nearly a week traveling Route 66 in Oklahoma and I was forever amazed by all the strange and curious things I found (like a round red barn?). Though the Sooner State is only one of eight on Route 66, its attractions are plenty. These are just a few of my personal highlights:

Route 66: Johnnie’s Onion Burgers

In Oklahoma, you can measure a restaurant by the number of cowboy hats in the room. Sunday noon at Johnnie’s Grill I only counted four, each one a foot taller than anybody’s head. The families walked in after church and everyone bowed over their food, barely talking. The police were there, too—also eating, and I…

Route 66: The Center of the Universe

The fur coat in my hands costs $185,000. The price tag states it clearly—the coat costs the same as a three-bedroom house in this town. But then the lady with heavy pink lipstick whispers at me, her cupped hand hushing the secret that only the two of us know, “I could probably get you half-off…

Route 66: Willy, Woody, Mickey & Brad

I’m not sure what’s in the water in Oklahoma, but it sure makes you sing. And dance, and act, and swing a bat. It makes you witty and dashing and beloved by all—and it makes you famous. A few minutes after crossing into “Native America” on Route 66, I veered into the small town of…