Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Well, we survived the road trip

But I gotta tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. At least not on that schedule.
My brother and I left Livermore on Wed at 4:00pm and headed east. We drove through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and finally arrived in Missouri 30 hours later....

We took the southern route due to the fact that it’s winter and got on Hwy 40 in Barstow and never got off.

Hwy 40 follows the old Route 66 which used to be the main cross country route from Los Angeles to Chicago. The sad part is that Route 40 is also pretty much what killed Route 66 and many of its communities.

It was interesting in that the new Pixar movie Cars is one of my grandson’s favorite movies and to drive this route, stopping along the way for food and fuel, I was constantly reminded of the movie as we’d pull off the freeway to find something to eat, only to get back on after having driven through a small, dead, town…..

There were a few places where you could see they were trying to leverage whatever tourist attractions they had to revive themselves. Santa Rosa, NM for example… While we could only find one restaurant for breakfast on Friday morning, there were signs of construction and landscaping projects going on as well as advertising for the Blue Hole dive site which evidently is a spring fed freshwater sink hole that has become regionally famous for scuba diving.

And of course there’s Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, which I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of, or there’s the giant cross in Groom TX, which you can see a long way before you actually get there since it stands 190ft in an area where freeway overpasses are the highest points in the county.

All in all it was a long drive with not very pretty scenery. But it’s done and we made it and my mom was thrilled that we took the effort to come see her…..

On a related note, when we were out there, my brother was telling me that sunflower seeds were the best cure for sleepiness when driving and while I wasn’t sure I believed him, I bought some just in case. Turns out he was right. Nothing, not gum, cinnamon bears, mt dew, nothing helped me fight the nods at 2:30 in the a.m. like sunflower seeds.

I imagine it’s because, during the act of eating sunflower seeds, your brain is so busy trying to help your tongue maneuver the seed into place, crack it, separate the pieces and spit out the shell and chew the nut itself, that you really can’t go to sleep….as a matter of fact, after writing that out, it’s amazing someone like myself with less than a full dose of coordination, could actually pull that off with out choking, biting my tongue or repeatedly spitting out the wrong portion of the shell……I imagine it was someone just like me that invented the shelled sunflower seed.....

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