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Are We There Yet??

      Yesterday, simply put, was desert day.  Desert, according to Webster and those sorts is barren, desolate, extreme temperature, sparse vegetation and largely devoid of inhabitants.  Yep, that's where I chose to spend a otherwise wonderfully sunny and beautiful Wednesday.  When digital thermometers start displaying temperatures that start with a '1', I truly believe the next two numbers are immaterial.  After all, does 107 degrees really feel any better than 116 degrees?

     This journey marks my fourth Route 66 venture.  I traveled the road in 1970, 1971 and 1958.  It was the trip in '58 that came to mind as I creatively turned my air conditioner on and off during uphills and downhills.  There were even a sign that stated "Avoid overheating, turn air conditioner off for next 12 miles."  I came to the conclusion they were talking about the vehicle overheating and not me as those 12 miles did a superb job of educating me in the definition of "Overheating".

     I would think my newer traveling hippie pad was designed better than that 1957 Plymouth that my dad so bravely stuck my brother and me into and motored through the harsh and considerably less maintained roads of the American Southwest.  The only extra we took on that trip were two heavy canvas bags filled with water that went over the front bumper.  It was your hope of escape if your car overheated from the hell you were subjecting your it to.  No air conditioner to speak of, virtually no radio reception anywhere and two screaming little kids playing "He touched me and is sitting on my side of the back seat".  Of course those games were in between a few million "Are we there yet Daddy?"  It may be completely unrelated, but 1958 was the year my dad went bald!  How great the dreams must have been so many to brave such hostile conditions in the hope of a better life. 

      Today starts the journey into the back roads.  Not the slick highways complete with rest stops, tourist gifts and familiar franchised foods.  But rather hopes of finding that old road, the one with the memories or a simpler America.  Maybe a time where desires for corporate profits didn't send our jobs overseas.  Or a time where people talked about where they are from and the dreams of where they are traveling to or the new life they hope to find.  Or maybe just seeing people waving from porches as you slowly drive by.  It may be all part of the Rose-Colored glasses outlook this Pisces has about America, but it is worth a try.  However, if they chose to upgrade their establishments with modern day air conditioning and Wi-Fi I am fine with that bit if progress!

Mike FelderComment