July 16, 2001—Day 12, Route 66-Amarillo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico

July 16, 2001.

July 16, 2001.

 

Our distance today was pre-planned—287 miles from Amarillo, Texas, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  This part of the trip started a fire under both Kyle and I to get to the west coast as quick as possible. Albuquerque’s fire also burned me.

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July 15, 2001—Day 11, Route 66-Weatherford, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas

July 15, 2001.

July 15, 2001.

 

Kyle and I arrived 45 minutes too early for the opening of The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma, so I walked around taking photos while Kyle typed in his journal. The museum was O.K.—more of a museum to motor travel on the Mother Road than a museum about Rt. 66. It was underwhelming compared to what awaited us in Shamrock, Texas.

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Ten Years on Route 66

My first trip down Route 66 started in July of 2001. I traveled the Mother Road with my friend Kyle — his fictional name—who was also looking for a classic cross-country adventure. We were two guys on the open road with a crappy minivan and limited amounts of dough leaving Philadelphia in the middle of a typical swampy summer to see the sun set over the ocean. Kyle and I planned this trip about a year in advance and spent much of our time preparing by reading books about Route 66 and studying maps—I even dove into Kerouac’s On The Road. 

Our adventure was not typical. In fact, Kyle and I hit town after dying town in a pre-9/11 America, each small town celebrating it’s last hurrah before the World Trade Towers disintegrated to the ground and thousands of people died, followed by hundreds more who now suffer with the health affects of all that debris and pollution.

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