A new road
I’m trying something new, beginning today. I remember when I was planning my first Route 66 road trip, I went hunting up every travel blog I could find through Google on Route 66, looking for hints and tips, great places to stay and eat, roadside attractions, side-trips.
You know, the sort of travellers’ tales from people who had already been there, rather than the slick advertising and sell-em-up websites of commercial outfits.
I loved it. Everyone had a different story, and they were personal tales of adventure, usually with shots of the intrepid roadsters along the way, taken with a point-and-shoot camera rather than a professional DSLR as big as a bus.
I guess I’m part of the travel blog life now, but I can’t cover everything and go everywhere. What I can do is read up on travel blogs – trust me, I read a LOT of travel blogs! – and pull out the best on a given subject.
Maybe not the slickest, but the most fun, the most personal, the most useful, the most joyous.
October 2014: Artists’ Eyes on the Mother Road
Mary Anne Erickson and Jen Dragon, two artists with an eye for adventure, joined dozens of motorcyclists in a laughably small commuter car to travel the whole road. Blogging for The Huffington Post along the way, her blog entries reveal a keen and thoughtful mind:
‘From the very beginning of the drive, we were wowed by the New Mexico landscape. There’s a reason so many artists have found this place compelling. I think it’s something about the contrast between the dusty rolling plains dotted with sage brush and the craggy adobe-colored stone outcroppings and emerging red mesas. The constantly evolving tale of geological evolution keeps my mind in a perpetual state of wonder: “How did all this come into being?” And then “Boy do I wish I could come here to paint”!’
September 2012: Geeks on Route 66
“A blog of the travels of two British geeks. Starting from the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, we’re heading out west on the old Route 66, taking in nine states on our way to Los Angeles, and then up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco.”
A thoroughly fun look at The Mother Road by two British science fiction fans. Their views on America and their delight in just about everything but the lack of property tea (no, hot water and a plastic-wrapped teabag) isn’t real tea) make this story of their trip a pleasure to read.
They did the thing proper. Begin in Chicago – with the architectural boat cruise, which I heartily recommend – head steadily west, stopping at various eating establishments along the way, including two shots at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, sidetrack to The Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, end the Route at Santa Monica, and drive up the Pacific Coast to San Francisco.
April 2011: Pete and Jay on Route 66
My own (and so far only) end-to-end drive from Chicago to Santa Monica with a vegetarian New Zealander as copilot. Had a blast, saw a lot of great stuff, had a lot of only-in-America meals, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I’ve driven bits and pieces of the old road several times over the years, returning to favourite spots, enjoying the experience afresh, and just for the sheer pleasure of it.
No single post, but I touch on Route 66 in many posts, and I shall keep on writing about the people, the places, the cars.
End of the road
More blogs and individual blog entries will be added as I go along. Feel free to nominate good blogs on this subject. Maybe your own. My aim is to build up a collection of fun and useful blog entries on a thousand places, and I can’t do it alone!