Just last night I learned that we missed out on a bit of American pop culture that would have been interesting for the roadtrip. We never saw the movie "Cars" which, apparently, is based on the story of I-40 killing Route 66. This was our experience too. Here are photos...
We used a book called Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen, which pointed us to towns, sights, cafes and oddities along the way. I got into the greasy spoon cafes along the way.
This is the famous onion burger at Johnnie's Grill in El Reno, Oklahoma.
Joe and Aggies in Holbrook, AZ.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs everywhere. Holbrook, AZ.
19 cents per gallon.
We drove, a LOT. Actually, I rode a lot and Sachi drove a lot. There is something about the little gas stations that seems so American. It's like a little microcosm of the local population.
(Updated: Hah. I just learned that this is the near-exact story line
to the movie "Cars".)
It's a little sad really. Interstate 40, in 1966, opened and either took over Route 66 beteen Okalahoma and LA or made it obsolete. The charm of the trip down the route is taking in the windblown, broken down and rusty atomosphere of towns that didn't exactly prosper as I-40 came into the world. Now they are decaying relics of another age of single story motels, neon, big cars and 19 cent gas. Americana at its best. I just met an old guy running a gas station in Holbrook Az. He's had the I-40-adjascent station for 54 years (before 40 existed). I said "I hope you've got someone lined up to keep her going for another 50." His reply was a matter-of-fact "I don't". This old guy and his station are a dying breed. I'm excited that we have the chance to come through here before this whole swathe of earth is completely covered in shiny Chevrons, KFCs and Best Westerns.