Thursday, April 26, 2012

AZ Route 66

Progress across the western portion of Rt 66
Our trip to Kingman, AZ to hook up with PAC Tour was our first overnight venture out of Tucson since our arrival six and a half months ago. Our 99 Day Trek To Tucson from the end of June to October 1, 2011 sort of sated our travel bug for a bit.

The plan: PAC was riding the western half of Route 66 (Santa Monica to Amarillo) and I wanted to ride the AZ miles with them: Kingman to Seligman to Williams to Flagstaff to Winslow to Holbrook. It would be a great way for Kirk to get to know part of his new state he had not yet met, a great way for me to share with him some of the treasures I had discovered riding with PAC on other tours, and a great way for us to share the retirement joy of freely venturing together, something unknown to us when he was in active ministry having to work all weekends and holidays for 39 years.

I knew about half of the 18 riders ; it’s always great to reconnect and make anew.

The biggest take-aways for me from the 250 +/-miles was the devastating impact of I-40 on the cultural fabric of the lives of individuals and towns who before the decommissioning of Rt 66 in 1985 saw 9,000 cars  A DAY roll through their lives. After the decommissioning of The Mother Road that car traffic plummeted to no more than 50 a day. What does that do to economy? to identity? to sense of purpose? to hope? to creativity?
Our motel in Seligman

Dinner in Willimas

Lunch in Holbrook

In awe, too, of the Rt 66 aficionados and historians all along the eight states and 1,410 miles who are passionate about preserving the lore, the memories, the characters, and memorabilia of a time and place best known to the young today through Pixar’s/Lasseter’s movie, CARS.

Our hotel in Holbrook

Lon (left) and Mark, the Rt 66 historian in Winslow

La Posada--our hotel in Winslow

Our riders rode through chunkified sections of destroyed road, rode where the road should have been, but now sand, hopped barbed wire fences, dined at cafes where the owners remembered the way it was and talked with the barber, Angel, responsible for helping to preserve AZ’s Rt 66.

And then there's the Grand Canyon

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