“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.
And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck
It was this passage from John Steinbeck’s novel, Travels with Charley: In Search of America that set the wheels in motion. Ever since reading these immortal words, I’ve been fascinated by the open road and the boundless adventures that lay waiting ahead of me.
For me, road trips are more than just a holiday, they’ve become an integral part of my life and shaped the man I am today. One of the most significant road trips I’ve embarked on was my trip down the historic Route 66.
Spanning over 2,400 miles, Route 66 crosses eight states. Like most who make the pilgrimage, I started my journey in Chicago, Illinois and ended it in Santa Monica, California but the journey cannot be defined by a start and an end point.
Along the way, I encountered the most interesting people, saw some fascinating places and witnessed a few crazy things- experiences that one only finds on the open road, and when you enjoy the thrills of online casino gambling!
These are just a few highlights of my trip down America’s mother road, Route 66.
1. Discovering the haunting beauty of ghost towns
This historic road was officially decommissioned as a route in the mid-eighties in favour of the current interstate system.
This meant that many of the small towns which sprung up along Route 66 have struggled to sustain themselves and there a number that have disappeared into obscurity all together.
During my time on the old road, I made sure to make a pit stop at a few ghost towns to check it out for myself. Newkirk in New Mexico and Erick in Oklahoma are desolate husks of small town America. They sure are creepy but totally worth a visit.
2. Passing through the Painted Desert
One of the highlights of my trip was driving through the Painted Desert in Arizona. It’s one of the most scenic stretches on the route and as luck would have it, I got to experience this breathe taking landscape while the sun dipped below the horizon.
I’ve seen my fair share of picture perfect sunsets but this is one I’ll never forget.
3. Spending the night in a Wigwam Motel
Travelling Route 66 had been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember. So it was important for me to have an authentic experience- a slice of true Americana if you will. While driving through Arizona I spent the night at the Wigwam Village Motel in Holbrook.
It might not be on par with spending a night at the Ritz Carlton but there is something to be said about sleeping in a piece of history. Wigwam Motels were synonymous with the route during its heyday and there’s something cool about sleeping in a tipi, even if it’s just for the novelty.