Tuesday, October 19, 2010
When I decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia instead of Portland, Oregon, the thing I was dreading most (besides packing everything up and having it moved across the country) was the long 2,200 mile drive in my car.
Mainly because it's almost two and a half days on one endlessly rocky, mostly flat, dry, greenery-free road...Route 66 (aka I-40). The first two days consist of looking at lots of this:
It's like you're driving on the surface of the moon with tumbleweeds and remnants of blown tires all around you (not to mention all the bugs who left their innards on my windshield for three straight days).
So, to break the monotony and keep yourself awake, you need to stop every few hours for snacks, beverages, gas, and bathroom breaks. It's during these times that you encounter some of the kooky charm (and people) of this historic roadway.
It's like something out of Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
There are endless Route 66-branded diners, hotels, and memorabilia shops that feature eye-catching names and exterior visuals to encourage you to stop by and have an artery hardening meal or buy a personalized keychain.
I wondered what Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross did on the weekends.
I'm glad the head-first/feet-out burial didn't catch on back then.
Although, it would have made shopping for new shoes much easier.
Loves seems to be a popular chain of roadside facilities (market, gas, odd chotskies) that you'll find sprinkled along the long stretch of highway.
This particular one not only had the usual, it also had a Chapel, TV room, and showers.
I'm sure the wide variety of truckers (and their smell-compromised companions) appreciated the chance to hose off the stink and Cheetos dust after a few days of driving.
One particular Loves featured a huge antique car museum right next to the chapel.
I wish I could have driven THAT car out of there and continued my drive in breezy style!
After the first day of driving, the landscape begins to soften a bit and you start to see hints of grass (not green, but not dust either) and a tree or two.
Look...the country's tallest cross.
It's no Touchdown Jesus, but it was worth a snap (just not a stop).
Although this looks like a fancy rehab facility for Ms. Lohan and her friends to visit between jail sentences, it's actually a really nice Rest Area in Texas.
It sure beats copping-a-squat inside a weathered outhouse behind the barn.
I think Abe Vigoda would agree.
Thankfully, by the third day of driving, the landscape begins to change and trees and green grass start to reappear (who knew that Arkansas was so pretty?) and your drive starts to relax the mind and soothe the eyes.
However, with the addition of trees and greenery, comes the unexpected, yet very real, danger of wild deer leaping out of the woods and in front of your car as you drive along the freeway at 75 miles per hour.
I love me some Bambis, but many of them are huge and tend to dart out of the woods in packs without looking both ways before crossing the road. One walked right out in front of my car in the dead of night and just stopped and inspected something on the side of the road.
I missed it by THAT much.
Thankfully, that ended well and, other than my fender-bender (my previous post), I made it to Atlanta in three days safe and sound without falling asleep at the wheel once.
It's weird to think I'm actually going to be living here now after 28 years in Los Angeles. But, I'm looking forward to the change of scenery, lifestyle, and weather. So, lets hope that Atlanta is happy to see me too.
It looks like he should be saying "Madame, did you pull that cord?!"