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History

Main Street of America


Get your kicks on Route 66!

This morning while heading down a road in the middle of no where desert California I startled him with a squeal.  Blazed in white in the middle of this little two-lane blacktop was the unmistakable symbol of Route 66!  In my head I started singing lyrics from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, John Mayer, and the Rolling Stones.  Of course the wonderful man that he is, he humored and stopped for pictures.  Even the dog got in on the family photo opp!  

Route 66 has nearly as many pop culture references and historical landmarks as it does miles. Officially opened in 1926, it was the first fully paved highway in America. The over 2000 miles of two-laned road from Chicago to LA was officially closed in 1985, but many patches of the original highway remain and there is a movement to reopen it and restore the historic landmarks. This a huge part of Americana and is quite literally a highway through time, miles and miles filled with glimpses into the history and progression of the American traveler. 

Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way that's the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it goes from St Louis, Joplin, Missouri
Oklahoma City looks ooh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstow, San Bernadino

Would you get hip to this kindly tip
And go take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it goes from St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri
Oklahoma City looks ooh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino

Would you get hip to this kindly tip
And go take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Get your kicks on Route 66


~sierra

Past, Present, Future



One of the things I love about being over the road is getting to see all the terrain and climate differences from across the country.  I've seen the white sands of the Gulf Coast, the foliage filled mountains and winding hills of the Appalachians, the crop covered rolling hills of the great plains, snow topped mountains, painted skies, the intricately wind-carved ridges all along the Colorado river, wide open skies of Montana, and the airid desolation of the Mojave desert.  Each trip out is something new to see and experience.  Even places or roads we've traveled before reveal new sights due to different times in the day or variations in season.  Everyday quite literally is a new adventure.

One of our recurring conversations is speculation on what the native americans of yester-year and the early settlers saw as they too experienced this country for the first time.  What was it like for them then, back before technology shaped and often scarred the landsides?  What did they see by campfire light before there were paved roads, headlights, and streetlights?  We even discuss the travelers of last century heading across county by car, long before there were gas stations and rest areas every few miles.  And then we wonder what travelers of tomorrow will see as the world continues to advance.  Will those future travelers also wonder what we of today saw?  How much will the future change?  And how much of history and nature will be lost in those changes?

Sequaro cactus from Arizona.
This one was about 20 feet tall, though many of these
cactus can grow to 70 feet tall and live up to 150 years. 

Yes we're out here for work.  He has deadlines to meet and DoT regulations to maintain.  Often the days are long and by night we are road weary, him so much more than me.  But despite the required hours of work, in many ways truck driving is like a working vacation; a dream to get paid to travel the county.  Sure we don't often have time to stop, but this country provides visions of wonder to behold right out the window if you only take the time to notice.  I look forward to each day eagerly awaiting what ever wonderous view lays hidden around the next bend.



Sunset from US 95 in Southern California near the Mojave Desert.
~sierra

A small town morning in Wall, South Dakota



This morning we woke up at the foot of the Black Hills, in South Dakota in a little town called Wall. There isn't much in Wall besides an Ace Hardware, a small local grocery store, a few small hotels, and of course the historical Main Street with Wall Drug. Wall Drug was started by a young couple in 1931. A family run drug store complete with soda fountain. After struggling for 5 years they came up with a sales gimmick to draw in weary travelers.... free ice water. And it worked. Wall Drug today takes up a full city block filled with memorabilia, trinkets, gifts, and an incredible collection of authentic photos and paintings chronoling the settlement of the Badlands and Midwest. Ice water is still free. A cup of coffee is only 5cents. Plus they serve delicious homemade old fashioned cake style donuts. Yum!!!

After a brisk walk down 4 blocks in the chilly morning winds, he and I rambled around Wall Drug enjoying the walk through history, the beautiful arts and crafts, stunning black hills gold jewlery, and yes even hokey tourist displays and gifts. We sat and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and a donut before walking hand in hand back up Main Street. Ahhh, such is life in a peaceful small town. A brief stop a the little grocery for dinner provisions, then back to the truck and modern day.

It was a nice relaxing break from the road. And now on to what is sure to be more breath taking views of the Badlands and Black Hills. Hopeefully next time I will have pictures to share of the scenery.

~sierra