Through the Heart of Route 66
From Needles-CA to Winslow, AZ.
Este artigo também pode ser encontrado em Português.
My plan is driving about 250 miles average a day, four to five hours, so I can save pretty much the same time to explore the region, meet and chat with its people, which means that at the end, I can learn at least a bit, from each place that I’m driving, through America’s heartland. After leaving Needles, at beautiful California, I had to make it to Winslow, in Arizona by the end of the day, so that after more than two hundred and fifty miles, I could be able to rest until the next morning and hit the road again.
This part of the trip really amazed me, first by crossing the Mojave Desert and Black Mountains, with a tiny little village located nearby – Oatman, where once lived miners from the region, but today it makes its living through Route 66 tourism. Second, that I was able to drive through the mountains, where at times I wasn’t able to even go over twenty miles per hour, due to its sharp turns, but guess what, I was able to catch some of the greatest views ever in my life!
Next I found an old gas station called Cool Springs – now a gift shop with a diverse range of memorabilia from Route 66, recently rebuilt from the ground up to its original state from the mid-1920s. It now is a spot on the road you must stop, just to grab an iced bottled Coke like old times and check the superb view and quietness of the location – amazing! Manager Joe Chicago, from Michigan lives in a big trailer right behind the store, with no one else around for at least a few of miles away! Stretching a bit further, a few towns later, at Seligman, in Arizona, with its 456 residents, I was able to meet Angel Delgadillo at his barbershop, as I previously wrote and posted on this blog some days ago. Couldn’t believe the day still saved even more surprises, like the city of Williams, in Arizona, named as “Gateway to the Grand Canyon”. I confess I thought on doing a detour right there towards this majestic place, but I had a schedule I wanted to follow, so I just left it for a next trip in the future – I guess the years spent at IBM makes me a bit more pragmatic at times! It’s also interesting how the landscape from north Arizona and next to Utah is much greener than miles past and also knowing that I would hit some arid desert areas ahead, once in New Mexico… What amazes me the most is the kindness of the people once you spend time talking to them and their engagement on keeping the Route 66 spirit alive. I believe that in Brazil isn’t different; our people are also very kind and good hearted by nature. Perhaps we are a bit more spontaneous, I guess.
Next stop – From Winslow to Albuquerque, New Mexico!