Let me start by saying "if you know, you know". Then I'll say, if you're my husband, you might NOT want to know. And, finally, if you love a good adventure, as the poet, Robert Frost, said "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." This is the poem I have used as my life's guide. Traveling my own path, adventuring when and where others may not, and always going on the road less traveled.
Some of the most beautiful places are on the unpaved roads, so when we can, those are our 1st choice. There were times I was hesitant, 1 road made me cry - as Alex told Meghan "mom was terrified", and some were not even able to be driven because of flooding.
The goal on this trip was for Alex to drive/ride on Route 66. The iconic Mother Road. So, we took the oldest sections (pre- 1930's) wherever possible in order to stay true to those pioneers who went before us. Some of the highways were paved over top of the Route, some beside it, but if it was drivable we drove it!
Don't let the pictures fool you - this was exhausting, fun, and one hell of an experience, not for the road weary, just get there type of traveler. Just following the maps and staying on Route 66 was an adventure. There were u-turns, detours, potholes, missed signs, backtracking (15 miles), and a wrong turn that lead us into Nevada, but there were sunrises and sunsets, farms, an obelisk, bridges and stairs (on a mountain), donkeys in the middle of the road, and places where we were the only humans around!
Anyone can Google, buy books, read stories of Route 66, but unless you experience it 1st hand, you just won't truly get it - the feel, the adventure, the awe, the history. Just imagining the cars they had in the 20's and 30's - no a/c, driving for what must have felt like forever to get to the West Coast or Chicago (depending on which way you were going). What adventurers. Can you imagine the kids? "Are we there yet?" "Where are we?" If Alex and I could get going the wrong way with maps and signs - what mishaps must have occurred back then?
The scariest for me was the road to Oatman (where you see the donkeys coming toward us was a sign for no RV's). The road was about 1.5 lanes and a 2 lane road. It was rock and cliffs and Alex was driving. Halfway through this 9-mile road, he said "THIS is Route 66, this is what I wanted to do!" THAT moment right there made the whole trip, and that road, worth it! To this mom's heart that was EVERYTHING! That was why I took this trip, that was why I didn't listen to naysayers, that was why I was EXHAUSTED! This was his journey, but for me it was so much more.
There will come a day when my adventures are alone, when Alex will be off on his own adventures. So, I will cherish every opportunity, every adventure, every moment I can, because long after I'm gone he'll remember. And when he is older he will truly appreciate these moments we've shared.
When I hear Route 66 mentioned, or see a picture, or a sticker on Natasha, my heart melts. This is what I live for, this is what makes me tick, this is my passion - travel, adventure, but most of all making memories with my kids. I am so grateful for each adventure, and when we come home worn out, beat up, dirty, with missing parts and broken windows, Steve asks how things happened and swears we're never leaving the driveway again. But he knows there will be more adventures, so he fixes what needs fixing and probably holds his breath a little, waiting to see what's next. I am lucky to have such an understanding husband, and our kids are lucky to have such a supportive dad!
When you get the chance, take that dirt road, roll your windows down, and think about this CrazyLady cheering you on!
Sunshine and kisses, CrazyLady 🌻