Cowboy Motel: Getting Your Kicks on Route 66

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In September I went on a grand adventure with my best friend. I’d always wanted to travel across the country by car and see what this great land has to offer, so we set off. Destination: California’s Napa Valley and the Wine Train. The best way to get there, of course, is due West along the various roadways that make up the famed Route 66.

As a history buff I know the stories about the great migration west of America’s early days, the escape to the land of plenty during the Depression, the flight of the Great Dust Bowl era, and the lure of Hollywood that continues to draw a steady stream of aspiring actors and actresses looking for their close-up.

There are a number of ways you can see the USA. Our Interstate highway system is a marvel of engineering and efficiency. With air travel, you can hop from city to city and see what’s unique in any given community.

Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.
 Charles Kuralt
 Like Charles Kuralt, I wanted to see the great in-between. One of those places was Boone, Colorado and the home of  “Cousin Eddie” of  National Lampoon’s Vacation fame. And, no, we didn’t set out in search of it, we just lucked upon it by chance. That’s also how we came upon the Cowboy Poetry competition in Elko, Nevada. In Carson City we found Admiral Halsey’s saddle.
Admiral Halsey's saddle
What’s a trip out West without stopping in for a gunfight in Dodge City? Wyatt is there, waiting for his Kodak moment.
Wyatt Earp
And, there are dinosaur bones to be seen on the winding backroad of Indian country in Utah, Nevada, and Colorado.
Utah
The iconic motel and eatery signs that Route 66 was known for in it’s golden days are few and far between but there are pockets where you can still imagine you’re on the road to Hollywood or the California surf, your dreams tucked into your pockets. I’m glad I took the opportunity to see what’s left while it’s still there. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but pictures can’t translate the experience of seeing it up close and personal, of plotting a course each day, and marveling at the unexpected around the next corner.
My advice, see this great country and its people. You’ll be glad you did.
Thunderbird motel

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