Day 12 – Grants, New Mexico to Clinton, Oklahoma

I did not have Wi-Fi yesterday so I could not post, sorry about that!! So today I will do a couple of posts.  First of all, yesterday we had an unremarkable day — which is good when the temps are over 100 and you worry about the car — traveling out of New Mexico, through a small bit of Texas and into Oklahoma.  We traveled on Rt. 40 which runs close to the old Route 66.

There were a lot of remnants of Route 66.  Many ghost towns, closed businesses, cars and trucks just parked and rusting and a very sad view of a life that was once vibrant and new.  Seems to me, and I could be way off base here, that my parents generation started off with roads like Rt. 66 (obviously after the dust bowl which is what facilitated the Mother Road) as a way to see the country in their new and shiny cars.  The heyday was amazing with post-war families driving out west to see the Pacific Ocean and all the other sights along the way.

Then the Interstate idea hit and now you could not only get out west but you could do it faster.  It seems to me that was the demise of important roads like Route 66.  I remember a couple of trips with my folks and it was always on interstate highways, never on “back roads.”

But our generation seems to be looking back to those simpler times when you could ride the Route and have a great dinner at a diner, and reserve a room at a motel (with conditioned air and color TV!).  You could see all matter of weird and interesting sights as you drove.

The resurgence of the Route is hopeful, in fact, many businesses never left they just seemed to wait it out. I am so happy to see that people are interested in the Route again. Interstate highways have their place, but Routes like 66 and 20 have American history attached to them.  People drove those roads to find better lives and we need to preserve that.  It is a piece of us and we cannot afford to just throw it away.  (Sorry, I am off my soapbox).

Last night, after a long day of driving, we got to our KOA cabin and I melted down.  It is amazing how lack of quality sleep and overwhelming heat can cloud your mind.  I just sat on the edge of the bed and cried.  Not for any particular reason, just for all of it.  But I broke out my Kindle and I read a short story from “Christmas in Absaroka” by Craig Johnson.  Between Craig and Mike, I calmed down and forgot about the scorpions and rattlesnakes (did I mention they live where in the same state as I was sleeping!).

I am not a bug person, I totally understand their purpose in life other than to bite me.  I understand food chains and such, but I am not a fan.  There are so many bugs alive and dead in the southern part of the states — many more than I am used to.  But I have decided to embrace my inner bug lover and get over myself.  I still slept partially awake looking for scorpions, but luckily they stayed away.

I do have a bug repellent tip:  Repel Lemon and Eucalyptus (DEET Free) is amazing.  It keeps bugs way away.  Most people too.  DO NOT BREATHE IT IN!!  It is harsh and strong, but it works.  You get used to the smell after a few days and then you can tolerate it better.  Good grief though, it is powerful.

I am going to shower since it has been a few days in 100 degree heat, then do some laundry (again it has been a few days) and then I will come back and tell you about today.  I also have lots of pictures, I just have to go through them.  Hope you are enjoying the posts.  More fun to come!!

Rattlesnakes and scorpions live here...oh my!!

Rattlesnakes and scorpions live here…oh my!!


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