Monday, April 01, 2013

The Real Roots of Route 66

April 1, 2013,
I'm on the road with three beautiful, and wild, women. Kathy and I picked up Cal and Fran at the train station in Sevilla yesterday then drove up into the ancient mountains where the village of Arcos hangs on the cliffs of a Sedona-like ridge. We rented a 350 year old house that is on a street so narrow pedestrians have to stand in doorways to let our VW Golf pass on the cobblestone streets.

The day before yesterday, Kathy and I stayed on the beach at Rota on the Atlantic Coast. In the old part of town there is a castle where there is a monument to the local boy who went with Columbus in 1492 to discover America. As I stood on the beach and looked out at the angry sea I really got a visceral feeling about just how brave those dudes were to not only venture out from their own safe harbor, but to keep going into the unknown until they struck a new place. The doubts and the attempted mutiny all made perfect sense.

As I tried to picture all that begat, I turned to look at the beachfront bars and there, front and center, was the Route 66 Bar. Later, at the train station in Sevilla I went into a bookstore and saw a rock and roll magazine with the name Ruta 66 (Ruta is Spanish for Route) and the famous highway shield I grew up under.

It was here, thousands of miles from my home, that I realized that Route 66 is more of an international legend than Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and Jesse James combined.

"No history happened in Kingman, Arizona. I can't wait to get out of here and go see some history."
—A certain snotty kid who was also very stupid