What are you going to drive on historic US Route 66? A Prius? That would be sacreligious. It would have to be American and convertible; it’s Route 66 after all. So we rented a Mustang convertible.
Traveling Route 66 is like driving a road back through time; neglected and forgotten, but still an American classic.We stopped at numerous trading posts and roadside attractions that have been there since the glory days. From a distance, they look about the same, but when you get up close, you can see how they have aged. For starters, the twenty-year-old clerk is now actually sixty. There are pictures and artifacts lining the walls, all of the establishments are half-Museums. And they all have random Route 66 nostalgia to sell.
Helen and I were both excited for Bedrock City, Valle, AZ. It’s basically a scrubby grass/dirt lot with all your favorite Flintstones characters living right there in the Arizona desert; who knew? We went to the Caveman Beauty parlor, but The Rubbles house was a dump. Surreal isn’t even the word.
In Holbrook, Arizona, we stayed at the Wigwam Motel in one of a dozen small concrete teepees that are like small cabins, complete with a small shower and bathroom. All of the furniture inside was original, but it might be time for a refinish/replace. Originally built in the forties and fifties, these little teepee hotels littered the highways, now only three exist in the US. Probably not a big surprise to anyone. but we have now stayed at two out of three, and Helen is already planning our trip to the third in Kentucky.
Near the end of the road trip was Monument Valley on the Navajo Reservation. The best way to view the sandstone buttes was along a seventeen mile dirt and sand road. I probably should not have taken the Mustang on a 17 mile off-road excursion, but whatever, it’s a rental, right? We only bottomed out a few times but did almost get stuck in the deep sand. I got the hang of it after a few miles and was soon passing 4x4s. Giddy up, Mustang.