Posted by: redforkhippie | December 25, 2007

Road Tip 1

To make Spring Break 66 lively and useful for those of you planning road trips down Route 66 for spring break, I’m going to start what I hope will be a weekly feature: simple travel tips to make your journey more pleasant.

This week’s tip: Ditch your hangups.

One of the first things I learned on Route 66 is that things are seldom what they seem on this old road, and if you bring along all your fears, prejudices, and preconceived notions, you’re going to miss out on a lot of fun.

I know people who absolutely refuse to stay in a mom-and-pop motel or eat at a mom-and-pop diner, because they’re not sure they’ll like it. They want to spend their whole vacation eating predictable McDonald’s food, sleeping in predictable Holiday Inn rooms, and shopping at predictable big-box stores just like the ones they have at home. They want to know exactly what they’re going to get before they get it. Kind of makes you wonder why they bother leaving home.

Route 66 — like any trip worth taking — is about having adventures, exploring new places, and making new friends.

Sleep in a concrete tepee. Eat fried dill pickles and frozen custard and ugly-crust pie. Have your picture taken with a fiberglass giant. Explore a ghost town. Walk into the mouth of a concrete whale. Drive up a winding road to see a stone goldfish bowl carved into the side of a mountain. Talk to strangers. Eat a spicy footlong chili dog at a tiny restaurant advertised by a neon dachshund that wags its tail and eats a string of neon sausages. Spell your name in tiny white stones on a berm in the middle of the desert. Take the 72-ounce steak challenge. Catch a movie at the drive-in. Wiggle your toes in the Pacific Ocean.

Route 66 is a road of adventure. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Let its friendly faces, classic neon signs, and dazzling scenic vistas fill your consciousness and teach you some lessons about the beauty and joy in everyday life.

The road will change you if you’ll let it.

Let it.

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