Monday, June 6, 2011

The Mother Road calls, we follow. Our adventures down Route 66 {New Braunfels photographer}

Route 66, New Braunfels photographerIt was a family tradition for me when I was a child. Summer would roll around and my parents, brother and sister, would pile into the family car and hit the road. Usually traveling northwest toward Yellowstone National Park.

We hit all the stops on the way year after year. If there's a campground, state or national park, national monument, historic site, or quirky strange tourist attraction anywhere between the St. Louis Arch and Crescent City, CA or in between Glacier National Park and Big Bend. I've been there, done that.

Fifteen years ago I married my man and dragged him with me on the open road for our honeymoon. We hit all the fun stops along the way. It's been a long time coming, but we decided to retrace our honeymoon path with the kids this year in celebration of 15 years of marriage. So we packed up the family minivan (when I was a kid we didn't have the luxury of space in our car often traveling in station wagons or oh-my-lord that little Ford Escort).

Our end target was the Grand Canyon North Rim where we stayed during our honeymoon. We would hit a lot of the stops along the way and circle back through Las Vegas and hit the stops we missed on the way back.

Internet service was patchy and my iPhone wasn't nearly as handy in the middle of a sandstorm at Four Corners so I didn't blog about my adventures along the way, but I took lots of notes and hope to get all my thoughts down in my blog over the next few days.

I thought it appropriate today to share with you a few images of Route 66, along which we spent quite a bit of time the past week.

Route 66 was once the main highway across the United States. A lot of people drove this route going from east to west. Through thousands of miles of plains and deserts, cities and small towns. It was replaced by Interstate 40 and many of the towns that got bypassed lost their main stream of revenue. Remember the movie "Cars" in which Lightening McQueen happens upon the little forgotten town by mistake?

Most of you know I'm fascinated by the old forgotten places and run down buildings so I was in photo paradise during many legs of this trip.Holbrook, Arizona, Wigwam Motel, New Braunfels photography
Holbrook, Arizona, Wigwam Motel, New Braunfels photography
I downloaded my Roadside America app before the trip so I could access little quirky sites along the way. There was an abandoned amusement park near Two Guns Arizona, the famous Wigwan Motel in Holbrook, and how could I drive through Winslow and not stop to shoot a photo of us standing on the corner!
Winslow, Arizona, Standin' on the Corner Park, New Braunfels photographer
Today there are hundreds upon hundreds of abandoned gas stations and old motels in the middle of the desert. Passed by and forgotten in the name of progress and a need for speed. Back in the day it was vital to the survival of these places to stand out and make people want to stop. They boasted billboards along the way to entice motorists to stop and spend their money, "Kodak film and flashbulbs" some of them still said -- paint flaking and the wood rotting yet the colors still strong. "Clean restrooms," "fudge," "souvenirs." Neon signs and interesting structures were once enough to get people to pull over and take a break and drop a little cash.

Our trip along Route 66 was one of my favorite parts of the journey -- even more so than our nights in Vegas. I'll take a big old plaster dinosaur with a broken back over the glitz and lights of Vegas any day.

Stay tuned for more of our Great American Family Roadtrip adventures.

Holbrook, Arizona rock shop dinosaur statues, New Braunfels photographer
Yucca, Arizona golf ball house, area 66, Dinesphere, New Braunfels photographer
Seligman, Arizona -<br />Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In, New Braunfels photographer

Lisa On Location Photography

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