After Meramec Caverns, we bade farewell to Route 66. We’ve driven the first 1/6 of the entire road, and it’s been a memorable experience. Kelly and I are too young to have old Route 66 in our past, so it’s someone else’s memories we’ve been chasing. And like all memories, they’ve softened and grown sweeter over the years. That’s okay by me — I like my history cooked a little, with extra seasoning.
It’s actually hard to turn back, like dropping out of a race. The road continues westward, with more stories to tell. Perhaps we’ll get back someday. I hope so.
Our route back to Chicago is on the 55, the modern version of the freeway — generic, newly paved and oh-so-straight.
How are you supposed to get your kicks on Hwy 55? Maybe you can jive, or take a drive, or disturb a beehive, but it doesn’t ring the same. Will folks be going retro along this highway in fifty years? Recapturing this bygone era by retracing its footsteps? I doubt it. Something about Route 66 has captured the imagination, and it’s hard to imagine this slick road infusing people’s blood the same way.
I’m betting a half century down the road, people will still be hitting the mother road.
“Aw, dad… do we have to drive? On the ground?”