December 15th, 2021 – Trip wrap-up

Well I made it back. Today’s drive was a battle against a crosswind that was probably 60 MPH most of the way and it was ferocious in places. The winds on the way down from WA into OR and CA knocked a half MPG off my gas mileage, so on top of that the ridiculous gas prices really cost me a lot of extra money.

🤷🏼‍♂️

It was a bit stressful with the weather but still enjoyable. On the road is good!

I FINALLY remembered to set the odometer for the trip and I drove about 5,200 miles! I shudder to think what the hotel and fuel costs were so I am not going to even look at my expenses, but it was an extra 1,000 miles I had to go out of my way and with the stupid gas prices I really paid dearly. Some very scary mathematics there.

Some signs say so much about a lot

It was not as cheap as I hoped. The hotels are spendy these days and that adds up fast, especially given that I had to go the long way around to get back. I mostly ate groceries I took with me (they would have gone bad by the time I got back). That really saved money (and I hate wasting food) so that helped. And then there are the petroleum robber barons in CA and AZ screwing the public like that. No shame.

It has been somewhat of an informative trip. I saw countless RV camps all over, especially in SoCal and AZ. I don’t know whose land they are on since there are vast areas of land in the desert. Every exit has the same shit food – “the King, the Clown, the Colonel” (Anthony Bourdain quote), and I will add The Chihuahua to that list. Most every store has the same garbage for sale, and it’s all the same exact thing. Same stores everywhere.

I think this may be a problem

We have gotten so homogenous (in some ways) from what I see during my travels. We seem to be losing variety and ethnicity and it is turning everything into the same boring thing. There are a lot of homeless people – a HELL of a lot – some by choice (no responsibility, don’t want to work, want to live off of others, want a Bohemian lifestyle, van/RV dwellers, etc.) and some are due to circumstances they cannot control. I also see that nobody talks to others or is kind to each other as they take your money for $6 a gallon gas.

Not getting political – these are merely the things that I see as I am driving and stopping for fuel or sleep.

I also would suggest to the states of California and Arizona that they stop putting up speed limit signs as they do no good. Save the money on signs and make the damn gas cheaper.

It is pretty easy to be sucked into the romantic history of Route 66 when you like history and travel (and I do). As I said in another post, I got to drive the one section I really wanted to see since it was far away from the interstate (Kingman to Seligman). Other than maybe a few places in Illinois I might check out, I have pretty much done what I wanted to do as far as The Mother Road.

It is really too bad they obliterated the actual Route 66. It would have been cool to drive the whole thing on it’s original alignment but this historical highway was destroyed for no real good reason (they call it “progress”). With most of it right next to the Interstate it is pointless and tedious to keep constantly hopping off and back on I-40/44 to drive sections of Route 66 for a few miles.

As I drove along seeing all the old businesses and signs without buildings it made me think about what I wrote in previous posts about abandoned properties and buildings, wondering why they were left and why the buildings were never torn down. I then thought about driving in Ireland’s countryside, seeing castles everywhere.

It’s history and it’s a good thing none of these places, along with the remaining miles of Route 66, were never torn down. Doesn’t matter if it is the ruins of a 500-year-old castle or a fifty-year-old motel or roadhouse…it’s still history. It’s good that they were not torn down to be replaced with something else too.

We see it in major cities here in The States where beautiful old buildings are torn down instead of being renovated, and a giant mirrored glass eyesore takes their place. Imagine if they did that in other parts of the world. I saw amazing buildings all over my travels in Europe. They keep the buildings alive instead of replacing them. It’s what we should be doing here to keep the history intact.

Then & now

I was shocked, yet happy, to see the thousands of windmills I saw on this trip. With the winds they were making electricity, but it reminded of an article I saw about wind-generated power. I drove through ferocious winds the last five days and you would think these windmills would be spinning like an airplane propellor. That is not the case; there is no gain for them to spin over a certain RPM. They do not produce more power if they go faster over a certain rotation speed. In case you want to know more click here.

As I said before, travel is good and I have good trips and better ones. This was a good one.

Until next post, stay safe.

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