It will be a working holiday, a whirlwind tour of Route 66. It will be a 9.5 day drive to Chicago and home again, with a 200 mile detour to my dad’s house in Michigan, several meetings and stops to photograph seven hundred sites.
It will be delightful. Of course that is based on the premise that the worst day on Route 66 is better than the best day at work, unless Route 66 is your work.
The desire to photograph neon at night will provide the excuse for refreshing the fast fading nightmares of long nights with only the glow of the dash lights and the mournful tunes of old crooners broadcast over KOMA to keep the cold, empty night from engulfing me. The quest for fall colors at sunrise to frame the haunting emptiness of John’s Modern Cabins or the Chain of Rocks Bridge will surely negate the need to find motels offering a continental breakfast.
Somewhere between the neon lit night, and the soft warm glow of an autumn sunrise, we are eagerly looking forward to immersing ourselves in the comforting time capsules that line this old road; the Blue Swallow, the Wagon Wheel Motel, the Cactus Inn. Coffee and road food at the Midpoint Cafe and the Palms Cafe, Lou Mitchell’s and the Ariston Cafe, will provide sustenance and solace for a weary soul. 
On this adventure savoring the wonders of Route 66 will be a luxury and instead we will step back in time to drive it as though it were still the Main Street of America, and we had a deadline to keep. It will be like old times but this time the journey will be shared with my dearest friend, the friends we visit along the way, and the friends we have yet to meet. 
If only I had a 1950 Hudson, 1940 Buick, or 1956 Rambler wagon for this journey. Then this adventure would truly be one across time as well as across the nation.
In my head I still see the man of twenty that I once was. However, it seldom takes long for the reality that sixty is fast approaching at the top of the hill and that fifty is fading from view in the mirror to chase the illusion away.
There was a time when the run to Michigan from Kingman was a two and a half or three day affair. Years have passed. Common sense has chased away foolish testosterone fueled bravado and feats of endurance. The importance of balancing the goal of reaching a destination with enjoying the journey along the way has replaced the fevered hurry of youth.
So, our October trip will be quite interesting. The old and new will collide as flit between the past that is Route 66 and the present that is the interstate. The vision of a youth that once was will meet the reality of age.

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