One of the perks that come from notoriety derived through my endeavor to become a writer when I grow up is the opportunity to see Route 66, and my beloved America, though the eyes of visitors from foreign lands. As an example of just how much a blessing this is, consider the recent film starring Billy Connolly.
After watching this, the second episode in the series, do you have the same perspective about the all American Bible belt, the zaniness of the Sunday morning salvation through donation programs, the swastika, or the unique entrepreneurial spirit made manifest in giant rocking chairs or underground light shows found along Route 66?
On numerous occasions I have noted that Route 66 long ago transcended its original purpose. As the Main Street of America it presented a microcosm of the American experience. Today it is a repository, a time capsule, where the absolute best, the worst, and the unique flavors of this great nation are preserved for all to see, to touch, to taste, and to feel in the very depth of their souls.
I once heard it said that any man who could stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon at sunrise and not feel a quickening in their spirit was dead to the wonders of the world and void of a soul. This analogy works quite well in regard to adventures on iconic Route 66.
How can one not be renewed and invigorated by the atmosphere, the friendly people, the tangible excitement of foreign visitors, the easy conversation, the good food, and the excellent coffee at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas? How can one stand in the now quiet west bound lanes of Route 66 in Glenrio, Texas where the dry bones of a once vital community stand in mute testimony to an era when the journey was more important to the destination and not question the price of progress?
To drive Route 66 from end to end is an increasingly rare opportunity to savor life, to experience what makes this nation unique, and to discover, or rediscover, why this country is still the destination of choice for immigrants seeking opportunity and freedom. It is a religious pilgrimage, a quest worthy of the Argonauts, and the search for the holy grail all rolled into one grand adventure.
I have traveled this storied highway for decades and used a river of ink to extol its virtues, chronicle its colorful history, and tell the tales of those who gave it life. Still, with each trip I make new discoveries, find renewal of the mind in following its twisted course through the heartland, and am left in awe of its ability to inspire.
From this perspective, will anyone be surprised to learn I am eagerly awaiting the time of our departure for the next grand adventure along iconic Route 66?

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