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Blue Skies

Category: RV News
Source: New York Post
Publish Date: Saturday, February 2, 2008
Summary: A detour in the RV on the road to the Super Bowl.

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BIG BLUE HIGHWAY - Decided to slow down my life today for many reasons. So I got out of the fast lane, hopped off Interstate 40 and found my way to old Route 66 near Shamrock, Texas.

The Super Bowl can wait. Kickoff is not until Sunday night. I have time and sometimes we all forget that time is our most precious commodity. It is the only over/under that really matters.

Not much of the old Route 66 remains but as I drove along in my El Monte RV, I didn't have to look left or right at cars zipping by like I did on the fast track Interstate. For a little while I didn't have to check my mirrors or gas tank or GPS tracking system.

I looked straight ahead, and then tilted my eyes slightly upward. The snow clouds that had followed since Arkansas had finally lifted. And before me was the bluest sky you could ever imagine. The kind of blue you see only in the movies.

Perhaps that Big Blue is an omen for Super Bowl XLII. Perhaps the GiantsNew York Giants will put an exclamation point on their incredible season and beat the Patriots in the Greatest Super Bowl Upset Ever, even better than Joe Willie's JetsNew York Jets conquest of the Colts, back when the Colts were in the National Football League, not the AFC.

Motels that once flourished on Route 66 are now just trying to survive any way they can. The chain hotels and our travel habits as a country have done them in, but Route 66 remains a magical highway in America's history. It once stood for all that was possible back in the early 1960s when the TV show of the same name captured what we are all about as Americans: freedom.

Route 66 represented the freedom to get away. It represented the freedom to move on and make something more of your life. You could go west all the way to the Pacific. And the best thing about it, you could be doing all this in one cool Corvette.

Things have changed. Oh you can still stop in those tourist traps and pick up gator heads and bull horns, three shirts for 10 dollars and a blanket for $6.99, I know. I saw the sign. It's now all about fast food, fast internet hookups and a fast destination.

Sometimes the journey is all but forgotten. Cherish the journey. So I took the obligatory picture of a Route 66 sign and will email it to friends.

The picture can be used as a reminder that although things are constantly changing, there are still guideposts to help us find our way. And those guideposts may be far off the Interstate, far off the beaten path.

As I write this I'm sitting in the San Jon Community Center parking lot just inside the New Mexico border, not far from one of the best town names in the country, Tucumcari. There are 654 miles remaining in this journey - that's only if you count the trip one way.

To get true RV Street Cred, this is round trip. So, enjoy the little things like the sign I saw two days ago outside Checotah, Oklahoma that proclaimed the town to be the Home of Carrie Underwood, American Idol 2005. And even though Texas is a big oil state, take time to notice all those giant white windmills or the cattle, thousands of them.

I also saw the biggest and grandest rest stop of them all yesterday, yes, of course, it was in Texas. It looked like a 10-story art museum and it framed a windmill as its main piece of architecture. There are winds of change.

That windmill is not to be mistaken for the largest cross in America, which I also saw in Texas. And here in New Mexico, the road was so straight and ran as far as the eye could see so that it looked like a runway to that brilliant blue sky.

And, always remember, the stars never shine as bright as they do in the desert night.

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