Route 66 – Irina’s Journal

Day 6

I woke up, had a look around and asked myself a question if it was worth running away from your country and leaving all your friends behind to work in a place like that?

Well, the diner was very nice again, town looked very friendly and nice in the day light, we went to the observatory – very modern, but I prefer the one in Riga. Maybe because I spent a lot of time there with my dad’s friends. Looks like a very nice place to work, however, in the middle of the forest, very peaceful.

After, we drove to the Petrified Forest. Oh, I forgot, we went through the town where the Pony Express was born and I finally got my first slice of pie with a glass of milk in another “historical” diner.

I am making a local dictionary –

  • Authentic = very old and dirty (Anything made or built 100 years ago is very old!)
  • Trendy = same but very expensive
  • Historical is the worse – same as Trendy and they are proud of it!

Forest was interesting to see – trees are literally turned into crystals. But the best part was after Newspaper Rock, the Painted Desert, a desert of rocks with a spectacular view. I asked why is it called like that – apparently it is changing colors – from pastel in the spring, to red during the summer and blue in the winter. Amazing!

Had a nice dinner at diner and stopped by chance at a normal motel that was very discreet about its authentic or historical past. It is not a motel – it’s a palace! Huge room, brilliant bathroom, white aromatized towels, flowers next to the sink, paradise! JC is making fun of me – one night in a dump and everything is a palace for me, but this one really is! Going to sleep now, JC fell asleep already half an hour ago

Day 7 – Wednesday 6th October

At around 1.40 pm we reached the famous Mid Point Cafe! The road to there was very nice, but rather uneventful – mountains, plains, hills … Oh, something did happened – I learned very important thing – never pay attention to the passengers reactions when you are about to have an accident and trust your our judgment! But, OK, we were fine after all.

Midpoint cafe is famous not only because it’s right in the middle between LA and Chicago, but also because of its great pies. They were already closing, but the sweet ladies had pity on us and let us have some pie nevertheless. I have to admit, the guide was correct – you can indeed literally taste the happiness when you eat it! It’s like the taste of the sunny day in never ending summer! Hmmm…

We had a very nice chat with a retired soldier that was there as well. I have the impression that people here can be divided into two groups – either they have never heard about Belgium, either they have been there themselves. He has been almost everywhere in Europe and unlike our NJ friend had very good memory what was where, what food they had and spoke bits of almost every language. I was impressed!

In general today was a day of tasting things. I found out that I am cautious about salt water candy, love dry beef and still have to taste the pickle packed in a plastic bag – am a bit scared of it – it looks kind of weird in a small wobbly semitransparent bag, floating in juice, almost like an alien life form… The local chocolate I do love! Great stuff, as long as you don’t expect it to taste like actual chocolate.

What did we do after? I think I am getting a bit tired of the trip, because everything smoothens up and I start forgetting details… Driving was fun – played overtaking game with a huge white and chrome truck for 100 miles, helped to stay awake, the sense of distance is different here – the question of overtaking can take miles… And how do they manage to keep their trucks so clean and shiny?

We had lunch on route 66, the place was described as “funky” in a guide… Am not sure what it means, but food was ok and place looked… Hm… Special…

To be able to breathe, I had a short walk… Antique shops look like flea markets :-) was fun! If you get a bit further from the road, living neighborhood and houses start to appear… Very small, ground floor, wood, but with very nice little gardens and most of them – with extremely nice and cozy porches… Quiet green alleys… Playing kids… It’s just peace itself!

Btw, I noticed that people are very focused on god around here. I don’t think they actually believe in him – otherwise they would not be so pro- military I suppose, but you surely see a lot of stickers “Jesus is our Lord” and people saying “God bless you!” at any chance they get.

Now, lunch was in Amarillo, Texas, the first state that looks like if crisis never happened.

Except one thing, but it’s too sad to write about it right now. Surely gives you a lot to think about however.

Ah, forgot to tell – Cadillac ranch was amazing! People had some imagination to build something like that!

And then we had a dinner… Steak! I never thought steak can taste like that. Am afraid I will never be able to eat steak in Belgium anymore… It sounds terrible; all I write about is food… Will try to be more intellectual tomorrow! :-)

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