Day One: St. Louis to Amarillo
Or, technically, my parents’ house west of St. Louis to Amarillo. I initially thought about trying to follow Route 66 for some of this trip, but when I started trying to map it through Missouri (using Historic 66.com) it got really complicated and basically just followed I-44 on the service roads anyway, so I figured to heck with it. Plus I tend to get frustrated on non-interstate roads very quickly on trips, so it was pretty much a stupid idea anyway.
Tweet: California or bust!
Tweet: Music recommendation: Babyshambles’ newest release Shotters Nation. Finally picked it up Saturday [yay Vintage Vinyl!] and it’s awesome.
Here are a couple of tracks off that album. I like the way lead Pete Doherty is bringing in some jazz influences, especially in “There She Goes.”
There’s not a lot of love lost between me and Missouri (besides St. Louis, which I do love), but the stretch of I-44 going through the Ozarks can be quite lovely. Too bad it was a little cloudy when I was going through, but I really like the rolling hills and rock cuts.
Tweet: I’ve lived in Missouri for 25 years and am now moving away having never been to Branson. Huh.
Tweet: Billboard I just passed was advertising ‘Titanic: A Family Experience.’ Because drowning is always good times.
Tweet: My iPod is picking awesome songs. I guess having playlists FULL OF AWESOME helps.
Tweet: Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…
This is advertised to be the World’s Largest McDonalds, stretching across I-44 just west of Vinita, Oklahoma, but I don’t think that’s actually true. Unless, perhaps, you count all the non-McDonalds parts of the building, like the souvenir shop and the ice cream booth. Still, it’s cool to stop at and watch the cars go under you while you eat, but I didn’t stop this time.
Last chance to continue down I-35 through Dallas to Waco instead of taking I-40 toward California! It was tempting to find an excuse to go down and hang out with my friends again, but then I’d just have to say goodbye again, too, and that would suck.
Tweet: Bob Dylan is good stuff. Why did I not know this before?
I never really listened to Dylan until I saw I’m Not There a couple of weeks ago, but as soon as I saw the film, I was inspired to seek out more music, and I quite like it. Different than most of the stuff I listen to, but then a lot of the stuff I listen to wouldn’t exist without Dylan’s innovations.
Tweet: Hills and cruise control are an annoyingly poor combination. [So are headwinds and cruise control, as I found going through the deserts later]
Tweet: They aren’t kidding when they talk about the wind blowing down the plains in Oklahoma.
Tweet: Apparently I’m not the first to notice how windy OK is; passing the first wind farm of the trip.
Aw, Oklahoma’s trying to do mesas. How cute!
Tweet: Done with Oklahoma. Seems like I was in there forever.
Tweet: My ears just popped! This is the most gradual hill ever, but I’m definitely gaining altitude.
Getting into Texas made me happy, even if it is just the panhandle. This landscape agrees with me a lot more than Oklahoma’s, for some reason.
Then there was this gorgeous sunset.
And then there was Amarillo.
Click through for Days Two (New Mexico and Arizona) and Three (California).