Joe’s All-American road trip November 29, 2006Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips.
Joe Queenan has written a funny, somewhat acerbic, mostly affectionate and observant essay about American road trips in the Belfast Telegraph. That includes a few thoughts about Route 66, including this one:
Cruising along Route 66 constantly reminds the traveller of the skewed concept of space that exists in the wide open spaces. Back east, signs read, “Food and Gas: 2 miles”. Out west, signs read, “Injun Joe’s Jewelry Shop, Subterranean Cavern and Dinosaur Farm, 137 miles”. People say, “New York, New York: Sounds so nice they had to name it twice”. True. But they only had to name Abilene and Salinas and Cheyenne once. The landscape is dotted with towns whose names are so evocative, so steeped in legend that if you try hard enough you can almost forget how nondescript they are once you get there. I can particularly recall drinking a cup of rancid coffee in a deserted diner in Gallup, New Mexico, gazing out the window at a freight train the length of the Amazon and thinking, “Gallup, New Mexico. Hear that lonesome whistle blow! Now, you’re talking!”