Route 66: The Mother Road — Few roadways in America can claim more nostalgia or whimsy than this historic route. Luckily, our departure from Missouri and our next shoot in Texas placed us conveniently in the path of 66. I had wanted to ride the Mother Road for years, and it was an opportunity too good to let go by.
Like many Route 66 travelers, we had left our homes behind with little money in our pockets and California in our sights. We didn’t have any specific shoots planned; rather, we hoped to pick up some impromptu footage. The prospect had a freeing effect, and I for one hit the highway in high spirits.
As we rode however, I began to grow disheartened. The routine of the journey was all-too-familiar: ride until our bikes or bodies demanded refueling; fill ‘em up; and keep going until nightfall forced a stop. We had an all-day ride ahead of us, and I was becoming increasingly worried that time limitations would once again trump the experience.
It was during this stretch that I became aware of a cycle that would happen on long riding days. Inevitably, they had their ups and downs, and as the sun rose and the humidity grew, it looked like we were in store for a miserable stretch. By the time we rode into Galena, Kansas, Jeremy and I were dehydrated and overheated. We split with the crew in order to search for water while they set up for some quick pick up shots.
A few bottles of water later, we were standing in front of the cameras once more. Neither of us were in any sort of mood to banter, but I think we managed to muddle through the segment. It’s a shame because looking back, Galena is a neat little stretch of Rt. 66. In many ways it’s like stepping back in time, and in any other circumstance, I would have loved to wander around and gawk at that time capsule of a town. Like the highway itself, it had seen better days, but that only seemed to give her more character.
Hitting the road again with a belly full of cool water seemed to help a bit, and as we traveled the heat eased off and so did the humidity. The one sure thing of traveling long distance on a motorcycle is if you don’t like the weather, just give it 20 miles or so; it’s bound to change.
That familiar Route 66 logo began to pass underfoot, and the (at times) grass-covered road twisted and turned, passing through towns, fields, and trees. My sense of adventure was officially recaptured. Next stop: Pop’s in Arcadia, OK.