Go West Old Man - Fall 2005 travel blog


We awakened to the sound of propane heaters as the balloons sailed over our campground once again. Today was International Day and the balloons from foreign countries got to sail first. We kept our hands at our sides and left the cameras in the case. How many photographs of a hot air balloon do we need? We stood there sipping our coffee and enjoying the sight, when the flow of balloons came to a quick end. The announcer on local TV said that they had closed the field, because the wind had picked up and became dangerous.

This was our signal to pick up too, and by 9am we were on the road east. When we crossed the cold front the wind picked up dramatically and the sky turned dark. I saw fields flecked with white and feared snow, but they were just fields of cotton. Here in the Texas panhandle, signs of civilization are few and far between and we find ourselves camped with some of the same people we just saw at the balloon festival.

We see many signs referring to Route 66. Perhaps this was before my time, but I just don't see what the big deal is. Perhaps it's the nostalgia for one of the first roads travelers used to cross the US by car. Maybe it's just an excuse to sell T-shirts and mugs. We saw a motel in Albuquerque that boasted it was the oldest motel on the route. I just saw a motel in serious need of refurbishment. I believe we will be following this famous route all the way to Illinois.

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