Like many moms on Mothers Day, I’m reminiscing about my three children growing up. There were the usual recollections of first steps taken, first days at school, first loves; graduations; marriages; family reunions and so forth. Then I began searching my memory to recall family travels in the summer, when The Dad, a teacher, had time off. We traveled by car and saw much of the United States at roadway level, not high above in a plane or racing along on trains.
One of our trips was a spur-of-the moment kind. We decided to pack up the car and drive as far as our savings would take us (couple hundred dollars at the time). I grabbed clothes off the line in the yard, we packed our bags, and got our small sons into the back seat of the car and drove off, heading west. We ended up in Colorado, stayed with relatives a few days, before driving east again.
I’m not sure whether it was that trip or another venture when we stopped at an inexpensive motel for the night. But within minutes we were out of that place. Bed bugs were making themselves at home! Fortunately, down the road we found another motel—it was clean and comfortable.
In those days, some of our travels were along U.S. 66, known as Route 66 or the Mother Road. It was a two-lane highway (now a historic landmark). Leaving from our home in Barrington, Illinois, we traveled south through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally into California. RT 66 no longer exists as a U.S. highway, replaced by Interstate 10 with exits to parts of the historic route that are still drivable.
Bottom line: if you really want to see our country and its people, drive across the land, check out some monuments, national parks, small towns, farms… And when you stop overnight, find a friendly and clean motel!