Drive Route 66

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Kelsey Liu's Goal

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When visiting family in California in the summer of 2012, we decided to do something a bit different. The choice was between driving up to San Francisco and spending a week there or engaging in a road trip through California, Nevada and Arizona. Obviously we chose the latter (like anyone would). This road trip would consist of driving 6 hours from California to Las Vegas in Nevada and staying there for three nights. Then driving another 6-7 hours along route 66 to Hoover Dam and then to our hotel in Arizona where would spend two days before making the 11 hour journey back to California.

When I got back to England, people kept asking me; ‘what was it like on Route 66?’ and do you know what, I simply couldn’t answer them. Not because it was so breath-taking or overwhelming, it was because I didn’t actually realize I was on it until we were close to the end. The story behind that statement was that we had been driving for 2 hours already in boiling heat and I was suffering from jet-lag so I decided to pass the time by doing what I do best, sleeping.

Before I fell asleep I looked out at the view. I saw nothing but vast desert landscape. Not the kind of desert where you would see giant sand dunes and cacti, but the kind where the floor was cracked, dried up mud or hard sand and every now and then, you would see a rock. Not much to look at to be honest with you, hence my decision to sleep through the next 5 hours of the journey.

When I woke up about an hour later, the landscape didn’t change much at all. The only difference was every 100 yards or so, there were billboards upon billboards, all advertising beef jerky. Cliché? Anyway, due to this, I didn’t think much of it. Heck, I wasn’t even told we going to drive on Route 66 otherwise I probably would’ve paid more attention to my whereabouts. It was only after seeing a sign stating that we were reaching the end of the route did I start to raise suspicion and ask where we were.

After finding out I slept through the majority of our journey down the iconic route and getting over my grudge with the fact I was not awoken or told, I decided to start looking and actually attempting to take in this once in a life time experience. Obviously that was quite hard considering I had already slept through all the interesting, photographic parts.

Now, when people do ask me what it was like, I honestly can’t say much more about it other than two words, which in my case, described the whole journey: ‘sand’ and ‘beef jerky’. Perhaps if I was actually awake for the most part of the journey, I could describe it in more detail and start talking about how amazing of an experience it was. But, unfortunately that won’t happen. Oh well, perhaps I won’t be able to talk about my experience on Route 66 but at least I am able to check it off my bucket list.



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