We pulled away from Pontiac, Illinois, tired from our day of exploring and a bit overloaded with our heads full of wall murals and cool nostalgia items from the various museums we toured. Finding our way back onto Route 66, the discussion was lively and enthusiastic as we worked from Route 66 road sign to road sign. Turn here, oh look at that, sign says straight through and so on. The cruise control was set at 55 and we were LTD (Living The Dream).
I must admit that we weren’t micro-focused, you know like if you were in a big city or heavy traffic area trying to find some particular location, it was more of an easy cruisin state of mind when all of a sudden:
The road just ended, the brakes are locked up and smoking, I’m expecting our Explorer to come through the back of the Motorhome, and I think we’re going to die! Everything that wasn’t tied down shifted forward and Coby, our Yellow Lab, was running backwards while sliding forwards on the tile floor.
I managed to get the rig stopped before going over a cliff or into a pothole the size of Oklahoma. Thank the Lord for big air brakes! As we gathered our wits to make sense of what just happened, it seems that we missed a sign or something. Now we are at a Dead End and with the Explorer being towed, we can’t back it up. So, we disconnect the Explorer from the Motorhome and start to get everything backed out of the mess we charged into.
Upon getting our wits about us we discovered that the Route 66 turn here signs were missing. Actually they had been removed! The sign post was there, at the spot for us to make the missed turn, but no signs! Here is what it was supposed to look like:
Yep, that’s clear enough, that’s what we were looking for. It’s so easy even a flipflop-gypsy can do it, right? Well it didn’t work out that way. Here is what we got instead:
I know, I know, at this point all the armchair quarterbacks are saying “but there’s a blue arrow” and “you should have caught that” and maybe you’re right. But there are other routes that use the blue arrows, too. It’s not just Route 66. But…you’re right, I missed it. With the slow vanishing of what’s left of Route 66, it appears that these signs are becoming collector items. I’m pretty sure it didn’t walk away on it’s own or didn’t evaporate. It may be a leap, but I’d bet that Route 66 sign was stolen? At any rate, I missed it and I need to pay better attention. I think it’s time to do some research and find out how to set up our navigator to follow Route 66 as we also watch for signs. Oh…I forgot to show you what ALMOST happened:
So what’s the take-away from this adrenaline spike experience? A couple of things:
1. Pay better attention to the road and be aware of exactly where you are.
2. Have the navigator set up and following Route 66 and highlighting the route.
3. Good news, my heart must still be strong because I didn’t go into cardiac arrest.
4. The old plumbing is still in working order and I don’t yet need Depends!
One more thing ~ This is my shame face!