The car was quiet other than the hum of the rough pavement under the tires. Thumper was reading a book. I was daydreaming while looking out at the line of traffic on Interstate 40. So many cars, yet I was the only one on Route 66 as far as I could see. With all the advantages of an Interstate, I tried to think of why I prefer the old road. Why, after hundreds of miles, have I almost developed an emotional attachment to it? I tried to come up with a comparison to explain the difference and thought of old weather-beaten barns. New barns have their advantages too, but they never make me want to pull my car off to the side of the road, grab my camera, and walk across a muddy field to take pictures of it.
Suddenly, I noticed the road change up ahead. I was speeding along at sixty miles per hour then slammed on my breaks. My tires skidded a few yards on the chipped and crumbling highway. Thumper dropped her book to her lap and drew back into her seat. The road’s pavement came to an abrupt end and turned to gravel, grass, and bumpy tire tracks sunken into the soil from previous Sixty-sixers sliding to a stop and U-turning. We laughed at the situation while adrenaline increased our heart rate and turned our legs to jelly. We tried to see if we could continue in the Honda, but they weren’t exactly built for off-road.
A Backpacker's Life List by Ryan Grayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.