Thursday, 19 May 2016

Gems of the soil

Yesterday, as I mentioned,  I got a flat tire while in Plato, Missouri and dropped the tire off at Sawyer Tire Auto Care in Lebanon,  just as they were closing.   The Manager Larry said to leave it with him and they'd get to it first thing in the morning.

This morning I went back to pick up the tire, quite prepared to pay $35 plus for its repair.  Nothing even close.  $15.72, the Yanks still can’t get rid of their darn pennies.  Larry, who last night had suggest places to for me to stay, already had the tire in hand and repaired.  Wonderful service and he has a sense of humour too boot.

Larry and his tires.

Plodding westward and just past Springfield, Missouri, I hooked up again with the original R66.  Stopped to check if my car would squeeze under the “Low Clearance”.  Glad I fueled up in Springfield and wasn't counting on the station just past the bridge.
Will I clear the "Low Clearance"?

No Gas Here.  Lucky I filled up in Springfield

This road is typical of what is left of the original R66, the one from 1926.   This is also the version of R66 where I believe some of the most interesting R66 folks reside.  Many are locked in a kind of time capsule.  Living off the land and their wits.  Many have stayed on simply because they prefer the simpler style of life offered alone the road.

Not too far past the bridge, I discovered some real gems.  Not actually gems as you might be thinking but nevertheless wonderful finds.  Gene and Patricia are their names and I spotted them hard at work in their garden.  Both are lovely individuals who moved here 40 years ago and though the glory years of R66 have long been gone these two chose to say and have built themselves a great life.

Gene in the garden
Patricia and Gene in their Garden

Patricia was charming and at first, didn’t think she looked good enough to be photographed.  “I’m covered in dirt,” she said.  I explained that on the contrary, she looked lovely and authentic.  Both have bubbling personalities and were only too glad stop work to chat with me.  I was mesmerized with Patricia’s hands.  Covered in dirt from gardening yet she still was wearing her engagement ring.
Patricia's hands
These three individuals are what give R66 its life and what I had hoped to discover. 

Just outside of Galena, Kansas I found these deserted railway tracks.  Felt that the shot invoked some thoughts.  To me, the tracks are a metaphor for what has happened to this part of the US.  They appear to be sturdy and well built and yet no longer needed or used.  I’ll let you form your own thoughts.

With the weather changing for the worse and the day turning dark and grey I pushed on to Tulsa for the night.


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