Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 24

“Let's just see what happens if we go down this road.” That seemed to be the mantra for today and it worked out well. It was our next-to-the-last day on our trip and we were still feeling adventuresome and still having tons of fun.

We were up and out of the Pine Country Restaurant in time to enter I-40 at 8:01 a.m. Linda had buckwheat pancakes with orange marmalade. John had three eggs, bacon, English muffin and a small bit of hash browns. If you are ever in Williams, AZ (gateway to the Grand Canyon) be sure and try the Pine Country Restaurant, right in downtown Williams near the visitor center.

Before long we pulled off the interstate to take a look at Seligman, AZ, mostly because we saw their billboard for the Route 66 Roadkill Cafe. Too bad it was early for lunch, but we got a look at the fit to kill restaurant and their menu. Here's their motto: At the Roadkill Cafe, "Eating's more fun when you know it was hit on the run!" Some menu items are Fender Tenders, Varmint Vittles, Center Line Bovine, Mystery Meat, Too-Slow Doe, No Luck Buck, Tire Tread Buff, High Speed Special (a chicken that didn't make it across the road) and on and on and on. There's a photo of the Roadkill Cafe in todays photo gallery.

There is a poem by one of their surviving customers on the back of the menu that starts out like this: "I had my dinner yesterday, in a place they call Roadkill Cafe. They serve their dishes full of tricks, scraped off Highway 66. There's Frog Leg Pasta a la mode, Squirrel Lasagna a la road. Hamster Hash, Rack of Coon, Chunk of Skunk, Leg of Loon. Fat Free Cat, Pit Bull Pie, Seagull Soup with Eagle's Eye. The Buffalo Wings are very good. They lift them gently from the hood. Turtle Toes are quite a deal, They serve them hot, right off the wheel. Ground Hound meatballs, Souffle of Snake, Deep Ditch Rooster, Flattened Drake." You just gotta love the humor!

We learned that you can stay on the actual old Route 66 all the way to Kingman, so after exploring Seligman we stayed on Route 66 just for fun. Soon we came to a series of 5 signs along the road reading "If daisies are - your favorite flower – keep pushing up – those miles per hour – BURMA SHAVE". We were ready when the next signs popped up. You can see them in today's photo gallery. Neither one of us have seen the old Burma Shave signs in decades. They were, and are, truly a national treasure.

Being on this old highway made Linda feel nostalgic since she rode on it with her family on two trips from Texas to southern California. The 1st time was a summer in the '40s when she was around five. Their car was a blue Studebaker. It had a canvas water bag hanging on the front of the hood. It would get refilled at gas stops by the attendant while he was pumping gas, cleaning windows and checking the oil. The water was used for drinking and for refilling the swamp cooler that was in her mother's window. Every once in a while she would add more water to the straw using a little hand pump and it would help cool off the family. The other trip was in December of 1957, the year Disneyland had opened (visiting our relatives and going to the Magic Kingdom was the purpose of our trip).

Back to November, 2011: Soon we came to another series of signs: You can drive – a mile a minute – but there is – no future in it – BURMA SHAVE.

And then these: Train approaching – whistle squealing – pause and get – that rundown feeling – BURMA SHAVE

Seeing these signs made both old buzzards remember how much fun they provided oh so many years ago. It was nice of someone to recreate them for old and young people to enjoy. Some had a safety message, others a life message and lots were just funny.

Here's more: Big mistake – many make – rely on horn – instead of brake – BURMA SHAVE

This last set was next to an old gas station with tons of memorabilia and a corvette out front: Blackened forest – smolders yet – because he flipped – a cigarette – BURMA SHAVE

We were back onto I-40 at Kingman, Arizona where we switched drivers at a McDonald's and Linda drove into California past the fruit checkpoint. As we approached the border we gained an hour so that it became 11:11 instead of 12:11. Lunch was in Wilma from a McDonald's in Needles. Linda had a yogurt parfait and John had a Caesar chicken salad. Both had diet Dr. Peppers.

“Let's see what happens when we go on this road” said John after we had been on I-40 in CA for a while. He had spotted a sign saying "Historic Route 66 - Exit Here". We got off at Ludlow, CA and took a few photos there since we have friends whose last name is "Ludlow". We met them when they were customers at our print shop. Low and behold we were off onto the National Historic Trail for Route 66 again. We had been warned that the road got a bit rough. Sure enough, parts of it would loosen your fillings. We did come across a railroad crossing while a train was going by. Linda grabbed her camera and shot a bit of video which you can see below. It is quite shaky because of the road being so rough. We stayed on it a while and then dropped off in Newberry Springs, Yermo and Daggett before reaching Barstow (where I-40 ends – or starts, depending on your point of view). We had to pick up Hwy 58 to go across the Mojave and through the Tehachapi's to get to Bakersfield, our home for our last night on the road.

It was a long, long day and when we exited CA 58 to get to our La Quinta, John made a wrong turn. It was going home time. We found ourselves on the Roseville Road. The traffic was HORRIBLE. John remembered that the Red Lobster restaurant we had visited on our last road trip was on this road. So, we decided to go to to dinner before checking in. John called the La Quinta and told them we were in town and what we were up to.

So we pulled in to Red Lobster for dinner. John had shrimp, lobster, muscles and scallops on a bed of pasta. It was one of their specials called the Bay Harbor Lobster Bake. He also had a salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Linda had lobster pizza. Both had a cheese biscuit and enjoyed their seafood a lot.

They went back to the room and worked on the day's travelogue just a bit, then turned in for the night.

Linda's favorite sign of the day was on a church in Newberry Springs. It said “Get Rich Quick – Count Your Blessings!” And the BURMA SHAVE signs on old Route 66.

John's favorite sign of the day (maybe for all time) was found in the Pine Country Restaurant. It said, "Unattended children will be use for soup base". You can see this sign and the other 101 images in today's photo gallery by clicking here. Most are images taken along Route 66.

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