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Once upon a time in rural South Georgia there was a town called "Perry's Mill." It was a small town, built around the lumber trade, full of houses and stories and life. Oaks were cut down and used to build warships and masts and oak barrels and so much more. I'm told the mailman used to come through here delivering mail on a donkey....
All that's left of Perry's Mill today are the ancient live oaks, which used to line the now completely nonexistent streets, a giant magnolia, and a few lonely clumps of Hymenocallis. I'm sure someone planted those there long ago to beautify their home. If it wasn't for the trees (that you must walk into the woods to find lined up into a tree tunnel), you'd never even know Perry's Mill, or the people who lived there, ever existed. Not even the all knowing Google knows - only the people who have lived in this area for generations.
Los Angeles was going through a massive heatwave, with actual temperatures reading out 108 on the thermometer. Wildfires were breaking out, and everyone was miserable. So we delayed our start by a few days in hopes of maximizing time in the desert.
On the 23rd, we woke up early and headed out on Colorado BLVD. Surprisingly, there wasn't a lot of traffic early in the morning, and we were able to zoom right through to San Bernadino. We passed by the Fish Fire early and watched the helicopters putting out the last of the flames.
Soon, we were in the Mojave where things started to get interesting.
Shoe trees and bra trees and volcanic craters and old recliners just hanging out on the side of the road....
There was hardly anyone along this stretch, probably because the temperatures were reading out 118, but the ghosts of travelers past were everywhere around us.
We drove further and further into the heat until the sun started setting behind us. We'd been driving all day, but Los Angeles was still only a few hours behind us had we taken the freeway. When my brother asked how far away we were, I didn't have the heart to tell him we really weren't very far. We stopped in Needles, California for the night and watched the sun set over the Mojave Desert.
As we established last Summer, Route 66 runs quite literally right in front of my house here in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, I'm sitting on my porch as I type this watching Angelenos pass by on their morning commute. There are very few days when I'm not on this stretch of road myself in some way while out handling day to day business. I used to wonder what this highway looked like in other parts of the Nation. So, last year while visiting my sister up in the Chicago area, I decided to take Route 66 home, starting from it's very start in downtown Chicago.
The time we allocated for this leg of the journey last year wasn't nearly enough.
So, this year, when trying to choose our Route back East, we decided to take the path of least resistance and take the nearest highway Eastward. It just so happens that this road is Route 66 - or, to locals - Colorado Boulevard.