Though we’ve been back for a while, I’ll write about most of our trip in present tense. It’s more lively that way. Pretend I was sending back postcards and letters that got lost in the mail and arrive long after we’ve returned home.
“Hey,” I say to my husband as we leave Petrified Forest National Park, “Winslow, Arizona, is just down the road. Can we stop? Please?”
He’s grinning. Of course he’ll stop, especially because I’m giddy. I don’t know why I’m so excited, because I don’t fit the Eagles demographic, but I doggedly search the Internet on my phone for the lyrics to “Take It Easy” and when I find them, I sing the entire song a cappella as we drive to the Winslow exit.
When I finish, my husband says if I’m ever at a gas station and a guy invites me to sing karaoke, I should pick that song.
“It’s not really a song for a girl to sing,” I point out. “The narrator is a guy.” When I suggest that he be the one to stand on the corner, since he’s a guy, he shakes his head. “We can both stand on the corner.” I look up and smile, then turn to my phone again to track down a YouTube rendition of the song. I play it, trying to get the kids interested. They ignore me.
We drive through town in search of the corner, spotting plenty of vintage Route 66 sights.
Someone in Winslow realized potential for drawing tourists into town and created a park on a corner in town. An artist painted a mural that depicts lines from the song and they parked a flat bed Ford curbside.
I peer down streets as we move through intersections, and we finally spot it.
We park a couple of blocks away, so I try to talk the kids into coming but they decline—all but one daughter who agrees to be our photographer. We bound down the street and find the mural and the flat bed truck and a small tour group—several of them wear coordinating shirts and caps that suggest they’re on a Route 66-themed trip. They’re posing for photos.
Our daughter stands on the opposite corner, ready to take our snapshot, but we have to wait. The visitors are taking turns snapping pictures of themselves by the statue and the lamppost. We wait while they wander around studying mural details, taking it all in.
Finally we tell our daughter to go ahead and snap a few, knowing we’ll end up with peopled shots. A quick glance confirms that I am on the young end of giddy tourists.
We wait and eventually it’s just the two of us.
Except for a couple of guys on Harleys who lingered nearby.
We’re trying to make it to the Grand Canyon before sunset, so the three of us run back to the RV.
“Thanks for coming with us to be our photographer,” I tell my daughter as we rush down the sidewalk. “I know this was kind of boring for you.”
“It wasn’t boring. I loved that Route 66 sign on the road,” she replies. “This was a lot more cool than I thought it would be.”
We climb up the steps into the RV and one of the kids who stayed back looks up from the sofa. “Why did we stop here?”
“For a song,” I say. “Just a song.”
Posts about our trip:
RV Trip West: Heading into the Unknown
RV Trip West: Petrified Forest
RV Trip West: Winslow, Arizona
Photos by Ann Kroeker.
For about a year, I’ve followed this blogger with interest. His stories and photos inspired some of our planning.
Hazel Moon says
I am happy your husband will stop for you! Mine often likes to rush to the next stop over point. If I give him advance warning he is fine with a stop now and then. I must give him credit when we last took our children on a trip to one of the world’s fairs, He did stop and let me visit our denominational headquarters where they printed all the Sunday school materials. Other places too he was fine with. I love my husband and his ways I am used to now after all these years.
We have to compromise, don’t we, to learn to love each other well. Sounds like you know, love and respect one another, Hazel. That’s a joy.
Sometimes we can’t stop on a whim because of schedules and such, so it just happened that we could squeeze this in, but it was a bit of a risk. We could have missed the Grand Canyon sunset (we didn’t, but we could have).
Not “just” a song. One of the best songs of the 20th century!
You two are so cute. Especially standin’ on a corner in Winslowe, AZ. Makes me smile to have that song and this little picture of your trip in my head tonight.
This post had no particular message or lesson learned. It was just fun. And that is what that stop was on this trip–just fun. In a snapshot on my phone that I couldn’t pull into the post due to a technical glitch, I am laughing so hard, I’m almost doubled over. We had some silly interaction while standing there waiting that completely cracked me up–just between the two of us that I didn’t share in this post. Maybe because it was so spontaneous and silly, this became one of my most FUN memories of the trip.
Diana Trautwein says
What a sweet story. Now I’m going to have to listen to the song. . . cuz I don’t think I know it. And if your mom thinks it’s the century’s best, well then. . . I’d better get crackin’! Love the pix – first time I’ve seen your husband!!
My mom loves, loves, loves the Eagles. It’s not, what shall we say, the most *edifying* song in the world. But the catchy tune and the overall phrase sticks with you, “Take it easy.”
Also, I might have to sit down and chat with my mom just to reminder her that the Beatles music came out in that same century. We’re all entitled to our opinions, but I think she would have to do a lot to convince people that “Take It Easy” tops “Let It Be” or “Penny Lane” or numerous others. I suspect our next family get-together will generate some friendly debating.
Janis@Heart-Filled Moments says
Well, you know I had to look up the year that song was written–1972. I actually thought it was earlier. But, just like your Mom said–it was a mighty fine song. Now, about you being on the young end of those visitors–hmmmm, suddenly made me feel old. Yep. That’s a song from my generation–although I never fit that mold either.
That tune will haunt me all night. Thanks for the journey, Ann.
I remember a funny incident from Hubby’s and my first road trip across the country. We still lived in California at the time. When we hit Arizona, we had a list a mile long of places we just had to see. Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater (can you tell I married an engineer?), Wapatuki Ruins, Oak Creek Canyon, Chapel of the Holy Cross just south of Sedona, the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, and of course we were going to squeeze in the Grand Canyon. I’m sure I missed someplace. It was 1979 and Route 66 was big for us, having parents who had traveled that route. We missed Winslow, though. By the time we reached Four Corners, Hubby said, “Do you realize how much time we spent in Arizona and it’s the state right next to us? We have only begun our trip. We can come back here anytime.”
Little did we know that life would move us here 15 years later!
“Take it easy” Ann!
I love reading not only where the song falls in your timeline–I’m thinking I was a tiny bit too young to remember hearing it when it was first released, but Mom and my brother would have played it for me often enough that I would have heard it many times growing up.
I LOVE seeing your itinerary here. Sounds like I have some additional places to visit. We passed Meteor Crater and discussed whether or not to devote an afternoon to visiting it. Then we decided to take a pass. But I was fascinated with the idea of seeing a giant meteor crater. Maybe next time we pass through?
Janis@Heart-Filled Moments says
Sorry, Ann. That was too long! I got to reminiscing. You know how us old folks are (lol).
Not at all! I love seeing all those places you traveled, and it occurred to me that maybe you could take all those wonderful memories and use them as inspiration to write a series of posts at your blog–I think people love to hear about places they’ve never been!
Janis@Heart-Filled Moments says
Great idea, Ann!
April @ The 21st Century Housewife says
I so enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for sharing your pictures. I loved the Eagles when I was growing up, and my parents always talked about Route 66. I’ve driven a couple bits of it, but never the whole thing. Sounds like such a memorable holiday!
April, thank you for swinging by. I promise I’ll get a Food on Fridays up and running soon!
Most of Route 66 is decommissioned, but some of it is still drive-able, so that’s what’s fun–you can be driving down I-40 and then swing off like we did to a town and then for a few miles, be cruising along a section of Route 66. It is impossible not to be thinking of the 40s, 50s and 60s.
I love this! It’s so fun to stop and take those kind of pictures. Like your daughter, I love the one with the Route 66 painted in the road. Sounds like a fun trip!
Megan Willome says
“For a song,” for a girl or a guy–why all great decisions are made. So glad you added this one to your travel journal!