Route 66………………………………..#95 (the 60’s)

The well traveled road west

The well-traveled road west

   The 1953 Ford with its consignment all packaged for delivery,  traveling west from Lawton Oklahoma on Highway #62,  the musicians first stop Amarillo.    Coming into view,  the statures silo’s and scattered high-rise building silhouetted against the horizon,  providing a preview to a building performance by the budding West Texas town.    A detour was enhanced,  negotiating southwest on Highway #60,  the venturing trio befalling the cow-towns of Hereford,  Bovina,  Texico,  destination,  Clovis New Mexico and an overnight visit for Glenn to illuminate prospective scenarios for his expectant wife June and himself.

Amarillo a budding West Texas town.

Amarillo a budding West Texas town.

The high plains of New Mexico

The high plains of New Mexico

Weather watch time

Weather watch time

   The early morning establishing a Clovis departure the Ford acquiring a passage west on highway #60 then northwest on #84 discovering its junction with infamous Route 66.   Traversing  bye the Sandia Mountains entering  metropolitan Albuquerque,  the documented highway 66 still entertained its path thru the center of town,  the new Route #66, soon to be interstate 40 by-pass still under construction.   The westward road plotting its course on the scenic  New Mexico plateau,  the occupants of the Ford having to maintain a weather vigil unable to protract the convertibles top.  On the horizon, the omnibus rain clouds dotting the sunlit vault,  threatening a cascade curtain of condensation,  but their presence yet to intersect the postured roadway.   The celebrated expanse of landscape,  it’s  bellowing islands of rapture giving form to the mesa’s of the high plains  plateau.    Approaching Gallup, a small community located in the center of the 27,000 sq. acre Navajo Nation,  the horizon showcasing a darken brume of a towing thunderheads threatening their path with a  possible deluge from the sky.  Good fortune bestowed,  a  A&W Drive-In  providing shielding cover for the undressed convertible, the delay enabling an early lunch for the three wayfarers, Gary noting that all of the town was located south of the railroad tracks, commenting that Gallup appears to be a one side of the tracks town.

Gallup - a one side of the tracks town

Gallup – a one side of the tracks town

Down hill from Flagstaff

Down hill from Flagstaff

California stateline inspection station

California state line inspection station

   Traveling thru Winslow Arizona, the marauders continuing the uphill journey reaching the mile high citadel of Flagstaff, stopping for fuel and then a downhill slalom through the celestial ponderosa pines that blanketed the omniscient mountains, the Ford  journeying down from this enduring ambience, its next projection  Kingman Arizona.    The throes of Kingman in the rear view mirror, a border crossing,  the Arizona-California state line inspection station, a hesitation.   Into the caldron depth of  Needles California and the up coming Mojave desert, its barren boundaries  stretching to Barstow.   The hour registered late afternoon,  a brief stop for fuel and a suggested six-pack of beer for the three to consume on the Needles to Barstow Mojave traversing.   The first indication of something being aberrant  was the appearance of desert water bags decorating the hood-ornaments of the oncoming cartage.   The surroundings giving way to insipid landscape frequented with desert bloom,  cacti and chaparral yucca,  a wonder to some,  but desolate to others.   Jerry was mindful of the engine temperature and the Ford continuing to cruise Route 66,  the overhead sun basking the  wind-driven rays on the uncovered musician seated in the front seat of the Ford, the threesome,  inexperienced and unaware of the ultra violet radiation consuming them.  The small town didn’t broadcast its name,  but the injured ones in the convertible found refuge in the air-conditioned diner.   The red glow that permeated their appearance gave notice of the pain.   Gary concluding,  the combination of wind ,  sun and possibly the beer may have been the culprits responsible for their exposed scorched parchment.    After inquiring at the lone retail convenience establishment  adorning this wide spot in the road,  the only available possible remedy to provide some solace was  a bottle of Jergen’s hand lotion.  The fragrance of the Jergens permeated the occupants, but the unrelenting pain continued serving notice, to  never venture thru the desert without covering.

The perilous Mojave Desert

The perilous Mojave Desert

automotive generator

automotive generator

   Darkness having descended when the quandary travels became a talent of a change,  their perception of the road was different, the three noticing that the headlight illumination on the road appeared  dimmer.   The Ford projecting both an amp gauge as well as a generator light and it was then noticed a faint flickering glow from the  dash-light,  finally it energized,  a steady red warning glow proclaiming its presence.  Continuing on Highway 58 toward Bakersfield,  the three realized the audacious consequences with a generator failure and the farther they traveled the farther their expectations of finding a solution was  wane.   Visibility was approaching inadequacy,  a decision to continue or stop was in mid discussion when miraculously a service station with  garage appeared and even more astounding it was alight with patrons.   Disembarking,  explaining their plight,  finding the proprietary help only able to assist with a phone call,  expressing the nearest parts emporium would be closed and not available until morning.   Inside the open garage,  an individual was concluding activity on his car, having just replaced generator parts in his car.   Gary and Glenn addressed the garage work bench discovering old remnants from generator repair work, again approaching the attendant inquiring about them.  The attendant relating that they were remains of past work and in all probability were of no use.  After a brief discussion the two musicians deciding they might as well pull the generator and at least give it a visual once over.   Rising the Fords hood, Glenn  removing the generator,  the two examining the brushes,  rotor and armature, Gary having been here before in high school auto shop,  finding the latter looking suspiciously damaged,  the armatures wiring looking parched.  On the bench amongst other parts was a similar looking armature, the two began to scrutinize whether it was any value not knowing its condition or even if it would fit.   Arrested with no meter to validate armature continuity, the two armatures appeared to look identical Gary suggested that it was worth a try, as they weren’t going anywhere anyway and once installed it would provide a yea or nay test of success.  Fate or luck, either was acceptable, the hours before dawn finding Glenn navigating the Ford north,  the yea or nay generator test a resounding yea.   The ceasing of motion stirring the slumbering Gary and Jerry,  Glenn pulling to the side of the road, everyone was in agreement,  a short recess for dormancy was in order before continuing on.

View of Gary's neighborhood from Skyline Blvd.

View of Gary’s neighborhood from Skyline Blvd.

   The morning dawn bringing the final leg of their quest,  the Ford maneuvering from Bakersfield heading north to Fresno on Highway #99 the  long journey soon to end.  Once past Modesto Gary  directing Glenn to take the Tracy turn off, the wayfarers  soon traversing the wind-driven Altamont Pass into the Livermore Valley.  Passing the Dublin Canyon Rd turnoff, cresting the rise looking towards the horizon, Gary beholding the indelibly instilled view reflecting his past and the San Francisco Bay Area

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