Over at 2Blowhards, Donald Pittenger writes about long distance driving, something that seems completely outmoded in a world of cheap plane travel.
When I was 19 years old and an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I owned a 1966 red Ford Mustang, just about the same car as the one pictured below. I had never traveled outside the great state of Illinois. As spring break approached in 1969, my then wife and I began to think about getting away. (Yes, I was married at the age of 19.)
“Why don’t we go see California?” I asked.
“I don’t know if we can afford it,” the wife replied.
We were living, as I recall, on about $400 a month, with rent taking up about $100 of that grand sum.
I don’t recall how we made the decision, but we called up two male friends (whose names I cannot remember) one night and within hours we were headed toward Route 66. We drove east toward Springfield, with four people squeezed into a small car. The two male friends had been added so that gas costs could be spread across four pockets.
We slept in the car and alternated driving. I cannot explain to you how we slept in that little coupe, but I didn’t have arthritis then, so I could do a lot of things I can’t do now. We subsisted, as we drove through southern Illinois into Missouri, on fast food and truck stop coffee.
I’ll continue this story through the week, and I’ll even put up my trio’s version of the justifiably famous tune, Route 66. Stay tuned.