G. M. Baker - Author

Tag: ordinary eccentricity

Grand Tour 3: Springfield to St Louis

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

I resume the long-delayed transcribing of my Grand Tour travel diary in the midst of a pandemic which has meant, among other inconveniences, that I am at home on my laptop instead of somewhere in Utah, as originally planned for this October. Some say that the purpose of travel is to accumulate memories. If so, revisiting these diaries ought to be better than actually travelling. In some sense it is. Memory leaves out the tedious bits, the inconveniences, the frustrations and delays. Hopefully this account leaves them out too. Still, I’d rather be on the road right now. But here I sit and reminisce.

Route Map Springfield to St. Louis

On this day, May 1, 2018, we take a fairly short drive from Springfield to St. Louis, leaving time for various detours and bits of sight seeing.

While Route 66 is a 2500 mile open air museum, a Beamish Museum / Upper Canada Village / Colonial Williamsburg, right down to the original section of red brick pavement or the concrete section with the turkey tracks, both of which we drive today, it is less “authentic” than those sites in the sense that the old bits are scattered among all the new bits.

Grand Tour 1: Chicago to Bloomington

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Grand Tour

The post was originally published on my other blog Every Page is Page One. The series our our Grand Tour will continue here.

This is the beginning of the diary of the Grand Tour that my wife and I took in the spring of 2018. The tour consisted of doing the whole of Route 66, then following the Pacific Coast Highway north as far as the Columbia Gorge before heading back east through Yellowstone and the Badlands.

The obvious question is, why? What it the point of a road trip? And why Route 66? Route 66 was one of the original transcontinental US highways, running from Chicago to LA. It was decommissioned in 1985 after it was made redundant by, and in some cases buried under, various Interstates. Nothing about this makes it special. It was not the longest transcontinental highway. In fact, it was not strictly transcontinental at all, since it starts in Chicago, not on the Atlantic. It was not one of the major ends-with-zero routes (though its backers tried hard to have it designated Route 60). Really, there isn’t anything special about the route itself. But it has acquired romantic associations. And, really, travel is mostly about romance.

© Copyright G. M. Baker 2020