Thursday, April 13, 2006

Getting my kicks

One thing I do like about traveling across the country is getting to see so much of it. Not just the geography (which is impressive in and of itself), but how different parts of the country are different; how they are the same.

Nevada has gambling. Lots of gambling. Gambling in an Arby's in a truckstop. Some of the casinos cater specifically to truckers, even. This isn't Las Vegas I'm talking about, either, but northern Nevada, like Reno and parts east. Hardly affluent areas. I couldn't help wondering if the gambling draws lots of money out of the local economy, or if those regions would be even worse off without it.

Avoiding the Sierras and their accompaning snowstorms means going south through Arizona, New Mexico, and some of Texas. That's the old Route 66. We're spoiled to the idea of the interstate highways, but it wasn't lonq ago that the idea of a single highway stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles was a new and significant undertaking. Only a few a decades before that, imagine being a trucker having to go all that way before such luxuries as well-maintained roads, radios, public bathrooms, air conditioned vehicles, and seat belts. Not too long before that, it was done by people in horse-drawn wagons. I'm glad I live now.

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