Thursday, May 31, 2012

oregon trail [2.0]

i love route 66.

there's something so romantic about it.  as cars became more of a staple rather than a luxury, people needed a route to explore their new found freedom.  a road to leave the congestion of the cities back east behind them and direct them west into adventure and discovery. this new type of travel and lifestyle began to influence architecture, city planning and signage.  as roadside attractions began to be lit by neon obelisks and motels became mid-century monuments, this lifestyle became a culture.

last weekend i was lucky enough to spend a few miles on route 66 as friends and i headed to a float trip.  taking a few pictures along the way, i began to think how much our culture has changed.  the interstate of course killed route 66 and the culture associated with it, as people wanted to get to their destinations quicker with less stops.  all we have now are rusted relics of what was.  neon's in the middle of nowhere.

riding in the back of my friends car, i began to imagine what it must have been like to travel the "main street of america" during it's prime.  catching myself thinking about time travel i humored myself and wondered if there was someone like me in the 40's driving down route 66 in the back of his friends chevy, who asked if they could stop so he could take pictures of the old oregon, sante fe, or chislom trails.  as this guy took photos he would think about how these trails had offered people a new found freedom and the promise of a better life out west.  how this pioneering lifestyle had influenced the way people planned and built cities.  how when you have enough people doing this lifestyle, it becomes a culture.  he would reflect on how steam engine trains eventually killed off the trails because people wanted to get to their destinations quicker. he would look around and think how all that was left of this way of life, were rotting old outpost buildings and ruts worn into the ground.

i'm sure there were people like me back in the 40's and 50's reminiscing about days gone by, and how much times change.  the only real difference between me and them being the fact i can put the photos on instagram.

1 comment:

anya elise said...

I have always wanted to travel along Route 66, for all the reasons you described. The romance of a time gone by, all that history. Love this post!