I set off on Route 66 full of hope and promise, much like the original travelers must have felt. In my case, though, the first thing I saw was POPS in Arcadia. A very modern, sleek gas station with color-coded beverage sections that will set your heart all aflutter if you are one of those crazy organized types (ahem). A few more miles down the road, and we were snapping photos of the 1898 Round Barn. I set off with a picture in my head of discovering some American nostalgia. Perhaps I would see some quirky, romantic, and even kitschy roadside attractions. Alas, the fun stopped in Arcadia.
When we arrived in Stroud at the Skyliner Motel I almost insisted that we abandon ship. “It’s not too late. We can just go back to Oklahoma City and find a nice safe Marriott.” But we were in it. We signed the registry with “Bob,” and got a priceless/hilarious demonstration of how to use the remote control. Walking through downtown Stroud, I’ve never encountered such a weirdly abandoned ghost of an apocalyptic town. Abandoned junk in the storefronts, as though everyone just abandoned the shops one day. Packed up and didn’t look back.
I set out wanting to see America. I looked around me at the devastation and depression that was Stroud and I no longer wanted to see it. I wanted to see an art museum and go shopping. Get a pedicure and relax by the pool. I wanted to see the “real America.” But the “real America” is dead or dying and the people who are stuck here now are the walking dead.
We went next door to the gas station, and when we asked the cashier how she was doing she replied “Alright, I guess,” and let out a heavy sigh.
As always, our travels are marked in our “Play” Journal from Stealth Journals. The entry page can be seen here below: