Welcome to my Route 66 Daily Roundups. Throughout the course of my cross-country adventure with Marriott International and vehicle sponsor Nissan USA, I will be sharing the highlights from each leg of the trip. To see all of the Daily Roundups please click here.
To read about the inspiration for this epic drive, please check out this post.
Day 12: Twentynine Palms to Santa Monica, California
I thought that the last day trekking across Route 66 would be shorter than it was. Once again the maps deceived me because what they don’t account for is the traffic as one meanders along the Mother Road into LA through what are today suburban towns.I appreciated the slightly longer day though. It gave me time to think about the nearly two weeks of driving with Brendan Van Son across America and what it’s meant to me.
For years I dreamed of driving Route 66, although I can’t say why exactly. There’s just something special about the drive that appeals to my sense of exploration and discovery. There’s also a certain level of nostalgia built into the experience. I think that many people associate the zig-zagging road across the country with happier and simpler times. While I doubt those times were actually simpler, that’s the appeal, that’s the dream. We want to capture the magic of a mythical America, but along the way we experience the beauty of America in the 21st century.
It was in the late afternoon when we finally pulled onto the Santa Monica pier. I was so excited I could barely contain myself and nearly skipped over to the finish sign. The real end of Route 66 is actually a couple of blocks away from the pier, but this ceremonial finish sign was perfect for us. It signaled the end of an incredible adventure, the culmination of many years of planning and anticipation. Driving the full length of Route 66 is a trip that will take me a long time to process. I need to think about the experiences along the way and what the trip as a whole means to me.
Thank you so much for following along as I tackled this quest. I also have to thank Brendan for being an incredible partner on this and of course Marriott International for helping make my dreams become a reality. Finally I have to recognize Nissan USA for providing such incredible vehicles for us to use along the way. Both the Armada Platinum and the Rogue were fun and comfortable to drive and made our journey much more enjoyable than it would otherwise have been.
Stay tuned for the first wave of stories as I attempt to accurately portray my experiences exploring the heart of America.