The Adventure begins.....Route 66, aliens and beyond


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Published: July 27th 2008
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After months of planning, the Road Crew - Gabriel, Rece, Samantha and I - loaded up our rented Town and Country van with all of our travel stuff and hit the road. A brief and incomplete inventory:

- 5 digital cameras
- 1 radar detector
- 2 laptop computers
- 3 cell phones
- 3 mp3 / iPod players
- 12 complete MRE meals
- 4 sleeping bags
- 2 tents
- 4 lawn chairs
- 4 duffel bags / suitcases
- snacks, drinks and breakfast stuff for 3 days
- 2 atlases, 3 US maps, 8 AAA tour guide books, 1 set Route 66 maps, 2 self-prepared guide books
- 1 box of teen-appropriate car activities
- 14 books
- 1 DVD player and 13 DVDs
- and miscellaneous other stuff

Our goal that first day was to travel the 654 miles to Gallup, NM as quickly as possible. The Arizona police have a great formal warning policy regarding speeding that we learned about near Flagstaff so "as quickly as possible" became "as quickly as possible keeping really close to the speed limit" instead. At least we didn't get a ticket!

Sam got us each a small
Nice OfficerNice OfficerNice Officer

The officer who pulled us over was very courteous and polite while telling us to slow down.
notebook to keep track of whatever we wanted on the trip. I decided to use mine to write down things we talked about but had questions about so we'd remember to look them up when we got home....questions (and their answers) will be incoproated in for everyone's benefit! This leads to our first question!

1. Are there national standards for cop car (and other emergency personnel vehicle) lights? My research indicates that, no, there isn't a national standard but in the US the usual emergency colors are red and blue, with blue generally reserved for police in many jurisdictions and red reserved for fire departments and emergeny medical services. But it's not universal.

We'd gone almost to the Arizona - New Mexico border last year so we took I-40 until about 30 miles before the border where the Route 66 part of our adventure began. That first night, we stayed in the famous El Rancho Hotel. The history of the hotel is fascinating - it's clear that in it's hey day, this was the place to stay. We got there right about dinner time so after exploring the lobby and the public parts of this unique hotel, we
El Rancho HotelEl Rancho HotelEl Rancho Hotel

The kids were really impressed with the lobby....
had dinner in the hotel restaurant, watched some TV and went to bed.

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