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Captain’s Log: Highway 66 Through the Desert

I had to go to Laughlin, Nev., on a business trip. That is an odd statement in itself, but I really did have to go there on business.

I blasted there on the big interstate highways through the desert, got my business done and left early in the morning so I could take some time to enjoy a somewhat more leisurely jaunt through my old stomping grounds — the Southern California deserts.

Rather than taking a direct route to the nearest interstate (the 40), I ran for a couple of hours on secondary and tertiary highways and roads.

A fair amount of that time, I was on the infamous old Route 66, which was once a renowned party road with the most fascinating spots to stop and get involved. The big interstate highways killed that era of intimate travel that allowed a familiarity with numerous localities along the way.

Most of those fascinating little spots are now lonesome, outdated places that have fallen into disrepair or abandoned entirely. That was the sad part of the drive.

The happy part was that sections of that old highway ran through some very pretty desert scenery and I just had to stop as I topped a rise to get out and take a good long look around at nothing but desert.

I hadn’t seen another car on the road in the past half hour when I stopped and walked out onto the desert where there was literally nothing of humanity within sight or sound — just good clean desert which was wonderfully refreshing.

I couldn’t hear a single manmade noise, just the soft sound of a gentle breeze through desert plants, the hum of a bug in flight and the rustle of brush as a rabbit left one bush for greener or safer spots.

That nice long break from the world of man was just what I needed to refresh my soul as I soaked it up. Then I walked back to the car, thinking about so many long walks out across the desert on hunting or hiking trips.

Back onto the big interstate highway, I stopped at the next Starbucks, about 80 miles down the road, and felt like I re-entered the human maze.

I’ve always enjoyed the back roads and I try to build in travel time so I can escape the interstates and get back to the quiet roads and back highways.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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