Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Day 15 – Rt 66 trip

We got up when all the people walking past our door and slamming car doors woke us. Some hotels are just better than others. Last nights was the old model with all the doors outside and a parking lot between two buildings so every noise reverberated off the walls. Oh well, it was time to get up anyway. We had a small breakfast that came free with our nights stay.

We backtracked on Rt.40 to visit the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. It was worth every penny of the $20.00 fee. One scenery picture is as good as or different in some way to the one before. Even the little kids were going, “Wow,” when they saw the sights over the railings.


Painted desert. Needs no other explanation except the pictures don’t do it justice. It was cloudy and misty the whole time we were there. Some sunshine would have made everything more vibrant.


Another view.


And another. Sorry my finger likes to get in the shots.


More depth.


Below was taken straight down over a railing. The shiny copper color at the bottom center is a petrified tree. You must see these views for yourself to appreciate them.


The blackness comes from volcanic rock and basalt.


So much of 66 in this area is buried under Rt. 40, not driveable anymore, or inaccessible on Native American lands, but going through Winslow, Arizona, the route is alive and well for a few miles. We guess it is probably the most famous corner of the whole route because of the Eagles song, Take It Easy, which mentions standing on the corner. Some guys that had just arrived on their Harley’s took this picture for us. Everyone was very friendly and having a good time. The eagle on the window sill and the couple seen above us are paintings. Really good ones.


Below is Glen Fry, one of the musicians in the Eagles band.


A brewery down the street was serving lunch to football fans, beer fans, and travelers. Bob and I both ordered a salad.


The server brought us our beers and said the glasses looked different but were both 16 oz. We told her we would share a water so she brought a large mug and two straws. It was just like being at the old fashioned soda fountain again.


We got back on Rt. 40 and decided we didn’t need another gift shop or similar museum to what we had already seen, so headed to Flagstaff. Below is a mountain that loomed large on the horizon and the fields were still arid. There were signs to watch for Elk and deer, but we were lucky enough not to see any.


That mountain range is getting closer and now we have fur tree lined roadways.


The closer we got to the mountains, the less easy it became to get another picture. We did stop so Bob could put a coat on. We had the top down and the temp had fallen to 68 degrees. There’s a pretty good wind chill when you are going 75 mph. We hadn’t seen any real trees in three days.


Tonight we are sleeping in Williams, AZ, in the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The building is a huge and shaped like a baseball diamond with a nice courtyard in the middle. The ticket office and restaurant are in different buildings so we are getting our steps in. We bought a package so  had dinner in the buffet room. I had penne pasta with pesto sauce and shrimp and a salad. Dessert was a apple pie ala mode.


Singing folk songs during our meal was Jason. We sat and listened until he finished for the evening. I got another spurt of country music. Live at that. You can tell how good he is by the over flowing tip basket, and a lot of those bills are fives.


The internet has been going off and on all evening. Tomorrow we are going into the park and will stay on the South Rim. I don’t know how the internet will work, so if I miss a day, check my regular Facebook page at Sue Carmichael Spitulnik for pictures.


Day 3 – Rt. 66 trip

Well, that nice quiet hotel without hot water on Day 2, was not quiet last night. We heard slamming doors, yelling, and crying. At 1:00 am a woman decided it was worth it to scream shut-up in the hallway. We agreed with the sentiment, but not the delivery. We heard more human noises but finally went to sleep about 2 am. You ask, why didn’t you vacate that dump? Well, we didn’t want to pack up and move out of a non-refundable spot. We’re lazy and it was so close to the kids. We did give the guy at the front desk this morning a list of “problems.” He said he was the night auditor and would pass them on to the manager. What hotel manager isn’t at work at 9 am? My brother-in-law told me not to skimp on hotel rooms. Now I get it.

Today was a travel day. It was odd to travel west instead of towards home. Regular gas at the Sunoco was $2.259 but in the Mini we use high test which was $3.399. We left Lakewood, Oh, at 9 am with an odometer reading of 61,262. We passed the Duck Tape World Headquarters. Had no idea it was made in Ohio. In Ohio we added four more license plates to our US list and three more in Indiana. Now, it’s a game of what don’t we have. We saw lots of semi’s pulling three trailers. We both thought NY outlawed that, but aren’t sure. The terrain was boringly flat, and the fields were HUGE compared to New York farm fields.

We had dressed for the weather report; mid 80’s, humid and sunny. We got dreary, low 70’s, and on and off rain. So, the top was down and then up. I’m including a very unflattering picture because if you can’t laugh at yourself you might as well hang it up. When we got in the car, I thought my coat would be too warm, but just a denim shirt wouldn’t be enough, so I added my sweater. I felt like a little kid dressed to combat the snow, but had shorts on. Like I said, unflattering, but worth sharing. I was never too warm.


Too warm with a coat, too cold with just a denim shirt……no comments needed. Village Kitchen in Angola, IN, where we had lunch.

On one of our rest stops we saw one of those machines that flattens a penny for a keepsake. One penny now costs One Dollar! Bob and I both remember when it cost a nickel. I would call that major inflation. If you have money to invest, buy a few of those machines and set them around your work area and home. It’s worth the investment for the current return.


Penny press now costs ONE DOLLAR


A Mini the size of ours. Can’t imagine pulling that load, nor staying in it.

So, what does one talk about on a travel day? The people you meet of course. The ones we will remember who probably don’t even know they impacted our life. We found our first “Americana” lunch spot in Angola, IN. The name was Village Kitchen, shown in my unflattering picture. We sat at the counter as we like to do, to enjoy the “floor show,” and because all the tables were full. Siri picked the restaurant for us. Lisa was one of the servers that kept filling my coffee. A good-looking guy came in and sat beside me. Lisa took his order and said she made sure there was some of the lunch special saved for his supper. Another guy asked how she knew he would like it. She responded, “It has spinach in it.” We quickly figured out all the people in the conversation already knew each other. As the guy got up to leave Lisa leaned over the counter and pecked him on the lips. Bob asked if she did that to all her customers. She said, “Only my boyfriend or my husband.” I said, “Do you have both?” She laughed and said, yes, but they both look exactly the same. We had a good laugh and the other guy sitting there told us it depended on how they were getting along on any given day which one she considered him. That opened the door to more conversations with people we will never see again.

During the same meal a workmate/friend of Bob’s texted about work and added to keep me out of the quilt shops. They hadn’t even been on my mind but with another question to Siri I found out there was one four doors away. Off I went. A few months ago, my quilting group called the Clydettes gave me an excellent idea of how to design a Rt. 66 memory quilt. I will be buying fat quarters (an 18 by 22-inch piece of fabric) depicting the locales we visit. Today I got Indy cars and farm fields. Bob joined me and we had a great chat with the owner of the Angola Quilt Shop. She is soon going to celebrate her first year in business. If you travel through Angola, Indiana, it’s worth a stop. After we left the shop, Bob’s friend Mike texted the name to a national book listing all the quilt shops that pay to have their name included. I laughed because he said he was just doing a good friend a big favor. You can guess Bob’s return comment.


Sign in the quilt shop bathroom. Hadn’t seen this one before.

From Angola, we drove some more to get to Joliet, Illinois to start the actual Rt. 66 escapades. We took a couple of pictures, then a guy on the street took one for us, to show we had found our destination. It is set as our title image today. We are guessing a lot of people take pictures for other people on Rt. 66.

We got back in the car and drove the fastest route to Pontiac, Illinois, arriving just after 6 pm. Our Best Western hotel room is a palace compared to the last two nights. It’s amazing how long one can spend in a hot shower just to enjoy the experience. I feel like a new person. We took the front desk clerk’s, Karen, advice and went to supper at Baby Bull’s just down the street. We had a very unique beer menu which I remembered to take a picture of. Our server, Debbie, was the best. We told her about my blog and then promised to send this write-up to the restaurant, plus go on their Facebook page and leave a nice comment. They deserve it. My liver and onions were cooked the way I like and the home-made bread and butter were more than yummy. Bob had meatloaf that came with lots of gravy and the side salads gave us our vegetables. We had a couple of celebratory drinks to mark the beginning of our real bucket list journey.


Baby Bull’s food menu and unique beer menu.

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