Monday, July 11, 2005

Route 66: on the trail of giants

Toronto to Los Angeles via Route 66 off to a flying start. Trudi attracting much attention where ever we go. I was most amused by a motorcycle rider -- no helmet-- who was concerned about the safety of driving a smartcar. Passengers are leaning out of windows to snap photos on their mobile phones as we whiz along the highway. We pulled into a campground just north of Springfield, Illinois last night and the proprietor turned to his wife and said, " If they've got a tent in there, I'll eat it!". Not only have we packed a tent but also airmatress with pump, sleepingbags, butane stove, cooking equipment and, oh yes, our luggage. I'm keeping souvenier shopping limited to adding to my playing card collection.

Excerpt from: Motoring the Mother Road by Jerry McClanahan : Mega Men

" Oh, Have you seen the Muffler Men?" The most celebrated tribe of roadside giants is the "Muffler Men," so named because of ther tradition of posing in front of muffler shops. Acutally, the first muffler man was really a lumberjack, and he hefted his mighty ax on the side of Route 66. In 1962, Prewitt Fiberglass of Vencie, California, installed a huge lumberjack at the Paul Bunyan Cafe (later called the Lumberjack Cafe), along the Mother Road in Flagstaff, Arizona.

We spotted the Gemini Giant who holds a rocketship in Willmington, Illinois . Later the same day we found his twin "Tall Paul" holding an enormous hot dog in Atlanta, Illinois. Paul originally hoisted an ax and stood outside Bunyon's Hot Dogs in Chicago suburb, Cicero. He was relocated in 2003 when Bunyon's closed. Now in Springfield, we are on the trail of the Lauterbach Giant who stands in front of Lauterbach tires.

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