May 26, 2019 Sticky

Charly – Route 66 with Charly

Route 66 with Charly is a fantasy trip on Route 66. Using photos from my Route 66 2017 Tour I have created this character, Charly, and added her to my photos.

Route 66 with Charly is a fantasy trip on Route 66. Using photos from my Route 66 2017 Tour I have created this character, Charly, and added her to my photos.

Route 66 with Charly is a fantasy trip on Route 66. Using photos from my Route 66 2017 Tour I have created this character, Charly, and added her to my photos.

June 26th, 2019 – UPDATE

I got a lot of ribbing about Charly looking like a man in drag. (I think that is a sad reflection on society in general.) I decided to work on Charly’s face. I gave her puffier cheeks, freckles, and a rounder head.

Back to Charly…

A few months after doing the 2017 tour I took ill. It started as the flu, but once the flu symptoms left, I was without strength, developing tremors, going cross-eyed, and having difficulty swallowing, breathing and talking. I searched the Internet for my symptoms several times. I kept coming back to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). For this reason I didn’t want to see the doctor. I figured ALS was a death sentence.

May rolled around and my wife convinced me to see the doctor. 48 blood tests, cameras being stuck down my throat, and some very painful EMG tests it was determined I had a disease that mimics ALS. While it isn’t a death sentence like ALS, it isn’t curable either.

Charly
Charly

To keep my sanity I took up 3D art on my computer. With help, we set up a workstation where I could rest my muscles and use my computer for art.

Charly

The other day I incorporated a female character in to one of my Route 66 photos. I liked the result so much I decided to start a fantasy story about taking a road trip with this beautiful girl – Charly. I chose the “y” ending to distinguish her name from the common nickname for Charles.

The name Charly was chosen because she’s somewhat of a Tomboy. She owns her own muscle car and does most of the work on it. When asked if her name is short for Charlotte or Charlene she will tell you it’s not short for anything. Her name is Charly, and that’s all there is to it.

Charly
Charly

The Trip

The trip is completely made up (well, except for the background photos). I’m not used to writing fiction, so I will apologize in advance. Characters are supposed to have consistency, and I will attempt to stick to their personalities.

Written in the first-person, I will be the narrator as well as Charly’s traveling companion. My relationship with Charly is that of a friend. In spite of her beauty, neither one of us can stand the thought of being romantic. Perhaps Charly sees me of a father-figure, I don’t know. But, I have no desire to have a romantic relationship with someone young enough to be my daughter.

The entries my jump around, but each entry will tell you the day of the trip.

The Art

The Girl

The art is created using various computer programs. Charly is a 3D model I created using various digital assets. In layman’s terms, her chassis was created by one artist, her skin by another, her eyes by another artist, and her hair by another. I took all these pieces and made a “new” character – Charly.

The Car

The car was a purchased digital asset by an artist named Serum at DAZ3d. It reminds me of a mix between a 1960s Pontiac (front) and a Dodge (rear). I’ll just call it a “muscle car”.

Category

If you end up following the story, you can jump to the entries by selecting the category Route 66 with Charly.

September 16, 2019

Red or Green – Day 14

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, "Red or green?"It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both.

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, "Red or green?"It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both.

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, “Red or green?”

It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both. The green has a smooth hatch chili pepper flavor, and the red has a more robust and smoky flavor.

Glenrio Visitor Center

Our first New Mexico stop was the Glenrio Visitor Center. Charly couldn’t resist putting her feet in the fountain. She said the cool water felt good in that New Mexico dry heat.

Glenrio Visitor Center - Red or Green
Glenrio Visitor Center

It’s about the first thing you come to on I-40. It’s on the same exit you take to get back on the drivable part of Route 66 on the New Mexico side of the New Mexico/Texas border.

Visitor Center in Relation to Route 66 - red or green
Visitor Center in Relation to Route 66

New Mexico is a state with lots of Native American history and resources.

Red or Green or Cars

In Tucumcari, New Mexico, there’s a darling motel where you can park your car in a garage. The inside of the garages are painted with various themes. Of course, Pixar’s Cars is one of those themes.

Pixar Cars Theme Garage
Pixar Cars Theme Garage

“Oh, Brent,” Charly sighed with that tone that she wants something, “Look, it is Flo and  Lightning McQueen .”

“Okay, go stand in there and I’ll get your picture,” I said knowing she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I stepped back to make sure I got Mater too. In my opinion, Tow Mater is the most adorable character in the movie. Lightening, on the other hand is a bit adolescent in his character.

I found this on Wikipedia, “He’s the new rookie, he’s kinda sexy, he’s fast, he’s different. So he’s invented. We took the best of our favourite things, from GT40s to Chargers… just sketching them out, we came up with what McQueen looks like.”— Bob Pauley, one of two Cars production designers

Until I read this, I always thought LIghtening was based of a Mazda MX5 (the Miata). I still think he looks more like a Miata than a GT40 or a Charger.

An End to a Red or Green Day

We started the day in the dark, and we’ll end it in the dark. After a dip in the hotel pool and a nice red or green (I had both) dinner, we went back to the Blue Swallow Motel for a shot of the Model A pickup and Charly.

Blue Swallow Motel Route 66 Tucumcari
Blue Swallow Motel

August 30, 2019

New Mexico – Day 14

New Mexico is our destination this day. We’re heading to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Neither of us have been to New Mexico before. Today will be a first.

Charly got tired of her jeans and tank top and changed in to a dress. My first impression was, “TRASH THE DRESS”. Trash the dress was something I did a few times in my photography studio. You take a nice dress and then you go wild and turn it in to a piece of art.

“That’s a nice dress,” I complimented her before asking her to do what I was thinking.

“Thank you,” she said with a smile.

“I’d really love to trash it,” I said with a straight face.

“Ha, ha,” she said, “I bet you thought you had me. I’ve seen what you do with your trash the dress shoots. I’m down with that.”

“So, does that mean you WANT to trash it?” I asked.

“Of course,” her voice raised in tone and pitch, “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“Okay, next stop,” I said.

MidPoint Route 66

We stopped at MidPoint which is Adrian, Texas. We met “Flo”, the lady who is the inspiration for Pixar’s Cars character. However, it wasn’t long before Charly started asking when we were going to trash the dress.

“Hold your horses,” I said.

She asked, “Why are we waiting?”

“We need to find a place suitable for painting. We just can’t pull out paints and start painting in the middle of town,” I explained.

I did a 360 looking around town for a suitable place.

“Hey,” I asked the lady at the cafe, “do you think anyone would mind if we did a little art project over by that abandoned garage?”

MidPoint Cafe Where the REAL Flo Worked - New Mexico Day 14
MidPoint Cafe Where the REAL Flo Worked

She looked at me suspiciously, and before she could say anything I added, “We’re going to paint on her dress. We’ll do it off to the side and we won’t get paint on anything except her dress and perhaps some might drip in the dirt.”

The lady, still looking suspicious, said, “I’ll check with the owner.”

She came back and said the owner said it would be okay as long as we don’t disturb anything.

I asked Charly to take a walk from New Mexico to Texas for the before photo. (Hmmmm… maybe I have this backwards… ah, just assume were going West to East.)

Let's Trash This Dress!
Let’s Trash This Dress!

It was now off to the dirt area by the garage to “trash the dress”. Before I knew it Charly was handing me the dress while draped in a towel.

“What in the world are you doing?” I asked, and then added, “I’m sure they would have let you use the bathroom in the diner to change.”

She just shrugged and said, “It’s no big deal. If I moved this towel…”

I stopped her there, but she continued, “… it would look like I have a bikini on.”

Getting Ready to Trash the Dress
Getting Ready to Trash the Dress

“You just stay hidden while I trash this dress. Didn’t you bring something else to change in to?” I asked.

“No, this will be okay,” Charly said, “it’s only for a couple of minutes.”

“A couple of minutes? For me to create a masterpiece dress? And, the paint has to dry too,” I explained.

“Oh… I didn’t know it had to dry too,” Charly said in a low tone, “I think I’ll go put my other dress on.”

Charly made her way over to the car, which wasn’t far. She changed in to another dress in the car and then went in to the cafe to wait for the paint to dry.

Meanwhile While Not in New Mexico

“What can I help you with,” the waitress asked Charly.

“Just a Coke,” she said, “I’m waiting for the paint to dry.”

The waitress gave her a glare and raised her eyebrows, “That’s a first.”

Meanwhile outside I was busy painting. I pulled out some big paint markers and started on the dress alternating with spray paint and markers.

As soon as I was done, I went in to the cafe, “Hey, it’s done, and with that dry heat it shouldn’t take long for it to dry.”

The Final Product - the Trashed Dress
The Final Product – the Trashed Dress

“Okay, change in to something else,” I said, “We don’t want to risk getting paint on the interior of your car. We got our pictures.”

Hello New Mexico

Shortly after entering New Mexico we found a yard full of old cars. The owner gave us permission to wander around and take some photos.

“Brent,” Charly yells, “Does this car clash with my dress?”

“Yeah, a little,” I said laughing.

Does This Car Clash with My Dress? - New Mexico
Does This Car Clash with My Dress?

“Hey, Brent,” Charly, like a kid in a toy store, yells, “Help me push this car over.”

Pushover
Pushover

I was more worried about it falling back on her. I ran over to make sure things were safe.

“Gosh,” she exclaimed, “You are a worry-wart.”

“The last thing I want is for one of us to spend time in a hospital,” I said with concern.

August 23, 2019

Cadillac Ranch Rocks – Day 14

Cadillac Ranch Rocks! I could visit this place often. I’ve seen so many photos and read so much about this place, and NOW I get to visit it. I’m well prepared for the visit.

Before leaving on this trip I made a stencil that says, “WWW.ROUTE66PHOTOGRAPHERS.COM“, and packed it in a bag with some masking tape. The other day, I stopped at Home Depot and bought a few cans of spray paint – black, white, and blue to match the logo my daughter designed.

Up Early to See How Cadillac Ranch Rocks at Sunrise

After looking up the time for Sunrise, I sent Charly a text:

WE ARE LEAVING AT 5:30AM

In return she replies:

YOU’RE CRAZY

My reply was simply:

THANK YOU FOR NOT USING “UR”. LOL

She wasn’t happy when I knocked on her door at 5:25AM and announced it was time to go. But, we were in the car and on the road by 5:45AM which is the best I could hope for.

Driving Past It

We drove past it. I knew that when we got to a landmark that was beyond Cadillac Ranch. A quick U-Turn and we were headed back towards Amarillo. I stopped just short of what the GPS said should be Cadillac Ranch.

“Can you see where it might be?” I asked Charly.

“Uh, no. It’s OH-DARK-HUNDRED and I can’t see anything out here,” she said sarcastically.

“You’d there there’d be a sign or something,” I said while scratching my head.

“You’d think,” Charly said dully.

“Well, LOOK around. We’ve got to be close,” I demanded.

A little behind the car was a cattle gate. I stopped the car, got out, and walked towards the gate with flashlight in hand.

At the gate was a hand painted sign that read, “Got Paint?”

“Hey, this must be it!” I yelled back towards the car, but got no response.

Walking back to the car I rapped on the passenger window, “Hey, I think this is it.”

Charly got out of the car and simply glared at me.

“Here carry this,” I said giving her a bag of stuff to carry, “and this,” as I gave her a second bag.

“I’ll never be your beast of burden,
“I’ve walked for miles my feet are hurting,” Charly starts to sing.

“You sing the next line and you’ll be walking a lot further,” I said.

“Oh, yeah… I just remember what the next line says. Nevermind,” Charly embarrassed said.

“I’m surprised you even know those lyrics. That was before you were even born,” I said happy that she stopped. That would have been really awkward.

Reaching the Cars

Once the cars were in sight, I asked Charly to stand by the cars while I set up a few strobe lights.

A Flash in the Dark - Cadillac Ranch Rocks
A Flash in the Dark

The eastern sky was just starting to lighten. Charly took my flashlight, and did what every child does when they get their hands on a flashlight…

Ghoulish Flashlight Trick
Ghoulish Flashlight Trick

I must have shot a couple hundred frames. I was having fun, but the real purpose was to leave my mark, however, it was too dark to tag a car. Plus, it had rained and the cars were wet.

Once the sky lightened (I can’t say the sun came up, because it got cloudy quickly), I found a car to tag. As soon as the paint hit the car, the dew caused it to bead up and roll off.

“Dang,” I said, “it’s too wet!”

Charly took off running down the road.

“What the heck,” I thought, “It’s a good thing I have the car keys. Oh, crap… what if she has a hide-a-key. … No, I would know if she did.”

She returned a few minutes later with an entire roll of paper towels and started wiping off the car.

“Okay, I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about you,” I said to her.

“There!” she announced, “Now try painting.”

My Tag Left at Cadillac Ranch
My Tag Left at Cadillac Ranch (Cadillac Ranch ROCKS!)

Charly didn’t act impressed, but I think it is pretty cool.

Back to the Car

The walk back to the car made me think how glad I was we got there before sunrise. Lots of people were heading to see the interesting artwork in the Texas plains.

Walking Back to the Car
Walking Back to the Car

We reached the gate and I shot one last picture of Charly before we headed west.

Charly Points Out the Not-so-Obvious
Charly Points Out the Not-so-Obvious

I pulled out my Route 66 sign and Charly pointed out, “Hey, it kind of looks like those Cadillacs back there, only you need more of them and they need to be turned sideways.”

Laughing I replied, “But then it wouldn’t be ’66’, it would be ‘666666666666’.”

August 23, 2019

A Day of Rest – Day 13

A day of rest is needed. What does 7 days without a day of rest do to you? It makes one weak. (That’s an old Sunday School joke.) It’s time to take some time and rest, go to church and spend the day kicking back. People of lost sight of why it is important to take one day a week and rest for your labors (or in Charly‘s and my case, our play).

Heading Downstairs for Breakfast on a Day of Rest

I knocked on Charly’s door and asked if she was going downstairs for breakfast. We entered the elevator and Charly immediately began to push every floor button.

“What are you doing?” I asked with some irritation in my voice.

“Pushing all the buttons so it will stop on every floor,” she replied as if I hadn’t seen what she was doing.

“I see that,” I said, “Now we have to wait for the elevator to stop at each floor.”

About then, every light on the elevator control panel turned off and the door opened again.

“What the… ” Charly said in confusion.

Again, she punched every button. The door closed, and then the lights all turned off, and the door opened again.

“Ugh,” she grunted.

After pushing every button, the same thing happened. The door closed, the lights all turned off, and the door opened.

I started laughing.

“What so funny?” Charly snapped.

“This elevator has met your kind before,” I smugly said, “Whomever programmed it knew your kind and set it up so you can’t push all the buttons.”

“We’ll see,” she said as she pushed them all again.

Same thing happened.

“UHG!” she said as though this was inconveniencing here.

This time she only pushed 3 of the 4 floors. The doors shut, and the elevator continued down to the lobby only making 1 stop. The 4th floor button then reset as we boarded on the 3rd floor.

“Pretty smart elevator,” I smiled, “if you ask me.”

Pushing All the Buttons - A Day of Rest
Pushing All the Buttons

Stepping Out

After breakfast, we stepped out and went to a local church. On the way home, we had to stop at lot with an old truck.

“Hey, have you ever noticed old cars look like the have faces,” Charly asked. “Like on Cars.”

“Often,” I answered. “Go stand over there and make a face like that old truck and I’ll snap your picture.”

Charly Imitating an Old Truck - Click to read article at the Smithsonian.
Charly Imitating an Old Truck

Finding a Place for Dinner on a Day of Rest

Normally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant on the Day of Rest. Travel is an exception except when staying with family. I take Exodus 20:10 seriously when it says we shouldn’t make other people work either. At times I feel almost apologetic and want to tell the people at the restaurant, “I’m sorry for making you work on the Sabbath.”

“We’re in Texas. Let’s see if we can find some Tex Mex,” I said to Charly.

“Tex Mex?” she asked.

“Texas Mexican food,” I said thinking it makes sense to me.

“I didn’t know there was a difference,” she said.

“Even in Mexico, Mexican food is different wherever you go. Mexican food in the U.S.A. varies by region – California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas… they all have their style of preparing Mexican food,” I assured her. “Google it.”

“I believe you,” she said.

“No, ask your phone where the nearest Tex Mex restaurant is,” I said while recognizing my ambiguity.

Tex Mex

Charly found a place and talked me through the turns. We entered in and it was very reminiscent of a Mexican restaurant.

“Good choice, Charly,” I assured her.

Waiting for Some Tex Mex
Waiting for Some Tex Mex

Charly looked like a lovely senorita with her peasant top and pulled back hair. I swung around to the neighboring booth and snapped a shot.

For a Sunday night, the place wasn’t very crowded. However, I am glad we had a place to eat.

My Dinner
My Dinner

Did You Know???

Did you know many of the photos in these blog entries have links to related sites and information?

That’s right!

When you hover over a photo, it your cursor changes to show it is a link, click on it to learn more about that topic.

August 20, 2019

Lone Star State – Day 12

Lone Star State, as people call it, is a wonderful place to visit. They once attempted to secede from the Union, but they hold strong to the ideals of being a sovereign state (as all states in the United States should) and that the Federal Government should not trample the rights of the state as long as the state holds fast to the U.S. Constitution. This makes its citizens proud to be part of such a strong state.

Lone Star State, as people call it, is a wonderful place to visit. They once attempted to secede from the Union, but they hold strong to the ideals of being a sovereign state (as all states in the United States should) and that the Federal Government should not trample the rights of the state as long as the state holds fast to the U.S. Constitution. This makes its citizens proud to be part of such a strong state.

Lone Star State, as people call it, is a wonderful place to visit. They once attempted to secede from the Union, but they hold strong to the ideals of being a sovereign state (as all states in the United States should) and that the Federal Government should not trample the rights of the state as long as the state holds fast to the U.S. Constitution. This makes its citizens proud to be part of such a strong state.

Charly and I first noticed this with the theme of one star wherever we would go. You see this on belt buckles, shirts, hats and decor. Yes, Texans are proud to be Texans.

Lone Star State Theme on Route 66 Motel
Lone Star State Theme on Route 66 Motel

“Oh, Brent,” Charly said with excitement, “look at that patriotic motel.”

I spun my head around and saw that Lone Star State them decorating a motel’s exterior.

“Now, that is Texan,” I exclaimed.

“It’s American too,” Charly said.

“Yes, but they call Texas the Lone Star State for a reason,” I said as I began an explanation of how Texas once threatened to leave the United States in defence of their sovereignty.

Surprisingly, Charly listened and was interested.

“That’s really interesting. Can we stop?” She asked, and immediately followed it with, “Can we spend the night here?”

Charly jumped out of the car and ran to a door. I surveyed our surroundings.

“Charly, I think they are closed for the season. There’s not a car or soul in sight,” I pointed out.

“Oh, bummer. It’s so cute,” she said.

I convinced her we should move on.

Earlier

I almost forgot to mention…

Earlier before we reached Texas, Charly wanted me to stop. She got in the car and asked me to take a photo of the long road in front of us.

“screeeeeeech,” was the sound from the tires.

“What the… ” I yelled.

Charly put her hand out the window and waved.

Carly Burning Rubber
Carly Burning Rubber

She burned out heading down this lonesome stretch of Route 66 leaving me coughing in the dense tire smoke.

Soon I saw brake lights, and she waved for me to catch up. With my camera gear, I jogged towards the car. It seemed like a mile.

“Okay, that was uncalled for,” I yelled.

“Come on old man,” she yelled back.

I jumped in the car and before I got the door closed she was off again.

We crossed over I-40 and were on a stretch of Route 66 on the other side.

“Hey, I want to get a shot of Old Route 66 and I-40. Pull over,” I said excitedly.

Catching Air
Catching Air

As soon as I got out of the car and shut the door, Charly was burning rubber again. This time, catching air as she headed down Route 66.

“DANG YOU!” I yelled shaking my camera in the air.

Again, she stopped, but this time she put the car in reverse and backed up to where I was standing.

“YOU TURKEY,” I shouted, “My turn to drive.”

Charly laughed and said, “It’s my car.”

“Yeah, but if you get it impounded I’m not bailing it out,” I said, “or you for that matter.”

“You wouldn’t leave me in jail,” she said confidently.

“Wanna try me?” I glared at her.

She ran around to the passenger side and said, “Okay, you can drive.”

That was our excitement for the day.

Dinner and a Free Steak in the Lone Star State

There’s a place on Route 66 in Amarillo where if you eat a 72 ounce steak within their time limits it is FREE. We caught a complimentary limo from our hotel to the restaurant. (Note: I would like to their website and mention their name, but when I attempted to go to their website Norton Security produced a warning that the site was not safe and a threat to my network security.)

Waiting for our Table
Waiting for our Table

Charly wore the same dress again.

“Didn’t you wear that last night?” I asked.

“Yes, but that wasn’t a fancy place. This is a steak place, it’s fancy,” she said.

I started to laugh and replied, “You don’t know Texas, do you? I bet if I wore a tie they’d cut it off.”

We enjoyed a great steak, but neither one of us went for the 72 ouncer.

August 14, 2019

Texas Panhandle – Day 12

Texas Panhandle was someplace I always wanted to visit. It’s just a small portion of Route 66, but like Texas, everything is BIG. Top of my list is Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas.

Charly?” I asked, “Why are you wearing the same dress as yesterday?”

I’m thinking it is a cardinal sin for a woman to wear the same dress 2 days in a row.

“I didn’t wear it very long, and I am running low on clean everyday clothes,” she informs me.

“Everyday clothes? What are ALL those suitcases in the back of the car?” I ask trying to clarify my confusion.

“Oh, that’s wardrobe for photo shoots,” she tells me.

“So, your wardrobe, as you put it, isn’t everyday clothes?” I ask trying to understand.

“No,” she said in a tone as if I were completely out-of-touch.

Leaving Oklahoma and Entering the Texas Panhandle

It wasn’t long before we came across Slug Bug Ranch. This was unexpected for me. I knew about Cadillac Ranch, but Slug Bug Ranch?

A few VW Beetles half buried with graffiti beconned us to stop. An old abandoned structure nearby was home to vandalism and who-knows-what-else. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but soon other tourists arrived creating more of a safe atmosphere.

“Charly,” I began, “why don’t you put on some of that wardrobe, as you call it, and we’ll take some fun shots amidst this trash.”

Had I been asked to do that I would have said, “No way.” I normally don’t ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself, but I’m a 60-something man with a potbelly and I’d be afraid I’d trip on some of this garbage.

Before long Charly came back from the car with a slinky outfit.

“Seriously? You’re going to walk through here barefoot in that?” I said with my eyes bulging out of my skull.

“Yeah, why not?” Charly retorted, and added, “I’ll watch for broken glass.”

It wasn’t the broken glass I was worried about. It was EVERYTHING ELSE.

Charly's First Outfit - Texas Panhandle
Charly’s First Outfit

After snapping the first frame, I realized this portion isn’t as dirty as I initially thought. Charly’s elegance amidst the graffiti created a dichotomy in the image, and once seeing that, I was ready to shoot more.

“What else do you have that isn’t everyday clothes?” I asked hoping for a wardrobe change.

Charly soon returned wearing a poet’s shirt… okay, she called it a “dress”, but I’ve seen shirts that cover more of the legs.

Charly's Poet Shirt - Texas Panhandle
Charly’s Poet Shirt

Having Fun at Slug Bug Ranch

We were having fun at slug bug ranch in the Texas Panhandle. I would get the shot I like and then Charly would be off changing in to another outfit. I often dreamed of being a famous fashion photographer taking photos of models in unsuspecting places. Couple this with driving Route 66 and I felt like I was on top of the world.

Slug Bug Ranch is a takeoff from Cadillac Ranch. One being east of Amarillo, the other being west of the city. Graffiti is encouraged at both locations. (Vandalism, however is NOT.) If you do visit, bring a couple of cans of spray paint to leave your mark. However, be warned, your mark will only last until someone paints over it with their mark.

So, bring a camera to photograph your artwork.

Charly Dancing - Texas Panhandle
Charly Dancing

I just kept the camera in one place for a while, and Charly would perform as if it were her stage. Other tourist looked on, taking pictures with their phones and selfies with Charly and me in the background.

Charly Getting Silly - Texas Panhandle
Charly Getting Silly

Soon Charly started getting silly, and I figured that was the sign that she’s getting bored. For the life of me, I fail to understand older men who fall for younger women. They are children, for Pete’s sake… in spite of being the age of majority. In any event, her silliness was enough to make me want a change too.

“Hey, Charly,” I yelled to her and pointed to another location, “let’s move over there.”

That's Just Plain Silly - Texas Panhandle
That’s Just Plain Silly

Charly held her pose and stuck out her tongue to which I said, “Now, that’s just plain silly.”

She giggled and informed me her lip gloss was strawberry flavored.

Let the Fun Begin

Charly returned as I was setting up for the next spot. This time, she looked like some sort of SciFi vigilante.

“Now, that is a cool outfit,” I remarked, “I’d call that everyday clothes.”

We both laughed and Charly entered this trashed room.

“Show me what you’ve got,” I said unsure of how to suggest she pose.

Before I knew it her foot was in the air and leg stretched out in a manner that would leave me crippled for life.

“Do that again,” I said because I wasn’t ready for the shot.

Action Hero Charly - Texas Panhandle
Action Hero Charly

Seeing the room already in disarray, I suggested she act like she just kicked over a three tiered table.

Take THAT! - Texas Panhandle
Take THAT!

“Take THAT,” she yelled as she went in to a fighting pose.

That Was Fun

That was a fun start to our Texas Panhandle portion of Route 66. We’re ready to move on. We’ll still be in the Texas Panhandle, just not at Slug Bug Ranch. We’re finished here.

Slug Bug Ranch – Texas Panhandle

Note

It is important to note to the readers that we did NOT enter these locations except where it was obvious the property owners allow access. Thus, no fences were climbed, we did not go around any barricades, and we obeyed all visible no trespassing signs. These images with Charly are COMPUTER ART using photos taken from legal vantage points as the background.

We do NOT condone trespassing or vandalism. This is strictly a fictional story. Or, to put it another way, “Don’t try this on Route 66 — or at home.”

August 14, 2019

Lunch and Dinner – Day 11

Lunch and dinner are always fun adventures on Route 66. Someone recently asked me, “Is there any healthy food options on Route 66?”

What?

Fast food is what a road trip is all about. While breakfast is usually a complimentary breakfast at the hotel or motel, lunch and dinner are an adventure.

Picnic

A picnic is a good way to relax and eat on your own schedule. Another bridge, another grassy area under the shade of a tree, and some snacks picked up earlier in the day create a nice way to have lunch without wondering when you’ll find a restaurant.

After eating Charly parked herself under the shade of a tree while I wandered around getting photos.

Another Picnic on Route 66 - Lunch and Dinner
Another Picnic on Route 66

The long bridge in the background is amazing. One truss after another on this bridge.

Back on the Road

I wish I had time to stop at every landmark. A month isn’t long enough. One could take an entire year driving Route 66.

“BRENT!” Charly shouts, “I want to get my cowboy hat.”

“Where is this coming from?” I asked before seeing the Western Motel sign.

We stopped and Charly struck a pose.

Western Motel
Western Motel

Lunch and Dinner Coming

We had a nice picnic lunch and dinner is coming. We decided to check in to our hotel first, and then find somewhere to eat. It’s always a risky thing because you don’t know what is open and what is nearby.

After making a lot of stops for taking pictures, we finally arrived at our hotel in Elk City, Oklahoma. The place was old, but the new owners were in the process of fixing it up. They had it very clean.

I checked in and washed up in preparation for going to dinner. I came out of my room and there was Charly.

Are We Going to Dinner?
Are We Going to Dinner?

“Are we going to dinner?” Charly asks.

She was dressed in a slinky dress as if she was waiting for a hot date. My first thought was, ‘She’s going to be disappointed because it is only me.’

“We?” I asked while spinning around on my heels. “I’m looking for your date.”

Charly giggled and added, “I just felt like getting dressed up.”

“Grab your shoes and we’ll find a place. Should I change? I feel a little underdressed,” I said.

We headed to the lobby where I asked about a place to go eat. I was told the nearest place open at this hour was the attached diner.

“Okay with going to the diner next door?” I asked.

“Sure,” Charly said with a smile.

“Do you want to change? You might be a little over dressed for these… these… locals,” I said.

“No, I’m fine,” she said.

“Are you sure?” I asked, and then added, “There’s going to think I’m some kind of dirty-old-man.”

Laughing, Charly says, “That’s the whole point.”

“Okay, but at least grab a sweater or shawl,” I said.

Charly disappeared in to her room and emerged with a silk shawl, and we headed to the diner. I still felt underdressed, but people will probably be looking at Charly, and not me.

August 9, 2019

Oklahoma Capital – Day 11

Oklahoma Capital was our next stop. I was still drying my eyes while we drove to the capital building. In many ways I want to shake this feeling. On the other hand, sadness and outrage helps us to remember we have a loving God who only allows evil so we can exercise agency. He will punish the wicked.

We parked at the Oklahoma Capital grounds and Charly was off before I could get my camera equipment. I made sure I had my batteries, spare memory cards and needed lenses.

“Hey, Brent!” I heard Charly yell, “What do you think is up here?”

Charly About to Get in Trouble - Oklahoma Capital
Charly About to Get in Trouble

Before I could tell her I don’t think she’s supposed to be there, two armed policemen were handcuffing her. I debated on whether to let them know she was with me, or just let them haul her off. I decided to do the honorable thing.

“Officers,” I hollered, “she’s with me and I’m sure she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to be there.”

The officers beckoned me over, and I walked over.

“Is this young lady with you, sir?” the one officer asked.

“Yeah,” I said expressing a look of innocence.

The officer turned to Charly and said, “How did you climb the fence, ma’am?”

Charly looked very surprised and replied, “Climb? I walked through the gate,” and pointed to an open gate.

“Officer,” I began, “if I may point out there isn’t a ‘No Trespassing’ sign over there.”

We walked towards the gate while the other officer stayed with Charly. Sure enough, the “No Trespassing” sign was only visible when the gate was shut.

Looking at me over the top of his mirrored Ray Bans, “It looks like it’s your friends lucky day,” he said.

We walked back to Charly and the other office.

“You can uncuff her,” he said to the other officer, and then looked at Charly and added, “Ma’am, our sincere apologies. While that gate is normally closed and a no trespassing sign visible, someone left it open today. You’re free to go.”

We stood and talked to the kind officers for a bit while they told us about the display Charly was about to climb on. Oklahoma City is a big oil town. The Sooners were to oil what the 49ers were to the Gold Rush. They also pointed out the capital building is undergoing renovation, but is open on the inside.

“And,” the officer smiled at Charly, “Please don’t let us have to arrest you for climbing on the scaffolding,” and then winked.

I saw his humor, but I think Charly was still a bit scared after the handcuffing incident. Visibly shaken, Charly just nodded her head showing she understood.

“I’ll keep her on a short leash officer,” I said in a stern voice, “Come on Charly. Oh, officer, can I borrow your handcuffs? I figure if I cuff her to me she can’t wander far.”

Charly took one big step away from the three of us, and the three of us men laughed, but Charly obviously thought I was serious.

“Come on, Charly, I’m only joking,” I said, “But stick close. I don’t have bail money.” Then, turning to the officers I said, “Thanks again for making this a pleasant experience.”

Charly Happy to Not Be In Jail
Charly Happy to Not Be In Jail

Oklahoma Capital Building Renovation

The Oklahoma Capital Building renovation didn’t stop us from seeing the beautiful interior of the building. Charly noticed her bright red dress went perfectly with the bright red flags flying around the exterior of the plaza.

Under the Dome Inside
Under the Dome Inside

We spent several hours inside looking at the beautiful displays and learning about the State of Oklahoma.

Oh, as a side note, they have the BEST gasoline prices in Oklahoma!!!

August 7, 2019

Sobering – Day 11

Sobering day today. We visited the Oklahoma City Bombing Site. Charly is hardly old enough to remember that day, but Brent remembers it well.

First Thing

The first thing Charly wanted to do is take a dip in the pool, however the night’s rain cooled the air and with the cloud cover things were a bit chilly. Brent met up with her down by the pool.

“Coming for breakfast?” Brent asks.

Charly, pinning her hair back as if she was about to get in the water smiled and said, “I thought I was going to take a swim, but it’s a little too cold.”

No Swimming Today
No Swimming Today

“Okay,” Brent said as he turned and headed towards the breakfast room, “I’ll see you inside after you get dressed.”

“Who said I was going to get dressed,” she yelled back at him.

“The sign in the hotel that reads, ‘No swimsuits in the lobby or dining room’,” Brent said without skipping a beat.

Charly only growled as she grabbed her towel and stomped towards her room.

The Sobering Drive

The sobering drive to downtown Oklahoma City wasn’t anything like the reality of the matter. After finding a place to park, we walked across the street to the memorial.

One first notices the empty chairs that represent those killed that day. Then you notice the chain link fence with momentos and tributes to those who died that day. Children, wives, mothers, fathers, husbands, sons and daughters gone in an instance in a blast and ball of flames.

Reminders of Those Who Died - Sobering
Reminders of Those Who Died

What kind of evil existed in the heart of Timothy McVey and his companions that they would do such an evil thing. This was cold, planned well in advance, calculated and without warning. Evil. It is the only word that describes their actions that day.

I stood there and wept. It is beyond comprehension as to why they would do this. Across the street is a statue. It depicts how Jesus must have felt that day too.

Jesus wept. Sobering
Jesus wept.

The reflecting pool is a beautiful memorial. At the end, on the other side of that gray wall, are remnants of concrete and rebar. To the right, empty chairs for those who died.

Memorial in Oklahoma City
Memorial in Oklahoma City

They blew up a daycare center! To me, that’s the most disgusting part of their actions. The very thought drags me into sorrow. Thank goodness for a God who accepted these children in to his kingdom and will exalt them.

I had to ask, “Why, God? Why?”

The comforting answer I got was God doesn’t interfere with men’s agency -(for evil or good), however, his compassion extends to those who die in innocence. They died as martyrs and their place in heaven is guaranteed, while those who did this will suffer in hell.

July 30, 2019

Automobiles – Day 10

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are a huge part of Route 66. Route 66 was built in a day where automobiles were just becoming a household item. You could take the train, but why not drive so you can take your time and see the country?

Automobiles are also found in museums along the way. They are worth the stop. Charly and I had a fun time visiting museums.

My Maserati Does 185 - Automobiles
My Maserati Does 185

Heart of Route 66 Automobiles Museum

The Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum is a fun, clean museum with staff that is super friendly. We entered, bought our tickets, and proceeded down a hall that looked like Route 66.

“Hey, Brent!” Charly screams, “Look at that Ferrari!”

“Maserati. That’s a Maserati,” I said, and then started singing, “My Maserati does 185; I lost my license and now I don’t drive…”

“Okay,” she said rolling her eyes, “you’re making this up, right?”

“Joe Walsh. Former of the Eagles, broke off and went solo. Known for trashing hotels…” I rattled off as she continued to look at me like I was some sort of freak. “It was a popular song, okay! Look it up on Pandora, or whatever you listen to.”

We hung out at the museum for a while until there was nothing left to see.

Charly would have made a great model for a flying lady hood ornament.

Charly as a Flying Lady
Charly as a Flying Lady

Soda Pop

Also there in Sepulta, Oklahoma, was this huge Coke bottle sculpture. My wheels were turning because I had an idea of how to photograph Charly, but she disappeared, and then came back wearing a green fish scale leotard.

“PERFECT!” I shouted.

She just smiled as if to say she knew I’d like it.

Wondering Where Coca Cola Got the Idea for the Shape of the Bottle - Automobiles
Wondering Where Coca Cola Got the Idea for the Shape of the Bottle

Pops on Route 66 for Automobiles Too

Then in Arcadia, Oklahoma, we found the BIGGEST soda pop store. Pops is cool. Every flavor you can imagine. There were so many diet root beers I had a hard time deciding which ones to purchase.

Charly put on the leotard again, and struck a pose.

Again, There's that Shape
Again, There’s that Shape

And, I should show a wider view. Even the gas pumps (from the front) look like soda dispensers.

Pops on 66 - where to fuel your automobile
Pops on 66

You can fuel your automobiles and your thirst at this place. If there were room in the car I would have bought cases of the stuff. Too many flavors and not enough room to bring them home.

Inside, Charly purchased a cold one and began sucking it down.

A Cold One
A Cold One

Roadside Junk

You find more than just cars abandoned on the side of Route 66. Someone, sadly, decided to dump their sofa. I made the best of it. I’ve always wanted to do this.

“Hey, Charly, go sit on that sofa,” I said.

Surprisingly, she didn’t turn up her nose at the idea, but changed in to another leotard.

“I want to look like I’m lounging,” she said as she stepped out of the car wearing this black lace leotard.

Roadside Lounging
Roadside Lounging

We soon found an old service station with this sign…

Command or Statement?
Command or Statement?

I wasn’t sure if it was some sort of social command or statement, but I’m betting they meant ‘doesn’t work’, and they aren’t telling us to go on welfare and not work at all. We found similar signs along the way. They always put a grin on my face.

When all was said and done, it was another great day cruising Route 66.

End of the Day on Route 66
End of the Day on Route 66