We stop in a town with a field full of windmills and an "Old Home Museum." The Old Home Museum is full of mannequined scenes of Old Home life, all looking like a cautionary tale of what could happen if one were to return to Old Home life.
The landscape changes as we keep on, into sod fields. No snow, but flatter, and warm. We see a lot of wind turbines and pull off the road where we see a wind-turbine blade mounted in front of a town hall. Brett poses as if he is holding the turbine up.
If you lived in this dome, you'd be home by now.
We make it to Shamrock at night, just over the Texas border. The town is ghostish, and uniformly painted a 1960s Cadillac green. The main attraction in Shamrock is a restored art deco gas station, but it's not open. Just preserved. Someone has thoughtfully built an ATM to compliment it.
Besides gas stations and fake gas stations and a spare steakhouse, the only businesses here are the five or six motels along the single main drag, all of which seem to be owned by Indian families. We go from one to the next, and decide, finally, on one where a man is assembling a treadmill in the lobby. In the room, we watch Intervention and fall asleep.
We leave the motel at daybreak. We weave over and under Interstate 40 for hours in flat country, passing a giant cross and a leaning water tower, both attractions that our specially-ordered Route 66 map points out to us.
There is a rumor going around that Route 66 is dead, that I-40 turned all the main streets into ghost towns. There is also a rumor that all the Mom and Pop businesses in America have gone under. On our trip, we saw that Route 66 is alive and open for business – it's just that Mom and Pop aren't white anymore. This is a casual observation of course, but many, many of the places we patronized along the route were owned by first-generation immigrants.