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Draplin Design Co., North America
September 22, 2004
DDC 50: Day 03, Leaving SoCal, And We Start Route 66
Posted at 09:44 PM


Dad and I are in agreement on many issues. The close confines, challenging surroundings we�ve had to overcome and our general ability to �fuck with eachother to the point of no return� has lent to our successful traveling harmony. The main issue, call it �Southern California: What A Shithole,� has been a hot topic. Disgust, fear, puzzlement and sheer, red-hot hatred have gotten the better of us as we navigate this so-called “Paradise.”

Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic�hastily snailing along on hot, littered highways�.I have to wonder, �How do these people deal with this day to day?� Just how does one learn to accept the lifestyle down here? Land of the beautiful? Man, the beauty, the romance of it all�it escapes me completely. Houses packed in like sardines, �me and only me� mentality�.no way.

Never, ever, ever will I call this wasteland home. Never. Good luck to all the lucky ones who we�ll be leaving behind.

- - - -

We finally made it up to Santa Monica, after 2+ hours of gridlock. Good times, goddamit. We did a little book shopping at Hennessy�s and then walked the pier to take in a little salty air. We found the memorial that ends Route 66, had a moment of silence and made out way back to the rig.

So the story goes: You start Route 66 in Chicago and make yer way out west, through the desolation, ending up in paradise, in Californ-y, in the land of milk and honey and Zsa Zsa Gabor and botox and gridlock and star maps and 98 and 99 cent stores.

Well, for the record, we look at things a little differently: We�re heading east, back to that proud Midwest�our paradise. We�re escaping this place�leaving it behind.

Our well-written guides are turning out to be a bit of a challenge. They are all written with Chicago as the starting point. So it goes.

- - - -

FACTS ARE STUBBORN THINGS�: You gotta be strong on the road, and firm.

- - - -

And out we went, into that Inland Empire….

So we pull up to this little rathole called the �Rex Hotel.� The entire deal is built out of cinder blocks, with some gross coat of paint to spice stuff up. There�s bars over every opening and a grimy little window with a buzzer to ring. Dad swaggers up, rings the bell and after some time, a little window slides open, but a couple inches above waist level, and, I shit-you-not, a little set of eyes slowly appear to offer help. Turns out the guy was sitting down (we speculate) and due to the lateness of the hour, was slow and a bit cranky and spoke little-to-no English.

Of course, dad had to see the room before the big purchase. It�s a good thing, as it didn�t pass his test of tidiness and overall �not too bad�-ness.

�Nope, no thanks,� is all that was said as dad flicked the key back into the filthy opening.

A couple miles later, talk turned to the Rex Hotel encounter. �Aaron, that was gross,� the old man exclaims with a wave and furrowed brow, �that little guy was freaky.� And off we went into the night, eastbound on the Mother Road.

We settled on a wigwam at the Wigwam Village in Rialto. Hell yes. Since 1946. Very satisfied with our purchase for the night, as dad�s snoring in the background can attest to.