Often we took the old roads instead of the new highways. Scattered along the old roads were totally abandoned motor motels and other businesses from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Sometimes there were whole towns sitting alongside the old roads boarded up and deserted.
We traveled so many portions of the old roads on this trip and find that modernization and progress can be death to a community that depends on serving travelers who disappear onto the modern highways. John and I both traveled these roads when we were children with our respective families. They had character and were unique and yes, they often had awful facilities. Which is better, the homogenized facilities of today that all look exactly alike or the small towns of yesterday that had personality? It is comforting to know that wherever we stop we can depend on the sameness of the Hampton Inn or the Appleby's and find a Target or Walmart to replenish what we have used. But I remember there was something exciting about that small town called Top of the World where we were stranded with car trouble when I was just a little girl of maybe 7 or 8. The cafe owner let me serve the customers and paid me with nickels so my brother and I could give them to the trained brown bear so he would drink colored water. John and I saw nothing like that on this trip. Part of me is relieved and part of me longs for that diversity.