Get your vertiginous kicks, Route 66

Get your vertiginous kicks, Route 66
Klamath Falls, OR

Klamath Falls, OR

After a long drive and a quicker section on the I5, we finally turned off where the GPS said. We’d ignored an earlier sign to Klamath falls, and were rewarded by this one, the straight across rather than via Crater Lake option, taking us straight onto Route 66. Yeah! I had no idea we’d be on here, so this was a bonus for the final 50 miles.

Route 66, seen from the car
Lumpy bumpy 66.

It turns out that Route 66, at least at this early stage, is a lumpy, undulating climb over hills, with the camber ever shifting underneath the car, and sharp bends without protection. Those start out with a shallow drop off into fields below, but aren’t exclusively so further up, and I had a moment or two. Phew. Signs warned this was a snow zone – carry chains or traction tyres, they tell you here. On a bright sunny day, though, that seemed irrelevant.

And was, on a safety front, but there was snow, even a small amount on the road in places. That explained the stony noises; gravel, thanks to a comprehensive gritting. Other than the snow we had two highlights; firstly, slowing when it looked like a cat was going to dash out in front, then realising as it turned tail that it was a bobcat. And secondly, there were periodic signs for ‘open range’, in front of the first of which someone had parked an old oven, with the door open.

It beats bullet holes for sign comedy.

Me, gesturing behind me to a huge lake and hills in the distance
Oregon trail.

Coming through a small settlement, mercifully free of the precipitous drops by now and travelling through pine forests, the local shop advertised “Custom archery. Piano service”. Shoot it, then sing about it. In tune, if you please.

We reached Klamath Falls around 7. This town of 20,000 looked parched, tired and mostly closed. Apparently there aren’t any falls, either.

Reading: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.

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