... or: Tale of Two Road Trips
It is fitting that we picked up our Route 66 jigsaw puzzle as we were nearing the end of a briefer road trip to the mid-Atlantic. Any time we are headed home through western Mass or Central Connecticut, we are likely to stop at Traveler Food and Books, which I just call "Good Food Books" because the highway sign says something like that. With every meal, customers can choose a used book. Additional books, cards, and puzzles are also for sale.
This restaurant is a few minutes from the Mass Turnpike, and a more interesting and satisfying meal than anything available at the rest stops! It even has bird feeders near some of the tables, with guides to the local birds. Visiting cool old places like this is exactly the purpose of our Route 66 project, so we could not resist purchasing a puzzle dedicated to the Missouri section of the Mother Road. When we got home, we realized that this is actually a new puzzle, published in 2013 by Sunsout Puzzles. It is one of at least three in the company's Route 66 series (hint to any of Santa's elves who might be reading).
Shortly after our purchase, we were delighted to have cousins visiting from Wisconsin, and nothing says "family staycation" better than a jigsaw puzzle. Especially a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle! Soon after our cousins arrived, we put the puzzle on the card table and started trying to get the unusual outline organized.
|Appropriately, the signpost was among our first victories.|
|The puzzle helped quickly to identify the insomniacs in the family.|
|We were so pleased with the achievement that we dressed for the occasion!|
The result -- some images to look forward to searching for in real life when we "take that trip" in 2029, and a map of part of the route.
|1,000 pieces / 2 sides / 6 corners |
6 concavities / 2 convexities
Jigsaw puzzles are fleeting of course, like live theater. We decided to keep it around for about as long as it took to assemble it.
|This car looks like it is going somewhere, but it is only going to the game closet ...|
until the next cousin visit!
When I posted some of these puzzle-in-progress photos online, a Tucson friend (and fellow geographer) responded with information about a friend of his (now deceased) who had used his art and cartography to promote preservation of the old highway. Bob Waldmire was so widely associated with enjoyment of the Mother Road that he became the basis for George Carlin's character Fillmore in the movie Cars. Waldmire's web site is still maintained by his brother, and includes a cool map depicting all of his Route 66 postcards.
|Interactive map is at Postcards of Route 66|