Thursday, December 24, 2020

Tales from the Blog: Something extraordinary happens

Prior to this entry, I used the photograph of the Americana Inn as an example of what I would not even attempt to investigate. I reasoned that rest areas, being government owned, were likely to either still exist or be so slow to convert to commercial property that locating their history would be easy. As it turns out, the cast and crew of Easy Rider stayed here in the spring of 1968 while filming the opening scenes. It still operates today and a single king is available on any random Wednesday for $80. That is a steal considering the inflation on the $20 in 1972 would be $124 today.

Granted, the motel has changed from its heyday. The reviews are not great, the pool has long been filled in, the fountain appears dry in the satellite photos and the back section of the motel is now apartments.

While I've been linking a number of things I looked up, I recently linked one I knew of (Magic Fingers) but thought the history was worth including. This made me think perhaps TripTik should have been linked, as well. For those unfamiliar, TripTik was a pre-Google Maps, pre-MapQuest spiral bound set of directions available from the American Automobile Association.

The Marygay egg truck-side advertisement was for Merrigay Farms. While I found a number of ads similar to the one below, I was unable to locate what became of the business.

The typed version of the journal ends at this point. My understanding is the written version continued through the remainder of the trip but the transcription was cut short by the motorcycle accident. We do have some of the remaining pictures which can be used to piece together the rest of the trip. I believe following the stop in Phoenix, he continued on to the Casa Grande ruins. From there he traveled northwest, back through the Navajo Nation, into New Mexico and then to Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. It would then be straight east to St. Louis. If he continued with his original plan to take Route 66, he would then head northeast to Chicago and finally back home to New Baltimore.

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