Road Trip Guide - Page 10 - Open road, open plans

Road Trip Guide
- Page 10
Open road, open plans
The beauty of not having reservations, not making a list

By Brady MacDonald
Los Angeles Times

The plan was to have no plan. To head east on Route 66, a solo traveler with no agenda. Stopping when I felt like it. Staying as long as I wanted. Moving on when I was ready.

There was only one problem: I’m a master planner. Traveling with me has always been the vacation equivalent of a military assault.

I promised myself that this time would be different. No to-do lists. No reservations. I wanted to search for a connection to the places and the people along the fabled Mother Road.

As I set out on my nine-day journey, I kept my expectations low and my hopes for adventure high, with a goal of enjoying the journey and living in the moment.

Los Angeles to Needles

Route 66 was established in 1926; the plan was to stitch together a series of regional roadways into a national highway system that, when completed, ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif.

Its decline began in the mid-1950s with the birth of the interstate highway system, and the death knell came in 1985 when Route 66 was officially de-certified. But a revival began soon afterward, driven by enthusiasts who did not want to let that era disappear from the American narrative.

Over the years I’d stumbled upon