John Steinbeck's classic novel "The Grapes of Wrath" is never far from the minds of those who live and work on Route 66. Today, we didn't play host to a huge number of tourists, but one couple who came in this morning put us, sadly, in mind of those Dust Bowl days when Highway 66 was the main artery for people from the midwest who had run out of luck and funds and used the road to move west to the Promise Land. Chad and Brooke are a young couple from Michigan who fell victim to the devastation of the Detroit auto industry, lost their jobs, and own a home in a market where homes just aren't selling. Like the brave Joad family in Grapes, they are making their way west to a brand new life. They're not sure where they'll end up, or if they'll find work there, or even if they'll be able to sell their Michigan home in order to afford the move. But they're heading west on Route 66 to see what's there, because they're courageous and industrious, and because they must. I was saddened by their story, but cheered by their guts. They're considering Arizona, but Ron M. and I suggested they consider Oklahoma, where the cost of living is low and so is the unemployment rate. I wish them, and others like them, well. I am so pleased that they took the time to stop at Afton Station.
We also had eight other visitors today, two from Vinita OK, three from Royal Center IN, and another couple from Manhattan KS, so it turned into a nice day. Betty brought another yearbook with some more great photos for me to scan. Ron and I drove home in quite the rainstorm. If what the weather pundits are saying comes to pass, Saturday could be a bad day for getting up to Afton. Snow! And quite a bit, for Oklahoma. We shall see if they're right, and how it impacts my travel.