14 The ALLURE of Rallies & Tours make two loops around the marker and immediately exit. We now had Utah and Colorado covered, and headed for our overnight stop in Farmington, NM. I think at this point, I saw a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, but Ryan said he thought it was an oncoming train. Time would tell. Old Route 66 Heading east out of Albuquerque we followed the path of old U.S. 66, which one could see from time to time and even with some bypasses available for travel here and there. With just a little difficulty, I remember using it on a trip to California in a 1938 Chevrolet right after WWII. At the western city limits of Am- arillo is the famous Cadillac Ranch, with its famous ten buried-to-the- windshield Cadillacs (1955 through 1961) angled into terra firma walking distance from Interstate 40. Ryan was more impressed with the prodigious amount of graffiti on the cars than the symbolism of a man who ran Ca- dillacs into the ground years before Roger Smith. The next day, July 5th, we entered Oklahoma City just past noon with a wa- ter pump badly in need of replacing. We made a brief stop at the hole in the ground that was once the federal building, ob- served a moment of silence, then drove into European Motors, a repair shop that specializes in foreign cars. My reasoning was that, during the years so many foreign cars in distress had pulled into shops that serviced American cars, it was time for payback. The shop was only about six blocks from the bombing, close enough that the windows on the south wall (and door) had been blown out by the explo- sion. Fortunately, no one had been hurt. Mike Colliver, the technician, was in- trigued by the car, and he set immediately to work repacking the water pump (which took nearly an hour), then refused to ac- cept payment for his work! We thanked him profusely, then continued on to Tul- sa and the overnight stop in Joplin, MO, cutting off the extreme southeast corner of Kansas as we entered Joplin. Forty-one down and seven to go! Disaster Strikes The next day we headed east across MS, entering KY, just across the Ohio River bridge from Cairo, IL, then proceeded to Memphis, where we spent the night. In the morning, as we made a sudden half- right turn into Clarkston, MS, disaster. The left rear tire made contact with the fender, blistering the paint and bringing the car to a screeching halt. The left rear axle had broken just 21 /2 inches from the end. We were towed a couple of miles into Little Willie’s Wrecker Service in Clarksdale, where the axle was removed and final diagnosis made. While I made a half-dozen frantic phone calls to Packard people to see if I could locate a replacement (we still had Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida left to go!), Willie Singletary took another track: locating someone who could weld the axle. Willie won that race, finding a welder who normal- ly works on farm machinery in a shop 10 miles east of town. We delivered the axle to him, and early the next morning it was ready to re-install. It worked per- fectly and the final 978 miles through Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida went without incident, the route taking us through Mobile, AL, and the corner of Escambia County in Florida (our 32nd day of the trip. The next day we were home at noon … 9638 miles and 33.3 days of travel. Would I do it again! You bet! What’s next? Paris to Peking? OneLap_010-015.indd 14 1/7/18 11:48 AM