10th December 2014 - Get your kicks on Route 66

When John Summerhill visits the camera club he always provides an excellent and humorous talk to accompany his pictures. It was no exception this time when he presented ‘Route 66 and the SW USA’ the result of a holiday undertaken this year on what was once known as the main street of America and the migration route during the dust bowl years of the 1930’s.
Nowadays Route 66 has been overtaken by the railroad and the interstate highway but as John revealed it is still the road to take if you want to absorb some of the culture of middle America and especially that of the of the 1950’s. The road actually stretches for over 2000 miles but John drove about half of that. Although the preferred romantic method of travel on Route 66 is on a Harley Davidson it is not compulsory and John’s automobile covered the distance in a week.
On his way he captured images of the people and their small towns which exist almost in a time warp. Giant cacti, huge automobiles, venomous rattlesnakes and dodgy characters of the human kind such as Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp, saloons, bordellos and 1950’s style motels line this road as well as anomalies such as concrete wigwams, re-enactments of shootouts on the main streets of small towns and doubtful gastronomic challenges such as the 72 ounce steak.
John’s journey also took in nearby off-route 66 attractions with impressive images such as the Grand Canyon with its red earth and deep craters. Shots of Roswell’s alien life form autopsy room in New Mexico followed by images of Tombstone and Boot Hill provided plenty of variety and amusement. However, John’s final images of the unique white sands of southern New Mexico the test site for the first atomic bomb were both beautiful and poignant and an impressive finale.