Michael stands at the crossroads of America. Behind him is the confluence of two of its greatest rivers, the actual spot where the 2,541-mile Missouri River flows into the 2,320-mile Mississippi River just north of St. Louis. This is the place from which the Lewis & Clark Expedition left in 1804 to explore the West and to which they returned in 1806.
We remember Beverly Hills from our westward journeys down Route 66. The venerable Mother Road uses the alias Santa Monica Boulevard in this ritzy neck of the woods as it nears its terminus at the Pacific shore. When we motor past the posh palaces and smart shops of Beverly Hills we are reminded that this mecca for the rich and famous was carved out of an old Spanish land grant covered with sagebrush.
It was in the high desert of Arizona just across the New Mexico border. We were traveling west as far as we could go, all the way to the Pacific shore. Our vehicles of choice for this particular adventure were a blue van filled with ice chests and the songs of Woody Guthrie and the Eagles, and in the lead a ragtop Corvette, as red as spilled blood, that rolled off the assembly line in 1964.