December 12, 2007

The Chiles Trail on Film

US 90, the paved Spanish trail from Pensacola to Jacksonville, is featured in the recent film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel No Country for Old Men. With all the buzz about walking the Florida section in 1970, it's easy forget that it is a national highway and it cuts through Del Rio, Texas.

Anyone who has seen No Country for Old Men has the exit sign for Del Rio etched in their memory.

In Chiles' world, US 90 was the gateway to the Panhandle and his favorite people and food. Miami, Broward County, Palm Beach, their politics might confound him, but he always knew when he was strong in the Panhandle. He knew how to talk to them. You can probably still find his boot marks on the highway shoulder.

In McCarthy's world, US 90 is an escape route, the barren setting for one of the most harrowing chase sequences I've ever seen. It provides a quick fix, but as one of the characters says, you can't stop what's comin'.

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