Saturday, July 23, 2011

Route 66 Day Twelve

Today is Monday, July 4, and we are going to continue our adventures with the hope that in this dry West we will be able to find a city willing to fire off fireworks to celebrate. 

Today we began by eating a hotel breakfast, going grocery shopping and are on the road by 9:00 a.m.  We continue our quest by heading east on the pre-1937 alignment for Route 66 through Canoncito, Glorieta, and Pecos where we ran into these pink ranch fences (our second set of pink fences--perhaps there was a sale on paint at the local Farm and Fleet). 

Today we are visiting the Pecos National Historical Park which has Hopi pueblos, a Catholic mission (whose sordid history is sad to read), and a 1 & ½ mile hike.  To our amazement, we were allowed to enter the kivas, so we did.  So Denice joined me on this invasion as it appeared to be legal and there were no wild dogs. 

All the off roading that I did onto abandoned properties and hiking around ancient pueblos in the hot sun, I never saw one snake.  I am actually disappointed although considering how fast I was running because of the dog pack, I can imagine how fast I would have moved if I had encountered a rattler. 

A second kiva proves irresistible. 

We finished the Pecos with a rare appearance before the camera.  You can imagine the conversation.  Let me take your picture now.  Why?  Just give me the camera.  You don't know how to set it.  Set it for me.  OK, dammit.  Smile.  Jeeeezzzusss. 

Then is was on to Rowe, Gise, Ilfed, and Sands where we found another roadside shrine.  One of my things is concrete angels in cemeteries but the West is not big on statuary.  I had to settle for this little guy who now looks pretty darn psycho to me.  Stare into my big blank eyes!!!!

Inexplicably, the entire shrine was guarded by this guy.

It was about this time that we realized we had spent a lot of time in the Pecos (not that we are complaining) but if we want to sleep in a big city and see fireworks we need to get a move on.  So we were through Serafina, Tecolote, La Manga (where everyone reads backwards), Romeoville, Los Montoyas, Apache Springs, Dilla, and Vegas Junction. Most of it looked like this:

We decoded to stop in Santa Rosa at the Sun ‘n Sand Motel and Restaurant for lunch.  Along the route, most of the meals we got served were fine but this one was a disappointment.  During the lunch, we eavesdropped on the couple next to us who were discussing with one of the owners the fact that his daughter's graduation party was a success because nobody got into a fistfight.  Ah, the West!

We went to the Route 66 Auto Museum where for $10 you can wander amongst restored automobiles that routinely sell for $35,000.  They are gorgeous.

Everyone was excited to be there. 

When we got to Cuervo, we discover the real deal for ghost towns. 

The ruins continued in Newkirk. 

Not sure why someone hung these cool skulls on the door of the church and not sure why I did not take them as a found object but even I have limits.  No voodoo curse is gonna' get this boy. 

After Montoya we were into Tucumcari where we thought we would stop for the night but, despite the looks of the Blue Swallow Motel which looked marvelous, the town looked dead and we assumed there would be no fireworks.

In old San Jon, the grassland along the freeway was on fire and a fire crew was there hosing it down.  While we are miles away from the Los Alamos fire at this point, it was really, really, really scary to see this going on. 

We were running on the frontage road when we came around a curve a big steer was alongside the road grazing in the grass and I was too chicken to stop and take a picture (city boy!).  This big boy had big horns and I was unsure what that would do to the van let alone me if I got out of the car. 

We were in Endee on a dirt road when we saw deer for the first time. 

Glenrio is a ghost town that straddles the state line between New Mexico and Texas.  After exploring Glenrio, because of time, we just jumped on I-40 and headed for Amarillo hoping for fireworks.  This took us past Gruhlkey, Adrian, Landegrin, Vega, Wildorado, Bushland and into Soncy.

At this point we tossed a coin because we were right at The Cadillac Ranch as the sun was going down.  Denice really urged me to take advantage of the light and the fact that I might never get back here again so the van turned right.  The Cadillacs that make up the ranch barely look like anything anymore plus it is evident (as I spent time there) that most people come to the site to spray paint the cars rather than take pictures. 

Of course, if they did not, the pictures would be completely different. 

When common sense ruled and the mayor of Amarillo decide not to have fireworks in the middle of a tinderbox, we checked into Denice's favorite place to stay:  Baymont.  By this time it was 9:30 p.m. but the desk clerk said the sushi restaurant next door was open till 10. 

At Hayachi Sushi, which said it was open but all the chairs up on the tables, we tried to retreat but a screaming woman came charging out of the back and let us stay. We had Phoenix, Amarillo and Firecracker (how cute) rolls.

While we were eating, Kenny G’s version of Winter Wonderland came on and Denice and I both started laughing because we were thinking of Christmas Story:  the family spending Christmas in the Chinese restaurant (rah, rah, rah, rah, rah—no, la, la, la, la, la). 

Miles today: 371

Total miles for the trip: 3,819

View all the photos from this trip at

1 comment:

  1. I visited Cadillac Ranch before the cars were disfigured by paint. As I recall, a lot of them were red or pink. This was in 1961, if I remember rightly, and it was really cool just to come upon them sticking out of the ground. It's a damn shame people have done this to them and that it's now allowed, apparently even condoned.