Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Route 66 Roadtrip: Day 5, Amarillo, TX to Santa Rosa, NM

We are off for another day on route 66. Smokey and Susan keep us on track.

As we leave Amarillo we find this establishment on Arnot Road. Going to be out of town for the weekend? You can leave your horse at the Happy Trails Horse Motel.

Click on this picture to enlarge it.

Between Arnot and Hope Road is the Cadillac Ranch. I will let Wikipedia explain it.

Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm, and it consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of early Cadillacs; the tail from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The piece is a statement about the paradoxical simultaneous American fascinations with both a "sense of place" — and roadside attractions, such as The Ranch itself — and the mobility and freedom of the automobile.

Now do you understand?

As we drove west across the Texas panhandle we could see a cold front moving in. During the day the temperature dropped almost 20 Degrees.

In all the places along old route 66 where local economies depended on travelers patronizing their businesses there are abandoned motels, restaurants, and shops. Some of these towns look quite devastated. However there are still enterprising people who press on. In Vega is a restored Magnolia Station. Note the classic old gravity fed gasoline pump.

Adrian, Texas is calculated to be the midpoint on route 66. It runs 1,139 miles in either direction.

The Midpoint Cafe is reputed to be a good place to eat, however they were closed for the day.

As we drove west into New Mexico the terrain began to change. We have left the flat land of the panhandle and are climbing into the high plains of New Mexico. It looks quite different.

The community of San Jon has been decimated by the relocation of 66, however in the midst of abandoned motels and houses the Methodist Church of San Jon is well kept and occupied.

When we get close to Tucumcari, New Mexico we drive through some red rock formations.

According to our guide book, this is the Tucumcari mountain.

Tucumcari has a population of about 6,000 and has been a favorite stopping place for travelers. At one time it was said to have 2,000 motel rooms. Today many of those are vacant, yet many are still in business. The community host an air show every year to attract visitors.

One of the old motels still operating is the Blue Swallow. We understand that its neon sign is very pretty at night.

We had lunch at Del's Cafe in Tucumcari and enjoyed a good meal.

The Route 66 Sculpture stands outside the Tucumcari Convention Center.

Following route 66 again required that we zigzag back and forth across Interstate 40. At one point this meant driving under the interstate in a little tunnel.

At about 5:30 this afternoon we arrived in Santa Rosa, New Mexico to spend the night. Since New Mexico is on Mountain time rather than Central time we had to turn our clocks back an hour.

On the news tonight we see that parts of Colorado and New Mexico are experiencing snow. We are not sure how this will affect our plans to drive to Santa Fe tomorrow. Hopefully we can still make it. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Are you keeping a note of your mileage?

Sorry, I must be a pleb but that sculpture meant absolutely nothing to me.


Kathy W said... [Reply to comment]

Great shots. LOL at the shot of those cars half in the ground. Would love to see that.

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

I'm enjoying the road trip.

Many of the places you have photographed on your travels have geocaches including the cars stuck in the ground outside Amarillo.

Nancy said... [Reply to comment]

Great pics! Am enjoying the ride with you. Hope the weather cooperates- drive safe!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Lots of great pics here, but my favorite are the one of the road. It never seem to stop! Amazing.

The mid-point sign is a classic... I would have stole it :-) (just kidding, don't report me!)

TorAa said... [Reply to comment]

What a day you have had.
The Cadilacs - a kind of "Stonehenge"
if preserved for some thousands of years.