Monday, June 11, 2007

Luck o' the Irish

Day 11: 474 Miles

Total: 4,698 Miles

I wound up getting a good night's sleep at the Monterey Non-Smokers Motel, making it a very good value indeed. I would highly recommend the place. I was on the road before 8:00am without having had any breakfast. My route was going to take me through Santa Fe, and I thought I would have breakfast there, particularly if traffic was bad. It was worse than bad; it was a nightmare.

Even after having breakfast and waiting until nearly 10:00am to resume my trip, traffic was still extremely heavy. And I hadn't even arrived at the bad part of town yet. The historic section, with its narrow, broken roads, would be miserable to navigate through under the best of conditions. These were far from the best of conditions. Major traffic jams, road construction, new one-way streets and temporary no left turn signs made following Route 66 impossible. I got confused. My GPS unit got confused. And even the Route 66 guide that worked flawlessly everywhere else got confused. After losing Route 66 and spending 45 minutes trying to pick it up again I wound up backtracking and taking I-25 for a short distance out of the city to pick the route up again in a more reasonable location.

I decided to take a picture to prove I was there, because I don't ever intend on returning. So here it is. The plaza in the historic section. Good riddance.

The rest of the trip was very nice. It was a long day, but I had a chance to see a couple of things I missed on my way to Santa Monica, and I was able to take lots of pictures of motel signs, abandoned gas stations, and rusted cars sitting out in fields. "Why," you ask? They just appeal to me, I guess. The nostalgia of it all, the history.

The motel below is in Santa Rosa. I guess the name is truthful, though one might expect a beach rather than the desert with a name like Sun & Sand.

I made it back to Tucumcari, New Mexico. The town was very quiet on Monday afternoon. I had a quick lunch at Rubee's Diner, took a few pictures, then hit the road again.

This Tucumcari motel may have been paradise once upon a time, but it has long since closed down.

Here's the famous Blue Swallow Motel again. That's the owner's 1958 Chevy over to the left.

One of the places I missed on my first trip was the Midway cafe in Adrian, Texas. It was closed then, and unfortunately, it was closed today as well. I hope it isn't permanent. This time I got a shot of the sign below, which sits directly across the road from the diner.

I didn't take good notes with this picture, so it may have been around Adrian, Texas or Vega, Texas. In any event, I killed two birds with one stone - a closed down restaurant and an old junk truck sitting out front.

This was the biggest omission on my trip out to Santa Monica - The Cadillac Ranch! It doesn't sit on the main section of Route 66; it sits on the frontage road across I-40. By the time I remembered it I was many miles down the road, and I was mad at myself for forgetting it. My return trip allowed me to make amends though.

According to Jerry McClanahan, the Cadillac Ranch was never located on Route 66, and wasn't even moved to its present location (between Bushland, TX and Amarillo, TX) until 1997. Still, it's very cool and there were a lot of people stopping when I was there. Several had cans of spray paint, adding to the graffiti. It was very windy so I tried to stay upwind as much as possible.

The other thing I got a chance to do was to see the restored U-Drop Inn/Tower Conoco in Shamrock, Texas all lit up at night. It looks great!

I arrived in Shamrock after 8:00pm since I lost another hour moving to Central Daylight Time, so I referred to the Route 66 Dining and Lodging Guide and the Irish Inn got a high recommendation. So $58 later, here I am. The room is large, clean, and has wireless Internet access. So far, so good.

Tomorrow I'll be headed through the Sooner and Show Me states.



Anonymous said...

Skyler wants to know if you really spent the night in the tepees? They look like they would be fun and a great experience. I can see why it was a must to stop. Looks like you are having fun. See you in a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I like the spray paint on the cars too.

Diane & Skyler