Thursday, June 23, 2011

Midway and A-OK

Day 7: 246 Miles
Total: 2160 Miles

So we passed the midway point of the Route 66 part of our trip as we drove through Adrian, Texas today. We wound up at one of my favorite haunts in Tucumcari, New Mexico, the Blue Swallow Motel. The trip involved lots of photos of great hotel signs, refurbished gas stations and abandoned buildings; not to mention ugly crust pie but I'll get to that shortly.

We left Shamrock after a good night's sleep at the Blarney Inn. The place was nearly filled with a large work crew who had been living there for a month. They were loud, boisterous and intoxicated in the early evening when we got there, and we feared that we might run into a sleepless night. But by the time we got to the restaurant and back there wasn't a soul to be seen, nor heard. By 7:00am the next morning they were all gone to work. So no worries after all.

A significant part of Texas Route 66 includes economically distraught and often empty cities and towns. We passed through McLean, Conway, Alanreed and several other places filled with abandoned businesses. There were sometimes great remnants of these places so we spent a lot of time taking pictures of them.

We also spent a lot of time shooting and painting graffiti on vehicles sticking in the ground. This happened at the Bug ranch in Conway, then at the famed Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. You'll note that Sharon appears to be awfully good in the graffiti department.

We also found a few nicely restored gas stations along the way. These three are in McLean, Alanreed and Vega respectively.

Lots of great signs too. It's always better to see the lit neon at night, but even in the daylight some of these signs are great - often in much better shape than the businesses they are advertising.

One important stop for us was going to be the Midpoint Cafe,said to be exactly 1,239 miles away from both Chicago and Santa Monica along the Mother Road. We had a good lunch and a piece of their famous ugly crust pie. It was quite delicious even if the crust wasn't particularly ugly. We then spent some time talking to the owner, Fran Houser. Nice lady. Like so many others we visited, this restaurant also was an inspiration for the movie Cars.

After our late lunch we jumped back into the car and headed for Tucumcari. We made a brief stop at the Texas - New Mexico state line to visit the ghost town of Glenrio. Not much left there as shown in the pictures. The dirt road was actually the first route that Route 66 took from 1926 - 28.

After that we made an uneventful journey the rest of the way to Tucumcari and the Blue Swallow Motel. I'll post some pictures of this amazing icon tomorrow.


1 comment:

Aunt Mona said...

That section looks like a mighty lonesome road with it's abandoned businesses. Sad.