Sunday, April 22, 2012

Route 66 Road Trip Day 4, Tucumcari, NM to Albuquerque, NM

Sunday Morning, Day 4 of our Route 66 Road Trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico and home again.  We spent some time in Tucumcari driving around the town and snapping pictures…it’s such a neat town, sort of like an oasis in the desert.  It’s probably the widest spot in the road between Amarillo and Albuquerque.  We had to replace a fuse to keep our cooler going, and thank goodness this town had an auto store and Kmart open on a Sunday morning.  We grabbed some donuts in a grocery store for breakfast, for those of us not crazy about pop tarts or rice krispie bars (snacks in the van). 

New Mexico is a land of mountain peaks and sage brush.  Route 66 traverses 400 miles across this type of terrain, very interesting to a Midwesterner.  Even more interesting on this morning’s travel was the high winds.  Without much foliage to cover the dirt, we headed into and through a dust storm, so thick you couldn’t see too far ahead.  It was hard to capture in pictures, but here’s a few that give you a sense of the NM scenery as well as a dust storm.



Along the way we stopped at Cline’s Corners, in business since 1934.  It’s the largest gift shop in this part of the country.  We took time to browse a while.  You can see how windy it was…the customer was holding onto his glasses so they wouldn’t blow away.  The Indian Chief in front of the store is an icon from Route 66…but not exactly a Giant Alert!


By the way, I have to insert a couple of pictures from a Rest Area stop we made in Texas on Saturday.  I missed them in my last post.  There are two rest areas along I-40 west of Amarillo, one on the west bound side and one on the east bound side, that are designed with Route 66 and the earlier era in mind.  I loved their décor.  What’s even more interesting is that the bathrooms are actually tornado shelters.  When I heard about the recent tornadoes going through that area, I wondered how many travelers stopped and waited it out in the bathrooms at the rest areas.  My son pointed out that while waiting, you could look at the pictures on the wall of previous devastating tornadoes, in case you wondered what might be going on outside.  I will have more pictures on our return trip blog.  I just loved the colors, styles, and glass blocks, not to mention the two girls who posed for me!!

We were meeting our NM son and daughter-in-law at Tijeras to take a detour up the Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway, through the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

We went through a couple of ghost towns of the old west, Madrid and Cerrillos.  We stopped at the Casa Grande Trading Post, which housed the Turquoise Mining Museum and petting zoo.  We spent some significant time here. 

 We didn't go on into Santa Fe, part of the pre-1937 loop of Route 66.  We saved the Capital City for another day trip.  We had a Sunday Dinner appointment we needed to make.  Paul’s sister lives on Sandia Mountain, and a turkey dinner was being prepared for us in mid-afternoon.  They have a few dogs, cats, horses, coyotes…they live on a mountain ranch.  Oldest granddaughter was very captured by these animals, as she usually is.

As we were finishing eating a snow and sleet storm came in, blowing sideways, and we were told we better get down off the mountain while we could.  So we left and headed to Albuquerque.  I wish I had taken a picture of Miss Holly, the van.  After she had come through a wicked dust storm and was coated in brown, she was blasted with ice pellets and ended up being polka-dotted.  Most vehicles were looking that way though, so we fit right in.  Miss Holly got a bath the next day.

Our son and his wife put us up for a few days.  My whole family was together, and when this happens I am in high heaven on earth…these are the most precious times I could have.  We had lots of fun together, and the girls started working on their Route 66 scrapbooks.  They will finish them this summer when they come to visit Grandpa and Grandma.  I will give you the details of our Albuquerque visit in my next Route 66 blog.  See you then!!

No comments: