Friday, May 25, 2012

Spring Break 2012 Route 66 Road Trip – Day 8
Albuquerque, NM to Oklahoma City, OK

Thursday morning, Day 8 of our Route 66 road trip, we left ABQ around 8 in the morning, after stopping by Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and Krispie Kreme to gather all of our breakfast goodies.  We are headed back home…only so many days left to eat vacation junk food.  (I want to let you know right here and now, I did not gain a pound on this vacation….my weight was the same when we got back home as it was when we left…whew!  Vacations can be rough on healthy eating!!)  As we left New Mexico, we stopped at the Flying C Ranch at exit 234.  I think it’s about the only thing at that exit.  It was a food, fuel, lodging, and entertainment spot…plus lots of souvenirs.  Here are some pictures as we leave New Mexico:

 The white T on the mountain stands for Tucumcari…the town we stayed in on our way west.  We are just passing by this time.

Goodbye New Mexico, hello Texas.  Our first stop in Texas was in Adrian, home of the famed MidPoint Café.  As the sign says, this is the spot that is supposedly half way between Chicago and Santa Monica, the beginning and ending of Route 66. 

We did not eat at this café, but we went in to look at the vintage place, since it is one of the best known restaurants on all of Route 66.  They are known for their ugly crust pies, but we didn’t have any…too full from our junk food breakfast.  The owners are new, and still getting ready for the big tourist season.  As you can see on the sign, Adrian is only a town of 166 people, so I am sure they welcome travelers.  They had a very nice gift shop…we bought a Route 66 puzzle and a Route 66 deck of cards. 

We also had the privilege of meeting Tina, the waitress.  It was her bubbly personality that caught the attention of the crew putting together a new Disney Pixar movie “Cars”.  She and her sister, also a waitress, but not there that day, became the personalities used to create Tia and Mia in the movie…two twin cars who were cheerleaders…fans of the “star” of the movie…Lightning McQueen.  Tina is holding a box of those car replicas in the picture below.

There were so many things we wanted to see on our way back, that we missed on our way west, but we had to prioritize as my goal was to get to the Oklahoma City National Memorial before dark.  Therefore our stops we quick ones, and we were back on the road again.  Our lunch stop was at an Arby’s  (did you know that stands for America’s Roast Beef, Yessir!  I saw that on a sign in Florida when Arby’s was first opened). 

We stopped briefly at the Cadillac Ranch, but the field was way too muddy for us to maneuver, so we didn’t get a close up look at the cars buried nose first in the dirt.  This was just one of those “gimmicks” along the way that became a road icon, even though the Cadillac Ranch was never located on Route 66.  It was built in 1974 along I-40, the road that replaced Route 66 in that section.  There are cans of spray paint for people to leave their own graffiti.  Every now and then the cars are painted white and the visitors start the decorating all over again.  This “ranch” has given Amarillo the reputation of being “quirky”, along with other projects in that area by the artist Stanley Marsh 3.

Amarillo has much to offer for Route 66 travelers, but we did not go into town and do any touring.  We just passed through…on our way to Ok City.  Next trip, I would want to spend more time in the big cities along Route 66 and do some exploring. 

Wind turbines are becoming more and more common, and they were all along the trip, but I was always intrigued by them.  To me, THAT’S quirky!!

Groom, Texas, we had passed by on our way west, knowing we would be stopping here on our return trip to spend some time.  The giant cross is 190 feet tall (19 stories high), and is supposedly the largest cross in the western hemisphere.  It can be seen from up to 20 miles away.  There are stations of the cross and a large gift shop at the complex.  At night it is lit…that would be a sight to behold!  I wish we would have had more time to spend here, to absorb all the stations of the cross and give more thought to what Jesus went through for each of us.  Perhaps this should have been the highlight of our trip…so close to Easter.  This would be the one regret I have…not taking more time at the cross.  What a teachable setting.

The picture above better depicts the various Stations of the Cross.  There is a plaque at every station telling the story, and a bench to sit on and contemplate the final hours of the life of Jesus.  It is so sad to me that Jesus sacrificed his life, and so many deny who He is.  I am so sorry, Jesus.  I love you.  Thank you for following through with your Father’s will.  Thank you for making it possible to have eternal life free from evil and pain and sorrow.  Thank you for showing us how to live…may I become more and more like you.  Amen.

I believe I will end this blog at this point, and complete Day 8b in my next post.  This was a busy day…lots of things to see.

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