Last night, we headed to Maloney's Pub for some comfort food (Beth had Nachos and I had a sampler plate), local IPA, and watched the OKC vs. Spurs. The local crowd were OKC fans, so we could cheer unabashedly. This is the looking back toward Albuquerque as we exited the west side of town.
Next up was the Rio Puerco Bridge, built in 1933 with a span of 250 feet, the longest at the time in New Mexico. The bridge was removed from service in 1999. This little stretch has been preserved and we were able to walk across the bridge. This is a shot mid-span, the river is dry, but you can see how it cuts into the banks when it runs. Flash floods must be something to see.
On the far side of Rio Puerco was the Route 66 Casino. They did a great job with the sign, an old style gas pump on either side. We did not go inside, Vegas is our destination for gambling, but this sign was just to good to pass up.
Next up was Mesita, and the original Route 66 had to bypass the mesa you see in the picture to the left. You can see the gap where I-40 was blasted out. The middle picture shoes the mesa in larger view, and the right picture shows "dead man's curve" aptly named for having to do a 180 degree turn around the outcropping. This was a fun stretch to drive.
We passed through Budville, the trading post was established in 1928. I loved the windmill driven pump and mini water tower here.
For a large portion of our drive the original road had a lot of malpais (volcanic rock) along the sides. This pretty much dictated the original route. It was a stark contrast to the other formations.
We motored on to Grants where Beth got some googie fix and we found La Ventana Steakhouse for lunch. I had a turkey sandwich with spicy guacamole, and the accompanying chips allowed me to clean the plate (the sandwich was oozing guacamole). We then headed out of town and it was not long until we reached the Continental Divide. Amazing that the Pacific/Atlantic dividing line for river flow is so far west!
About 40 miles outside of Gallup, we started seeing these pinkish mesas, the they will be with us into Arizona. It is amazing and the pictures do not do justice the their majesty. Also, we say many ruins during this leg of the trip, it is so desolate in some areas that they just let things go and move on to another location. As I was getting ready to snap the shot, the guy pictured walked out of the ruin, kind of leaves things open ended - what was he doing there...?
As we were approaching Gallup, I had to pull over and shoot a picture of this lone little cloud. It was a gorgeous day, in the low 80's for most of the drive, with 15% or less humidity, so it was really strange to see this little cloud. As we got into town, it was smaller, a victim of evaporation I suppose.
Once into town proper, we spied this giant above a car dealer.
As we were driving the main route through town, making our googie stops, we spotted El Rancho, which looked to be in amazing condition. We checked one of Beth's books and it sounded like it has been restored and maintained in excellent condition, so we got to score another iconic stay on our KIT adventure. We are staying in the Rita Hawyworth room, and it is quaint. We headed down to the 49'er lounge for the second half of the Boston/Miami game (gutsy win by Boston) and I had sirloin steak and enchilada's, have to love the southwest cuisine. All in all, another great day.