Jun 3, 2012

KIT™ Day 9, Tucumcari Tonight!

Last night, with weather bearing down on us, we decided to stay in and eat comfort food at the Marriott Courtyard "Bistro", which was actually not bad.  They had a selection of a few beers (how can you go wrong when they have Sierra Nevada :o), and I had a Quesadilla and Wings, and Beth had a tuna sandwich.  We were both tired and made a fairly early night of it, right around midnight.  

We then made our way out of Amarillo on SW 6th Street, which was full of antique shops, restaurants, and other fun things.  It must have been hopping back in the day.  These shots are of an old Sinclair station, don't you just love the little Sinclair guy?

Just a little bit west of Amarillo, we made a slight detour to see the Cadillac Ranch.  Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture.  It was created in 1974 by three artist who were part of the art group Ant Farm (commissioned by Stanley Marsh 3).  The sculpture consists of ten vintage (1949-1963) Cadillacs half-buried nose first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.  On interesting point is that the Cadillac Ranch is not actually on Route 66, but is just a short side trip away.  The Cadillac Ranch is easily visible from Hwy 40, but the original Route 66 was to the North.

Our next experience today was traveling through Wildorado, with a Stockyard extraordinaire.  No pictures because there was no way we were stopping!!!  So I will put a few more of the Cadillac Ranch pictures here (can you tell that this was my favorite part of the day?  They repaint the cars every now and then, but also encourage graffiti, which is what makes it public art).

The drive between Bushland and Vega pretty much just let us experience the flatness that is paramount for this part of Texas.  At one point  Beth stated that she was "looking to see if she could see the curve of the earth".  One of the things we saw was another windfarm, I love seeing these, it give me hope that we will eventually wean ourselves off of oil.

Once we got to Vega, we came across a restored gas station brand that we had not experienced before.  It was Magnolia Petroleum Company station built in 1924, a Texas based brand until they were bought out in 1934 by Mobilgas (which is a precursor to Mobil, which is now part of ExxonMobil).  I loved the fact that gas was originally pumped manually from barrels, and later from gravity flow pumps.

We had lunch in Vega at the Boot Hill Saloon and Grill.  It was not bad, our meals were served in a mini-bucket, but we stopped after two beers, after all - there is only so much country music we can take.  We did affirm that so far on this trip that Missouri has the best pulled-pork, and Texas has the best burgers (Angus beef baby!).

 We then headed to Adrian, TX where we hit a milestone for our trip.  Adrian is home to the MidPoint Cafe, but before we talk about that, we have to show some pictures from the Bent Door Midway Station.  The name is from the unique architecture, and as you can see, the door really is bent.  There were some really cool artifacts inside the building, an old slide projector and an precursor (apparently a favorite word of mine tonight) to the JukeBox.  As you have probably ascertained by now, the MidPoint Cafe is the half-way point on Route 66.  This is hard to fathom since we had already hit five of the eight states to this point, and would soon enter our sixth.  So you can imagine you are going to get lots of New Mexico, Arizona, and California pictures and information for the second half of our trip.  The midpoint, as shown on the sign, is 1139 miles from Chicago, and the same from Los Angeles/Santa Monica.  Just to give you and idea of our trip, we have traveled more than 1600 miles on the route, so our side-trips, back tracks, and spurs have added about 500 miles.

After Adrian, we had to get on the main Highway 40 (interstate) for 18 miles to get to Glenrio, which straddles the border between Texas and New Mexico.  But before we got on the interstate, we did travel on for another mile to see the abandoned Shell Station that represented the last bit of civilization before the trek to Glenrio.  During this stretch of the trip, we did start to notice the change in terrain from absolute flatness to mesa's (most were bigger than a butte, but not so large to be a plateau). 

The time spent today on the interstate was about 18 miles, but that was offset by the fact that we took an original road spur that was 18 miles of dirt road.  Glenrio was a sad little place, almost a ghost town.  As you can see from the picture with the Post Office Mailboxes, there are at a maximum 15 people still living there, and that is only if the boxes are still being used.  

Our sojourn down the 18 miles of dirt road truly gave us a feel for this part of the state.  The temperature eventually ended up in the 90-95 range, and it was very dusty even after the rains last night (did not need to worry about mud, the roads were hard pan and any moisture there had already evaporated).  We were even able to fine some remnants of the CRI&P, the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific railroad (say it out and it sounds like crying "P").

This next picture is put up specially for Jack over at Shipslog, it shows the insides of a gas pump.  I know he has been enjoying the service station photos, so this one is special for him.  This one was shot at San Jon, NM.

Next up was, Tucumcari, where we are staying Tonight :o)  Beth is in googie heaven, lots of old motels (one of which we are staying in, the Blue Swallow, built in 1939) and neon signs (unfortunately, they are not as spectacular as they once were due to a storm that went through in 2007).  After touring the daytime main street we headed over to the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum to get some Dino shots for great nephew Liam.  Then we checked into our Motel, and after some relaxation time, headed out to get some neon shots and a bite to eat at the Pow Wow Restaurant and Lizard Lounge, where the served up these wonderful Margaritas.

For more details regarding Cadillac Ranch, Glenrio, and the Blue Swallow, head over to my brides blog (Nutwood Junction) and enjoy!!!

The rest of this entry is for Liam, so feel free to skip.  The Mesalands community college here in the area has a bronzing capability, and through sponsorship from local patrons, are able to create some amazing likenesses.  Just a saber tooth tiger tooth took 40 hours to recreate, so imagine how long it took for the entire creatures.

 Texas, NM, AZ
 Desmatosachus Haplocerus
Tx, NM, AZ
 Camarasaurus skull
Western US
Western US
Feathered Dinosaur, or Bird?
Western North America
 Tyrannosaurus Rex skull
Western US
1 Million to 8000 years ago



  1. I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog and all the photos. Wish I was there! You're hitting all the high spots and not missing much. Excellent!

  2. This was a great, full entry. Loved the pictures. Some brought back memories one not so good. On our first trip across country 1983, there was a Peggy's Cafe in Adrian. We had to stop, Both names of my Brother in laws siblings. THE WORST MEAL EVER AND I PAID WITH A $20 and got change back for a $10.

    But this entry I loved Thanks for the update on the Cadillac ranch and the rest of the trip. Good stuff!!!
    Thanks.... This is becoming a GREAT trip!

  3. RAWR! hahaha

    Oh, I don't think there are anywhere near to 15 people in Glenrio. I think only a couple are left.


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