Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tucumcari II

Some of the Famous Neon (during the day)

Mesalands Dinosaur Museum

You can touch this!

A leg bone! Kurt is 6'3" btw

New Mexico - The Blue Swallow

One of the garages

Notice the rotary dial phone

Oklahoma City

Chihuly Tower More Chihuly

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

Chairs inscribed with victims' names


The Kansas Capitol building
Brown vs. Board of Education Museum

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tucson Wrap Up

We made it back late Monday night after a 13 hour drive from Dodge City, KS. The best part of it was getting up in the morning and getting to say "Let's get the F**k outta Dodge".

I HAVE HAVE HAVE to study. My test is April 7. Not much more til after that.

Please don't Divorce Us

I wish I knew how to make this show up

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tucson At last!

We got up and watched the sun come up over Truth or Consequences.....well, ok, we were going to McD's for breakfast BUT the sun was coming up! We really liked T or C. It's very picturesque with the mountains in the near distance and lots of pretty buttes. There's a large lake there and a mineral springs (although we couldn't find either of them). The Rio Grande runs along the town, too.

Originally it was named Hot Springs but won a contest the Truth or Consequences show was having where they wanted to rename a town to celebrate the show's 10th anniversary. Miraculously we were on the road by 8 am! We only made just over 300 miles for the last two days!

It was pleasant drive to Tucson. We're halfway through Moby Dick disc wise. It only took 70 chapters before the Pequot landed her first whale!

On the way into Tucson we decided to turn south and go see the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone. We had lunch at a very empty b an b with very authentic Mexican food YUM! The historic district is about 3 blocks long and closed off to traffic. There were gunfights, cowboys, and working girls wandering around. The street was lined with stores with pottery, silver, and turquoise. I tried on some gorgeous bracelets in the words of my grandmother, “MY what good taste I have!”

It was cloudy and kind of gloomy as we pulled into Tucson. The first thing we saw was the “Boneyard” with acres and acres and acres of retired planes lined up in rows of military precision. There was also a big transport plane with a fighter jet trailer it and two other planes flying around on maneuvers. Pretty cool! We eventually found our way to Saguaro National Park (the East one). We drove the 8 mi loop looking at hundreds of cacti. There are 4 or 5 main types in this section of the park. I've never really seen anything like it. It was awesome! The light was very flat though and my camera doesn't have very good definition in low light. I plan to go to the West one during the midmorning afternoon and see if it's better.
Hung out in the hot tub last night. It was nice after 3 days in the truck and mostly crummy motels.

Now Kurt's on a call and we're waiting to change rooms since the nearest elevator is out of service and the Internet connection is rotten.

Still in New Mexico

Turns out we can drive the truck around town but we shouldn't get it out on the open road for a few hours. We checked out of the Blue Swallow and found some hot food at the Pow Wow Restaurant. Tucuamcari is (was) famous for their neon signs. There was a pretty cool one on the Pow Wow along with several cigar store indians. After lunch we went to the Mesalands dinosaur museaum. It was ony 6 bucks to get in and it was fantastic!

Mesalands community college in tucumcari has a palentolgoy program. They found 4 or 5 dinos last year! The museum has fossils you can touch! Also they have replicas cast in broze so you can touch those too. I can't even begin to describe how cool it was. If it was such a drive to NM from IA i'd recommend it to anyone with kids.

We finally got on the road around 130. It was horribly windy with 50 mph gusts. I really think New Mexico is pretty, but there is not a lot out here. We got to Albuquerque in the late afternoon. Kurt hasn't been there before so we stopped to look around in Old Town. We did a little shopping and enjoyed the architecture. There were chili ristra's allover. It was chilly with the wind. Since it was late in the day I don't think my pictures are going to be very good. Plus I was cold and didn't really give a rip about being creative.

After an hour or so we got back on the road. As we were leaving town there was a gorgeous dramatic storm cloud and sunset over Sandia Peak. It seemed like we drove all damn day but we only made it to Truth or Consequences, NM crashing for the night in the Super8. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Kickin it on Route 66

We're still in the Blue Swallow. We walked a ways down Route 66 and discovered a drive through donut store. We walked up and got a few. The owner said he saw us down at the Blue Swallow. The tow truck driver went by and honked at us. Bill brought Kurt over some coffee and was at the door the second Kurt got back from NAPA to see if we were staying another night.

We discovered that the truck blew a spark plug right out of the hole. They will put in a heli coil and glue it then insert the new plug. It needs about 3 hours to dry. At least we aren't going to be trapped here until Monday or later. There is very little to do in Tucumari (and very few places to eat) and none of them are within walking distance.

We hope to head out around 2 or 3 pm.

Oklahoma State Line

March 6

Kurt had calls at 730 and 9 and then got sucked into an interview. Needless to say today did not get off to a good start.

We drove downtown and went to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. They have the world's most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world. The pieces were amazing. The museum has a diverse collection of other things and was very well laid out.

Kurt had another call at noon so he went out to the truck to take it. We ended up driving the few blocks over to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. It was pretty and quiet. There were a lot of people there enjoying the sun and warm weather. It didn't feel sad to me.

We didn't stay too long. We got back on I-40 and headed for Texas and New Mexico. Oklahoma has very very red soil. It is dry and not too interesting to look at. We had lunch late at the Cherokee Trading post. Kurt had a buffalo burger and I had some ribs (gotta have BBQ, right?). Both were good. We went into the trading post. It was very nice instead of tacky. We got a bunch of postcards, a Christmas ornament, and I got a charm for my bracelet. We like to get Christmas ornaments on our travels. It's Santa riding an armadillo.

We finally made it into Texas. It was probably after 3:30pm. We are NOT making good time or miles.

The Texas panhandle had lots and lots of cattle and scrub brush. There were abandoned homesteads. I noticed though that even the occupied homesteads look abandoned! It was very windy. We saw the largest wind farm in TX – I think it's in Weatherford or maybe it was Hereford. I40 runs along Route 66 so that was kind of neat to see.
Right when the landscape started to get interesting again with buttes and such it started to get dark. We finally got to New Mexico. It was another 300+ miles to Albuquerque. We decided to shoot for Tucumcari.

When we about 10 miles outside of town. We heard a pop and bang under the hood. We got pulled over to the side. Across the median there was a cop and a tow truck helping another motorist. Kurt walked over there (in the dark) and one of the cops met him in the median. “Stop! Don't come any closer!” There was no tow truck. Instead it was two cars of troopers doing a “consent to search” on the other car. They were nice enough to call us a tow truck.

The thought of towing the giant beast to town was daunting. Watching the guy put it up onto the flat bed was scary. It started to slide back at one point – I guess that's when he released the winch and it slide back into the chairs.

We got a lift into Tucumcari. There is a NAPA that is open from 8 -12pm on Saturday that has a repair shop otherwise the Ford dealership opens on Monday. He sent us across the street the a Route 66 classic motel The Blue Swallow. We got a room for $66. Bill, the owner, is very friendly and very proud of his place. It was used as a model for the CARS movie. It's also been in some other movies.

On the road again

March 5

we drove to Oklahoma city today. It was kind of a long day with over 700 miles. The flint hills in Kansas were pretty at dusk. We're listening to Moby Dick on cd. It's funny! I cannot imagine actually reading it!

We had dinner just north of the Oklahoma state line in Mulvene, KS. We ate at a little diner called “Laurie's”. It was very homey. Kurt had chicken fried steak, I had ham steak and we both had yummy green beans. It was our waitress's birthday so she was handing out cupcakes. They were great! It was the kind of cupcakes I wanted for my birthday!

There is green grass and blooming trees that are leafing out here in OKC. There really appears to be a lot to see and do here. I was amazed.

Since work is paying for the hotels we're in a Marriott. Nice bed and good A/C! The hotel is full of cowboys sporting big belts, tight jeans, big hats and spurs. It's something nice to look at after a day of driving through Kansas – which could well be the Nebraska of the South!