Tag

New Mexico

October 31, 2019

New Mexico to Arizona – Day 17

New Mexico to Arizona is our start and end for today. We spent the night in Gallup, and tonight we'll be in Arizona. Charly is in for a treat today.

New Mexico to Arizona is our start and end for today. We spent the night in Gallup, and tonight we'll be in Arizona. Charly is in for a treat today.

New Mexico to Arizona is our start and end for today. We spent the night in Gallup, and tonight we’ll be in Arizona. Charly is in for a treat today.

New Mexico is great if you’re in to Native American art and turquoise jewelry. I get the impression a good portion of the state is Native American reservations. I love their laid-back way of talking. It’s kind of relaxing to hear the locals (mostly Native Americans) talk.

Petroglyphs are all over this area. We stopped at a couple of them. We also stopped where there are cliff dwellings. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why?

New Mexico to Arizona Cliff Dwellings
New Mexico to Arizona Cliff Dwellings

“Hey, Charly?” I shouted as we got out of the car, “Are you a sleep walker?”

“What? Why do you ask that?” she said with a confused look.

“Imagine your bedroom being on top over there,” I said as I pointed to the structure with a ladder leading to the top.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“That’s where people used to live. See that ladder? Imagine that being your bedroom up there,” I said.

“Whoa! No, I don’t sleep walk, but if I did, I wouldn’t want to have my bedroom up there,” she said with a gaze of amazement.

We studied the cliff walls as we walked around at the base.

“I have this strange feeling like I’ve been here before,” I said, “yet, I know this is my first time in New Mexico… that I know of. Perhaps we took a family trip here when I was a young child and I don’t remember. Unfortunately, my mom isn’t around to ask.”

“Maybe you did,” Charly said.

“Maybe, but this all seems strangely familiar, but here’s the weird part, I feel like I, as an adult, took my Boy Scouts here,” I said.

“That’s really odd. What do you think it means?” Charly asked.

“I have no idea, but this is beyond any déjà vu I’ve ever experienced before,” I said as I looked at places within view and had very distinct memories of a time I was there.

“That’s spooky,” Charly said with her eyes opened widely.

“No, it’s actually kind of intriguing. It’s not creeping me out, or anything, I just feel very familiar with this place. I remember the dinosaur, the fence, the wishing well… it’s all like I’ve been here and have vivid memories of the place,” I said.

(Note: This is really how I felt on my first visit here. I even walked around to see if there were things I expected to see, and there were. And, no, they aren’t memories of Internet photos.)

The Border New Mexico to Arizona

This place is right on the border between New Mexico and Arizona. The line runs right through the gift shop and is marked outside by this little sign.

Charly at the Stateline
Charly at the Stateline

One of the nearby shops had a sign for Buffalo Jerky (which I’d imagine is really American Bison Jerky, but who knows.) They were closed, and a local told us they already sold out for the season.

Buffalo Jerky Anyone?
Buffalo Jerky Anyone?

We managed to find another place, purchased some and it was quite good.

October 22, 2019

Red Rocks and Rockets – Day 16

Red Rocks and Rockets headline the drive today. Before hitting the road, we finished our walk through Albuquerque.

“So, Charly, do you have something in your wardrobe that’s kind of outer space looking?” I asked, not letting her know I had something up my sleeve.

“Yeah, I think so,” she said.

“Go change,” I said looking for a chance to make my break.

Earlier, when Charly was off doing something, I found this cool Rocketeer Suit. (Halloween is just around the corner.) I changed in to it and stood waiting for her return.

“WHAT THE… THE… HECK?” she was at a loss for words.

“Jenny, prepare yourself for a shock: I’m the Rocketeer,” I said quoting the movie.

“Why are you calling me Jenny?” she was perplexed.

“Haven’t you seen the movie?” I asked.

“What movie?” asking more confused.

“The Rocketeer,” I said sticking my chest out and pointing to the sky. “Come on. It came out in the early 1990s.”

“Oh, before my time,” she said.

” Oh, for crying out loud, haven’t you read the papers?” I quoted the next line.

Jenny Gets with the Program

After the Fun

We left Albuquerque and headed west on Route 66. Charly was driving while I navigated and looked for things to shoot.

A Nice Touch on Route 66 in Albuquerque

Just outside Albuquerque are some old Native American Pueblos. It’s like a little ghost town. I had to tell her to pull over so I could get some pictures of this.

Home, Sweet Home - Red Rocks and Rockets - Route 66 Photographers
Home, Sweet Home

Westward and Onward Red Rocks and Rockets

There are some red rock formations in this part of New Mexico. These buttes conjure images of cowboys and Indians in my mind. Growing up near Fort Hall, Idaho, playing cowboys and Indians was the thing to do. Today’s kids have their video games, we had our cap guns or bows and arrows.

We stopped and Charly got out for a stretch.

Red Rocks and Rockets - The Red Rock portion
Red Rocks and Rockets – The Red Rock portion

“You look nice against this background. It goes with your hair,” I said to Charly.

“Thanks. I feel like dancing,” she replied.

“Hey, there’s no cars for as far as I can see. Go for it,” I responded.

“Put on some music!” she demanded.

Digging through my folder of CDs (yes, I brought CDs) I pulled out some Eagles. Popping the CD in it started off with Hotel California.

“That’s not dancing music,” Charly responded, “I want something… something graceful. This place reminds me of soaring eagles.”

“That’s why I put on the Eagles,” I said smugly.

“Huh?” was all she said.

“The Eagles. They were THE band back in the late 70s. That’s who’s playing.” I explained.

She rolled her eyes, only as Charly can do, and said, “No, something with a smooth, ballet like theme.”

I dug around and found some Bill Withers, and put on, “Ain’t no Sunshine When She’s Gone.”

It must have been okay, because as a result Charly started to dance. The rhythm of the music fit in with her moves and I sat back in the car and enjoyed watching the show.

Red Rocks and Rockets - Dancing
Red Rocks and Rockets – Dancing

Next Stop

It’s dinner time, and the big question, “Red or Green?”

Red? Green?  How About BOTH?
Red? Green? How About BOTH?

October 18, 2019

Albuquerque City – Day 16

Albuquerque City was interesting. It wasn’t quite what I envisioned. Because of its proximity to the mountains and Colorado, I expected more of a western feel. Tucumcari was more of what I expected Albuquerque to be like.

We woke and I went downstairs for breakfast; Charly stayed in her room getting ready for the day. Too often complementary breakfasts lack the protein I want. In this case, I was pleased they had the makings for a breakfast sandwich loaded with ham, egg and sausage.

Albuquerque City breakfast
Albuquerque City Breakfast

Downtown Albuquerque City

After breakfast we headed downtown Albuquerque City. I wanted to see this “Route 66 Bus Stop”. It sounded intriguing.

We finally found it. I was expecting something much older, but either way, it has a cool retro feeling anyway.

Massive Route 66 at Bus Stop - Downtown Albuquerque City.
Massive Route 66 at Bus Stop

The Roarin’ 20’s (now closed, and the sign is gone) made me think…

“Hey, Charly?” I began.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Do you have something that looks like a 1920’s flapper outfit?” I asked.

“Huh? Flapper?” she asked in a confused voice.

“Yes, that’s what they called girls who dressed in a trendy fashion in the 1920’s,” I explained while pulling up a photo on my phone.

“Oh, I get it,” she said, “I have something that might work.

Charly rolled her hair and braided it and wrapped it around her head to make her hair appear shorter, and then disappeared in to the lady’s room at a local fast food joint. She emerged in a pleated skirt and sweater.

“I guess that will do. I don’t think we’re going to get any closer no planning to speak of,” I responded. “You look great.”

A Modern Flapper - Roarin' 20s
A Modern Flapper

As we drove down I-40 in places, we had to watch for decommissioned sections of Route 66. Charly was navigating and had me pull off. Soon, we found ourselves at a dead-end. Not only was it a dead end, there were directional arrows point only in ONE direction – to the dead end.

Getting out of the car, I pointed and said, “I think we should have got on the frontage road back there.”

Charly stood there with a look on her face as if to say, “Yeah, right,” as she rolled her eyes.

Charly slipped back in to the car digging around in behind the seat.

“I’m hot. It’s hot out here in the desert,” she whined.

The next thing I knew it I felt this hot, heavy burden on my shoulders and back.

“What the heck are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m hot and thirsty and I can’t find any water in the car,” she said in an even whinier voice.

I’m Hot

“Gosh, get off my back… literally,” I said.

“How can you stand wearing that jacket in this heat?” she asked.

“It’s actually keeping the heat from hitting my skin. It’s acting like insulation,” I explained.

“You’re nuts,” she said stomping back to the car.

I jumped back in to the car and said, “Let’s go find something cold and wet to drink. There’s a service station just across the road.

Grants New Mexico

We came to the town of Grants. The main attraction here is a Route 66 drive-through sign-shaped structure in a local park. We drove by it the first time, and had to have our GPS tell us where to go. It’s not very noticeable from the road, but we found it.

As I drove through it I heard a scraping sound on my side of the car. I immediately maneuvered the car away from the sign.

Charly jumped out as quickly as I did. I went to survey the damage, and Charly stood there with a look of shock as she said, “You scratched my baby!”

“It’s not bad. I think it is just some paint transfer from this very NARROW opening. I can rub it out and you won’t notice it.

“I’m holding you to that,” she said sternly.

“Hey, I have insurance… I think,” I said as I chuckled to let her know I was only kidding about the ‘I think’ part.

October 1, 2019

Hello Albuquerque – Day 15

Hello Albuquerque and goodbye Tucumcari.

We made one last stop to grab some food before leaving Tucumcari.

“Hey, Charly!” I said, “Since I’m driving, will you go see if they are open? The sign says, ‘Open’, but I don’t see anyone around.”

Hello Albuquerque - Forgot to Turn the Light Off
Forgot to Turn the Light Off

“Sure,” she said as she leaped from the car to go check.

Pulling on the door, it was obviously locked. Charly then placed her face against the glass to get a better look inside.

“Nope,” she yelled back, “Not a soul in sight.”

She hopped back in the car and gave me the look.

“What?” I asked.

“It’s 10:30 in the morning. Do you expect them to be open for lunch already?” She said in a lecturing tone.

“Well, I’m hungry,” I retorted.

As we drove around the building to leave the parking lot, a man in a white white apron was out back throwing something in the trash. At this point I wasn’t willing to stop. My pride had been bruised and I figured I’d drive a little longer before satisfying my urge to eat.

One Last Stop

We made one last stop as we left town. What drew our attention was this cool sculpture paying homage to Route 66.

Tucumcari New Mexico Convention Center - Hello Alburquerque
Tucumcari New Mexico Convention Center

It was pretty quiet and empty, but we did find there’s a small museum inside. We wandered around, bought some drinks and snacks, and had a nice talk with the volunteer working at the desk. (A short, but well worth-it place to stop on Route 66.)

Hello Albuquerque, We Finally Meet

I had never been to New Mexico before which meant I hadn’t been to Albuquerque either. I big monument sat at the entrance to town. We stopped.

Not the Monument, but Next to it
Not the Monument, but Next to it

“Hey, Charly,” I said, “let’s see you immediate that monument with a pose.”

My request didn’t even phase her. She walked over it it, and struck a pose, holding it until I said I got the shot.

Hello Albuquerque New Mexico Monument
Albuquerque New Mexico Monument

Lunch, Check-in and Dinner

We grabbed lunch. Nothing memorable, just some fast food, found our hotel, and then headed to a Route 66 diner for dinner.

Route 66 Tribute Wall
Route 66 Tribute Wall

Wherever you go on Route 66 you’ll find walls and fences decorated with Route 66 memorabilia. Anything to do with travel on Route 66 when it was a U.S. Highway gets thrown on these walls. From hubcaps of era automobiles, to advertisements and logos from businesses along Route 66 adorn walls, fences and buildings.

Does This LIght Make My Hair Look Red?
Does This LIght Make My Hair Look Red?

Before we entered the restaurant, Charly stopped and asked, “Does this light make my hair look red?”

Laughing, I replied, “Your hair IS RED.”

I deserved the sticking out of the tongue that followed.

Tomorrow we’ll see the rest of Albuquerque.

September 23, 2019

Leaving Tucumcari – Day 15

Leaving Tucumcari today. We’re heading west to Albuquerque. I get the impression it is hot here in the summer. I’m glad we’re at the end of the summer and not here in July or August.

Tucumcari has a lot of rundown buildings. It’s sad. It really has some neat Route 66 features. When you see this sort of “rust-belt” you have to ask what are all the factors that turned it in to a rust-belt. Taxes? Business environment/regulations? Lack of traffic? Etc.

Before Leaving Tucumcari

Charly saw this cool steam-powered chopper. (Because this is a fictional story I can create fictional items.)

She looked at me and said, “I’ll be back in a minute.”

An old guy stood close by. He was dressed in brown leathers from his head to his toes, had a long ZZ Top beard and a handlebar mustache. His goggles looked like welding goggles, and his helmet was nothing more than an old leather flight helmet.

Charly returned wearing leathers and began sweet talking the guy. Before I knew it, she hopped on the chopper.

“Does this thing drive like a normal bike?” she asked the guy.

“Sure does,” he said in a gruff voice, and added, “just don’t dump it because it takes a crane to upright it again.”

At this point, I was getting real nervous.

The old guy looked at me and said, “She earned it. Any chick who travels with a get-up like that was born to ride a steam chopper.”

Dirt flew, and gravel too. The sound was that of a Harley crossed with a steam train. It rumbled like a Harley, with the sound of a hiss as steam escaped the cylinder.

I could hear the bike as Charly disappeared from view. While I lost sight of her, I never lost hearing that rumble-hiss-hiss-rumble-hiss-hiss sound.

She soon returned, sweat pouring down her forehead and chest and said, “You should give this a try.”

“No thanks, my bike riding days are over,” I said with a smile.

The old guy chimed in with a tone of disbelief, “You used to ride?”

“Yup,” I replied.

“What did you ride?” he asked.

“A Kawasaki KZ-440LTD2,” I responded.

I could read his mind by the look on his face as if he were thinking, “Oh, a rice rocket guy.”

“The KZ-440LTD2 was one of the first Japanese cruiser style motorcycles to have a belt-drive as well as a bit of a rumble sound,” I said to ease his mind.

“Ah,” was all he said as he took the keys from Charly and said to her, “You have a great day and let me know if you ever decide to go to Sturgis.”

He then winked, and rumble-hiss-hissed down Route 66.

August 30, 2019

New Mexico – Day 14

New Mexico is our destination this day. We’re heading to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Neither of us have been to New Mexico before. Today will be a first.

Charly got tired of her jeans and tank top and changed in to a dress. My first impression was, “TRASH THE DRESS”. Trash the dress was something I did a few times in my photography studio. You take a nice dress and then you go wild and turn it in to a piece of art.

“That’s a nice dress,” I complimented her before asking her to do what I was thinking.

“Thank you,” she said with a smile.

“I’d really love to trash it,” I said with a straight face.

“Ha, ha,” she said, “I bet you thought you had me. I’ve seen what you do with your trash the dress shoots. I’m down with that.”

“So, does that mean you WANT to trash it?” I asked.

“Of course,” her voice raised in tone and pitch, “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“Okay, next stop,” I said.

MidPoint Route 66

We stopped at MidPoint which is Adrian, Texas. We met “Flo”, the lady who is the inspiration for Pixar’s Cars character. However, it wasn’t long before Charly started asking when we were going to trash the dress.

“Hold your horses,” I said.

She asked, “Why are we waiting?”

“We need to find a place suitable for painting. We just can’t pull out paints and start painting in the middle of town,” I explained.

I did a 360 looking around town for a suitable place.

“Hey,” I asked the lady at the cafe, “do you think anyone would mind if we did a little art project over by that abandoned garage?”

MidPoint Cafe Where the REAL Flo Worked - New Mexico Day 14
MidPoint Cafe Where the REAL Flo Worked

She looked at me suspiciously, and before she could say anything I added, “We’re going to paint on her dress. We’ll do it off to the side and we won’t get paint on anything except her dress and perhaps some might drip in the dirt.”

The lady, still looking suspicious, said, “I’ll check with the owner.”

She came back and said the owner said it would be okay as long as we don’t disturb anything.

I asked Charly to take a walk from New Mexico to Texas for the before photo. (Hmmmm… maybe I have this backwards… ah, just assume were going West to East.)

Let's Trash This Dress!
Let’s Trash This Dress!

It was now off to the dirt area by the garage to “trash the dress”. Before I knew it Charly was handing me the dress while draped in a towel.

“What in the world are you doing?” I asked, and then added, “I’m sure they would have let you use the bathroom in the diner to change.”

She just shrugged and said, “It’s no big deal. If I moved this towel…”

I stopped her there, but she continued, “… it would look like I have a bikini on.”

Getting Ready to Trash the Dress
Getting Ready to Trash the Dress

“You just stay hidden while I trash this dress. Didn’t you bring something else to change in to?” I asked.

“No, this will be okay,” Charly said, “it’s only for a couple of minutes.”

“A couple of minutes? For me to create a masterpiece dress? And, the paint has to dry too,” I explained.

“Oh… I didn’t know it had to dry too,” Charly said in a low tone, “I think I’ll go put my other dress on.”

Charly made her way over to the car, which wasn’t far. She changed in to another dress in the car and then went in to the cafe to wait for the paint to dry.

Meanwhile While Not in New Mexico

“What can I help you with,” the waitress asked Charly.

“Just a Coke,” she said, “I’m waiting for the paint to dry.”

The waitress gave her a glare and raised her eyebrows, “That’s a first.”

Meanwhile outside I was busy painting. I pulled out some big paint markers and started on the dress alternating with spray paint and markers.

As soon as I was done, I went in to the cafe, “Hey, it’s done, and with that dry heat it shouldn’t take long for it to dry.”

The Final Product - the Trashed Dress
The Final Product – the Trashed Dress

“Okay, change in to something else,” I said, “We don’t want to risk getting paint on the interior of your car. We got our pictures.”

Hello New Mexico

Shortly after entering New Mexico we found a yard full of old cars. The owner gave us permission to wander around and take some photos.

“Brent,” Charly yells, “Does this car clash with my dress?”

“Yeah, a little,” I said laughing.

Does This Car Clash with My Dress? - New Mexico
Does This Car Clash with My Dress?

“Hey, Brent,” Charly, like a kid in a toy store, yells, “Help me push this car over.”

Pushover
Pushover

I was more worried about it falling back on her. I ran over to make sure things were safe.

“Gosh,” she exclaimed, “You are a worry-wart.”

“The last thing I want is for one of us to spend time in a hospital,” I said with concern.

October 9, 2017

Superlatives

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it? Well, let us list them.

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it? Well, let us list them.

Superlatives

What are the superlatives of Route 66 as Paul and I saw it?

Well, let us list them.

Best & Worst

Friendliest

The friendliest state was New Mexico.  I’ve never been to New Mexico before, but every single person we met was friendly.  We’re not talking about the tourists, but the people who live and work in New Mexico.  They score a 10 out of 10 for being friendly.

And Not So Friendly

California.  Yup, California.  I had one guy walk up and call me a “scum bag”.  Okay… that’s a first.  While we met friendly people, many of the businesses there could use a course in customer service.

Biggest Surprise

The biggest surprise along the way is the Los Angeles Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is right on Route 66.

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
A Family of L.A. Dodgers Fans Visiting the Temple Grounds

Best Food Superlatives

This is a very tough one.  I found it not too surprising that the beast meals were comped meals.  I guess when you are providing a complimentary meal to two journalists, you want it to be the best.

That isn’t to say the non-complementary meals weren’t good (well, some weren’t), we noticed a trend.

Burgers

I love a good burger.  The best burger is a tie – Santa Fe Grill in Santa Rosa, New Mexico and Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona.  Their onion rings… the same – a tie.

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
Mr. D’z Diner Staff

copyright 2017 db walton - Superlatives
Santa Fe Grill Burger

Mexican Food

Best Mexican food was at Jerry’s Cafe in downtown Gallup, New Mexico.  The food was good, authentic and they are the friendliest people you’ll meet.  If you like sopaipillas with honey… mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.  This is the place.

copyright 2017 db walton
Sopaipilla

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The Staff at Jerry’s Cafe, Gallup, NM

Funniest Place

The funniest place on Route 66 is in Seligman, Arizona – the Snow Cap Drive-in.  Just ask for half a cone and see what I mean.  You don’t go here for the food, you come here for the entertainment.

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside the Snow Cap

Saddest Place

I remember the Oklahoma City bombing vividly.  Any news like that is sad, however, I was not prepared for the emotions I felt when I visited the site. Consequently I cried a lot while visiting this memorial.

I wasn’t sad for the slain, I was sad because of the evil that exists in the world today.

copyright 2017 db walton
Sad Reminders

copyright 2017 db walton
Jesus Wept

Happiest Place

Oh, there are lots of happy places along Route 66.  It depends on what you’re in the mood for.  For me, it would be the nicely restored Corvairs this couple have.  Or, maybe it was the fun people we met along the way.  Well, it could have been the tongue-n-cheek humor in Uranus, Missouri.  Therefore, there are MANY happy places on Route 66.

copyright 2017 db walton
The Axe Hole at Uranus

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Young Couple Enjoying Frozen Custard

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Fully Restored Corvair Monza Wagon

Road Conditions

To say there are superlatives with road conditions on Route 66 is an understatement.  Hence, I’ll just share a few of photos that tell the story.

copyright 2017 db walton
Cobblestone Brick

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A Dead End Section

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A Big Drop Off (this was actually closed to cars)

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Washboard and Potholes

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Unexpected Road Closures

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Winding Mountain Roads

Hotels and Motels

We stayed at many great places.  All of the hotels who provided complementary lodging were clean and nice.  I can’t say that about all the paid rooms.

It’s best in this category that I thank those who comped us roomes:

  • Comfort Suites in Rella, Missouri – Clean and friendly staff and right on Old Route 66
  • Enlight Inn in Joplin, Missouri – Charming Cottages, I want to go back.
  • Fairfield Inn in Tulsa, Oklahoma – Clean
  • Broadway Inn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Off the beaten track, but close to everything
  • EconoLodge, Elk City, Oklahoma – Elk City is the middle of nowhere, but here’s the place to stay.
  • Quality Inn, Tucumcari, New Mexico – Treated us like family (in the good way).  The pool was ultra clean!
  • Holiday Inn Express, Gallup, New Mexico – Another clean hotel on Route 66
  • Ramblin Rose, Kingman, Arizona – Best Value for your money near the Grand Canyon!  Clean too!
  • Hilton, Pasadena, California – Best place to stay in Pasadena.  Service is top-notch
  • Special Mention
    • Fairmont, Santa Monica, California – Amazing view.  It’s a couple blocks off Route 66, but you can see it from the rooms that face south.

Not So Good

On the not-so-good side, I would not recommend Motel 6 in Normal, Illinois.  And, I would not recommend Budget Host Inn, Williams, Arizona.  The Motel 6 in Normal, Illinois, is filthy, and the Budget Host Inn in Williams is very over priced for what you get (or don’t get).  Don’t be fooled by Budget Host’s “free breakfast”.  It was a gallon of milk sitting on the counter, two sugary cereals and a couple of boxes of mini doughnuts (boxed, store bought kind).

More to Come

There is more to come.  Check back often for updates as we review our trip.

Thanks to Sponsors

Also, a very heartfelt thanks to all those who sponsored our trip…

  • Bay Photo Labs
  • Republic Wireless
  • Warner 5 Color
  • Walworth Animal Hospital
  • Alien Skin Software
  • Anthropics Software
  • ACDSee Software
  • Topaz Labs
  • On1 Software
  • Nataliacha Doodley Do
  • Fine Art by DB (Yeah, I personally put a lot of my business money in to this trip)

September 21, 2017

Painted Desert

Today we passed through the Painted Desert.  It makes me wonder what early auto travelers thought when they had to drive through Arizona.  It's pretty desolate.

Today we passed through the Painted Desert.  It makes me wonder what early auto travelers thought when they had to drive through Arizona.  It's pretty desolate.

Painted Desert

Today we passed through the Painted Desert.  It makes me wonder what early auto travelers thought when they had to drive through Arizona.  It’s pretty desolate.

copyright 2017 db walton
Painted Desert

For the first time today we hit an area where there was NO CELL COVERAGE.  Of course, you couldn’t see any cell towers and civilization.  Besides, it wouldn’t make much sense for cellular companies to put towers in the middle of a desert where nobody lives.

Unknown Destination

Our destination was unknown today.  We didn’t know if we would be in Winslow or Flagstaff or some other city.  Because we couldn’t communicate to Elizabethe (who has been handling our lodging arrangements), we didn’t know how far to drive.

We finally made contact when we started getting a very faint cellular signal.  She said she kept striking out on the hotels and motels along Route 66.  She finally made a paid reservation at one in Flagstaff.

Elizabethe commented that she now starts with the highest rated and highest prices.  From a marketing standpoint, this all makes sense.  More successful businesses understand the value of marketing and advertising.  And, that’s one thing we are doing on this trip… marketing and advertising.

Our Best Products – Our Best Advertisers

Bay Photo

is one of the top photo labs in the nation.  While many people rank a certain Midwest lab #1, my experience is they are not as good as Bay in most aspects.  Bay Photo saw the value of our trip and jumped on the opportunity.  Paul and I hope our efforts send business their way.

We met a guy in the Painted Desert near Old Route 66 who was taking photos.  We talked a bit about photography, and I showed him the Bay Photo image of a rusty old car (like the one we had been photographing) printed on maple wood.  He was VERY impressed.  I then showed it to his wife.  She too was very impressed.

copyright 2017 db walton
This would look nice on a Maplewood print from Bay Photo

Winslow, Arizona

I went to Winslow, Arizona, about 9 years ago with my daughter Natalie and a bunch of photographer friends.  Someone since told me it has changed a lot.   It hasn’t.  It is just as I remembered it from my last trip to Winslow with one exception – an additional statue of an older Glen Frey.

copyright 2017 db walton
Standing on a Corner

While there we met a couple from the Netherlands.  We talked to them, took pictures together.  It was fun.  We also met a man from Manitoba, Canada, who is riding Route 66 on his motorcycle.

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Nikki and Pablo from the Netherlands

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View From Her Flatbed Ford

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Bob from Canada

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The Corner Intersection

Twin Arrows at Sunset

We ran out of daylight quickly.  We stopped at the abandoned Twin Arrows at sunset and took pictures as the sun went down.  It’s only a few miles from Flagstaff.  As a result, it didn’t impact us too much.

Because it was dark we used our tripods, and took some long exposures.

copyright 2017 db walton
Twin Arrows

 

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September 20, 2017

Continental Divide

We crossed the continental divide this evening.  It was golden hour, and guess what?  We took pictures of it as the sun started its final descent.

We crossed the continental divide this evening.  It was golden hour, and guess what?  We took pictures of it as the sun started its final descent.

Continental Divide

We crossed the continental divide this evening.  It was golden hour, and guess what?  We took pictures of it as the sun started its final descent.

I’m going to start off with shout-outs to our partners and others…

copyright 2017 db walton
Hawthorne Suites, Alburquerque

We spent a great evening at the Hawthorne Suites in Albuquerque.  They treated us very nicely.  The rooms were clean and nice.  There are many services, restaurants and stores nearby.  They provided us with a very nice room.

copyright 2017 db watlon
Tonight’s Hotel – Holiday Inn Express, Gallup, New Mexico

Tonight we are staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Gallup, New Mexico.  We’ve been treated like royalty since arriving here.  They provided us with a great recommendation for dinner.  We thank them for the room.

We took the front desk’s advice at the Holiday Inn Express and went to Jerry’s downtown Gallup.  The gave us a wonderful meal.  I had chili rellenos, enchilada and a taco plate, and Paul had pork covered with green and red sauce (Christmas, as they call it).  They brought out a basket of sopapillas and a bottle of honey.

I was in food heaven.

copyright 2017 db walton
The Staff at Jerry’s Cafe in Gallup, New Mexico

Thank you to Bay Photo Labs.  We met several photographers today and provided them with press printed book marks, and highly recommended Bay Photo Labs.

Republic Wireless came through today too.

Geology

Today we saw more geology than we did old wrecks and abandoned buildings.  It is a nice change.  Some of the country Route 66 passes through is beautiful.  We saw buttes, cliffs, mesas, mountains, rivers, lava beds and high plains.

copyright 2017 db walton
New Mexico Landscape and the Continental Divide (with train in the foreground)

New Mexico

While I was disappointed in Albuquerque’s vagrant problems, overall, the people of New Mexico are very friendly.  There is a scam going on here.  A man comes up and tells you he was on his way to ___ and from ____ and his truck broke down.  He then asks for money.  We’ve seen this twice in 24 hours.

Other than that, once we got away from the big city, we got away from the drug pushers, prostitutes and scammers of Albuquerque.  Somewhere along the way, we stopped at a small burger joint and everyone said, “Hi”, to us and welcomed us to their restaurant.

The people at the Holiday Inn Express and at Jerry’s Grill have been especially friendly.

 

 

September 20, 2017

Reunion

I had a sweet reunion with a cousin whom I haven't seen in years.  Living near Route 66, her and her husband met us at the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We had dinner and caught up on old times.

I had a sweet reunion with a cousin whom I haven't seen in years.  Living near Route 66, her and her husband met us at the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We had dinner and caught up on old times.

Reunion

I had a sweet reunion with a cousin whom I haven’t seen in years.  Living near Route 66, her and her husband met us at the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We had dinner and caught up on old times.

We were trying to figure out the last time we saw each other.  It was probably sometime in the late 1980s.  It was a fun reunion on Route 66.

Leaving Tucumcari

I honestly hated leaving the Quality Inn in Tucumcari.  The room was nice, clean and comfortable, and the swimming pool was impeccable.  I could have stayed there just to go swimming all day.

Motel Pool Tucumcarri
Motel Pool Tucumcarri

The breakfast was good.  True to New Mexico, there was green and red chili sauce next to the eggs.  Plus, they had cheese, onions, jalapenos and chopped tomatoes available to put on your eggs.

If you are traveling Route 66, stay at the Quality Inn when you get to Tucumcari.  Tell them Brent and Paul sent you.

As we headed west on Route 66, we noticed Tucumcari has a lot of motels, some out of business.  We stopped at the museum on the other end of town.  We noticed in an old picture of Route 66 in Tucumcari that at one time it was a bustling place.

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, New Mexico, was my favorite part of the day.  We visited another car museum there, and then we spotted a diner.  Both me and Paul said, “Nah… let’s wait.”

We then saw the Santa Fe Grill. It looked clean from the outside, and so we went in.

After meeting the owner, we were promptly seated.  Our waitress, Anna, was very attentive to our needs and provided excellent service.

I had the BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger and it was a perfect burger.  The onion rings were also perfect.  Paul had the turkey sandwich and love it too.

The things that made my burger perfect were a) the bun was toasted, b) it had a slice of onion (not diced onion), c) a slice of tomato, d) the burger was cooked just right, and e) it had ample lettuce too.  The onion rings – crisp on the outside and moist in the middle.

copyright 2017 db walton
Perfect Burger and Onion Rings

The place was clean and has a nice southwest feel.  They are located at 2249 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435.  Pay them a visit as you motor down Route 66.

Car Museums

We visited two car museums today.  One in Tucumcari and one in Santa Rosa. The one in Tucumcari is a general museum with lots of cars.  The other, a car museum.

In the Santa Rosa car museum I found the ultimate photographer’s road trip vehicle.  Here it is…

copyright 2017 db walton
Ultimate Photographer’s Road Trip Vehicle

Photographers in the cab, and equipment in those back doors.  It’s the perfect road trip vehicle.

The other must have come from Rochester, Buffalo or Syracuse…

copyright 2017 db walton
An Edsel Made for Western New York