The thing about traveling is that you never know what, or WHO, you are going to run across. Because of some mishaps in downtown Amarillo we took a little longer to get to the Cadillac Ranch then we had thought it would take. It turned out to be very cool that it did.
We parked the car and started the walk out to the 10 gas guzzlers that are buried nose down in the Texas soil. I'm a little bit out ahead of Beth and as I'm walking there are others headed back to their cars. There's a family of 4, a single guy who appears to be taking shots with his DSLR and blogging from his smart phone… what a nerd… Oh wait that could have been me. And then there is a woman and her adult daughter. The daughter looks familiar. Hmm, she looks very much like a talented graphic artist I work with back in California 1400 miles away. So weird. Same hair, same height. Oh, AWKWARD…she is looking right at me… she see me staring… but it DOES look like... JENNY!!!
WOW!!! 1400 miles from Santa Barbara, where I last had the chance to work with Jenny, I come across her at, of all places, The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas.
Jenny and I met while we both worked for the Hillary Hope, another talented designer and great friend, so we staged this little video at the cars for her. What an amazing chance meeting in the heartland.
As we left the Cadillac Ranch Beth could see a Love's Truck Stop on the horizon to the south. We headed there for fuel, drinks, ice and snacks. As I was walking into the Mini Mart this really cool 65 Corvette drove in. The kind of car you can't miss on Route 66. I waved and went inside.
The next big stop of note was the Mid Point Cafe… OH CRAP… we've been on the road for more then 3/4 of our time and we are only now getting to the mid point. We seriously have some picking up to do.
In the cafe Beth ordered a slice of their famous Ugly Crust Pie (we'll call it "breakfast pie" as it was about 11am) and she said it was really good.
Sitting next to us at the Cafe was two british couples. They were both doing a self guided driving tour, east to west, of Route 66 and both had pre-planned their entire trips and had itineraries of where they needed to be each night. Beth and did the same thing when we went to Europe in 2005 but having done what we have done this time I would feel much more comfortable 'freelancing it' thru Europe in the future. Thousands of done exactly that, traveled with no set agenda but we didn't feel up to it in 05. We may reconsider on a future trip.
As we were sitting there the same man and woman that were in the Corvette came walking in. It turns out it was James Dawson and his adult daughter Jamie. James is a co-contributor to a famous Route 66 book that chronicles all the diners and places to stay along the way. He has "adopted' one stretch of the book so every 2 years he needs to brush up on what is new or more likely what has vanished off the Route so he can update for a new Edition. That was exactly what he was doing on this trip with his daughter.
Out in front of the Mid Way Cafe they have an old pickup truck that everyone signs their name on and James and I stood around that truck and told stories from the road. He really enjoyed our Fithian story from Day 5 of our trip.
We took a few photos with James and Jamie and I got him to sign our book. He was mowed over that I would even ask for his autograph. It was a pleasure to bring him that honor of recognition.
But now… we gotta boogie… we are WAY behind schedule.
At this point we got on the highway, or as we have been calling it, "the big scary road" and headed for the border of New Mexico.
Shortly after you get to New Mexico you come to Tucumcari, or as Beth likes to call it, "the "T" city". What a treasure trove of old signs to see and shoot.
I was afraid that we had missed The Blue Swallow. This sign has been shot so many times... I only wish that we had been there at a better time of day.
We got off at another small town called Santa Rosa. We had followed the Solar family last month as they made their trip and they had said that they enjoyed a spot called "The Big Blue Hole". This is a natural spring I guess. They say it outputs 3000 gallons a minute and it is a hole in the desert that is 80 feet deep and 60 feet in diameter and the water is 61 degrees. A bit to cold for me to swim but it was refreshing to stand on the steps and feel it on your feet at least.
Ultimately we decided we needed to make it to Albuquerque so we pushed on and made it at a reasonable time. We checked in before 5PM at an Econolodge after driving a total of 286 miles. Not much for a 'road trip' but that's a lot on Route 66.
Dinner at "66 Diner" which is on Old Route 66 in Albuquerque and was about 8 miles from our motel. Great food and a gigantic Pez collection above the counter. On our way back to the Econolodge we took a few more shots of old Motels. There are a TON of them in this town.
There was so much to see and shoot just on our way back to the hotel after dinner at the Cafe 66.
About 800 miles to Santa Monica, the traditional end of Route 66 and then about 400 miles home… and I have an edit I need to be sitting in fresh and ready to work on July 1. I'll be there Peter… "with bells on".