Monday, March 11, 2013

Where I've Been: Rt 66 day 1

It's spring break ya'll!  We were stupid busy the last two weeks and we can finally hang out as just a family and relax.

We started by building a triple decker bunk bed.  We completely tore out the closet so we could start over with the space.  It still needs all the finishing touches, but it turned out pretty well and even I like hanging out in those upper bunks!

We also had my son's 4th birthday party to get ready for and host.  Happy birthday Braden!  And bitchy Angie's daughter made the cake.
Birthday morning.  He loves doughnuts.

How cool is this cake?!  Seriously impressed with my niece here.
And now we're on a family road trip, cruising "the Mother Road".  It's fascinating and at the time, a little sad.  It is incredible the way the construction of I 40, just a few hundred yards away, destroyed a network of once booming cities.

We started in Amarillo.  We stayed last night in a Marriot (we're using my husbands hotel points for this whole trip!) and officially hit Rt 66 this morning.  We actually could have ended the trip with the hotel stay and our kids would have thought it to be the greatest vacation ever.

Our first attraction was Cadillac Ranch.  It was very cold and windy and this is why the kids don't look too interested.

We got back in the car and headed toward New Mexico with time to kill.  Immediately we saw something of interest.  Wind farms!  They were all over the side of the road and turbines seemed to go on forever.  One dirt road in particular appeared to go right out into a patch of these giant green energy producers so we went in for a closer look.
I think these things are amazing.  So beautiful.

I love this picture.  That old car, buildings long since abandoned, and behind it all stands the future.
A good portion of the rest of our drive could have been dubbed "the ruins of Rt 66".  First was the Ghost town of El Reno.  At one time this place was booming and a major stop on the mother road. Now, there are about 4 buildings barely left standing.

 Really old abandoned gas stations and motels were scattered about in every city.

 Just after El Reno was a newer truck stop made to look retro.  They had a decent little diner that we ate at and a really cool FREE museum of old cars.  You can give a donation and 100% of that money goes to feed hungry children in Amarillo.

 The next stop on our list was Tucumcari New Mexico.  I had been looking forward to this one because there were quite a few historic attractions in this town alone.  It didn't dissapoint... except that is was Sunday and TeePee Curious was closed.  Bummer.  But I still enjoyed driving through. This town is what "Radiator Springs" in "Cars" had to have been modeled after.  Tucumcari is a glorious little place and I would give anything to go back in time and see it in it's hay day.

It started as a gas station, but the expanding road ate up the gas pumps.  It still operates as a gift shop.

Historic Blue Swallow Motel

Are you in the market for an old classic car?  Get off the interstate!  They're everywhere!
 There were only a few little dips into little one horse towns after Tucumcari.  We saw more abandoned buildings and more old cars sitting around.  And another cool turbine.

Also, you can see, all along the mother road, remnants of the old railroad (Santa Fe?).  Sometimes it's really obvious, like in the picture below with the old train bridge.  But mostly you just notice piles of used cross ties.

 Now we're in Albuquerque.

 Were a small stretch of Rt 66 is still somewhat thriving.  We even ate at an old Service station/Ford dealership whose customers were traveling west to escape the dust bowl.  Kelly's Brewery.

Tomorrow we head to Flag Staff!

-Hugh Jass


  1. Love the bed, loved bday party, love your pictures. I am jealous, looks like you guys are having fun. I have only been that way once and it was so AMAZINGLY pretty, love being out in the open like that. Thats pretty great you guys get to use Brad's points for the hotel rooms, bet that has saved tons of money! Be careful and have a safe trip. Talk to ya when you get back. (I want tons of pretty Grand Canyon pics!!!)

  2. wow that's got to be a fun road trip! how cool.

  3. wow, looks like a fun trip! What a great route to take!
    Love the beds!!!!