Sunday, May 3, 2009

On Route 66 from Albuquerque NM to El Reno OK

Well here we are from the road again! Let me introduce you to my traveling companions. This is my older brother, Peter Quimby and my Australian shepherd, Annie. Peter is a professional historian, and Annie is a professional herding dog. Peter and I traveled Route 66 in 1963. So our stop in Tucumcari, New Mexico was our return to a place we'd passed through several times as children.

This was the view down old 66 on in Tucumcari on Sunday morning. The interstate now runs past this part of town, and a lot of the buildings are vacant. We talked about the old buildings that remain from the past - old gas stations from the 40's, Motels from the 50's and the old garages that fixed cars and put them back on the road in years gone by. It was a lot like driving through a museum of American travel in the 20th century.

So much of the old Route 66 was designed to lure travelers off the road to remote places. The more exotic the promise of Indian jewelry, or pecan logs at Stuckey's - the better! We've seen a few abandodned Whiting Brothers gas stations and travel marts. The modern interstate and the
national frnachises have changed the face of these places.

We thought this store front for La Cita Mexican food was so cool we stopped for lunch.

There were only we two and another couple dining - but the food was really good! Local New Mexican style. We ordered combo plates. The order came with spanish rice (sopa seca) and refried beans, a tamale, a beef taco, a cheese enchilada and a chile relleno. All freshly made.
Mine was covered in red chile sauce. Peter ordered green sauce. Our oder came with six fresh hot sopapillas and honey. Sooooooo goooood!

We stopped to change drivers at an old garage in Clinton, Texas. So I photgraphed the local color...

We stopped for gas in Shamrock Texas and photgraphed some more local color. Wanna buy a used car from Freddie Baker?

Just behind Freddie Baker's was a junk yard full of classic American car hulks. A car enthusiasts dream junk yard. Ford Edsels are pretty rare these days - here's a whole row of them!

More from Freddie's Inventory. Only driven on Sunday by a little old lady...and we can take your trade-in, paid for or not!

We're keeping on a pretty fast pace and stopping as opportunity knocks. It's interesting to see what America really looks like during this time of political turmoil and change. A lot of economic stress to be sure. But we're traveling through places that have never been rich. These are mostly farm and ranch towns with franchise businesses to serve travelers. It seems to me that the biggest casualties in this economy are the small towns and local businesses...and they seem to have been struggling for a long time.

But all the same, the people seem ready to work hard, be helpful and friendly and take whatever comes along.

Tomorrow, we're planning to cross the Mississippi and stop in Memphis, Tennessee.

Good night from the Motel 6 in El Reno Oklahoma.

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