Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Amarillo Texas to Holbrook Arizona

The WiFi was up and running well this morning so I finished yesterday's blog and posted it. We filled our travel mugs with coffee from the lobby and checked out about 7:40 AM. The construction meant that to access I-40 west, we had to travel east and cross over. The navigation was hampered by the GPS, which started to perform very slowly. It took a long time to draw maps and the voice directions were broken.

 EMS out in force along I-40

 Trouble at the restaurant?

 I-40 road construction in Amarillo blows

The idiot GPS didn't seem to understand what "near my current route" meant. It vectored us to a Mickey D's quite a way away from the Interstate, complicated again by slow map drawing. On the plus side, the McDonald's on Coulter was the best one we have found so far on this trip. Kiosks, tapping, fast delivery and correct orders.

Rather than try to get back to I-44, I followed SW 34th Street west through a very nice residential neighbourhood. The town ended abruptly and the street turned to two lanes. Just as the pavement ended, we turned north on Hope Road. This was a pleasant coincidence because Hope Road was where the Cadillac Ranch Gift Shop was located. I took a photo of the gift shop and then we got onto I-44 West without visiting the Cadillacs.

 Interesting cars at the Cadillac Ranch Gift Shop

 There are no words to describe the smell of a feedlot

 As flat as a Texas Panhandle

 Another closed  business

 The elevator looks good

 More turbines? What a surprise

 It starts to roll a bit near New Mexico

 Deaf Smith was a Texas freedom fighter and Ranger

 We are suitably enchanted

Russell's Truck and Travel Center, Glen Rio, NM

Last summer, we stopped at the Russell's Truck and Travel Center on I-25 north of Springer, New Mexico. Their free museum was interesting but Sherm said the one on I-40 was even better. Today, we stopped just over the New Mexico state line to check it out.

Jerry told us that this location was only eight years old, while the one in Springer had been there over twenty. The museum here was much larger, though. He told us the story about how the Russell family started by working the logging camps and then a small restaurant after he hurt his foot. Their fortunes changed when Mr. Russell thought they should open a grocery store, which then grew into a chain. The Travel Centers are flourishing where other hospitality/service businesses are closing up, even though the museum is free and donations support charitable causes.

The red 1975 GL1000 Honda GoldWing caught my eye. On our first trip through here in 1978 (forty years ago!), we were riding a similar red 1976 model. I mentioned this to Jerry and he told us that the Wing here was the only vehicle not bought specifically for the museum. Mr. and Mrs. Russell bought it to ride and then, years later, added it to the exhibit.

The extensive Dale Earnhardt display was donated by a gentleman to honour a lady who had a NASCAR radio show and kept the truckers in line on the CB radio. She passed away due to cancer and he hauled a whole Denali full of memorabilia to the museum.

We were impressed with this stop. If you happen to find yourself tooling along I-40, it is worth the stop. And the price definitely was right.

 The exterior looks much like the one in Springer

 Jerry gave us the lowdown

 Out front

 Mr. & Mrs. Russell's 1975 GL1000 Honda GoldWing

 Some of the Dale Earnhardt memorabilia

 Things go better...

 Pink Thunderbird, it is

 Rows of immaculate classic cars

 And a poor man's Porsche:-))


 Another row of classics

 People seem to like donating things

 Biggest Kicks On 66

 For Cheryl

 OK, this wasn't in the museum

 Ready to hit the road again

I have to say that wandering through the museum in my shorts, golf shirt and walking shoes made me feel like a citizen. At least before, I was towing a bike. Now Sandy and I were just Grandma and Grandpa on a road trip. The scary thing was that I was having fun anyway.

We continued west across New Mexico, a whole different landscape than Texas. High desert, hot and dry.

 Ice? It's 96 degrees!

 Tucumcari Mountain near (you guessed it) Tucumcari

 Some red rock is starting

 These predate the highway

 Some railway maintenance of way work

 Running 80 MPH in a 75 zone

 Remember those cars from Cadillac Ranch?

 I thought they were exhibits (pretty girl)

 Looks mean

 They like bright colours down here

 More colours

 Rest Area

 Flying C Ranch has many signs

 But just a small shop

 They passed us while we were stopped at the Rest Area

 Not much traffic sometimes

 Although the RV's and trucks did jam up other times

 What's wrong with this picture?

 This is what's wrong

 Does this remind anyone else of chenille?

 I guess they are protected

Carrying on the great Skechers Golf Shoe Hunt from yesterday, I looked up a Skechers Outlet in Albuquerque while we were stopped at the Rest Area. It was right by I-40. Have I mentioned the GPS was acting up? We ended up finding the store after following a circuitous route while I shouted obscenities at the Garmin. I figured I had a lock on this when we got there. Myriad Skechers shoes in a Skechers store. They said "Sorry, we don't have any golf shoes. We did once but they're gone. Have you tried Dick's Sporting Goods?" So I was still looking.

There was also a Walmart grocery store there. Just groceries. We got some Sargento snacks and Sandy got some single serve coffee creamers. Then I checked Google and did a factory reset of the GPS. That caused me to lose all my favourites, but it didn't speed it up at all. I wrapped a cloth around it to keep the sun off it going forward.

In a replay of Amarillo, the unit sent me on a wild chase through the city looking for a McDonald's that was supposedly "near my current route". On the way back to the freeway, I almost changed lanes into a blue Honda Civic. Missed him by inches. I thanked my lucky stars and kicked my own ass for not seeing him coming.

 Interchanges become art in Albuquerque

 The same for overpasses

 It warmed up while we were in Albuquerque

 Casino in the middle of nowhere

 More red rock

 The scenery comes right down to the road

 The old mission at Laguna

We stopped for fuel at Grants. I filled up with 86 octane, lower because of the mile-high altitude.

 These bikes stuck to the fast lane. Bad form.

 A mesa

 It should be all downhill the rest of the way

 Lots of ways to remember The Divide

 Darker rock around Gallup NM

 Windswept sandstone

 Arches in progress

 Take off your rainbow shades

 Don't make me paranoid

 An old guy's Corvette

 More arches under construction by Mother Nature

 This is a neat rest area

 Okie rider had a cool vest and a camelback

A call to the Foree cell phone revealed that Jack and Barb, our friends who live in Holbrook, were babysitting grandkids in Silver Springs, Maryland. Maybe we'll catch them next time around.

We arrived in Holbrook and checked into the Days Inn at 4:00 PM Arizona time. We picked up one hour at the New Mexico border and a second hour as we entered Arizona. We stayed at this hotel last year with Sherm. After getting the gear up to the room, we walked across the four-lane (plus centre turning lane) street to Denny's. This was a pretty quiet area and we wondered what all those lanes were about.

At Denny's, we shared a Superbird sandwich. Sliced turkey, bacon, cheese and tomato on toasted sourdough. I also had a bowl of very good beef vegetable soup and five bacon tater tots (Sandy ried oneas well). Then it was back to the hotel to sort over 200 photos and transcribe over 80 verbal notes.

 Our home for the night

 We got the sought after "desert view"

 There are real motorcyclists around

 Denny's - Holbrook Arizona

 Tonight, she left her phone in the room

 It was very tasty

 Everything is Route 66

All those lanes

We only have 120 miles tomorrow to get to Williams. Late departure and slow running should put us there around noon. The blog was done just before 10:00.

Today's Route (523 Equinox miles):

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