Saturday, August 15, 2009

Route 66 and Winslow, Arizona

It was a beautiful morning, blue skies and puffy white clouds. We left Barstow early and with lots of enthusiasm, driving through the red rock of Arizona and the high forested plains of Flagstaff. Ray was quite excited to see signs for Route 66, the Mother Road, which brought back memories of rock and roll and movies depicting travels along this famous road. Route 66 parallels I-40 for a bit, then meanders away from it, to join up again. Worn down shacks and rotting gas stations are the only indication of livelihoods lost with the construction of the Interstate. Now, cars whiz by the old towns and only a few stop to visit places like Winslow, Arizona. We pause for lunch at a small Mexican cafe that serves wonderful homemade tacos and enchiladas. Did you know there is a town named 2 Guns, where the Navajo and Apache fought each other? I’m sure this place was quite significant to their lives and yet, is merely a dot on the map to most travelers.

Driving through New Mexico, the scenery changes to colorful purplish blue skies and copper landscapes of mesas and buttes that show some incredibly beautiful cliff formations, especially as we get closer to Albuquerque. The city is nestled in a valley and reminds me of Las Vegas; the Rio Grande runs through the center of town. After our very enjoyable local eatery at lunch, we decide we should try hard to find local cuisine for the remainder of the trip.

Unfortunately, we were to realize at dinner time, that we are a McDonalds nation and there is not much else to be found along highways. Hard as we tried, we could not find anything ressembling local grub and at every corner were greeted by those golden arches. We ate a very disappointing meal of Big Macs and hamburgers.

It had been a long day and we were pleased to have gotten the last room at the Day’s Inn in Amarillo--who goes to Amarillo in August, go figure! Although we noticed that some one is taking care of Amarillo as we drove through a big construction zone on a 6 lane highway--could this have been stimulus money? Who goes to Amarillo that would warrant a 6 lane highway?

At the Day’s Inn, we and the desk clerk went through 3 key cards before determining none of them would work. He entered with the master and we flopped in to bed not even realizing we didn’t have a key to the room.
He could have been an axe murderer and that would have been the end of us.


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