Homer's Travels: Route 66 & California - New Mexico

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Route 66 & California - New Mexico

The drive through New Mexico was rather ... sedate.  We started the day with a stop at Tee Pee Curios (in Tucumcari) where  we bought a magnet or two.  The rest of the day was driving on frontage roads and, as a lot of the old 66 route was impassable by mortal Hondas, driving on I-40 itself.

Tepee Curios in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
All along the route at the intersections of the freeway (I-40) and other major roads (I'm being liberal with the word 'major') there are gift shops/restaurants/gas stations.  We stopped at a couple of these but that is all we could stomach.  They were just so cheesy touristy and they all sold exactly the same junk.  We did eat at one of these places in Cline's Corner, NM and, frankly, I remember the food being pretty good.

As we got closer to Gallup  we left I-40 for a while and passed through nice but desolate small towns.  At Cubero we stopped to get gas.  It turns out that Hemingway wrote part of "The Old Man and the Sea" in the cafe.  The Wife went in search of where Hemingway had stayed.  The clerks at the Villa Cubero Trading Post were very helpful but not that knowledgeable about Hemingway.  Our best guess is he stayed in the little cabin behind the store which houses the bathrooms today.

Soon afterward we hit our first weather of the trip.  It started to rain fairly hard as we approached Gallup.  We found a place to stay and checked in just as the rain started to pour.  We're talking monsoon!

We'd set up a date with GB, the Wife's niece's boyfriend who lives in Gallup.  He picked us up at the hotel and took us to the El Rancho Hotel for dinner.  A lot of movies, mostly westerns, were filmed in the area and the stars and movie crews used to stay at El Rancho.  The walls of the two story lobby are covered in pictures and autographs.

GB treated us for a terrific dinner.  Thinking we were going to pay for the food I ordered one of the most expensive steaks on the menu.  I felt bad when GB  payed the check.  We have since paid him pack with a few free home cooked meals at our place.

After the excellent meal we were going to tour Gallup but the rain had another idea.  We ended up going back to the hotel and saying our goodbyes.

Meeting with GB was the highlight of this day on the route.  I only took pictures in Tucumceri and, of those, I've posted only two that can be found on my 2011-07 Route 66 Roadtrip Google Photos album.

Approximate distance driven this leg: 334 miles.

1 comment:

  1. I love visiting my parents, because there's nothing blocking your website from view! :D

    you have seen some really crazy things! I can't believe all the GINORMOUS stuff out there!!!