Friday, November 18, 2011

On the Road Again...Part I

I couldn't even begin to sum up my experience at RMSP.  It was by far the most rewarding journey I've ever been on.  I met amazing people, gained a wealth of information, and spent time in a beautiful place.  I can't believe it's over.  The road trip home was the last leg of my photographic journey out west.  I probably should have had my DSLR out and ready for this trip but I just needed a little break so my iPhone became my new best friend.  Through various use of apps and lots of shooting out the car windows I captured the return trip amateur style.  It was freeing!  

Montana: Route 93 to Las Vegas
 From Montana to Las Vegas, where I met up with Mark. (15 hours)

Las Vegas

Hoover Dam


Winslow, Arizona

La Posada Hotel in Winslow

It's not hard to find La Posada.  Just slow down a bit as you travel I-40 across the 
flat grasslands of northern Arizona and take the exit for historic Winslow.

In the 1920s, “La Posada”—the Resting Place—was to be the finest in the Southwest. 
Construction costs alone exceeded $1 million in 1929. Total budget with grounds and furnishings was rumored at $2 million (about $40 million in today’s dollars). They chose Winslow, then (as now) the Arizona headquarters for the Santa Fe Railway. La Posada sits on what used to be historic Route 66, she opened her doors to the public on May 15, 1930, just after the stock market crash of 1929, and remained open for just 27 years. In 1957, the hotel closed it's doors.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation found out about La Posada’s peril and added it to their endangered list and now with its beautiful renovations the La Posada is a gem it once was wheretravelers can once again enjoy a nights rest, gourmet food, and beautiful architecture. 

Standing on a corner...
                it's not very often you get to live out the lyrics to a song!

So, if you look closely you can see the whole scene play out.  

There we are..."standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona and such a fine sight to see it's..." 
and in the reflection of the store window behind us you can see: 
"...a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me."

Can you see the words right below Civic Arena, that poster was from Pittsburgh PA!

New Mexico

Ghost tractor trailers!  On Oct 31st too!! How Appropriate!

We passed so many of these during the AZ leg of our trip.  We think they were
some kind of airplane parts.  Perhaps the wings?

Lots of trains cutting across the plains.  It gave the journey a nostalgic feel.  
Like something out of a western!

Old Town, New Mexico 

Clives Corner, Great Bathrooms
Every road trip traveler knows that good clean bathrooms are a necessity.  Well apparently
the people at Clives Corner recognized this as fact because for miles we 
saw huge billboards advertising their great bathrooms.  Whether we had to go or not 
their advertising worked, because we definitely had to make a stop at Clives Corner!!!

Santa Rosa, New Mexico Blue Hole

While the landscape around Santa Rosa is more semi-arid ranch country than desert, it's true! Santa Rosa is a scuba diving mecca. There's the famous Blue Hole, a geological phenomenon. The natural, bell-shaped pool is 80 feet deep and has astonishing clarity and a constant water temperature of 64 degrees. There's even a training platform at 20 and 25 feet.

  • Diameter-80' at surface, 130' at bottom
  • Depth-over 80'
  • Temperature-constant 64° 
  • Visibility-80' when undisturbed
  • Flow-3,000 gallons per minute; water recycles every six hours
  • Altitude-4,600' above sea level making the bottom equivalent of over 100' of depth in the ocean
No that is not a mirage, that is a lake 
in the middle of the desert!

Blue Swallow Hotel Tucumcari, New Mexico
Construction began on the Blue Swallow Motel prior to the outbreak of World War II, and the motel opened in 1942. Facing Route 66, the Blue Swallow offered access to motorists from both the highway and a side street.  At the end of the 1960s, Interstate 40, a faster, limited-access highway, took the place of the old Route 66.  The development of this new highway drastically changed the traffic circulation of Route 66 affecting many of the businesses along the way, including the Blue Swallow Motel.  Ms. Redman said of the effect of Interstate 40, which bypassed Tucumcari, “When Route 66 was closed to the majority of traffic and the other highway came in, I felt just like I had lost an old friend.  But some of us stuck it out and are still here on Route 66.”

Glenrio, TX Ghost Town (Exit 0)

Glenrio straddles the Texas-New Mexico border in northwestern Deaf Smith County. In 1905 the area was opened to small farmers, who settled on choice 150-acre plots. In 1906 the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway established a station at Glenrio, and the community bustled with cattle and freight shipments. Shipping pens at the depot were frequently used by the Landergin brothers and other area ranchers. Although a post office was established on the New Mexico side of the community, the depot where the mail arrived was on the Texas side. By 1920 Glenrio had a hotel, a hardware store, and a land office, as well as several grocery stores, service stations, and cafes. A newspaper, the Glenrio Tribune, was published from 1910 to 1934. After U.S. Highway 66 was routed through the town, a "welcome station" was built near the state line. Some scenes in the 1940 movie Grapes of Wrath were filmed at the community. By 1945 Glenrio had a population of thirty. There were no bars on the Texas side of the community, since Deaf Smith County was dry, and no service stations on the New Mexico side because of that state's higher gasoline tax. The moving of Route 66 when it became Interstate Highway 40 resulted in the town's decline. The Rock Island depot was closed in 1955. In the 1980s the post office and two residences remained at Glenrio. In 2000 the population was five.

The old post office in Glen Rio.

An old filling station in Glen Rio, I really wanted to steal that car and 
use it as a prop for seniors when I open up shop in Moundsville.

Just outside Glenrio, TX

Fuel Stop at Pack a Sak

Mark was rolling with laughter at this particular filling station's choice of name!

Adrian, TX Midpoint Cafe (ghost town)
A Night Time Exploration

If there is one thing makes Adrian stand out among the lore of the old highway is that it is the halfway point between Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA on Route 66. If you are traveling the entire length of Route 66 from either end then this is the place to stop and celebrate; you've made it halfway! When you're here, you're half way there!  Exactly 1139 to Chicago or 1139 to Los Angeles! The MidPoint Cafe is located at the exact "geo-mathematical" MidPoint of Route 66 and is the oldest continuously operated cafe along Route 66 between Amarillo, Texas and Tucumcari, New Mexico.  Current status of the cafe: beautifully restored inside and out and up for sale!!!

I really wish I had know about this truck before our stop in Adrian, TX I would have bought a white out pen or some sort of white felt marker and left my mark on this old Ford too!


  1. You probably know this by now, but your "Airplane Parts" on the truck in Arizona were actually blades for wind generators.

  2. No Mark, no one ever told us what those were! Makes sense! Thanks for commenting!