Route 66, Day 6: Morning, Roswell NM

Yesterday was great; nice and leisurely. We really enjoyed Blue Swallow in Tucumcari. It was a nice change from the Motel 6, homey, clean and pleasantly retro. It reminded me a bit of the motel room in The Lost Room which does a lot to recommend it.

Blue Swallow Motel

Tucumcari has a long strip where the businesses have the cool googie retro signs, and the blue swallow is one of them. When we cruised in at night, we wondered why the sign wasn’t all lit up; turns out they had a hail storm a while back than damaged a lot of the neon and they’re having it fixed in Amarillo.

Tucumcari, New Mexico

When we got up yesterday, we had breakfast in the Kix on 66 diner that The Blue Swallow recommended; big omelets and huge slabs of bacon. Then we poked around in the famous Tee Pee Curios shop and took pictures of many of the signs.

Tee Pee Curios in Tucumcari

Tucumcari has an interesting dinosaur museum; it wasn’t the concrete dinosaur park we thought we were looking for, but it was fun for a couple hours, and I got small dinosaurs in the gift shop so we can set up a “Dinosaurs vs. Aliens” diorama in the back window of Phoebe for the car show.

Scary dinosaur!

Eventually, we took of to Roswell. New Mexico is really beautiful; I took lots of landscape pictures on the road that I’m afraid will all look about the same when I upload them. I was trying to convey how wide-open and vast the land is, but that never comes out in pictures. I should have done a stitched together panoramic.

New Mexico Skies

Last night we checked in and met the rest of the caravan, plus a lot of new folks at a nearby Mexican restaurant for some tasty margaritas.

Zig Zag has some margaritas

I think the plan for today is to find wireless access, give the car a bath, and go hunting down some aliens. I’d love to find an Area 51 sign somewheres if we can.

While puttering around in the hotel room this morning waiting for the day to begin, I started reading Kerouac’s On The Road. I’m wondering how in the hell I made it to the age of 39 without reading it. Why was this not on Mr. Bray’s hyper-testosterone-laden “Great American Literature” reading list in high school? I feel extremely cheated by my American Literature education. Damn you, Mr. Bray. It’s like I put on a pair of glasses for the first time and saw literature clearly. Don’t mind me; I’ll be over here with my nose in a book.

UPDATE: we ventured out to find a donut, then hit target for some car wash supplies and gave Phoebe a bath. She still needs some TLC before the car show, but we started getting hungry so we drove to downtown Roswell to find the Not of This World Coffee shop to get sandwich and free wireless. It’s verrrrrryyyyyy slllllloooooooowwww, but at least we’re connected. I’m going to attempt to upload yesterday’s pictures and plug them into this post.

Route 66, Morning, Day 5: Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico

I’m up and about in the motel room; Stephanie’s trying to catch a bit more sleep. We’ve been cutting it pretty short on the sleeping, by arriving very late and getting up with the rest of the caravan. Hopefully today we can hang out and be more leisurely; we only have about a 4 hour drive to Roswell.

I’m on a high-speed wireless connection, finally, and I’m hurriedly uploading photos. The Blue Swallow doesn’t actually offer it; some kind fellow named Shawn has left his/her network open. Thanks, Shawn!!

I’ll try to go back and insert some relevant photos into the last several posts about the trip if I can before we actually get up and around.

Tilted Water tower at Britten, Texas

Giant Cross in Groom, Texas

The Big Texan was entertaining; lots of beef. Of course their featured attraction is a “free” 72 oz. steak – if you eat the whole thing in an hour, plus sides, salad and bread. I did not try. Two guys did while we were there; if you’re attempting the challenge, they stick you at a table on a raised platform with a count-down timer. Neither of them could do it. I took pictures, of course.

The Big Texan

Big Texan

72 oz. Steak

Couldn't do it.

We drove from Amarillo, Texas to Tucumcari, New Mexico in a wicked looking lightning storm (I tried to video it; well see how it comes out.); fortunately it didn’t open up and rain much. I think today we’re going to poke around Tucumcari a bit; they have lots of great old googie signs and route 66 shops. Then we’ll take off for Roswell.

Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari

Phoebe and Spacepod in garages at the Blue Swallow Motel

Tomorrow most of the day in Roswell is free; all we have to do is wash the car and find some wireless access. And see aliens, of course. Saturday is when the car show and parade start, and Sunday there are activities, too, although most of the day is free. Monday we head out on the rest of Route 66.