Albuquerque, New Mexico
Odometer: 481,989 miles
Trip mileage: 925 miles
This room at Motel 6 in lovely ABQ sure smells like a smoker’s room even though I asked for non. Oh well! It’s a (hopefully clean!) bed after a long night on the road. My friend Kevin (aka “staff photographer”) is joining me for the ride to Oklahoma City and then he’ll fly back to Phoenix. I’m enjoying the company. We departed PHX around 4 p.m. and made great time getting out here. The elevation gain between PHX and Flagstaff got us into some typical July monsoon thunderstorms and I had to crank up the windshield wipers for the first time in several weeks.
Departing PHX. Kevin holds up this year’s Nat’l Lampoons Christmas Vacation ornament which he just picked up – complete with Clark Griswold’s Taurus and a tree mounted up top.
Getting onto I-40 from I-17 northbound in Flagstaff. Albuquerque here we come!
A pit stop in FLG and we were eastbound on Interstate 40. Surprisingly the freeway was nearly completely devoid of 18 wheelers tonight so the open road allowed us to cruise right along. First order of business was a mandatory check-in at a site equally as thrilling as the world’s largest ball of twine: Meteor Crater. This hole in the ground is 4,000 feet in diameter and dates back 50,000 years. Enough reason for us to pull off the interstate for a photo-op.
From there our next roadside attraction must-see was Jackrabbit Trading Post just west of Winslow, Arizona. This relic of old Route 66 is still in business (though it was closed for the day when we rolled past). The noteworthy “Here It Is” sign is a symbol of history and was featured, for example, in the original Cars movie set in Radiator Springs. A definite highlight of tonight’s trip was when the theme song for an old cartoon, Tiny Toon Adventures, came on my iPod. Kevin and I both belted the words without missing a beat at full volume. That definitely dated us both. Left me laughing for a few minutes.
Dinner in Holbrook, Arizona was at what HAS to be the world’s oldest Dairy Queen. This place has a neon flashing sign and a drive thru that only accommodates two cars, where you both order and pick-up at the same window. The cherry dipped ice cream cone was a welcome indulgence while Kevin and I sat roadside and enjoyed the perfect evening temps.
Great rearview sunset and a partial rainbow above the mirror.
From there it was about 80 miles until we crossed into New Mexico.
All is well in Legend Land. The old clunker is happy to be enjoying the open road, as am I. Signing out from ABQ!