NALM 2016 Days 1 and 2: Las Cruces, New Mexico & Shreveport, Louisiana

Odometer:  545,934

545934

Trip Distance (Leg):  1,277

Trip Distance (Overall):  1,277

map

Welcome aboard!

It’s that blessed time of year once again when a few dozen crazed Legend fans rendezvous for a multi-day event.  This year, the event’s 12th, will be hosted in Oakwood, Georgia – just a bit north of Atlanta.  My one-way drive will end up being about 1,900 miles, making this quite a bit further than I had to go last year when the event was in Houston.  Here’s to hoping things move toward the west coast for 2017.  Maybe I should host NALM in Phoenix?

nalm2016logo

The last couple of days I’ve been pounding the pavement of I-10 and I-20 through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.  Let me rephrase that last one.  Teeeeeexxxxxxaaaaaaaasssssss.  The state is just gigantic.  Today I drove from sun-up to sundown and never left the state.  In fact, I drove another 2 hours eastbound in the dark until I finally reached the Louisiana state line after having spent some 800 miles working my way from one end of the Lone Star State to the other.  I’m exhausted.  And maybe my tried & true Legend steed is as well.

tyson_jason

Jason of Driven for Drives was kind enough to roll out some red carpet for me during my stay in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  The drive to his place from central Phoenix ended up taking me about 6 hours.  I was able to pry my way out of the office (not an easy task when you’ve only had the job a week!) about a half hour early and hit the highway.  After a night’s rest, I continued on through El Paso (fought about 1/2 hour worth of rush-hour there) and then it was the open road ahead.  “Wide Open Spaces,” as the Dixie Chicks would call it.

split

I reach a point in my long-distance drives where I fall into a meditative state and time flies by.  I’m skipping through a few dozen songs on the iPod, perusing my road atlas, and the next thing I know I’ve gone 100 miles.  Luckily most of the speed limits out in rural Texas are 80 miles per hour, but that doesn’t help in cases (like today’s) where I frequently hit construction zones and sudden rain downpours and had to clamp down on the brakes.

cowpokes

This was my dialogue with the service station attendant at Cowpoke’s Convenience Store in Cisco, Texas:

  • Guy:  What kind of car is that?
  • Me:  It’s just an old Acura, a Legend.
  • Guy:  Oh, I saw when you pulled up, the front end looked like an old Skyline.
  • Me:  Haha, nah.  Nothing fancy.  Just cruising across the country to Atlanta.
  • Guy:  Atlanta?  But you’ve only made it to Cisco, Texas.
  • Me (walking out the door with my newly purchased beef jerky):  Well, at least I’m halfway!

And with that, I was off.  Cisco was a pretty neat little down, actually.  It’s known for being a historical spot in the story of Hilton hotels.  Hilton’s founder, Conrad Hilton, bought a building there in 1919 and it became his first hotel.  Back in those days, they would rent out the rooms in 8-hour time intervals!  Today, that original building houses the Cisco Chamber of Commerce.  I stopped by for a few photos in the rain and checked it out.

cisco

first_hotel

In Dallas – the Metroplex – I met up with my friend Scott for a short visit.  He clued me in a pretty cool truck stop just a ways up the road on I-20 called Buc-Ees.  Sure enough, it was worth checking out.  Have you ever been to a gas station that had 38 pumps?  Thirty-eight.  I think that’s what heaven must look like.  No waiting, anywhere.  Just pumps for days.  I didn’t take the time to check out Buc-Ees in much detail, but I liked what I saw.

bucees

So that brings us to Louisiana, and just a few states to go until my arrival tomorrow night at the meeting point.  Here’s to a good night’s rest, and thanks for coming along on the journey!

Took this before leaving. These are some leaks from the Legend.  I checked oil 4 times so far on the trip and haven’t had to add any.  I know there is some power steering fluid leakage and I did add some of that.

leaks

Departing the “Land of Enchantment”

nm

And arriving Texas there you have to “drive friendly.”

drive_friendly

driving

This is the worst breakfast.  But it was also the best.  Cinnabon + choc milk.

breakfast

Lots of 5-4 going on here.

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Seeing signs for Shreveport

dallas_junction

Meeting up w/ Scott

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A visit to Buc-Ees off I-20

bucees_mascot

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And finally, arriving Shreveport!

shreveport

13 Responses to “NALM 2016 Days 1 and 2: Las Cruces, New Mexico & Shreveport, Louisiana”

  1. One of these days I’ll go to a NALM, fun to live through your posts though! Drive Safe!

    • Thanks Cody, will do. And I’m thinking we need to make sure a Rocky Mountain NALM happens one of these years. Or maybe even a Vegas repeat? Next year will be the 10-year anniversary of the last Vegas NALM and most of the newbies probably weren’t there so we should do it again.

  2. 800 miles from one end of Texas to the other?? Wow. And I thought it was bad having to drive 400 miles from Miami to the Georgia line.

    • I know! Trust me, I kept wondering if the state would ever end! I’m debating about potentially taking a different route home. Maybe I-40 through Oklahoma as opposed to I-20 all the way through Texas again.

  3. That Cowpokes store in Cisco sounded entertaining. All those pumps though!! I’d be typh🌀🌀ning for days

  4. As one of your resident food snob friends… this time, no judgement at all on the cinnabon and chocolate muffin. Bad for you, but so yummy. SO YUMMY!!

    On a serious note, safe travels. Looking forward to following this thread!

    • Thanks, Tim! Yeah today’s final stretch to Atlanta should only be about 9 or so hours – but I’m losing ANOTHER time zone which sucks. I’ve already lost 2 hours to that! Really plays with my mental clock. The good news is I’ll gain all those hours back when I make the return trip.

  5. Midnight Mystery Says:

    So you saw north LA, my backyard!!! Put some MS pictures on there!!!

    What did you think of the bluffs in Vicksburg?

  6. I’m excited to follow along the first (to me) NALM adventure. I’m always surprised with how big Texas is. I mean, CA end to end is a shorter drive than Texas side to side. Not so surprised when it takes forever to drive to almost any other city in TX. haha

  7. I hate the drive thru Texas. Too much of one state! I’d take the northern route home…

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