Today was the first day of my solo road trip from Dallas to Indio, California; I made it all the way to Tucumcari, New Mexico. It was the longest day of driving I'll be doing all week because Texas has an unfortunately low stock of cool cities and, more importantly, weird roadside attractions. It's also a bit startling how disparate the landscapes of Texas and New Mexico are. Texas has, well, nothing and then literally the instant you drive under the bright yellow "Welcome to New Mexico!" sign, BAM purple desert and rocky plateaus. I think that's probably how they decided on the borders.
OK, Texas is not terrible. I stopped in Amarillo to see Cadillac Ranch which was VERY cool. When you're driving on the interstate, the installation looks like a few bumps on the endless dirt stretch, and then you're like wait --was that--whaaat?
Those crazy Amarillo winds!
A very cool cowboy statue was cropped out of this picture because upon further inspection, I discovered his t-shirt says "2nd Amendment Cowboy." No.
My destination for the day was Tucumcari, New Mexico. The town of 2,000 motel rooms! The town of murals! (One of these is an advertising lie.) This town is very very small. There's the main drag (on historic Route 66) and the buildings thin out pretty much immediately as you move out from the road. It takes 5 minutes to drive through.
I stayed at the beautiful Blue Swallow Motel, running since 1941. I'm wondering how I've ever chosen to stay at a hotel chain when places like this exist. My room had a sitting room, a bedroom, a bathroom with a shower, and then another room for the pink claw foot tub.
I talked to the woman who owns and works the Tee Pee Curios shop. She and her husband are from Iowa, and were married at the Blue Swallow (above); they fell in love with the town, bought the Curios shop and moved to Tucumcari. That's what people do for this town. I wouldn't say it's like being taken back in time (not old enough to make that assertion), I would say it's like a suspension of reality here. Nothing makes sense. There are claw foot bath tubs in motel rooms, guys. It's just way better.
Oh yeah! And I bought a cool-ass rug here.