With one brother in law headed up to Kansas to get back to work, the remaining three of us continue our journey towards Albuquerque on scenic Route 66.
Only about 20 miles west and we came to the town of McLean. Not that it was on my bucket list or anything, but since we were this close to the devils rope museum, we just had to stop and check it out. For those unaware, barbed wire was given the name devils rope by the Native Americans due to homesteaders using it to stake out their land.
We walked around and learned more than you can imagine about barbed wire before we decided to take a few pictures. We had special a passenger riding with us for this entire time, as you can see in the picture with the barbed wire, we had sock monkey with us.
My brother in laws grandson was 3 and had asked him to take the monkey with him everywhere he went. So, we decided to get pictures of sock monkey at various locations throughout the ride and share them with Preston when we got home.
When we were done looking around the Museum, we went right up the road to the fully restored Phillips 66 gas station. Not a large building, but it was pretty cool to see the historic structure, old gas pumps, and the old gas truck. This was just the beginning of us viewing some incredibly historic buildings and learning even more about American history and the Mother Road, Route 66.
Just a short 8 miles further up the road, Route 66
becomes a dirt road and is now private property. So we jumped onto I 40 and rode the 15 miles to jump the “Jericho Gap”.
On our way to Groom, Texas, we saw the most bizarre thing…the “Leaning Tower of Texas”. This water tower is leaning heavily and I am a bit perplexed that it has not fallen over…yet.
Only 16 more miles up the road and we stopped again. We have all heard of the Cadillac Ranch, but how many of you have ever heard of the “Bug Farm”? Just off of the highway, there are some Volkswagen Bugs buried nose first. Over the years , just like Cadillac Ranch, people leave their mark on the bugs for all to see…and we were no exception.
After we all signed the cars and played around at the old abandoned gas station, we jumped back on our bikes to see what else we could find!
Just as we began to leave Conway, Interstate 40 drops from site and we were transported back in time as we rode down Route 66. The pace is a little slower and the road is a little rougher, but it was well worth it.
The Big Texan
We were all getting a little hungry so we figured we would stop in Amarillo to grab something to eat. What we had not counted on was the Big Texan. If you can manage to eat the 72 ounce steak meal, you eat for free. Sounds easy enough, right?
Wrong! You only have one hour and you have to eat the entire meal consisting of a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, roll, salad, and 72 OZ steak.
After reading the rules, we decided that we were not THAT hungry and settled on an average size burger and fries. Soon after eating and looking around the gift shop, we headed towards the Cadillac Ranch.
As it was only another 10 miles up the road, we made it there pretty fast. We parked the bikes and walked out to see what this place was all about.
In 1974 a group of artists from San Francisco were in Potter County Texas buying and burying 10 Cadillacs in the middle of a wheat field. 39 years later, we came along to add our signatures to the cars along with millions of others. This is not actually the original place the cars were buried, they got moved here in 1997 because the land they were on two miles east just became to valuable. We spent a bit of time here goofing around and looking at the cars, but figured we better get back on the road.
We jumped back on the bikes and unfortunately had to use Interstate 40 because most of old Route 66 is now dirt or just gone.
Soon we were in Adrian, Texas which is the geographical middle of Route 66 with 1139 miles to get to Los Angeles and 1139 miles to get to Chicago. Other than that small claim to fame, Adrian did not have much to offer.
Into New Mexico
After crossing back and forth over I 40 to stay on Route 66 and off of the dirt roads, we finally approached Tucumcari and again felt like we had stepped back in time.
We stopped to admire some of the old buildings and general “awesomeness” of this little town. Then we came across the Tee Pee Curios and had to go check it out.
This place has the nicest people working there and they are full of information! Even if you don’t buy anything, they will chat with you and give you advice on other things to see along the way.
We jumped back on the bikes and continued west. One again the road gets to rough to ride so we were forced onto I 40 for a while.
“The Blue Hole”
We had heard of this amazing “swimming hole” just outside of Santa Rosa New Mexico that we could not resist going to. We worked our way through town and finally arrived at it…this was way better than anyone could have put into words! While many refer to it as a swimming hole, this is actually one of seven lakes that connect underground. This wonder has an 80′ diameter, an 82′ depth and it flows 3000 gallons of water per minute!
Take my word for it, when you are riding in more than 100º heat, the 62º water is a welcome sight!
Now that we had a refreshing pit stop, it was time to keep moving. Back through town and onto the I 40. Route 66 is in really bad shape (and no longer exists) at this point of the trip. After about 80 miles, the road began to to climb and finally reached it’s summit after Edgewood. We descended down the mountain and enjoyed the awesome vistas and twisty forest road until we finally reconnected with the original Route 66 just south of I 40. We continued down the boulder strewn slopes until we arrived in Albuquerque and found a K.O.A. to stay at. We opted for the cabin this time as we didn’t really want to chance having a snake curl up with us in our sleeping bags! Besides, it gave us a chance to grab a shower and enjoy some much needed relaxation time.
In the morning we will grab some coffee and head to Flagstaff, Arizona. Until then, keep the shiny side up!