July 22. I'm up early enough. I get some coffee at the local drive through coffee place, and aim back toward Hwy 40. I make a note to myself to come back to Flagstaff. It's a pretty town with a distinct pine smell.
Before I go I take a few pictures of the vintage motorcycles, and meet a few fellow riders. (Note: I ride a motorcycle. It's also German and has horizontally opposed cylinders. Yeah, I guess that makes it a "thing" for me)
Highway 40 runs parallel to the Mother Road - Route 66. It is the freeway that Lightning McQueen referred to when he said that they move the road a few feet to save a few minutes. Years ago, the road was filled with odd tourist traps, strange claims of "worlds largest" or "route 66's longest (insert noun here)".
You can still see most of them from the road. Some of them are worth stopping for, most are not. I've loaded up the ipod for this trip, and have four versions of "get your kicks" on it. I've driving through the towns in reverse order. Barstow was yesterday. I just left Flagstaff. The sign for Winona was slightly smaller than the actual town.
Some of the tourist traps are completely artificial. For instance, twin arrows trading post. You know you have arrived there once you see the...
One tourist stop is not artificial, it is very natural. The Barringer Meteor crater is about a mile wide, and is named after the geologist who spent a quarter century establishing the scientific study of meteors, now known as meteoritics.
This rock weighs about the same as a VW bug.
The tour guide actually uses that reference.
That rock, created this hole.
I'm not the only creature that admires it.
The history of the crater includes some practice for Apollo missions.
I'm back on the road at 7:40, and heading east. More tourist locations all along the road.
There's the worlds longest map of route 66.
There's the petrified forest.
I stop at the one I couldn't pass up, Knife City.
Cars like this one are parked all around it.
The car I'm driving fits in perfectly.
The inside is about what you would expect. There are lots of knives. More accurately, they have all the knives. They wouldn't let me take pictures. They did also sell rocks that were once trees.
I ogle, decide I have enough sharp items, buy a sugar drink and get back on the road. It's 9:00 am and it's starting to get a little warm.
Gallup New Mexico. I've passed over the New Mexico border and did not
see the sign. If it weren't for the song, I may not have ever know.
I try to find that gentle meditation of the road again, but today seems a little different, so I resort to singing really loudly. I make up words to the lyrics I don't know, and find myself laughing at my own jokes. Then I find myself asking if I'm losing my mind since I am now talking to myself. Then I remind myself that I am driving alone on a long straight hot road in the middle of summer, and that I would probably be insane if I weren't talking to myself. Comforted by my own rationalization, I continue looking for tourist traps. Like the Cave dwelling.
And the teepee trading company.
Both places are near the Navajo Wingate village, on the far edge of Navajo Nation. Read about it here on Wikipedia. It's one of several nations within nations of which our nation seems to have no notion.
This guy passed me again.
I've reached Albuquerque. I had to look up the spelling of that town. It has pretty on/off ramps.
Not much is there to keep me entertained beyond that. I use Siri to book me a hotel in Amarillo. It books one in the middle of town, not along the road. Nice hotel, but a little farther out of the way than I wanted.
I have an excellent tex-mex meal, and go to sleep. I'm humming words to my new version of Route 66.
If you, ever plan, to motor east.
Take my car, it will go far, it's a beast.
Forty does not.
Got. A lot.
Don't expect poetry from me at this point, I just drove 608 Miles today.
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