Monday, 5 September 2016

Day 9: Albuquerque NM - Winslow AZ

Farewell then.
Scorching Plains™ of New Mexico.

It would seem that
You are behind us now.

But are you?

["Yes. Yes, they are" - Ed.]
Well, not straight away as the pre-1937 alignment of Route 66 avoids the main east-west corridor currently occupied by boring old I-40 and instead shoots off south of Albuquerque before looping back north across the Scorching Plains™ to rejoin the interstate at Mesita, which is out of Scorching Plains™ territory and into what can best be referred to as badlands.  There is not much to be seen along this stretch, to be honest, unless you're hellbent on following the guidebooks to the letter.  And if you do that you might end up somewhere completely not on Route 66 at all, such as Pie Town.  Which I visited in 2003 and thus saw no need to visit again.
Pie Town NM in 2003, yesterday
One notable thing was this:
which is, let's face it, a Dalek.  Since New Mexico has not been exterminated I can only suppose it serves some other purpose these days, though Dog knows what.  And this:
which sometimes claims to be the highest spot on the whole road, but isn't because that's somewhere just west of Flagstaff.

Gallup saw the two thousandth mile of the trip roll over on the way into town.  It has claimed to be the World's Largest Indian Trading Center in the past but if you're not in the market for that kind of thing you may instead find yourself wondering why a local scrappy is advertising his business with this:
Ron Weasley never did get the hang of parking
Yes, a Ford Anglia 105E.  Colour me baffled.

So.  Arizona.  Initially it's promising:
Contemplate the non-Plainlike aspect of the landscape hereabouts.  Shortly after crossing the state line you pass the Painted Forest and the Petrified Desert, or perhaps it is the other way round.  I went there in 2003 as well.  It was raining.  What do petrified forests see to make them all so scared?1

Omnes: So, ML Maire, duz teh Arizona haz teh Scorching Plains™ 2?
ML Maire: That has been left as an xersize 4 teh readuh!

Next port of call is Holbrook, which is most notable for being:
  • the current eastern end of the (official) American Truck Simulator universe, and
  • the home of the famous Wigwam Motel
In the former you can stay at the latter but in the real world it's not so easy and often requires booking a fortnight in advance.  Anyway, a Wigwam Motel looks very much like this:
The tepees are made of concrete, BTW.  It was built in 1950 and used to be one of seven on Main Street USAnia, but ended up being the only one left until the one in San Bernardino was done up.  There are some wik old cars dotted around the place too.  After Holbrook is the eagerly anticipated Jackrabbit Trading Post:
There used to be a myriad of signs all along Route 66 giving the distance to the place but like much along the way they have gorn, vanished, disparu like Mother's mink.  And finally into Winslow, famed in song and legend.  Well, song anyway.  Thanks to J Browne and G Frey having mentioned it in "Take It Easy", wot was the Eagles first single.  Which eventually caused the place to do this:
Only took 'em 27 years.  Anyway, I have been to Winslow before in, you guessed it, 2003.  And I thought I stayed in the same hotel as I'm in tonight, but am clearly mistaken, because the. car park is a different shape.  And I had a visitation from the P*nct*r* Fairy.  In 2003, not today.  That would be too much.  California tomorrow, and I know from a Several of previous visits that the first bit of it contains Scorching Plains™ in abundance, otherwise known as The Desert.

Since by the time this is read anywhere east of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge it will already be tomorrow, I shall take this opportunity to wish Professor Larrington a happy birthday.  Whether she reads this is a different matter altogether, as she is on her holibobs in Georgia.  The one famed for its moustachioed communist dictators, not peaches and the Ratmobile.
  1. Readers who recognise the origin of that joke are invited to keep their traps shut.


  1. Certainly The Doctor will drop in to take care of our wayward Dalelk and that suspicious looking chap on the corner.

    1. I am told that the Dalek is actually some sort of giant economy sized incinerator for stuff like tree bark and the wire mesh on the top is to stop stray sparks from setting New Mexico ablaze.

      I preferred it when it was a Dalek,

    2. Does it make it better if I say that at night they look like a steampunk vision of dante's inferno or something from Mad Max, with the mesh glowing red?

    3. Only a little bit. Besides, there's little enough to burn out on the Scorching Plains™ of New Mexico because the sun's already done it. I suspect more sinister things are afoot.

  2. Thanks for birthday greetings, having a great time. Off to Stalin Museum tomorrow, hurrah. Today went up Worst Road Ever Seen. Worse than Iceland. With cows. To Gergeti. Worth it though!