Today we drove 285 miles.
We started Day Sixteen with a trip to Cadillac Ranch. I’m a huge Springsteen fan and poor Dana and Allison had to listen to me sing the song all morning. A nice couple gave us their leftover spray paint so we could make our mark on this iconic public art installation.
Allison found it frustratingly difficult to depress the button on the spray can, so Daddy had to help. She was happy with the end result though!
Dana also commemorated his visit (and the reason for the Victory Lap).
Next, we took off on the legendary “Mother Road” – Route 66. It doesn’t look all that momentous, but it was a really cool moment for us. The beginning of Phase Two of the Victory Lap. This is the part we’ve been talking about doing almost from the first days we met. And here we are: RIGHT ON IT!
We passed through Wilderado and Vega and stopped for lunch in Adrian, at the Midpoint Cafe. It’s the oldest continually operating restaurant on Route 66 and it’s called the Midpoint because it is the middle of Route 66. 1,139 miles to Chicago and the same distance to Los Angeles.
After we bought a ton of souvenirs in the gift shop we got back on the road. And…the check engine light came on, and cruise control stopped working.
And this emptiness was all around:
So, we decided that getting stranded in the middle of the Big Empty was probably a bad idea and that we would keep driving until we reached a town that was at least populated enough that a mechanic wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Allison fell asleep and Dana and I listened to the Fight Club audiobook (because I hated Redshirts as soon as they went back in time), and otherwise kept ourselves entertained…
We crossed the border into New Mexico and the landscape is pretty damned enchanting, though the gusts of wind almost blew us off the road.
Again, the space and the beautiful desolation is impossible to capture with a camera phone. Dad, if you’re reading this, you were right. I should have brought a “real” camera.
We ended up stopping for gas in Clines Corner, where we also bought a bunch more stuff we will now have to fit into the car. But seriously, could YOU say no to this?
Or these moccasins? “They’re my two favorite colors: pink and cheetah!”
Yeah, I’m a sucker. Anyway, we filled the tank up (boy did we burn through gas today with the rise in elevation–from 3700 ft in Amarillo to 6700 ft in Albuquerque fighting the wind the whole way) and the car started up again fine and we made it the rest of the way to Albuquerque.
We checked into our hotel, had some dinner, payed a godawful amount of money to watch The Nut Job, and were rewarded with a double rainbow.
Allison’s favorite part of the day was spray painting her finger red.
Gunny’s favorite part was driving down Route 66 to the Midpoint Cafe.
My favorite part was this: