Little Break from the RoadSeptember 19, 2016 in the United States
I've been trying to catch up my blog for some time now, and decided to skip ahead to today, as to finally write in the moment. I'm currently sitting in the light of the moon in the mountains of the Bandeliere National Park, which we plan to visit tomorrow. To back track a little, Jack has been looking for an excuse to drive up to Santa Fe ever since Stu spoke highly of it in Chicago. As we arrived at the New Mexico visitors office yesterday, the lady told us the original Route 66 did the loop up to Santa Fe, which was later bypassed with the I-40 going straight to Albuquerque from Santa Rosa. This was Jack's excuse, given to her on a silver platter, route 66 did go to Santa Fe. In her defense, both Texas and now New Mexico have been very "drive" oriented, and by that I mean I think we stopped 4, maybe 5 times throughout Texas, and we haven't really stopped in New Mexico other then Tucumcari and Santa Rosa. So by the looks of it, we can afford the detour, time wise.
Our two stops yesterday - Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. Tucumcari was the first actual town we saw in New Mexico, seeing as we passed about 3 ghost towns on our way in. These ghosts towns consisted of a few boarded buildings, a few foundations of what used to be buildings, and a house or two with people living in it. That's right, we passed a town of population ranging around 5 for the last 50 years. So, Tucumcari, demonstrated one heck of an effort in keeping the route 66 traditions alive. Tons of old signs along the main route, old motels including the famous Blue Swallow Motel.
Much like my beloved SuperTAM was closed (cafe and superman museum in one), Jack's dinosaur museum was also closed. I thought she might cry, again much like I almost did. Small town dinosaur museum, how can you not want to stop by? Then Santa Rosa, large in area, small in population. We dropped by the Blue Whole, natural massive water pit that was 60ft wide and 80ft deep. Water was freezing so we went to their local lake (more like a pond) for a quick swim, it's brutally hot out during the day. And you know those curiosity showers at the beach side, usually used for sand removal? Well we showered in them. Like really showered. Shampoo and soap at the beach side. Why not?
Seeing as, like the rest of New Mexico, there isn't much to see along the route to Santa Fe, it took us an hour and a half to get there from Santa Rosa. I was panicking because I didn't realise that for an entire hour of that drive, we wouldn't cross a single gas station along the highway. My gas light turned on by the time I saw that gas station, boy was I happy to see it!
New Mexico, much like Texas, has been vast lands of nothing... Very dry soil of course, more green bushes then Texas, but still dry. We can see the beginning of mesas, giving beautiful texture to the land that was so, so flat in Texas.
Santa Fe was very interesting. The old historic center was filled with white rich folks and fancy old vacationers. Expensive restaurants around the Plaza. Old churches to visit.
Then you have the Rail Yard area of town. Not too far, along the rail road tracks, is a bunch of hipster, earthy folks with bars and cute shops. We happen to be there during the AHA Festival, which gave way to a band on stage and booths filled with art exhibits. I've suddenly entered the gay world! Who knew, the south had gays. Had our diner siting on a patio, enjoying the live band before walking around, and driving out to find a Days Inn to park our car and sleep for the night.
We returned to the Plaza in the morning to see what it was like during the day, and not much different. This was after I brought my friend Ferby (the car) into the garage! The little sucker decided to turn on the engine light yesterday, and seeing as we are doing quite a bit of mileage, I wanted to have it checked out. The wonderful, wonderful man Roudy at the shop plugged his little computer in - Code P0326. Apparently, I asked too much of my motor. Seems as though I may have put low quality gas, or more likely - I didn't turn off the "eco drive" when going up hills. So he cleared it, and said not to worry if it happens again, just to eventually have it checked again, make sure it's the same code, and to turn off eco drive when going up hills.
Apparently, us catching up on time meant we needed to delay ourselves again. So we decided to make a further detour to Banderliere National Monument. At this point, I know very little about it, other then there's really pretty mountains along the way, and an old community used to live in the rocks. So I took my "eco drive" off as recommended. Sure enough, while going uphill, the check engine light came back on. I assume it might be the added weight in the car... Who knows. I'll have to have it checked again. Roudy said I needed to buy a stranger a cup of coffee in his name as his payment, so I guess I'll have to buy two!Read more