Route 66 – 2

Progress to date:

Thursday – Tulsa OK to Oklahoma City OK

Friday – Oklahoma City OK to Shamrock TX

Saturday – Shamrock TX to Tucumcari NM

Sunday – Tucumcari NM to Santa Fé NM

Monday – Santa Fé NM

Tuesday – Santa Fé NM

Wednesday – Santa Fé NM to Albuquerque NM

 

Motel morning, Shamrock

Motel morning, Shamrock

 

Colourful, Santa Fé

Colourful, Santa Fé

 

Junk, Shamrock

Junk, Shamrock

 

Morning shadow, Tucumcari

Morning shadow, Tucumcari

 

Autumn near Taos

Autumn near Taos

 

Workshop, Shamrock

Workshop, Shamrock

 

We had all manner of good intentions for our rest day in Tulsa and ended up achieving almost nothing. The weather was wet and the temperature down by a good 10C over the previous few days, so a warm hotel room and some essential catching up was called for.

 

On Thursday our Toyota Yaris decided that Xmas was near and started lighting up its dashboard with festive looking warning lights signifying low tyre pressure, cold temperatures and finally, a servicing warning. Rather than risk a complete meltdown, we decided to head straight to the car rental office near Oklahoma City’s airport and seek advice as to what to do next.

 

The answer was a car change, affected by the extremely helpful guys at Hertz. The Toyota being taken off to get some TLC and us leaving only minutes later in a sIightly roomier Nissan. It was quite late by then and we agreed to head for our nearby hotel, rather than fight the mounting rush hour traffic 20 miles into town for some sightseeing. Good move – we checked-in, relaxed for an hour or so, then headed for the grillhouse across the road, a couple of drinks, a fine rib supper and an early night. Worked for me.

 

Abandoned diner, Newkirk

Abandoned diner, Newkirk

 

Yukon Mills, Yukon

Yukon Mills, Yukon

 

Whatever, Chandler

Whatever, Chandler

 

Poster leftovers, Tulsa

Poster leftovers, Tulsa

 

Wilkerson's, Newkirk

Wilkerson’s, Newkirk

 

Yukon Mills, Yukon

Yukon Mills, Yukon

 

Friday’s run was marked by a series of navigational problems. What should have been an easy exit from Oklahoma City, became an hour long nightmare of wrong turns and mounting marital frustration. Finally, the satnav decided it knew where we were and got us back on track. Just as well, I had twinges of Groundhog Day starting to appear.

 

Then the EZ66 guide book decided that it was going to be BloodyMinded66 and later still, FuckYou66, such were the misleading directions it gave us. Of course, several areas of roadworks didn’t help, just like in the UK, where miles of motorway (Interstate here in the US) had been coned off, but absolutely no workers were in evidence and even less work was actually going on.

 

By Sunday, we were both feeling frustrated by the guide book’s willingness to lead us into the unknown. In response, Mrs P set about Googling a solution and soon found a series of satnav routes derived from EZ66, but which didn’t end up in gravel roads going nowhere, or farm roads leading across private property. Wish we’d done this before leaving home.

 

Desolate, San Jon

Desolate, San Jon

 

You can get there from here, El Reno

You can get there from here, El Reno

 

Parkersburg

Parkersburg

 

Wilkerson's, Newkirk

Wilkerson’s, Newkirk

 

The Blue Swallow Motel, Shamrock

The Blue Swallow Motel, Shamrock

 

Sculpture, Canyon Road, Santa Fé

Sculpture, Canyon Road, Santa Fé

 

Which brings us to Santa Fé, a favourite spot for the next couple of days R&R. I sense some fine food on the horizon…

 

And there was – fine food that is and all too soon our time in America’s arty pueblo was up and we were back on the road to Albuquerque. More of that next time.

 

Art Deco and old New Mexico, Santa Fé

Art Deco and old New Mexico, Santa Fé

 

Abandoned, Tucumcari

Abandoned, Tucumcari

 

Moonset, Shamrock

Moonset, Shamrock

 

Canyon Road, Santa Fé

Canyon Road, Santa Fé

 

66 ruminations

A few seconds of thought will probably provide a logical answer to this one. I’ve always found it weird how when driving in the US, a car/van/truck can be behind, filling my rear view mirror, often for a considerable distance, when the next glance in the mirror shows that it’s completely disappeared.

 

Yeah, I know it will have turned off, but it seems to happen so suddenly; one moment all you can see in the mirror are the chromed slats of a grille and the letters LIBRETE (ETERBIL in the mirror), the next moment, the road behind is completely empty. Even when I don’t recall passing any other roads, or turnings. Odd that.

 

While in Chicago, I made sure of the sunrise time and was on the streets well before 07:00, in good time to grab some early morning light. By the time we reached Cuba, that had inched closer to 07:15. In Oklahoma City, at 07:00 it was still pitch dark outside. Further west, Shamrock TX only sees the sun from 07:47 tomorrow (Saturday).

 

Sunrise in Santa Fé today (Monday) is 07:12 – we’re an hour later here as we’ve crossed into the Mountain Time Zone.

 

America’s road network is great and in the main well maintained. The byways of Route 66 unfortunately don’t enjoy the same level of maintenance and pot holes are everywhere. One I spotted this morning (while making yet another U turn) was so big that I did wonder whether it hadn’t been used to bury the car from the BBC’s drama serial One of us.

 

On the subject of road surfaces, many, many roads employ concrete slabs, with expansion joints between. Easy if you have an American car with soft springs and soggy shock absorbers, but a European (or Japanese) car generally has much stiffer suspension and so there is a lot of b-dum b-dum b-dum road noise and driving any distance can become a bit of a trial for driver and passenger alike.

 

Del's Restaurant, Shamrock

Del’s Restaurant, Shamrock

 

Trump support, Shamrock

Trump support, Shamrock

 

Autumn colour, New Mexico

Autumn colour, New Mexico

 

Wind turbines - Route 66

Wind turbines – Route 66

 

About photographing Route 66; Philippe sent me a blurt after the last post, saying that I should produce more colour images. Well, I’ve done that this time. They are images that I think work well in colour and there’s still some b&w threaded through them all.

 

Pascal suggested a run up to Hernandez, with a view to recreating Ansel Adams famous moonrise shot. Well, we went to scout the location en route from Santa Fé to Taos yesterday, but it doesn’t look quite like it did in Adams day. Idea binned – see below.

 

Not quite how Adams saw Hernandez

Not quite how Adams saw Hernandez

 

Once again, most images have been shot with the Fuji X-Pro2, a couple with the X-Pro1. Favourite lens? Still the 23mm f1.4, with the 90mm f2 and 16mm f1.4 coming into use where appropriate – the latter at the Taos Gorge over the Rio Grande.

 

Junk yard, Shamrock

Junk yard, Shamrock

 

Breakfast friends, Santa Fé

Breakfast friends, Santa Fé

 

Rio Grande - Taos Gorge

Rio Grande – Taos Gorge

 

Rio Grande near Hernandez

Rio Grande near Hernandez

 

Gone, Newkirk

Gone, Newkirk

 

Wilkerson's, Newkirk

Wilkerson’s, Newkirk

 

Tow truck, Shamrock

Tow truck, Shamrock

 

On Route 66

On Route 66

 

Window, McLean

Window, McLean

 

Scrapyard bonnet, Shamrock

Scrapyard bonnet, Shamrock

1 reply
  1. Neale Farley
    Neale Farley says:

    Paul,
    great pictures – particularly liked the motel and prairie shots, colours are fantastic.

    Do you have good maps beside the satnav?

    Cheers, Neale

    Reply

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