Halfway There...
Monday, June 25, 2007
Halfway There...
The day started out great!  We got our 6 am start, and did not miss our free breakfast. (They started serving early.)
Promised rain has not yet arrived.  While the humidity was high, the air was cool and refreshing as we left Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  We attempted more old Route 66 cutoffs today, with almost disastrous results.  Arriving at San Jon (pronounced san hone) looking for gas, we found one station deserted and the other out of order.  We continued on the cutoff, hoping for more towns with gas stations.  Unfortunately, we ran out of road… and had to backtrack about 10 miles to San Jon to find an access to the Interstate.
As we headed for Texas, Ron realized we had only 20 miles’ worth of gas – and no towns on the horizon.  We pulled off the highway, and confirmed with a passing motorist that it was 40 miles to the nearest gas station.  It looked like we would have to call AAA and waste half a day waiting for them.  Suddenly, an inspiration…  About a mile back on the Interstate, we had seen a construction crew building a new highway rest area.  We headed back west, found a low shoulder area, and Harley bravely traveled through weeds and loose soil to approach the construction crew.  We offered to buy a gallon of gas, and a helpful stranger agreed – then refused payment. Whoever you are… we thank you!  Our fuel would have run out before we reached the next supply.  Harley found a shortcut back to the road through a field, and we were on our way.
Once we fueled, we realized we were back on the old route.  We followed it to Adrian, Texas, site of the Midpoint Café, which is supposed to be the exact center of Route 66.  It’s a nice little restaurant and souvenir shop, and they serve a killer cobbler!  By the way, although this may be the midpoint of Route 66, I have to keep reminding myself that we drove about 500 miles before we started our actual voyage.
We continued on the official route to the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas.  There, we spent some “photo op” time at the Cadillac Ranch.  What a strange and wonderful art piece!  Ten old Cadillacs buried nose deep in the soil….  In addition, the owner welcomes graffiti, and all of those cars are covered in numerous layers of spray paint.  This has become so much of a tradition that half of the visitors we saw there came prepared with aerosol cans of paint.  Most had not, apparently, ever seen graffiti…  they just sprayed paint on the cars.
Yes, we drove by the “largest cross in the western hemisphere” and the “leaning water tower.”  These were interesting to see, but not worth a stop.  We’re still trying to beat the rain, and our own schedule.
We arrived in Clinton, Oklahoma, about 4:30 pm.  As we were searching for a motel, we drove right by the Route 66 Museum.  Why not?  We turned around and checked it out.  The place is really very interesting.  It has memorabilia and exhibits (with appropriate piped-in music) organized by decades related to the history and culture of Route 66.  There were reconstructions of a roadside garage, a “tourist camp,” a ‘50s diner, etc.  The whole thing culminated in a movie narrated by Bobby Troup, the writer of the song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”
Time to sign off.  We’re comfortably settled in our motel room, relaxing and planning tomorrow’s journey.