September 5th, 2008 – by: jagnroz
Graffiti-covered street near Tucumcari, NM, high school
We are beginning to get into a routine now. It takes a few days of roadtripping for that to occur. We slept somewhat late and that felt so good. Our hotel offers a full hot breakfast. The front desk clerk told me the service was from 6 to 10 AM. It was, in fact, closed at 9 … lucky for us one of the hotel’s staff let us into the breakfast room. There were plenty of leftovers including scrambled eggs with bits of ham and yummy Belgian waffles. The coffee was actually good for once - motel coffee is notoriously bad! Dishwater! Pooie!
We packed up the car, filled the gas tank and headed east for the great state of Texas.
The traffic has been light today. However many of the truckers are driving their rigs at 80 mph. When you see one of these monsters barreling down on you, it brings back memories of the Spielberg movie, “Duel”. The first time I saw that film I was terrified. Those men (and quite a few women) are nuts. I-80 in Wyoming is littered with burned-out semi trailers. We haven’t seen that on I-40 so far, thank goodness. But perhaps they clean things up more quickly.
One of the bits of graffiti art on Tucumcari street.
We arrived in the great metropolis of Tucumcari, New Mexico, looking for a park to have our lunch. We chose a likely name and asked Roada to guide us. We ended up on a pot-holed gravel road leading into what might be a wilderness area (although there has been a lot of trash dumped there).
Needless to say, there were no picnic tables - no nothin’. The road ended at a gate at the far end of a creek bed! I guided Jag while he turned the car around. It was very tight and there was a sharp drop-off. He did great. We picked out another park and told Roada to go for it. She took us to the high school - no park. Poor girl: she was not having a great day. We chose a third name and, as we turned a corner, found a lovely park next to the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce. What was great fun was looking at all of the graffiti painted on the street … the entire street! The work was probably done by the senior class of the nearby high school. There are some very talented young people represented and their work was delightful.
Part of mural on Western wall of Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce building.
On the road again, speeding along heading eastbound, we arrived in Amarillo, Texas.
The sign at the border of Texas says “Proud home of President George W. Bush”. I wouldn’t advertise that, if I were them! Long before we realized Roada had the listing for the motel we had chosen, we went on a wild goose chase. The coupon we had for the place did not give an address. I checked the GPS again and there it was. We got a room for the grand sum of $38. The place needs a lot of renovation, but it is clean and offers a lot. The management is in the process of updating the place. I would assume that $38 room rate will be a thing of the past. The hotel has a beautiful indoor pool and an atrium that is lovely. We got lucky.
Second half of mural on Chamber of Commerce building in Tucumcari.
We enjoyed a Texas steak dinner at Hofbrau Steakhouse, which was very good.
The waiter recommended the filet mignon, which was fairly small. We split that and ordered some scrumptious shrimp as a side dish. They were also quite good. I had to laugh, though. Texans really do take their reputation seriously. So many of the men were wearing cowboy hats and boots. Their drawl was almost as thick as Dubya's. But the one thing I adore about Texans is their warmth and welcoming nature. They seem to bend over backwards to make sure you are happy. They smile very easily and completely sincerely. Wonderful!
Portion of mural on Eastern wall of Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce building.