Is over. Karma got me. I was rubbing in the fact that it was 58 and 15 percent humidity yesterday. Today didn't drop to double digits until the sun went down. Won't happen again. Back to Tucumcari.
Headin' west out of Amarillo on I-40 is pretty cool. Metaphorically speaking. It was hotter than the hinges to the gates of hell. But as one sped westward seeking relief that was not there the view south was straight out of Pixar Studios Cars. The shapes of the buttes and or mesas was a great source of entertainment for everyone since we like the movie Cars so much. The first wide spot of note is Tucumcari. Old 66 is main street and again it takes no imagination to step right in to the movie. More than a dozen old "retro" motels advertising rooms for $24.95 a night, a few painted up gas stations and tons of 50's and 60's worn out chunks of Detroit iron. I had a ball. I was alone. Much to my disapproval it was back to the interstate for us. I suppose my incessant whining won out and our new target was "Historic Santa Rosa" I was positively giddy as we made the exit ramp. I was looking for some vintage memories. My wife was not. As we headed farther westward on 66 our options faded. OK time for a 180. We ended up in a stinkin' ass Motel 6. The price was right and that's where it ended. Obviously the No Smoking sign on the door is just a suggestion to some dumbass' and the Clerk could not have been less helpful and still maintained a pulse. Fine. Tom Bodett, Turn the lights out on this one pal. A nice dinner at the Silver Moon cafe, right across the street, was in order. Damn my rotten luck. After waaaaaaaay too long a wait we were treated to so-so Mexican food and one genuinely shitty margarita. And it looked like such a good place to put a restaurant. Not my business but I'd a moved a load of that cheap Chinese junk out of the way and put in another row of benches. But that's just me. Note to self Tucumcari next time. NOT "Historic Santa Rosa". Moving on.
A few words about our ride. It is a 2016 Jeep Compass. If you know me you know I love my Jeep. I don't even like this Compass. Poor design of the driver seat makes spending more than three hours in the seat a chore. I'm not a big guy. I have calluses' on both knees where I'm trapped. The seat itself is ok it just lacks adjustments suitable for a long ride. Let alone a road trip. If you spend any time in the back seat you will first notice there is no center arm rest. That by itself is a deal breaker. The mileage is ok too but at 23/24 on the hi-way it's short of the 30 mpg advertised. All the way around it might be good for daily bopping around town but that's where it stops.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Our next stop was another not on the original but turned out to be awesome. Fire and Ice was the phrase on the billboard and the Ice had my attention. At Grant New Mexico head south about 20 miles. It is run by the Candelaria family and some live on site. Go right from the office and you can truck up the caldera of a volcano that blew up just 10,000 years ago. And with my 90 year old knees it almost didn't even hurt. Ahhh but the best part is if you go left there are two places, one you can walk down into, called ice caves. Yep. Ice. Some smart geologist can tell you why it's there, naturally, but I can tell you it was better than A/C. All I needed was a sleeping bag. Onwards. We drove through the Petrified Forest. Bunch of rocks. They need to work on their PR. Flew through the Painted desert. On the Winslow Az and the meteorite crater. It was only 109 when we got there so most of that time was spent indoors. That and the goddam flying, biting ants that were all over everybody.
It was very cool to watch the massive rain clouds across the barren landscape. That barren needs to be spelt with a capital B. To see lightning 100 miles away is weird but cool. See the flash but don't hold your breath waiting for the thunder clap. We came into the Grand Canyon National Park from the "wrong" end. Meaning we had to drive through the entire length of this section of the park(26 miles) at 20 mph to get to our hotel that was 2 miles outside the park on the other end. We snuck in a few quick peeks but we were ready for the day to be over. Much like now. See you tomorrow and well talk about the second most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life.
PS Jim, Stop by when y'all get back in town. Let's have a scotch on me.
Welcome to our little slice of paradise! Clear Lake Shores is probably one of the best kept secrets in the entire Bay Area. Yes we are an island. We are surrounded by Clear Lake, Jarbo Bayou and the Lazy Bend canals. Plug this in to Google Maps and you'll see what I mean 29.32' by 95.01' We are about half way between Galveston Island and the city of Houston and located in north Galveston county. I will try to keep us up on all the goings on that we can walk, boat, bike or drive our golf carts to. Very few things pi$$ me off but one of them is wasting my precious time. I'll try not to waste yours. Enjoy. ab