Day Two, Santa Fe, NM
Today’s travel has taken me into the western half of New Mexico, which provides an abundance of views that are breathtaking (whether the photos are or not). Actually, I can barely tell what’s in these photos, as the software I’m using presents them as images smaller than postage stamps. You’ll also have to forgive tilting and in some cases poor aim – all were taken by simply holding up the camera, without benefit of either viewfinder or LCD display. Just shootin’ blind and hoping one turns out! Regardless, there’s no way to drive I-40 through this state without gawking like a rube in the big city for the first time. Fast transport through this state is a waste of life.
It has, however, given me the second item on my bucket list. The first was to attend some of the land speed record attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. No explanation needed there. The second is to hit some portions of decommissioned old Route 66, otherwise known as Historic Route 66 that officially ended its last segment in 1985. As I drove along I-40, I kept seeing
pieces of it here and there, and signs pointing to it at this exit and that made their siren call.
There’s no practical way to feel your way along old 66, since it was an ever-changing hack job from the start, and much of it is now dirt, dead ends, and mystery trails. While I drove along, I figured that somebody somewhere must have researched and pieced together a GPS map plastered with waypoints that navigate the old route(s), and they did. One guy has apparently done it in 2006, though it’s from cobbled-together info, not from actual travel. There are pieces further west that maybe you can take, and maybe you can’t, depending on your vehicle. But still, it’s quite something. Other GPS maps exist, but they merely assemble various businesses and tourist traps as waypoints to stop and see. It’s the revenue approach. This approach gets awfully thin in New Mexico and Arizona, since vast stretches of 66 here are devoid of anything to use as an attraction reference. Nothing but ghost towns too rotted away to even dot the landscape. That’s what I want to see, not warmed over and updated “nostalgia” stops that lack any authenticity. The trailer will make much of the route impractical, but I hope to do what I can, when I can. Future project.
The one above is apparently lava, and there’s plenty of it all over for miles. A nearby RV park is called “Lavaland”, and the long rivulets of broken-apart black rock are amazing. One more thing to stop for – when I have time.