Sunday July 13, 2008
Viva Las Vegas
Yes. I am in Las Vegas. I started picking up mileage signs for Las Vegas this afternoon. I thought,” This is weird. I have been driving for five days and I am 50 miles from Las Vegas!” That is a long one day drive from where I started. Then I took comfort in the fact that while I was hopelessly lost I was making excellent time.
As it turns out I am in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Who would have thought that there was another Las Vegas? I am roomed in what can only be described as a motor court from days gone by. It is a big circle of rooms with an unpaved parking lot in the middle. The parking lot is gravel and that runs right up to the door of the room. Cool. When I stopped at the desk to ask for a room the guy told me he had one room left for the night. Judging by the looks of things there must be about forty rooms occupied by ghosts because there is no one here. It is a fairly nice room and in all likelihood I will leave with my kidneys in the morning.
So glad they were able to squeeze me in
But I get ahead of myself. I got up this morning kind of late because I had lost an hour to Mountain Time somewhere along the way. I had breakfast with my Air Force buddies who were all going off to the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest. I was in the Air Force for 8 years and never got to go the Grand Canyon. I am so hurt.
I loaded up the bike on a cool morning which was threatening more rain. I got on 66 and motored to the Continental Divide. I have no idea what the Continental divide was until I read the sign.
There will be a quiz on this later
I followed the road to Grants and Laguna but things started to get messy there.
The interstate highways overlay a lot of Route 66 in New Mexico. Some of the parts that are still there just lead out into the desert and sort of vanish into sand and brush. It was very difficult to navigate. One thing I have learned is that when one is on Route 66, the railroad is right next to you. It seems to have been paralleling the road since California. Having known that I would have taken Amtrak.
The other thing I have noticed is that the interstate is about 500 yards away most of the time. I wondered what kind of political shenanigans made them give up on a right of way of Route 66, with a built in infrastructure of gas stations and motels and move the Interstate 500 yards away. It seems like they would have stuck to what they had and just improved it.
Route 66 goes every which way in New Mexico. I made a choice to take the loop that goes up through Santa Fe and was glad I did. While quite a bit longer, the drive was great. The skies cleared and the temperature stayed in the mid 70’s. I was at about 7000 feet of elevation all day and that helped make the temperature pleasant. And Santa Fe has to be one of the best kept secrets in the US. What a nice village they have there with real narrow streets and abode buildings filled with shops. It requires further exploration.
I went to Pecos just because it was a part of RT 66 that I could find and I remember some character named Pecos Pete. I think he may have moved because I did not see him. I tried finding other little loops of Route 66 but it all got confusing and I ended up in Las Vegas.
The Recluse Spyder continues to draw attention. I am actually getting tired of it. Imagine me tired of attention! Now I just tell everyone that all the super heroes have one. But the scooter is working fine. It needed a drink of that $15 quart BRP oil today.
I feel like I am going too fast, yet I am stopping to see whatever I want to see. I don’t shop for souvenirs because I have no place to put them. Besides the Indian rugs are actually rugs-not hairpieces. I don’t need a rug.
I had another 300 mile day today and have traveled 1600 miles overall. And I am not half way yet. I think getting lost so often and my little side excursions are adding up.
But the scooter is working fine. I am in good shape with no aches or pains. No one has murdered me. So it’s all good.
Which way will I be flowing now?