Thursday, October 13, 2022

Covering the Panhandle of Texas, Route 66, and on to New Mexico!

Dear Family & Friends,

Today we covered some ground! First thing we did in Clinton, OK. was get some breakfast and headed over to the Route 66 Museum. A nostalgic museum with lots of history, fun times and places, and many things I grew up with.. Again making me feel old….

From there we got on our bikes and within an hour we were in the panhandle of Texas. As soon as you enter Texas you notice a difference in the landscape. More arid and flat. I think many state and country boarders are a function of geography.  Another difference was a  road sign promoting a local restaurant that offers a 72oz. steak!! Now that is Texas size and then some!

There is not a lot to see in the panhandle region so we rode most of the day. We did stop for lunch and has a terrific Texas style BBQ brisket sandwich. They do know how to BBQ! From there we headed off on a back road to avoid the freeway. Once we were in the middle of no where Brian noticed he was out of gas so headed back to somewhere and topped up. From there it was getting late so we decided to take the freeway the rest of the day. Only about an hour by freeway, the other route would have been 2+ hours.

As we crossed the state a few things I noticed.

-The ranches are HUGE. Reminded me of North Fork from the Dallas TV show.

-There is a LOT of cattle here!

-We passed a feed lot that seemed to go for ever completely full of cattle. The smell almost knocked me off my bike.

-Surprising for an oil producing state there are a LOT of wind powered electric generators here. They must be good.

-You don’t want to be a “Liberal” in northern Texas. See photo below

-The people we talked to were very friendly and had a great Texas accent.

-People here are hard working. There simply are no easy jobs and no welfare. I met a young women when we stopped for coffee. She was working two jobs to put herself through college with a Health Care Administration degree. That is impressive!

By late afternoon we passed into New Mexico and picked up an hour as we crossed into a new time zone.

Tonight we are staying in Tacumara, NM on the old route 66. Kind of sad the town is only a couple miles long but it is falling apart from one end to the other. Every hotel we looked at needed repairs. Many business are gone and those that are here look like they are barely making it. Tourism on Route 66 isn’t what it used to be.

Tomorrow we are riding up into the mountains to Taos, NM, a quaint artist town with a very old town square all made of adobe and full of locally made jewelry and arts and crafts. From there we go down the mountain through the Turquoise Belt back to Santa Fe. I am hoping I can find something special for Bonnie for supporting me in my wild trips.

We should be in New Mexico for at least a few days exploring the mountains and national forests here. It is a beautiful state.


Welcome to the museum.

Lots of memorabilia. 
These are all re-prints of Rt66 post cards.

You can thank Kansas for the parking meter, they invented it! Who would have thought in the 1930s parking was already a problem, specially in Kansas.

Imagine crossing the country in a car like this. And most nights you camped out because in the 1930s there weren't many motels and during the depression who could afford one?

Now that GROOVY and FAR OUT!! 
A car from my era as a young man,

Gun control even back then..Actually our country had many gun control laws from the very beginning. It is only since the 1970s when the NRA/Gun manufactures started promoting guns as a fanatical cult that gun laws started getting repealed.

I remember going there. :)

Interesting fact. This motel is located at the very end of route 66. 
It was located right where the Santa Monica pier and route 66 meet which is officially the end of route 66. 
Another interesting fact is that it was built in the 1950s by my grandfather and he owned and operated it until the 1970s! He then sold it and retired. It is gone now as the land became too valuable so it was torn down and a bigger hotel was built there. I can remember as a small boy going there and my grandpa letting me swim in the pool. Right behind it was located the original Muscle Beach Gym. I used to walk back there and watch these giant men work out. I never had any desire to look like them.
Real Texas Brisket!

You can order a sandwich with either sliced or chopped brisket.

The great vastness of northern Texas. this is more on the New Mexico side where you start to see some elevation changes.

I guess I better not tell them I am from California!

All over the country the main street of small towns are boarded up and slowly wasting away. The affects of Walmarts everywhere, Amazon, and other large chains. Kind of sad. When I moved to San Luis Obispo in 1969 the downtown was for shopping not tourism. I knew most merchants downtown by name. There was a men's clothing store run by two brothers. It was called Green Brothers Clothing. When I used to go there they greeted me by my name, new what size I wore and what styles I liked. Those days are gone.

Did I mention there a LOT of cows in Texas!!

Wind generators everywhere.

Steak on the hoof.


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