Out of the Panhandle and into New Mexico

First stop today just outside Amarillo was the Cadillac Ranch. Lots of volatile compounds in the air as the thing to do is add some graffiti. Unfortunately everyone just dumps their spray paint can in the field afterwards. The owner (recently accused of pedophilia) has also created some whacky signs which are dotted around the neighbourhood. In big ranching country here – I even spotted a horse motel. We stopped at Adrian’s Midpoint Cafe for elevenses (his pies are famous) and although it’s not really our midpoint (we are doing the Santa Fe loop, Canyon de Chelley, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas) there was a sense of achievement. Even before we crossed into New Mexico, rocky outcrops started to make a welcome appearance out of the prairie and soon we saw Tucumari mountain appearing in the distance and I am looking forward to New Mexico landscapes. Tucumari has many motels; some looking better than others and is a town that has clearly seen better times but is trying hard to overcome this. Lots of murals around town. As we gained an hour (now on Mountain Time) we arrived here early but it was Sunday everything was shut so checked in early to rest before hunting out an evening meal. Ended up at the Pow Wow Inn & Lizard Lounge. I would patronise the local bookshop tomorrow morning but as it does not open until 11.30am and we need to be back on the road before then.

Cadillac Ranch 2Cadillac Ranch 4Ghost town 2Panhandle landscape

Into cowboy country

Exiting Oklahoma City this morning we very quickly left the Expressway and crossed the restored Lake Overholser Bridge and drove along the lakeside. Back on the four lane R66 and out of the city the landscape is getting more prairie-like. R66 runs back and forth on north and south frontage roads alongside I44 and into the small towns along the way. We crossed the South Canadian River on a long bridge which has a beach underneath and judging by the graffiti and litter, is well-used. Elk City has the National Route 66 museum which is pretty good. The small sample of various types of barbed wire therein is enough – you only need to visit the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean devoted to this topic if you have Aspergers. We soon crossed into the Texas panhandle and are now very clearly in cowboy land. Groom has a huge cross billed as the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere towering over it. On the outskirts of Amarillo I saw some of the longest goods trains I have ever seen.  We had a great evening catching up with Seah Lim, meeting Mandy and two of their children and enjoying their hospitality at the Big Texan and their home. Hope we can reciprocate soon.

.Prairie near WeatherfordRoadside SunflowersBig Texan in AmarilloBig steak place Amarillo