Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Almost There!

Tucumcari...Tucumcari... what can I say about Tucumcari...?
 Not a whole lot.
   It's one of those towns on old Rt.66 that time forgot after completion of Interstate 40 back in... I think it was 1957.  A drive through Tucumcari on old Rt.66 is an interesting glimpse into the past. Well, I thought it was cool and interesting - Suzanne just thought it was creepy. There are several abandoned gas ('filling') stations, a couple dozen motels; some still in operation, others long ago abandoned and weather beaten with their once colorful neon signs now rusty and hanging akimbo. A divergence from Rt.66 and into the residential and "Old Town" section of town is, indeed, creepy.  This is a very economically depressed part of New Mexico. If you're considering relocating to Tucumcari, New Mexico... you might want to reconsider.

  That being said, if you're into mid 20th century American pop culture, it's worth a visit. Creepiness notwithstanding, I think it's cool that there are still places like this in existence. I'm a fan of rusty relics of bygone eras.
   I am one!
   Here's a short Youtube video promoting Tucumcari tourism.

   Having arrived Christmas eve afternoon, we had planned to spend Christmas day in Tucumcari. Up to this point, we hadn't spent more than a single night in one location. We have a reservation at Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, California for 12/29 thru 1/5/19. Allie and her new husband, Andy will be in Rancho Mirage 12/30 thru 1/3/19 and we're looking forward to spending a little time with them before they head back home to Maryland. Suzanne and I had to wait a few days after their 12/15 wedding to head out in the coach - so time is of the essence and we've had to maintain an average of 250 miles-per-day in order to arrive on time.
   But I digress...

Cleaning and replacing batteries in malfunctioning tire pressure sensors
(When in Tucumcari...)

   We HAD planned to spend Christmas day in Tucumcari. However, after seeing what Tucumcari had (or hadn't) to offer, upon further consideration, we arose early Christmas Day, prepared the coach for departure and headed further west on I-40 to Albuquerque, NM.

   Enchanted Trails is a Passport America affiliated RV park in Albuquerque. There was a note on the office door advising us that the office had closed Christmas eve and would reopen the day after Christmas and that visitors wanting to spend the night should chose a site, fill out a registration form, place that form and the appropriate amount of cash in the provided envelope and slide it under the office door. We did that, set up and settled in for a lovely, New Mexico Christmas day.
   Cornish hens were on the dinner menu, but having arrived early, around 11am, I made a late breakfast and we watched a little TV - something we'd been unable to do for the previous couple days due to remote RV parks - too far from over-the-air TV antennas. In this park a channel scan was able to memorize 50 channels!
   Following breakfast and some chill time we made the 5 mile drive back east on I-40 to the exit for Historic Old Town Albuquerque. Most of the stores in Old Town were closed because of the holiday but we had a good time browsing the few that were open. Suzanne found a pair of New Mexico themed socks and I found an Albuquerque baseball cap I couldn't live without. We also bought a magnet for our collection. Returning to the coach, we began preparing our Christmas feast and cracked open a bottle of champagne. It was a good Christmas.

   Flagstaff, Arizona lies 325 to the west of Albuquerque on Rt.40. The Flagstaff weather forecast called for snow both Thursday & Friday. Wanting to beat the bad weather to Flagstaff, we decided not to stay an extra day in Albuquerque as we had planned and instead, got an early (7am) start and, after taking on 110 gallons of diesel fuel at the nearby Love's service area, rolled out onto the interstate.
   As it turned out, the forecasters were wrong - at least about the Albuquerque area weather. Clear skies were forecast for today. However, we weren't 10 miles into our trip when it started snowing. At times, heavily - and some of it was sticking. There was a serious accident on the east bound side of the highway - a tandem tractor trailer overturned, completely blocking both lanes of traffic. It didn't look like there was any way of detouring traffic around the accident and I'm sure it was at a stand still for hours. Glad I wasn't headed east.

   It was a long drive. The speed limit on this section of I-40 is 70 & 75. I did 55 and 60 for the majority of the trip. It cleared up after 150 miles or so but as we neared Flagstaff I could see the road had just been treated in anticipation of more bad weather and icy driving conditions.
  Change of plans.
  We had planned to stay at a campground just west of Flagstaff but a quick weather Google showed snow beginning earlier tomorrow morning than the weather guessers had initially expected. We decided to push on another 40 miles to Seligman, AZ where the elevation is almost 2000' closer to sea level and the probability of snow, much less.

Much better weather at the end of our day

   And that's where we are now. Temps are supposed to dip into the 20s overnight so we were advised, by management, to disconnect from the water supply by 7pm. We have only 290 miles to go to reach our final destination of Indio, Ca. Our reservation was for a Saturday arrival but in our efforts to beat the bad weather we find ourselves a couple days ahead of schedule. We called Motorcoach CC and arranged to check in two days early. I also made an appointment with the guy who washed and waxed the coach when we were here last winter. He and his crew will show up sometime Friday afternoon to wash 2700 miles of mud, grime and road salt off the rig. It really is a mess. I don't think it's ever been this dirty.

   Time to walk the dogs one more time before calling it a night.

Thanks for checking out the blog!

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