Days 3, 4, &5: A Long Drive to New Mexico

After a day and change in New Orleans, we were ready to get on the road and head to our next destination outside of Dallas, TX to visit family.  I really don’t have a lot to say about the ride from New Orleans to Shreveport except that it was LONG, the longest drive of the trip - not necessarily in mileage, just felt LONG.  There were very few places to stop, although at one point we did have to get off the highway and travel many miles on country roads for a gas station. The beginning of the trip was really cool because Interstate 10 is basically an extremely long bridge transporting you over the Atchafalaya Basin.  The views are amazing, so at least there was some good eye candy for me to enjoy while driving. But once we turned onto Highway 49, ugh.

After many, many hours, we finally arrived safely at our destination just outside of Dallas, Texas and enjoyed a day and change with my sister and her family.  The kids enjoyed cousin time and hanging out at the lake, it was a perfect time for running around and playing before heading to our next stop, Tucumcari, New Mexico.

On day #5 we drove from Dallas to Tucumcari, New Mexico via Amarillo, Texas.  This also was not the most exciting drive. It turns out northern Texas is FLAT.  Flat as a pancake, flat as a sheet of paper, we were naming as many metaphors as we could because we just couldn’t get over how flat it was.  It says a lot when you get excited when you spot a field of wind turbines. No eye candy until we reached a fun roadside attraction just outside of Amarillo.  The story goes that in 1974 a bunch of artists from San Francisco were tasked to create a roadside attraction to baffle the locals. Ten Cadillacs were half buried, all at the same angle to create this attraction along old Route 66.  The ground is littered with cans of spray paint, and you literally just go up to a car and start painting. While we were there, we met a couple from Wales, who were in the middle of their journey along Route 66. People shared spray paint, posed for photos and left their mark, which don’t last long given the steady stream of people visiting this quirky roadside attraction.  The stop inspired me to take out my camera and snap away, hungry for color, texture, and varying elevations.

Later that same day we made it to Tucumcari, NM which I read about in a road trip guidebook as a good place to stop along Route 66.  It did not disappoint. We stayed at the Blue Swallow Motel which was an absolute treasure. There website describes it best, “The Blue Swallow has been serving travelers along the Mother Road since 1939, and today, our guests enjoy a pleasant reminder of what it was like to travel across the USA in the “good old days.” Unlike the big corporately-owned chains, we are family owned and operated. With hospitality provided by owners Nancy, Kevin, Jessica, and Cameron, you will always be welcomed like family.”  Our room was small, but that was the point. Chairs and tables were arranged outside the rooms, corn-hole was set-up by the picnic tables to be enjoyed. But my favorite (the kids too) was the basket of squirt guns provided in the laundry room for guests to enjoy. At night the sky it up with neon lights decorating the main street. We enjoyed corn-hole and cards out in the courtyard before turning in for the night. That night will always be one of my favorite memories, watching the sunset, the neon lights come on, and enjoying good old fashioned family time.

Next week we make it to the Southwest where photo opportunities were abundant and the scenery was breathtaking.  Next stop, Santa Fe, New Mexico.