Route 66: Tucumcari, NM to Edmond, OK
Day 4 – 1461 Miles from Home
TUCUMCARI, NM to EDMOND, OK – 427 Miles
Talk about hellacious headwinds!! But first… Back to the beginning of the day and the Blue Swallow…
I’ve gotta tell ya… Kevin (owner of the Blue Swallow Motel) didn’t lie. When showing us the room he’d extolled the virtues of the bed. Thread count. Pillows. Mattress. Special detergent. And by golly if it wasn’t the most comfy motel bed ever! The morning coffee was pretty doggoned good too.
We’d heard about their famous “Ugly Crust Pies” so naturally we had to stop and collect one for my belly. Crust? 5 Mile rating, Apple filling?3 Mile. Why the 3? I can’t guarantee this, but it sure tasted like apple pie filling from a can and not fresh sliced apples. Not a bad pie by any means, but not my fave.
A bit later we followed the brown Route 66 sign and pulled off the 40 to Glenio. If you’re looking to actually drive the Mother Road to a destination, sorry Charlie! This is simply a beloved fragment of the Mother Road, with just the weathered old asphalt, a crumbling gas station, and a dilapidated motel. Well worth the stop in my opinion.
Back onto the 40 and the Texas of my childhood nightmares. I swear, the first part of the panhandle is flatter than the heads of my 48 Ford–which might be interesting topographically speaking, but not so much when riding for hours on end.
We did stop at Cadillac Ranch, something we both wanted to see. Imagine my shock when we walked up to find everyone spray painting the cars and cans littered in all the surrounding fields!
It made me exceptionally sad… But then I realized if it wasn’t for all the paint layered on, the car’s would have probably rusted away by now. I still don’t like seeing any caddy buried, or cans littering the fields but…
We’d made plans to stay at the Starliner in Stroud OK on the recommendation of Kevin so blazed past some stuff we wanted to see so we’d make it before dark since we had about 480 miles to go. What we hadn’t counted on was the head wind. How windy you ask? So windy it ripped my 2nd favorite bandana from my pocket! So windy it stole my hairband and unraveled my braid without me knowing to the point I may now have to shave my head to get rid of the knots. So windy it knocked our stellar mileage from 60 MPG to 46! THAT’S how windy!
So we decided to stop in Oklahoma City instead. We hadn’t planned on touring any of the big cities but it was pretty cool tracing route 66, like being on a Scavenger hunt searching for signs. Seeing the state Capitol under a stunning sunset, and all of the un-California-like steep-roofed brick houses made it so worthwhile.
We did have to stop and consult the map once or twice but eventually found our way to Edmond just about the time the sky started to dump. Considering it was 8:30, dark, rainy, and we hadn’t eaten anything but pie since breakfast, we pulled into a Best Western, ordered a pizza, cut the knots out of my hair, and called it a night. All in all, a thrilling day!
Until next time…