Winslow, Arizona – Las Vegas, New Mexico (Forgot to check my mileage, roughly 390 miles today)
I’m sitting in the third-floor window of our room at the historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas New Mexico, listening to a trumpet from the mariachi band echo across the plaza from the bar below and up to my room.
The night air blowing in is fresh and cool, and I am blissfully happy.
If you read Brian’s blog from our lazy day in Winslow, you know that we didn’t do anything earth-shatteringly exciting. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t a great day. Something about staying in the Motor Palace just felt… right. I don’t know how else to explain it. Comfortable, even in its construction-like state, and just… well… right. I’m especially enamored with the bathroom, in case you haven’t noticed. Thanks for designing such a lovely space, Brian!
And we almost got an early start, but we had a visit from Wade, a local motorcyclist who was very excited to talk to us about the Motor Palace, something we, of course, LOVE to talk about.At last, we got rolling, and made our way out of Arizona. I’ve got to say, I’m not a fan of Arizona’s eastern section of Interstate 40. Not because it isn’t beautiful, because it is, but because of the doggoned divots in the road. White dash. Divot. White dash. Divot. In a car, I’m sure they’re fine, but dang! They hurt when you change lanes on a motorcycle! It becomes a game after a while to time it so you cross on the line instead of the divot. Okay. Focus on the line. Line. Divot. Line. Divot. Line… NOW!! …. OW… Divot. After a while I did get pretty good at avoiding them, but I’ve got to say, leaving them behind and crossing into New Mexico made me quite happy.
New Mexico is a favorite for us both. You know the plateaus the Coyote always gets manipulated into falling off of? They’re all over the place around the New Mexico/Arizona border.
It’s one of the most beautiful places to ride. Hawks flying overhead. Big blue skies. Those red plateaus. Roadrunner’s whizzing past with Wile E Coyote in hot pursuit… Anyway. Let’s just say, it’s cool. This shot from the gas station parking lot just doesn’t do it justice.
For the most part, we rode straight through to Las Vegas New Mexico, hitting little pockets of rain but somehow missing the lightning storms we kept seeing up ahead. Until last August on our trip across Route 66, I had no clue another Las Vegas existed. On our return trip we passed through and vowed to come back. Brian surprised me by routing our trip this way and booking a room at the Plaza.
Built in 1882, it was considered The Belle of the Southwest, where the affluent and the outlaws stayed, including Doc Holliday and Jesse James. In 2009, the hotel owner bought the building next door, the Ilfeld building, and renovated it. We’re in that building, joined by a bridge of sorts. See that top window on the left? That’s us, with a perfect view of the little hosses below.
The rooms are lovely, with a great view over the Plaza. And check out that gigantic GMC cruising around!! I mean seriously. Look at it in relation to the other vehicles around it! HUGE!
And man! There were so many great buildings to shoot. I won’t bore you with them all, but here are a few. The details on the old buildings never fail to thrill me. Well… looks like it’s time to call it a night. While writing this, the “mariachi” band (which wasn’t a mariachi band at all, but rather more along the lines of Herb Alpert) transitioned to Dixieland and a little jazz and then packed it up. We kept waiting for our favorite trumpet song, The Lonely Bull, but it never came. And now it’s quiet out there. Must mean it’s time to sleep.
Tomorrow, we cruise the rest of the way into Denver, and will be there for a couple of days before hitting the road for home.
P.S. In the time it took me to proof this, the band started up again. Cool! I’m going to kick back and enjoy it…
P.P.S. Be sure to check out Brian’s perspective on the 66 Motor Palace blog!