Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Mexico

Struggled out of Oklahoma City, feeling decidedly unenthusiastic, and pushed on to TexasOklahoma is flat.  Well, not flat like Manitoba, but flat-ish.  Sort of a rolling Savannah.  Not much in the way of trees.  Red dirt.  Some farmer’s fields already showing low-growing green.  Winter wheat? 

Seemed a little foggy on first arising.  Surprised us somewhat as fog just wasn’t something we associated with Prairie Living.  Blistering sunshine, yes.  Howling blizzards, sure.  Fog?  Not so much.  Must have been haze though because the temperature turned out to be 18F with dustings of actual snow here and there.  Not what we’d hoped for. 

Started seeing our first signs for “Historic Route 66” Museums, etc.   Oklahoma, though being an oil state for a century, displays a surprising quantity of wind-turbine generator farms.  Good for them.

Crossed into Texas, spotted our first tumbleweeds, stopped for a truly taste-free yet expensive lunch and motored on.  Oddly, gas is more expensive in Texas.  And there are even more wind-farms.

You all know the story of how Eisenhower was inspired by the German Autobahn system, to construct the Interstate Highway system in order to facilitate the rapid transfer of military men and materiel within the country to wherever it was needed.  You probably also know that every so many miles, the builders had to provide sections of road that were straight for at least 10,000 feet, so that fighter aircraft could be disbursed across the system and be available anywhere.  Happily this feature was never needed. ( If we had invaded, we’d probably only have gotten as far as Plattsburgh before having to start apologizing. ) Wouldn't have been an issue in Oklahoma though, as they would have to look for an excuse to bend the road here.  Speed limits on the interstate start at 65 MPH on the coast, bump up to 70 MPH one or more states inland, then again to 75 MPH in Texas.  Our EZ-Pass transducer for coastal state toll roads doesn't work past Pennsylvania, but then there are no toll roads anymore.

Anyway, finished off Oklahoma, drove through Texas and settled for the night in legendary Tucumcari New Mexico.  Not sure why its legendary.  Even more snow here.Gained another hour.   The preceding 500 miles of desolate scrubland wouldn’t be visited at all if there wasn’t an Interstate going through it.  Whole lot of nuthin’.  Maybe it’s nicer in summer.


  1. Happy New Year! Glad to see you are hanging in despite the flu. We wish you heath for 2015.... The warm weather should be there when you get to Surprise. I checked the weather channel and it should be 20C in a couple of days. BTW, never heard of Tucumcari New Mexico.

    Claudette and John

  2. In popular culture[edit]
    Many of the scenes in the television show Rawhide (1959–1966) starring Clint Eastwood were shot in the Tucumcari area.[14]
    One of the killers in Truman Capote's 1965 book In Cold Blood asks about the travelling distance to Tucumcari. This scene appears in the 1967 film version of the novel.
    Tucumcari is the setting of one of the first scenes in Sergio Leone's 1965 film For a Few Dollars More, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Gian Maria Volonté. However, this is a prochronism, as Tucumcari was founded many years after the historical period in which For a Few Dollars More takes place.
    A scene in the 1971 movie Two-Lane Blacktop, starring James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, and Warren Oates, was filmed at a gasoline service station on U.S. Highway 54 just northeast of Tucumcari. Tucumcari Mountain is clearly visible at the beginning of this scene.
    The city is mentioned in the 1988 film Rain Man by the character played by Tom Cruise. However, the location in the scene is not Tucumcari.
    In the David Stone Series featuring Micah Dalton, the lead character was raised in Tucumcari.[15]
    Tucumcari is mentioned in several songs, including:

    "Coyote" recorded by Better Than Ezra on Deluxe (1993)
    "Dead End Diner" recorded by Lost Dogs on Old Angel (2010)
    "Goodbye Tennessee" recorded by Jim Post
    "Hungry Man" recorded by Louis Jordan
    "I Don't Care" recorded by Justin Townes Earle on Yuma (2007)
    "Last Hobo" recorded by John Denver on All Aboard! (1997)
    "Route 40" recorded by Leslie Fish on Limelight (1990)
    "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" written by Bobby Troup (1946)
    "Tucumcari" recorded by Cex on Actual Fucking (2006)
    "Tucumcari" recorded by Freedy Johnston on The Trouble Tree (1990)
    "Tucumcari" recorded by Jimmie Rodgers (1959)
    "Tucumcari Here I Come" recorded by Dale Watson on More Songs Of Route 66 (2001)
    "Two-Gun Harry from Tucumcari" recorded by Dorothy Shay
    "Willin'" recorded by Little Feat on Little Feat (1971), and also on Sailin' Shoes (1972) and Waiting for Columbus (1978)
    "Willin'" covered as "I'm Willin'" by Seatrain on Seatrain(1970)
    "Willin'" covered by Linda Ronstadt on Heart Like A Wheel(1974)
    "Il Treno A Tucumcari" recorded by Bloodhorse on their self-titled EP (2007)