June 17, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 4)
Amarillo, Texas to Tucumcari, New Mexico
Monday, June 17 we left the Big Texan after meeting up for breakfast with Becky.
We then went to the western edge of Amarillo where we walked into a field a couple hundred yards to Cadillac Ranch. After signing our names on one of the Caddies, we took off onto 66 into the flat Texas panhandle. We proceeded on to Vega where we had a nice time visiting with Linda Drake, another e-group member who works for the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce. We had a great visit, and she was kind enough to take us over to Dot’s Mini-Museum. Dot is an 85 year old resident of Vega with an interesting collection of “stuff.” Her children have built her several small outbuildings on her property to house her collection and run this neat, free “mini-museum.” It’s free and always open during the day, so please be sure to stop by when you go to Vega!
We motored on to Adrian where we had the world’s best chocolate peanut butter pie at the Midpoint Cafe, which as its name implies, is the midpoint of Route 66. Here, we met anothere-group member, Joann Harwell, who works at the cafe and makes the pies. We visited the gift shop and bought lots of souvenirs, and Joann asked us if we would be so kind as to deliver a slice of coconut pie to Hilda Bakke, who owns the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari with her husband Dale. We were happy to oblige!
Continuing west, we stopped in the now deserted town of Glenrio, which straddles the Texas/New Mexico border. This little town once boasted several cafes, gas station, and motels. When I-40 was built in the 60’s & 70’s, Glenrio was essentially cut off & left to die. Today, there are just a couple of homes left and no operating businesses. From Glenrio we ventured down an unpaved alignment of 66 that was quite dusty due to the dry weather in the west. Our stop for the night was at the historic Blue Swallow Motel (www.blueswallowmotel.com) in Tucumcari, NM. Built in 1939, the 11 room Blue Swallow was recently restored to it’s former glory. It still has a garage for each room, which were standard for many motels and motor courts back in the 40’s & 50’s.After today we were in total “winging it” mode, so we didn’t know where we’d end up tonight. We anticipated staying in Gallup or Grants, based on the pace we’ve been going, but we only made it as far as Tucumcari, which was fine by us! We lodged at the Blue Swallow and delivered Hilda’s pie to her. Dale & Hilda Bakke have done a fantastic job restoring this gem – they are also members of the e-group and we had a nice talk with them.
From there we motored down the road to Adrian for a piece of pie at the Midpoint Cafe. The chocolate peanut butter is to kill for! We missed Fran, who was in Amarillo picking up t-shirts. However, we had a nice time chatting with Joann Harwell, who was manning the impressive gift shop at the Midpoint. From there we motored to Tucumcari for the night, staying at the Blue Swallow.
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