We left the hotel in Amarillo pretty early as both of us felt the area was a bit grim but we needed to get gas and ended up driving around for about an hour looking for a place to buy rolling tobacco. We visited some questionable neighbour hoods looking for somewhere open on a Sunday. We completed our mission and got out of dodge.
We decided that as Texas was pretty flat and boring and also because Route 66 seemed to run alongside the interstate, that we would just ride the interstate and get to Albuquerque as fast as possible. We set a good pace cruising the highway until CJ had a good idea to take some pictures at the Texas / New Mexico state border. As we pulled off the interstate I suggested that we looked up the location of the midpoint of the route. As we did this I could see a building up ahead that turned out to be the Midpoint Cafe, how lucky is that that we picked the exact exit. There was a small gift shop and behind the till was a lovely lady (I cannot remember her name) with her dog Brodey. As soon as I entered, she directed me to the back room for a slice of Orange Brandy Cake which was delicious. I chatted to her about our journey and signed her guestbook and bought a couple of postcards then went next door for a cup of coffee.
A few miles up the road was the state line and as we pulled over we saw and old abandoned gas station, we stopped to take some photos and saw a roadrunner which promptly ran off, meep meep! We couldnt really get to the the sign so we continued up the road and we were met with a gravel road, we were in a 4×4 so we carried on. There were a few cattle grids to get over which were a bit smaller than ones found in the UK but one of them had a large dip before it. I slowed down, but not enough and the car bounced over the dip and afterwards there was no response from the throttle. The car slowed down and stopped. I shut everything down put it in park and restarted it (doing what I know ;)) . It was a scary moment considering we were hundreds of miles from any where, on a gravel road. So two lucky escapes today, one getting out of the ghetto of Amarillo and two almost killing the car. We got back onto the Interstate as soon as we could.
We were now in New Mexico and we drove on for a time before we began to get hungry so we pulled off into a town called Santa Fe. We stopped at Santa Fe Bar and Grill but fortunately, it turned out, it was closed so we went up the road and found a place called Joseph’s Route 66 which is a family owned restaurant and shop and we both had great meals.
After leaving Texas the scenery had changed again from flat desolate nothingness as far as the eye could see to rolling hills and rocky outcroppings with large mountains on the horizon. We pulled off the highway again for the final stretch before Albuquerque which ended up being some amazing curvy roads through the mountains. We had no cell coverage so the Sat Nav couldn’t recalculate and we realised we were heading in the wrong direction. We turned round and drove the road back through the mountains and rejoined the interstate.
We have a really long drive tomorrow to Flagstaff, Arizona, approximately 330 miles and we will probably continue with our hop on, hop off the interstate technique so we can cover more miles quickly.
Total Mileage: 1581 miles