We had a surprisingly quiet night on Tucumcari's stretch of the Mother Road and arose to a light sprinkle and gentle breeze. The popcorn we consumed at the Odeon Theater the previous night while chuckling our socks off at the Coen Brothers latest offering (Burn After Reading, two thumbs up), had left our stomachs hours ago, leaving room for some major huevos rancheros (Wifey) and chorizo egg scramble (moi) at Kix's on 66.
Thanks for the rec on Kix's, Ron.
A quick stop at the Tee Pee Curio shop a short walk away and we were on our way, Arizona bound once again.
Our aim for the day was the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park at sunset, so we had to put our heads down and push New Mexico's 75 mph speed limit to the edge.
The trip down the interstate was impersonal and uneventful, with the exception of a disappointing stop at Cline's Corners due to a power outtage that shut down their water pumps.
Translation... no working bathrooms. Luckily a state run rest stop a short 3 miles down the road saved the day, reinforcing the family mantra, "Never pass an opportunity to pee when you're on the road."
We made the mineralized tree stump filled national park in plenty of time (picking up an extra hour due to Arizona's strange avoidance of the spring forward/fall back time change) to get a good three solid hours of game time in before the parks closing time.
Wifey and I strolled through the ruins of the Puerco Pueblo dating back to 1200 AD, stretched our imaginations attempting to decipher the petroglyphs viewable along the walking paths, and marveled at the amount of petrified wood still remaining after so many tons of it were hauled off since the site became such a popular tourist attraction.
Leaving the petrified forest as the sun did its final dip below the horizon behind us, we trekked on over to nearby Holbrook for a meal and crash pad for the night. Alas, there was no space at the famous Wigwam Motel on Route 66, but Wifey and I ended up having a nice conversation with the daughter of the man who built some of the unique teepee themed hotels, including the one that she and her family had been running since it was built.
We told her about our stay in a Wigwam motel a few anniversary trips ago in Kentucky, and our day trip visit to the Rialto location back in our So Cal days. She said we were the first couple she had met that had actually visited all three of the surviving wigwam motels (hard to believe, but there you have it).
Saddened but happy to have made even a small connection with a Route 66 icon, we then made our way up the road to another old Route 66 motel known as Brad's Desert Inn. I highly suspect that Brad no longer owns or runs the Desert Inn, but the fella who signed out the room to us was no friendlier than he needed to be, our room was no more luxurious than it needed to be, and the trains running nearby were no more rumbly than they needed to be.
Dinner on Holbrook's stretch of the Mother Road presented several historic choices to us, however we chose Joe and Aggie's Cafe. I tried the beef and bean stuffed sopapilla slathered in their specialty green chile sauce while S chose the local favorite cheese crisp with ground beef topped with the same amazing family recipe green chili sauce. Both were utterly unique and utterly palate pleasing.
While getting the lowdown from owner Joe on the visit to his joint by John Lasseter and Michael Wallis during their Cars prep, we met up with a fellow So Cal road traveler who was heading toward Hugo, OK, to do some work on a house he owns there in circus town Oklahoma, USA.
Sure it's a small world, but something about Route 66 attractions seems to bring us all together.