Go West (and South) Day 2

Tues 5TH Feb 2013
Day 2 Springfield, MO to Tucumcari, NM
12 hours – 700 Miles – 4 States MO+OK+TX+NM

Day 2 was an early start.  We had a long way to cover and didn’t want to be driving in the dark in the middle of nowhere at our destintation, New Mexico.

The alarm went off at 5.30am and we were out of the door and in the car before the sun came up.  Kristen spent the first hour of the journey trying, unsuccessfully, to sleep, while I spent the first hour of the journey figuring out how I was going to get the sunglasses back that I had left in the apartment until I realized they were hanging on the collar of my shirt the whole time.

We dived straight into the audiobooks, as planned, with a bit of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Yes, we are geeks, but it was fun to listen to the book after not having read it in so long.

We made it as far as Oklahoma City before hunger got the best of us and we stopped in a great little diner called Jimmy’s Eggs.  I had some eggs.  And we left to drive across Oklahoma to Texas and New Mexico.

Jimmy's Eggs

Breakfast at Jimmy's Eggs

At this point I would like to point out that although the plains in Oklahoma are many and vast, there was no wind coming sweeping down them, nor, due to the fact that it is winter and way past harvest, was there any corn as high as an elephant’s eye.  In any case, I didn’t have an elephant with which to compare it so I guess it is no matter.

We crossed the state border into Texas.  In case you are wondering I now know the way to Amarillo.  It is pretty easy to get to actually.  We stopped at a super market there to pick up supplies for dinner tonight.

Just outside Amarillo is something unlike anything I had ever seen before.  The Cadillac Ranch is just a few miles outside the city and consists of 10 Cadillacs buried nose down in the ground. Completely random but quite the spectacle.  We spent some time wandering around and checking out all the graffiti on the cars.  You are encouraged to bring your own spray paint and contribute to the artistic aesthetic of the display.Chicago to LA-5 Chicago to LA-4

It is such a bizarre sight to see.  And not that easy to catch site of if you are driving by at speed.  In fact we drove a mile past it and had to come back.   It looks almost like the half buried back bone of some old dinosaur ruins as each of the vertebrae like vehicles protrudes from the earth.  There is nothing apart from open fields for miles around but this thing stands out as some kind of coming together of the industry and nature.

We hung around long enough to take some pictures and listen in to the interesting conversations strange Texan family who were also visiting then we hit the road.

The scenery in New Mexico was by far the most interesting and beautiful we had seen yet.  There were valleys and ravines and enormous imposing masers rising up out of broad sweeping plains.  And we made it off the high way and on to the side road in enough time to see the sun go down beyond the horizon.

We made accommodation for the night, The JX Ranch in New Mexico.  Another brilliant find on Airbnb.  We had to travel 20 miles of the highway then several mile up a dirt road before we reached the house of Mimi and Tom.  Mimi, originally from Sweden some 25 years ago, showed us to the bunk house where we were to sleep.

We had been in touch with Mimi on the way and she had ready for me a steak from the grass fed cattle on ranch so we got in the kitchen and set about cooking it.  Well, I did, Kristen had salmon although she did try a piece of my steak and did not throw up.

Chicago to LA-3

Chicago to LA-2

After dinner we both wrapped up in blankets and went and sat outside to look at the stars.  It is quite incredible out here.  We are so far from any source of light that after a few minutes your eyes adjust and there are more stars than I can remember seeing in a long time.  And it is so quiet.  You cannot even here the highway.  There is literally nothing out here except us and the stars and….I hope that’s all!

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