Sunday, March 13, 2011

Road Trip Diary: Friday, February 4th

Glad to have made it through that horrible driving experience, we were also glad to wake up and find, once we were on the road, that it was literally behind us: no more icy roads! Day Two took us through the rest of Oklahoma, across the Texas panhandle, and into Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not without its adventures, though. :)

We stopped at a 'Cherokee Trading Post' and loaded up on souvenirs and postcards, took pictures with a giant statue of an Indian chief, as well as a few pix of live buffalo, and continued on. For those who've seen the movie Cars, we stopped in Shamrock, TX at the 'U Drop Inn' which was the inspiration for Ramone's! Not much else to see in Shamrock, so we were on our merry way. 

We had gotten as far as McLean, where we stopped off to take pictures of the first-ever Phillips 66 Station, and when Mom went to grab her phone to take some shots, only then did she realize she did not have it. Fortunately, some honest soul had found it back in Shamrock (we're thinking it was laid on the car as we were getting back in and slid off when we drove away). The man who answered the phone said he would take it to a cashier at the McDonald's, so back to Shamrock we went. (And, yes, he had turned the phone over to the cashier as promised...crisis averted!)

Headed west once again, we stopped for a second time in McLean and had lunch at the Red River Steakhouse and were not disappointed! Great food, cute place, and in the back room (overflow dining room and also where they have live music) there was an old covered wagon. If only they'd let us get in it...

Our major stop for the day was in Amarillo. All three of us wanted a pair of 'authentic' cowgirl boots, and if buying them in Texas doesn't qualify, what does? Took a while to make our choices, but after trying on several each, we found what we wanted -- Mom's are red!! From there, we set off in search of the Cadillac Ranch.

Nevermind that it was dark by the time we found it, and that the cars are out in the middle of a huge unlit field. We had a local guy tell us about how to find them, and with his directions, my headlights (and illegal parking), and a fair amount of squatting and squinting, trying to see any sign of them in the tiny bits of leftover sunlight...we found them! The field they are in was all rutted and pocked, and did not make for easy walking in what was, by the time we found them, complete darkness, so the three of us locked arms and walked across until we were standing in front of them. Pictures were taken in the dark, so we only saw them in small flashes (literally) when the camera snapped. But we found them, dangit!!

At that point, we still had another 300 miles to go...makes me tired just thinking about we got on the road and with the exception of a pit stop at the Russell's Travel Center (including a quick walk through in their Classic Car Museum, located inside!), we made our way about half-way across New Mexico.

We arrived at the Hyatt in Albuquerque only to be told they had overbooked (despite our reservation) and as such, they would be putting us up at the Staybridge Suites next door. On their dime. Sold!! The room at the Hyatt was a two-bed room..SS only had single king units available. So we told them to give us two rooms, and take it up with the Hyatt. And they did! A free night's stay when you're moving across the country is a welcome thing!

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