THE GREAT ROAD TRIP
APRIL 27 - MAY 09, 2006
Audio log, Day 3
DAY 3, Saturday, April 29, 2006
Up and on the road, continuing eastbound on I-40 out of Gallup, New Mexico. Stopped at Seligman, on the Historic Route 66 for some gas, food, and souvenirs. Headed out of town on Route 66, thought I would drive the Mother Road for a while, just to say I did. I must have picked the wrong spot, because the road just curved around and met back up with the interstate in short order. This part of the trip I saw a lot of bikers, apparently doing some kind of Route 66 ride. They would be riding in groups of 4 to 10, all leathered up, riding Harleys and other similarly designed bikes. I would sometimes see them on the sections of Route 66 that are still open, and sometimes on the interstate itself. Most of the riders were in their mid-30's and older, so I assumed these folks were "weekend warriors", donning their leathers and mounting their hogs for a long weekend road trip on Route 66.
Made a stop at the Sky City Casino, thought it would be nice to win some money. Note to self: Stay out of casinos! Just east of there, passed over the Continental Divide, and now all the rivers drain easterly! On into Albaquerque, and then south on I-25. I stopped for gas and lunch in Socorro, New Mexico, after having spied a sign at a rest stop about the VLA. After gassing up, I spied a Subway sign a few blocks down the street, so I headed for it. I pulled into the parking lot, pulled up to the building, and then noticed the "closed" sign in the window. Then I noticed that the shop was not only closed, but empty! And a "FOR LEASE" sign was in the window. Shoot! I settled for a Sonic Burger, and after getting lost (what is it about road signs in New Mexico??) I finally found my way onto the correct road to head out to the VLA. This place is out in the middle of freaking nowhere! But it was a great visit, toured the small gift shop and visitor center, then took a self-guided walking tour out to one of the dishes. I wandered around, took a bunch of pictures, watched the dish move around (I don't know if it was actually tracking something, or if it's job was to entertain the tourists!), and generally enjoyed myself in the middle of high-tech science in action. There was a car parked in the parking lot, with US government plates, that had a lot of hail damage to the body. This car got hit by some impressive hail at some point recently. Some body shop is going to love seeing that car come in. After wandering around a bit, I headed out. Saw some deer or elk munching away on the way out, and took a couple of pictures of them. Back onto the higway, and the long drive back to I-25, then south to Las Cruces. More road sign confusion put me past Las Cruces and on towards El Paso, regardless of my thinking I was going to stop for the night there. Oh, well, El Paso it is. Stopped for gas at a Pilot in Anthony, Texas, just across the state line. Saw a Holiday Inn Express, and decided it would do. (anyone need any surgery or anything? ;-) ) El Paso and more tomorrow.