July 4 thru 6, 2018 Breakfast was a banana and handful of nuts I’d picked up at a grocery in Ft. Worth. Getting back on I-40 West from the hotel was a mess in itself. Construction had the on-ramps shut down and the detour signs were ridiculously confusing; took me two times around to figure out I had to go East to go West. Aha!

Lisa told me about Cadillac Ranch when I saw a picture of it in the GingerFoxGallery in Dallas, so I had to see it. I stopped at the gift shop first, off Hope Road. Nice staff and super cute shop, all about the Caddies in decor, T’s and more.

Picked up a couple postcards and drove down the access road. There they were, set back, in a big, blank field. At the entrance, I met Scott. He turns paint chips from the Caddies into beautiful key chains and jewelry for $10 (cash) each. I had no cash to buy anything, but told him I’d mention his work in my blog.

Created in 1974 by The Ant Farm, with the support of billionaire Stanley Marsh, ten Caddies were buried half-way and nose-down in an open field owned by Marsh off Route 66. It’s eccentric, but oh so cool for whatever reason. Swapped photo ops with foreigner.

I got in on the graffiti fun, of course, with my initials (JB) in white spray paint. Super muddy, so couldn’t get very close. Had to snap pic quick before initials disappeared under someone else’s mark. There are some serious painters out there! Even the earth wasn’t safe.

img_2397769884655.jpgStopped for gas ($2.53) at Loves #250. I forgot to mention the insanely crazy winds that blow across the highway from Texas to Amarillo. They can get so intense that there are signs that warn about it. The terrain changed after Amarillo, driving into New Mexico, from flatter than flat to small plateaus.

Nice break and stretch at the New Mexico Welcome Center, closed for the 4th (Murphy’s Law). Clean place that had great NM travel mags in bathroom stand. I took a pic of a family group and one for me. Love meeting nice people on the road! It was the photo they took that made me realize I was starting to lose weight. Yea!

Swung off 40 to explore the historic Route 66, Mother Road of America, at Tucumcari for a bit. Absolutely loved the drive, especially the old buildings and history. It’s so special the route has been preserved, although no longer listed on many maps.

To take a break from the road and grab a bit, I stopped at Del’s, in business since 1956, for a burrito that was ok. The staff wore full Western attire, which they might not like it, but made me laugh.

Hopped down the road to Burger King in Santa Rosa, craving a frozen coffee, and oh my goodness the flies INSIDE were horrible! Did it make me not want the coffee? No! The view was cool.img_20180704_152751986554016.jpg

There are lots of Picnic Areas off the highway, some with restrooms. Great stretch and rest spots; for me, photo opps too.

It was interesting and indescribable how I felt at the time, seeing so much dirt and little greenery. There were tons of billboards, for many miles, that advertised the Flying C Ranch in Encino, so I stopped to check it out. It was like a giant, fun, well organized flea market. I had fun here!

Clines Corners Travel Center is about an hour south of Santa Fe and they advertise about extremely as the Flying C. Both are similar in merchandise, but this was my favorite with Zoltar and lots of frogs.

After Clines … MOUNTAINS in the distance. My heart went giddy!

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On the way in to Santa Fe, I grabbed a couple green chili chicken tamales and shopped around for a hotel. Opted for the Super 8 and so glad I did! Bud and Louis were great hosts. Bud’s family manages the hotel and it’s very quaint, clean and with lots of character.

Stayed here for two nights and had a blast. For the 4th of July, several of us sat out front, enjoying cold beers and a clear view of fantastic fireworks. Breakfasts were very nice. That’s Bud behind the counter.

At $2 for a day pass, the public SF Trails bus system was awesome. I used it to check out downtown Santa Fe, the Plaza, totally avoiding parking hassles and meter fees. There wasn’t anything for me in that area but had a great time looking around. On my walk to the local thrift store, Savers, I was intrigued by the use of tree limbs and painted cinder blocks for residential fencing.

At Savers, clothing was separated by size and their baskets were on wheels with long handles.I dropped off a bag of clothes (sizes 12-14) and picked up a few (sizes 9-10); it felt so good. I also scored an almost new pair of Saucony tennis shoes and cute local-made bracelet. Yea!

Stopped in the whole foods store next-door, where there were all kinds of healthy goodies. I bought the chicken curry with lemon rice for dinner and it was delicious.

img_25051823211941.jpgHorrible drought here, so the brief rain storm that blew in shortly after my walk was welcomed by all.

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