Day 7: June 20, 2007
Tonight Tucumcari
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Amarillo, TX I'm guessing this sign, on Sixty-Six in Amarillo, is from Stanley Marsh 3 of Cadillac Ranch fame. There are even more panels falling from the other side. Perhaps it has done its job and can fade away.

Amarillo, TX Amarillo, TX The Texas Route 66 Association is running a promotion in conjunction with the Clinton Festival. It involves getting that Texas Passport I mentioned yesterday, stamped by a number of businesses on Historic Route 66 for chances at prizes at the festival. I don't have unlimited time and am not making an effort to get every stamp. These two I thought would be easy but neither the Golden Light or the Blue Gator were open when I passed by.

Amarillo, TX Cadillac Ranch isn't and never was on Route 66 but it can be seen from the old road. I'm saving a stop for my east bound pass when it will be easier.

Vega, TX Vega, TX Vega, TX Vega, TX Vega, TX Vega, TX The Vega Motel isn't quite ready to reopen but I understand they're working on it. Maybe soon. The Hickory Inn was open and I got my passport stamped there. Got a cup of coffee, too. Dot Leavett passed away last December but her Mini-Museum lives on. Reportedly her daughter has or will be taking over the museum. I settled for a drive-by photo today. When this gas station was built in 1924, the road it was on was called the Ozark Trail. Two year later, it became part of the original alignment of US-66.

The Boot Hill Saloon & Grill isn't quite ready to open, either, but it's very close. This is the place that Rory Schepisi is opening in her adopted town. Rory is currently involved in the Food Network's "The Next Food Network Star" and many may know her from her earlier participation in the "Popularity Contest" reality TV show filmed here in Vega. Even though she didn't win, that show changed the New Jersey girl's life and one of the most visible changes is this new restaurant. It's on the east side of town and I had first stopped there when I reached Vega. There was a small group of people outside and one of them explained that filming was being done inside. I again drove by, after getting the other Vega pictures, and most of the cars were gone. I stopped and was greeted by Rory. She stamped my passport, invited me to look around, and even posed for a photo after going behind the bar to turn on some lights for me. The big opening is probably two weeks away and the place is looking good. I wish I could be there. Boot Hill and its owner both look like winners.

Adrian, TX Adrian, TX Adrian, TX Adrian, TX Adrian, TX The Bent Door in Adrian is another place getting ready to reopen. Two Stanley Marsh 3 signs bracket the building. It has a long history as a cafe but this is the first time it has officially been called by it's popular name. Roy and Ramona Kiewert purchased the place about a year ago and are hoping to have it up and running this summer.

Just up the road, trucks were lined up at the Mid-Point Cafe. I was still full from that big Big Texan breakfast buffet but managed to get down a piece of coconut cream pie. This place has a reputation for great pie so it really wasn't too tough. I did get to meet Fran, the owner, but didn't get a picture. Got one of a piece of "ugly crust" pie's final moments, though.

Glenrio, TX Glenrio, TX Glenrio, TX Downtown Glenrio may have the only business-free business route on I-40. There was almost a traffic jam there today with two cars there when I arrived and another stopping before I left. One of those cars belonged to Australians Kathryn & Darren and I've got the Vegemite to prove it. This is their second time traveling Historic US 66 and I've known of and followed their travels but this is our first meeting. Apparently Kathryn is the blogger of the pair here.

West of Glenrio, NM West of Glenrio, NM West of Glenrio, NM West of Glenrio, NM West of Glenrio, NM West of Glenrio, NM Peter and Shiria, a couple from London, were in the car that came after me. I had actually noticed the car back at the Mid-Point since it is virtually identically to the one I'm driving. The stop in Glenrio should have provided a great photo but, even though it seems obvious now, I didn't even think of it until we were off on the gravel road west of Glenrio. Glenrio is essentially a ghost town and here were two identical Saturn Ions meeting in its center. One had New York plates and had been picked up there by folks from London, England. The other had New Jersey plates and had been picked up in Oklahoma City by a guy from Ohio. I hope someone gets a picture the next time that happens.

The day was dry and my car had enough clearance so I decided to take the gravel road out of town for the first time. So did Peter & Shiria. That's them on the road ahead of me. I think the idea of a picture of the two Ions occurred to me seconds after they moved over the horizon. This eighteen mile section is an incredible drive with great scenery, wonderful wooden bridges, and even the occasional roadside attraction. That last picture requires a bit of explanation. Other than my Ion's twin, I had only seen two pickup trucks - one each way - on the gravel road. Then I saw a pretty good sized dust cloud moving at a right angle to the road and could just make out a large truck at the front of it. The truck reached the intersection a little before me but, since I was on the "major" road and had the right of way, waited for me to pass. I was, of course, poking along and it wasn't long before the truck had caught up with me. That's the scene in the last picture before I pulled over to let him pass. You can get a better view of the truck here.

Approaching Tucumcari, NM The big view of the approach to Tucumcari. I'll be heading east on the expressway in the morning.

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