Progress to date:
Thursday – Tulsa OK to Oklahoma City OK
Friday – Oklahoma City OK to Shamrock TX
Saturday – Shamrock TX to Tucumcari NM
Sunday – Tucumcari NM to Santa Fé NM
Monday – Santa Fé NM
Tuesday – Santa Fé NM
Wednesday – Santa Fé NM to Albuquerque NM
We had all manner of good intentions for our rest day in Tulsa and ended up achieving almost nothing. The weather was wet and the temperature down by a good 10C over the previous few days, so a warm hotel room and some essential catching up was called for.
On Thursday our Toyota Yaris decided that Xmas was near and started lighting up its dashboard with festive looking warning lights signifying low tyre pressure, cold temperatures and finally, a servicing warning. Rather than risk a complete meltdown, we decided to head straight to the car rental office near Oklahoma City’s airport and seek advice as to what to do next.
The answer was a car change, affected by the extremely helpful guys at Hertz. The Toyota being taken off to get some TLC and us leaving only minutes later in a sIightly roomier Nissan. It was quite late by then and we agreed to head for our nearby hotel, rather than fight the mounting rush hour traffic 20 miles into town for some sightseeing. Good move – we checked-in, relaxed for an hour or so, then headed for the grillhouse across the road, a couple of drinks, a fine rib supper and an early night. Worked for me.
Friday’s run was marked by a series of navigational problems. What should have been an easy exit from Oklahoma City, became an hour long nightmare of wrong turns and mounting marital frustration. Finally, the satnav decided it knew where we were and got us back on track. Just as well, I had twinges of Groundhog Day starting to appear.
Then the EZ66 guide book decided that it was going to be BloodyMinded66 and later still, FuckYou66, such were the misleading directions it gave us. Of course, several areas of roadworks didn’t help, just like in the UK, where miles of motorway (Interstate here in the US) had been coned off, but absolutely no workers were in evidence and even less work was actually going on.
By Sunday, we were both feeling frustrated by the guide book’s willingness to lead us into the unknown. In response, Mrs P set about Googling a solution and soon found a series of satnav routes derived from EZ66, but which didn’t end up in gravel roads going nowhere, or farm roads leading across private property. Wish we’d done this before leaving home.
Which brings us to Santa Fé, a favourite spot for the next couple of days R&R. I sense some fine food on the horizon…
And there was – fine food that is and all too soon our time in America’s arty pueblo was up and we were back on the road to Albuquerque. More of that next time.
A few seconds of thought will probably provide a logical answer to this one. I’ve always found it weird how when driving in the US, a car/van/truck can be behind, filling my rear view mirror, often for a considerable distance, when the next glance in the mirror shows that it’s completely disappeared.
Yeah, I know it will have turned off, but it seems to happen so suddenly; one moment all you can see in the mirror are the chromed slats of a grille and the letters LIBRETE (ETERBIL in the mirror), the next moment, the road behind is completely empty. Even when I don’t recall passing any other roads, or turnings. Odd that.
While in Chicago, I made sure of the sunrise time and was on the streets well before 07:00, in good time to grab some early morning light. By the time we reached Cuba, that had inched closer to 07:15. In Oklahoma City, at 07:00 it was still pitch dark outside. Further west, Shamrock TX only sees the sun from 07:47 tomorrow (Saturday).
Sunrise in Santa Fé today (Monday) is 07:12 – we’re an hour later here as we’ve crossed into the Mountain Time Zone.
America’s road network is great and in the main well maintained. The byways of Route 66 unfortunately don’t enjoy the same level of maintenance and pot holes are everywhere. One I spotted this morning (while making yet another U turn) was so big that I did wonder whether it hadn’t been used to bury the car from the BBC’s drama serial One of us.
On the subject of road surfaces, many, many roads employ concrete slabs, with expansion joints between. Easy if you have an American car with soft springs and soggy shock absorbers, but a European (or Japanese) car generally has much stiffer suspension and so there is a lot of b-dum b-dum b-dum road noise and driving any distance can become a bit of a trial for driver and passenger alike.
About photographing Route 66; Philippe sent me a blurt after the last post, saying that I should produce more colour images. Well, I’ve done that this time. They are images that I think work well in colour and there’s still some b&w threaded through them all.
Pascal suggested a run up to Hernandez, with a view to recreating Ansel Adams famous moonrise shot. Well, we went to scout the location en route from Santa Fé to Taos yesterday, but it doesn’t look quite like it did in Adams day. Idea binned – see below.
Once again, most images have been shot with the Fuji X-Pro2, a couple with the X-Pro1. Favourite lens? Still the 23mm f1.4, with the 90mm f2 and 16mm f1.4 coming into use where appropriate – the latter at the Taos Gorge over the Rio Grande.
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