Bluewater, New Mexico
Day one brings the Bowlin’s Bluewater Outpost Travel Center. That’s along I-40, and I gotta say, the scenic views along I-40 in both eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, well, there’s just nothing like them. The red dirt in Arizona goes as far as the eye can see, and in New Mexico shifts to a light tan color. Flat-topped formations with a layer of boulders on top like icing, which spills down at the edges. It’s several hours of wow.
This outpost is jammed during the day, offering a Dairy Queen and all the baubles you could think of. At night, it’s all cleared out. There’s a very busy set of railroad tracks in back of me next to Route 122, a divided four-lane that stands out as a peculiarity in the middle of nowhere like this. Turns out, it’s the original Route 66, so I plan to take it eastward until it merges with the Interstate. Most of my daily drives are no more than four hours, so the slower pace of 66 should be just fine. It’s about the trip as much as arriving back in Illinois, thus I’ve been plugging along at 65 MPH instead of the 75 MPH speed limit. Saves a couple of miles per gallon, which has been between 14-15 so far. Driving here always ruins me for the flat cornfields of Illinois that come later!
Didn’t realize your annual sojourn to Illinois was so soon, but it is nearly summer. Lets agree that you don’t want to spend most of it ‘doctoring’. Its nice to see someone enjoy the wide open spaces of the SW. I come originally from Kansas so wide open spaces inspire me.
It does seem soon, doesn’t it? The goal is to get in and get out before the muggy heat sets in with a vengeance, and the touring part of the trip will take place during the lengthy back half, returning in a roundabout fashion. The medical profession has done all it can do, so my involvement with them should now go back to annual checks just to make sure that I’m still alive and able to pay invoices.
I’ve spent my whole life making a living and (badly) raising a family in suburbia, never feeling able to back off from looking any higher than cornfields. So, stumbling over one magnificent vista after another and experiencing different terrains and weather conditions, it’s hard not to gawk and give in to the wonder. Dodging tornadoes in the plains states isn’t that much of a hoot, but it is memorable!
Illinois is not all corn fields. There are soybean fields, too. 🙂
Oh, I know, Linda, but soybeans are not a manly crop. I’m not exactly sure how that would matter if true, but I don’t mention them because it’s more embarrassing, somehow. 🙂