July 16, 2010

In search of Route 66 (a momentary panic)

Nearing I-40 (Old Route 66)

ranch view motel neon sign
Checkout any time you like, but you can never leave

After reaching Carrizozo, New Mexico, at sunrise (around 6 am), I arrived in Vaughn just before 8 am. At this point, I had a full day ahead, with Shamrock, Texas (5 hours or 302 miles east of Vaughn), as the planned destination. Coming up, along Old Route 66 (Interstate 40 primarily), were eleven different towns, two being "biggies" - Tucumcari, New Mexico, and Amarillo, Texas. I had a list of around thirty-five things to photograph (with ten specific sites in Tucumcari and twelve in Amarillo alone), and I knew (hoped) I would also come across lots of unexpected items. There was certainly an endurance test ahead of me.

western motel sign
So when I got to little Vaughn (5.6 square miles, population of 539), I had a brief moment of genuine panic and terror wash over me when this thought occurred: "If each of the eleven towns on my list have as many things to photograph as Vaughn does, I am completely scr*wed!" My mild OCD (joking, I think) was going ringy-dingy-dingy-dingy!!. I knew, for example, any neon signs I saw along the way, I would just have to stop and capture. After all, when would I ever come this way again?? And if things everywhere were like Vaughn, there was a looong journey ahead. But the moment of devastation passed as I reassured myself I would just have to stick to the list and be more discriminating with my choices than I might be if there had been only one or two towns to explore. Wiping away dusty tears (kidding), I took a deep breath and continued on....

western motel sign
Western Motel

the skyline motel
skyline motel neon sign
Imagine that - a vacancy.

gulf in vaughn
an old Gulf Service Station

the ranch house cafe
Ranch House Cafe

ranch house cafe sign
ranch house cafe sign
yucca motel neon sign

Carrizozo, New Mexico
Vaughn, New Mexico

Santa Rosa, New Mexico

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