Thursday, 4 August 2005. Elk
City, OK to Albuquerque, New Mexico
Back onto I-40 about 8:30 a.m.
While a scheduled "burn" day, the trip from Elk City to Albuquerque turned
out to be very pleasant. The heat has broken and temperatures were
mostly in the mid to high 80's. We dodged a few showers, but otherwise
traveling was uneventful. Traveled the through the remainder of Oklahoma,
then the panhandle of Texas, then into New Mexico and a time change.
It's remains surprising to us how the terrain and flora seems to change
as we go from state to state — Oklahoma to
Texas to New Mexico, even though the state boundaries seem to be more or
less arbitrary lines on a map. As from Missouri to Oklahoma, after each
border it soon looks different.
Above: The Texas Panhandle
Right: Mike on Route 66 at New Kirk, NM
Bottom Left: Route 66 &
the New Mexico Desert at New Kirk, NM
Railroad is the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe)
Bottom Right: New Kirk, NM
(all of it!)
We got to Albuquerque about 5 p.m. The drop from the New Mexico
high desert east of the city into the Rio Grande River valley and the City
of Albuquerque is rather dramatic — 7000 feet
to 5000 feet at our motel on Central Ave. near the river. This
section of Central Ave. was part of the old Route 66. Compared to
our Econolodge of the night before, this motel was luxurious at less cost,
and even had a small indoor pool.
That evening, we walked a block or so from the motel to Albuquerque's
Things had pretty much closed up, and only a few shops were still open.
Supposedly this square is pretty much as it was a hundred years or so ago
— but being a skeptic, I wonder. We stopped in
one bar for a (weak) Margarita, then on to another café
for a second and dinner. Pretty good Mexican. Very good Margarita.
The next morning, I was up as usual by 7 a.m., and went to the lobby
with the notebook so as not to disturb Michael. I got caught up on
my mail and trip log. Then I decided to walk down Central Ave. to
the Rio Grande River. While the arroyo is quite wide (the bridge is
perhaps close to an eighth mile long), the stream itself was very narrow
— much as I remember it from my long ago business
trips to Albuquerque.