Sunday, March 20, 2011

September 15th - part 1 more signs, the Petrified Forest, & Wigwam Motel

Drive-by shot of a muffler man for Aunt Nancy

One of my favorite signs!

Hieroglyphs in the Petrified Forest National Park

Village remains

Knowing nothing about this "petrified forest" previously...we were looking forward to finally seeing big, green clusters of trees again, it had been a long time since leaving the mid-west that we had a "fix" of green landscape. Ha!

The landscape was very other-worldly. It looked like a different planet.

close up of a petrified stump

The original route of historic 66.
At this stop we met a woman who was traveling with her husband in a 30 ft long 5th wheel, she literally could not contain her chuckles, she was amazed at how small our camper was :)

It went right through the park. The road disappeared but the telephone poles remain.

Back on the road

Stopped by the Wigwam Motel

The lady in the office gave us a key so we could peak inside. Wish we could have stayed here, but every wigwam is reserved months in advance!

September 14th - part 3 Neon

We walked around Albuquerque, and happened upon this sign...

Which was on the side of the Absolutely Neon building. On a whim we decided to go inside, and we ended up staying a couple hours! Robert the neon artist took a break from his current project to teach about the medium.

Ceiling rack storage

He let us explore the workshop

We hung out with Robert until the sun set, talking about everything from Rt. 66 neon, politics, religion, the nomadic lifestyle, rattlesnakes... He's a great guy all around. If you ever find yourself in Albuquerque (which we sure hope to, again!) be sure to check out Absolutely Neon.

Up until now I was a little bit sad that we came upon most of the vintage neon signs during the day. I really wanted to get some awesome glowing night-shots. Turns out, most of the signs don't light up anymore anyways :'( But here is one I managed to capture.

Just outside of Albuquerque is the most gaudy and brazen hotel/casino/truckstop you have ever seen. The Route 66 Casino. The place is huuuge! It has giant replicas of many Rt. 66 icons, and it is so strange to see gigantic, brand new, glowing replicas of objects that are actually decades old, and falling apart. We stopped here because you kind of have is hypnotizing in a way that makes you uncomfortable after a few minutes. We popped open the back hatch and made ourselves some tuna sandwiches under the neon glow, then continued a few more miles down the road to the smaller, less intimidating Dancing Eagle hotel/casino/truckstop to boondock for the night.

September 14th - part 2 Midpoint Cafe & vintage signs

Ever Westward...

What is left of the Roadrunner Drive-In

We stopped to eat at the Midpoint Cafe, 1139 miles away from L.A. and Chicago via 66

Ed ponders our travels

while I resist the urge to steal a dining set.

We made it into New Mexico and saw quite a few Rt. 66 icons, here is a (very tiny!) selection of the vintage signs and other sights we saw.

 Mid century modern architecture. I'm drooling.


September 14th - part 1 Cadillac Ranch

After our night spent inside of the teardrop away from the rattlesnakes, sans pudgie pies, we woke up to this gorgeous view...

We made our way through Amarillo Texas and spotted a few of Stanley Marsh's signs. I was quite excited, "Ed look there's another one! Over there...look!" as he tries to navigate city traffic while towing a ridiculous trailer. Here is one we were able to pull over for. It was a pleasant foreshadowing of what was yet to come that day...

Cadillac Ranch!! The Mecca of Roadtrippers everywhere.

Working on leaving our mark (which was probably long-gone by next week)



They still spin

Ant Farm (also known for other happenings in the 70's such as Media Burn) partnered with Stanley Marsh (remember, the sign guy?) to construct this piece of public art. Deconstruction of the cars is tolerated, even encouraged. I think the whole thing is a striking criticism of the American obsession with materialistic excess. We're driving ourselves into the ground.

Don't let the pictures fool you, there was a steady stream of onlookers coming and going the whole time we were there. I think we heard 5 different foreign languages out in this empty field on the side of the road. That is one of the many curious aspects of Rt. 66. Being an epitome of Americana, there is much international interest, meanwhile the "locals" don't seem all to impressed, or concerned with preservation.