We left Durango to go south into New Mexico “the land of enchantment” well, we’ll soon find out. I had an enchanting dream last night when I eventually got off to sleep. I’ll try not to bore you, people’s dreams are the most tedious thing to listen to, but you will have had this one yourself if you have driven over here. You are doing 5 mph over the limit , this seems to be de rigur here anyway, even when it’s 75 mph, so we are bobbing along at 80, your rear view mirror is filled with a logo, it reads, Peterbuilt , Freightliner, or Kenworth, it’s a mirror image you can’t really read it but you know what it says, it is mounted atop a massive chromium plated radiator grill, about 1 sq meter in area, this in turn is sat on a bright shiny equally chromium plated 18 inch deep 8 foot wide bumper.
It’s telling you to get a move on, or I may have to eat you! as a friend of ours Robin Mayne would have put it ” piss or get off the pot” go! Get out of my way! I woke sweating .Not enchanted then , more nightmared.
Have you noticed the design of all these monster American trucks? They look so much like a malevolent Buffalo it can’t be a coincidence, the big bumper, very grinning mouthlike, the radiator grill, like a nose, the smoke stacks couldn’t be more like horns if they wanted to be , stuck right in the air as if on a charge, the windscreen is split down the centre to give the impression of a scowl, ” my god I’m in a bad mood” these eyes are saying “so watch out”. All 3 manufacturers have the same basic look that can’t be anything but desired and deliberate.
We moved out of the green and usable Colorado into New Mexico, the change is gradual the green thins , except where irrigation is used, it gets sparser and more brown until we end up with the same topography I’ve reported before. Parched earth, tumbling mesas that begin to look like abandoned quarries, there is more growth though, the shrubs are a bit taller, there is the odd tree, but the earth itself appears as hospitable as a spitting cat. We cross dry gulches, The sat nav has them colored an attractive blue, but there is more moisture in sumo wrestlers loin cloth.
Once passed Albuquerque heading east on I40 things start to get greener the further we go looks more like you could graze cattle, it is August so one can’t expect lush grass but there are signs of that possibility, there is even verdancy when you look from a low angle. There are nimbus, and rain visible in the distance all around us now , we seem to be missing it though ,lightening as well just to add a bit of drama, as we leave the i40 to find the famous but defunct route 66.
It is mostly gone now the 2 lane highway of 50 years ago, made famous by the song. The businesses that you find now are dilapidated ruins, some still function as a service to the odd nutters like us who come for a sniff of nostalgia. The motels and restaurants mostly have “for sale” signs that look as if they too, are passed there hay day. Some stretch’s of Tarmac do still exist , we must have traveled along 20 or 30 miles of them with the i40 just 10 yards away. Grass and weeds poke through the black top now though. It is still repaired but not well , more bodged up, I suppose it is understandable it’s so little used. We swaped sides every now and again, some times we were on the north side sometimes on the south but always parallel . It must have been a heck of a journey back then. When on the interstate the miles are gobbled up so fast we are actually ahead of schedule.
We pulled over at a decent motel with an outdoor pool , we used it before dinner, and we don’t feel stiffed 91 dollars all in, with they say, a hot breakfast to boot!