Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rt. 66- Good Manners

We continued on through Texas and found more evidence of the effects of Route 66's loss. More business locations closed, towns affected. We drove into Adrian and expected more of the same. At first, we found it and then we came to the end of town. Closed shops, cafes, and stations lined the old route. At the western end of town, you could stand in the middle of the road and look out to US 40. The traffic passing by and not knowing that this town existed.(Pictured below)

The only cafe open on this late Sunday afternoon was the Midpoint Cafe. You see, Adrian is the geographic midpoint of Route 66, 1139 miles either way. Half way here and half way there as locals say. There are 192 people left in Adrian, mostly farmers north of 66 and ranchers south of 66. In it's heyday, Adrian had two dozen assorted stations, cafes, shops, and other businesses for Rt. 66 open 24/7.

Now it's the Midpoint Cafe. We stopped in for pie and coffee, recommended by Gary from Missouri. They were ready to close, but didn't turn us away. The pie was a little pricey, but worth every penny. My wife who makes great pie surrendered her crown to Joanne the pie maker. We sat down with the folks from Midpoint and found that some of the characters from Disney's"CARS" were based on this cafe. My family and I had a great break from the road. I could not help but think that these folks had the 66 spirit that is part of it's lore. We were treated like special guests, treatment that experts are paid big bucks to instill in employees, the folks from Adrian seem to possess naturally, just good manners. The Midpoint Cafe may become a habit for me.

Good bye Adrian and Texas, now New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.


In Tucumcari, we checked out the Blue Swallow Motel. It is an old route standard and restored. The rooms are made out to look like the forties and the carports are next to each room. The carport interiors are painted to look like famous movies such as "Easyrider" and "CARS". I look forward to staying next time.

Across the old road from the Blue Swallow is the Tee Pee Curios shop. It was closed when I visited, but the inside looked to be bursting with good stuff.

We head off to Sante Fe and leave the scrub brush of New Mexico behind and travel into the Juniper Pines region. The fields on both sides of the road had herds of Angus cows and we were treated to observing two bulls twisting their horns in a duel. Then we had to move on.

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