Albuquerque, NM: A relatively short, but scenic, drive today through the Painted Desert, past Shiprock and the Petrified Forest and at least 338,442 "Indian Trading Posts" selling blankets and pottery and fry bread and what have you.
Just as I was leaving my room at La Posada, however, I noticed a framed clip from an old magazine that was hanging in the room. Remember, I was in the Carole Lombard Room. Well, here is one mighty strange photo of Carole Lombard smoking a cigarette:
I waited until Gallup, New Mexico to eat anything. That's because New Mexico has some of the very finest food to be had in the country. In the restaurant at El Rancho, a very funky, old movie stars of the 30s and 40s hotel, I had delicious huevos rancheros Christmas style - half red / half green chile. I have stayed in the hotel once before - in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Suite. It isn't expensive. I recommend it. Although I'm not really sure what the part of their slogan that says - "Convenience of Tomorrow" means.
Not far beyond Gallup, I crossed the Continental Divide. All the water that falls on on the east side of this sign flows out to the Gulf of Mexico and then the Atlantic Ocean. Water on the west side flows to the Pacific. I was thinking I might pee on the side of the sign - it was about six inches wide - and spend some time speculating as to where my pee would end up, but there was a woman tending her garden nearby so I didn't. Yet another missed opportunity to imagine conducting a scientific experiment.
One of my favorite things about driving across America is that the weather becomes a significant feature of the landscape. There are some much more dramatic examples of what I mean in an earlier blog. This one. But there was some pretty attractive weather today.
Before dinner - chicken enchiladas Christmas style (it's the only form of Christmas that I like at all, otherwise I'm a total Scrooge) - I cruised around Albuquerque. Like a lot of places along the remnants of old Route 66 it really plays up the connection. I sort of prefer the ghost town parts.
Tomorrow it's into the Texas Panhandle, stopping in Amarillo to admire the stockyards.