Friday, March 14, 2008
Tucumcari Part II - American Kitsch
It is a very good thing I decided to stay in Tucumcari today and not drive on. As I type this the wind is blowing at about 50 miles an hour. The RV is really rocking back and forth. Fortunately there are no large trees near the RV or I would be worried.
As soon as the sun came up this morning it started blowing and according to the weather report it will not abate until after the sun goes down. I'm very sure the news will report vehicles blown over by the wind on the interstate. Driving in conditions like this with a high profile vehicle is really asking for trouble.
The wind can be considered to be a blessing in disguise for me. If not for the wind I wouldn't have stayed here for another day. I only would have seen a half mile stretch of old Route 66 and that would have been a shame. Because of the wind and my proximity to Route 66 and the old Tucumcari downton area I had a loooooong kitschy walk this morning. When I say this morning, I mean ALL morning. I left the RV at about 8:30 this morning and did not get back until right at noon. Walking all the way.
I walked up and down old Route 66. I walked to and around the old downtown area. I walked my socks off and I walked in the wind. As I record this post, I can tell that I have a good case of windburn. I wore a had....no I brought a hat but had to carry it all morning because it was so windy that it would not stay on my head. I saw a good part of Tucumcari.
Tucumcari is alive and dead at the same time. It is exciting and sad at the same time. This once glitzy town is now for the most part a has been. Being a has been can be exciting in an odd sort of way. The main strip of old Route 66 has thirty or forty old, run down, boarded up businesses. The surviving business are struggling. You can get any number of motel rooms on this street for less than $20 a night. (I'm really glad I have an RV!)
Most of the businesses, alive or dead have great old signs...or remnants of great old signs. Even the old boarded up businesses have elements of kitsch and/or charm. What a great walk...a walk back in time. At the same time it's depressing because every where you look is failed dreams. Dreams of a thriving business that would support a family. Untold dollars that never made a profit.
Exciting or depressing...it's still interesting and I enjoyed the day. This is not the only thing I have to show you about Tucumcari. Another great story is just around the corner but that will have to wait till the next time I'm hooked up to WiFi.
Tomorrow, I'm headed very slowly back to the Denver area. I will not make it to Carlsbad Caverns as I had planned. It's just too expensive to travel like this. Tomorrow morning I will head west to Santa Rosa a distance of only 50 miles. If it looks interesting, I may stay there for the night. If not I'll head north towards Las Vegas, NM. Wherever I end up there will be stuff to see and do.
Thanks for visiting.