November 17, 2018

Day 5 Santa Fe – Tecumcari, Nm

Meow Wolf

Went to Meow Wolf, which is a multi level neon, dayglow, interactive art play space for all ages in a converted bowling alley in Santa Fe. What a hoot this place is! Impossible to describe, you just have to experience it. I thought of it as a combination of Disneyland and Alice in Wonderland on LSD.

These amazing giant sculptures on the grounds of Meow Wolf


Left Meow Wolf and found some landmark motels on our way out of town


Turned on to the historic Santa Fe Trail and spent numerous hours on the road where we rarely saw another car.


Santa Rosa, Nm

Santa Rosa appears to be another town that suffered being bypassed by the interstate highways that displaced Rt. 66


Bozo’s Garage and Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa

1950 Chevy Fleetline



Said good bye to Bozo’s Garage and Museum in Santa Rosa and headed East to the Cuervo turn off to get back on the last leg Route 66 for the 40 mile run in to Tucumcari, Nm.

This late in my life I should know that anytime the name Cuervo comes up there is going to be trouble …….and there was. As soon as we took the Cuervo exit there was a cattle grate and the car immediately stopped running when we rumbled across it. This isn’t something we really wanted to deal with as sunset was approaching, nobody else was getting off at the Cuervo exit  and it was cold. Guess it could have been raining or something worse but the impending darkness and cold were enough. We pushed the car to the side of the road and I began troubleshooting the problem. There was weak spark at the plugs and it appeared to be the HEI ignition coil was blown.

1950 Chevy Fleetline

So we called AAA and got an operator in Portland, Maine and had to go through an exhaustive description of where we were, what had happened and that we needed a tow to the D&B garage in Tucumcari. He said OK I’ll contact the nearest tow service and have them call you.

While we were waiting I started thinking about all of the vibration we endured crossing the cattle grate and decided to try hot wiring the distributor just in case there was a flakey connection from the fuse to the distributor.

Just as I was getting ready to test it the phone rang.  Kathy picked it up and the local tow dispatcher told her they were sending a winch. I could here Kathy saying wrench…. wrench we don’t need a wrench we need a tow. The dispatcher then told her that the message they had received from the AAA All Knowing Dispatch Center was that we had run over a gate at D&B auto in Tucumcari and had to be winched out of ditch. So after telling her that we were at the Cuervo off ramp and wanted to be towed to D&B Auto the dispatcher said she was glad we cleared that up because if we were at D&B auto and had run over their gate we must be stealing a car.

It was at that moment that I tested the hot wire fix and the car started…..Whew! We thanked the frustrated dispatcher and happily drove the last 40 miles to the famed Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari just s the sun was setting.  As we pulled in we were treated to non-stop 50’s rock from their outdoor speakers..

The Blue Swallow was, built in 1940, has 14 units, each with its own garage and the rooms are restored in retro ’50’s style


Our little piece of 50’s paradise
1950 Chevy Fleetline


Every guest garage had hand painted murals

Had one of the better meals we’ve had on this trip at Del’s Restraurant in Tucumari and it was only $37 for two.

After dinner we hung out with folks from the UK, Germany, Texas and Illinois around the roaring bonfire at the Blue Swallow. Great folks with great stories…all true vagabonds.

Another amazing day!