|Sat, 30 Jul: Four states in four hours...
Yes, we really were in four states today; Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Of course, we were already near the southern line of Kansas and drove thru the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas. Still, we're pretty proud of our gal Carpe Diem.
As has been our practice this week, we awoke when we awoke and didn't tarry too long in our wonderful bed. Even tho the sunrise was later than we're used to since we're at the extreme western edge of the Central Time Zone, we forced ourselves to get moving and face the day like adults. Still, there were isolated snivels here and there.
Once we got ourselves fed and the coach ready for the road Sandi rolled wheels about 0820 and drove all of ⅕ of a mile to a nearby Wal*Mart fuel station to top up with diesel at (only) $2.199/gallon. Once fueled we connected the car and pulled out of the Wally parking lot at 0845.
A short drive down Western Avenue in Liberal brought us to US 54 and another five miles to the Oklahoma line. We continued on US 54 southwest thru the Oklahoma Panhandle to the Texas border, only 56 miles or so. Once in Texas it was much of the same, only this run thru the Lone Star State's Panhandle was another 93 miles.
US 54 runs along the Union Pacific Railroad's main line so train spotting was a big part of today's entertainment. We also got hit by a bird (or did we hit the poor thing?) Thankfully it hit the edge of the windshield so we didn't sustain any damage. The bird, however, probably didn't fare as well. What we can say for sure is that it isn't the only road kill along this stretch of highway.
Once we crossed into New Mexico we entered the Mountain Time Zone and regained an hour of our lives. US 54 is a pretty lonely stretch of road in these parts and we drove 79 miles with no services. Thankfully we were comfortable and well fed in our self-contained home on wheels.
We arrived at Tucumcari around noon (local time) and got checked into the Cactus RV and Motel. This place is located on Historic US 66 and was originally opened in the '30s as a "motor hotel". Several of the original buildings remain and are listed on the Registry of Historic Places. The RV section is modern with 50 ampere power, water, sewer, cable, & wireless. This is a Passport America park so we received 50% off the posted prices.
Once set up we walked a half block to Del's Restaurant. In business since 1956 this place was crowded with locals and the food was excellent. Sandi's chile relleno was one of the best she's had in quite a while. And, to top things off and to prove that we're really in New Mexico, we both had sopapillas.
Today's run was a comparatively easy 205 miles with a fuel economy slightly north of seven mph. Why so poor? We had strong headwinds much of the way and we're currently at 4,100 feet altitude. Climbing costs diesel.
Tomorrow we plan to drive to Albuquerque where we'll spend two days enjoying one of our favorite cities.