Penny and Bob's Great Adventure - 2012 travel blog

Our campsite at Mountain Road RV Park

Don't know if this is a weird antenna ... or some road...

Tucumcari Mountain

Historic Route 66 goes right through the town

Scenes at the Quay County Fair






End of the day at the Fair

Some Tucumcari history


Beautiful building signs












Today we moved the 193 miles to Tucumcari, NM, a little town right along Route 66 although we got there via I-40. According to legend, the town got it's name after a nearby mesa that, according to Wikipedia, got it's name from the Indians:

Legend has it that Apache Chief Wautonomah was nearing the end of his time on earth and was troubled by the question of who would succeed him as ruler of the tribe. In a classic portrait of love and competition, his two finest braves, Tonopah and Tocom, not only were rivals and sworn enemies of one another, but were both vying for the hand of Kari, Chief Wantonomah's daughter. Kari knew her heart belonged to Tocom. Chief Wautonomah beckened Tonopah and Tocom to his side and announced, "Soon I must die and one of you must succeed me as chief. Tonight you must take your long knives and meet in combat to settle the matter between you. He who survives shall be the Chief and have for his wife Kari, my daughter."

As ordered, the two braves met, with knives outstretched, in mortal combat. Unknown to either brave was that Kari was hiding nearby. When Tonopah's knife found the heart of Tocom, the young squaw rushed from her hiding place and used a knife to take Tonopah's life as well as her own.

When Chief Wautonomah was shown this tragic scene, heartbreak enveloped him and he buried his daughter's knife deep into his own heart, crying out in agony, "Tocom-Kari"!

A slight variation of the Chief's dying words lives on today as Tucumcari, and the mountain that bears this name stands as a stark reminder of unfulfilled love.

Some credit this folk tale to Geronimo. Others, believing the claims to be apocryphal, purport the tale variously to have been concocted by anyone from a 1907 Methodist minister to a group of local business people seated together at the old Elk Drugstore each embellishing the stories one by one. Nonetheless, the town is named for Tucumcari Mountain, which in turn takes its name from native origins.

Pulled into the Mountain Road RV Park around 1:00. Got set-up then drove to town to mosey around the Quay County Fair. This is the last day and most all the animals have gone home but there were still some sheep, pigs and cattle there. After spending about 2 hours there, off we went in search of dinner. Ended up at the Rockin' Y restaurant where we had a very good meal.

The next day we did some more exploring around town and marveled at the fantastic paintings on the buildings. There is some great artwork there. After that, we drove north 30-something miles to the Conchas Lake State Park. This whole area is part of the drought and it's a shame to see how some lakes have dried up completely while others have but a mere trickle of a creek left. Conchas Lake is down but there were people there fishing, camping and swimming.

Back to the camper to get ready for the trip to our old standby on the east side of Amarillo, Texas...AOK Camper park.

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