The Great Baseball Ride: Caddies Half In The Grave, Teepees, and Vintage Motels – Route 66.

Yesterday was a travel day and all Route 66. The goal for the day was to catch more sites along the Route, and eventually make it to our overnight stop in Flagstaff, AZ so as to get closer to our next MLB game; the Arizona Diamond Backs.

The first site seeing stop was still in Amarillo, TX. at Cadillac Ranch. We mentioned our love of the Disney/Pixar movie Cars in our last post, and this particular art installation was the inspiration for the Cadillac Range (mountains) depicted in the movie.

Cadillac Ranch was created in 1974 by a Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels. “If it had been sited in a remote place,” Chip Lord said, “it would be pristine today.” “And no one would have seen it,” Doug Michels added. “We wanted it to be an interactive monument, so people could express themselves.”

Tucumcari, NM had a few vintage motels. The Blue Swallow motel was one of the more charming ones.

In Santa Rosa, NM, Keke got sucked into the latest trend in girl traps; wings painted on buildings.

Keke had the El Rancho Hotel on our agenda for some time. Evidently, the El Rancho in Gallup, NM is famous for being a stop for movie stars, especially those shooting Westerns in the area.

Ronald Reagan, Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and Spencer Tracy are among the reported 158 movie stars that have stayed at the El Rancho Motel in Gallup, NM.

Another site that inspired the movie Cars was the Painted Cliffs in the Lupton, AZ area. When we got there we weren’t exactly sure what we were looking at. This particular spot was closed at the time (gate was shut), so we couldn’t explore what the shops/site might entail.

Part of the Painted Cliffs in Lupton, AZ.

There are three Wigwam Motels left in America. Two of them are on Route 66 and this one is in Holbrook, AZ. These motels are the inspiration for the Cozy Cone Motel that Sally runs in the movie Cars.

Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZ.

We didn’t get many great pictures of the natural scenery, but it’s worth noting how beautiful we found much of New Mexico and Arizona to be. We’d never been to either, save for short stints driving through the very NE tip of AZ in the dark. I had pictured desert and tumbleweeds, but was very pleasantly surprised with the mesas and mountains we saw.

We eventually made our way to Flagstaff and found our hotel (Howard Johnson), but headed to the Galaxy Diner for a late night dinner before checking in.  I like the romanticism of a diner, but don’t like greasy spoons, so I tend not to frequent them. This diner was very good, however.  The all-day breakfast called my name, specifically the breakfast sandwich (egg, shaved ham, cheese, and tomato all on a croissant).

After a bit of confusion with a newer employee at HOJO check-in, we were able to get into our room. Around $80 or so for the night for four of us, this HOJO was a good deal; a nice, clean room, at a reasonable price. It was late, and we were tired, off to bed.


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