Tuesday, April 29, 2008

11 days, 7 states, and counting ...

We just pulled into a little roadside motel in Amarillo, Texas, called the Camelot Inn, styled sort of like the Excalibur in Las Vegas, only a fraction of the size -- and price. We got our comfy but flashless double for $43, which includes free donuts and coffee in the morning and, surprise, free wireless.

It's been a long day of driving for poor Michelle though. We realized that our leisurely sightseeing along Route 66 through Arizona yesterday set us back a bit on our mission to reach New Orleans by Friday's JazzFest lineup. So we pushed on tonight farther than we planned.

Good couple of days, though. Today began at the Motel DuBeau, pictured above -- really now a youth hostel, the DuBeau Hostel -- a vintage 1930s-era stop on old Route 66 and our cool Flagstaff, Ariz., find. We drove across Arizona, into the beautiful mesa country of New Mexico, with a quick walk around old downtown Gallup and a stop for lunch at the famous and picturesque Hotel El Rancho just east of town. We played cards for a short while at Route 66 Casino (everything here milks the name) outside Albuquerque and then crossed into Texas to Amarillo.

That makes seven states -- Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas -- since we left home on April 19.

Fun, but a long day. Tomorrow back on the road to Oklahoma City, and we're still debating the best route from there: south to Houston then east to New Orleans; or east to Memphis and then south to New Orleans. Thoughts, experienced travelers?

Here are a few shots from the past couple of days.

Michelle in Vegas:

Mr. D'z, the awesome roadside diner in Kingman, Arizona, on Route 66, which really deserves its own post. It caters to bikers, like a lot of places on this highway, and advertises "Best Harley Dog in town!" I ordered one up. "I hear you make the best Harley Dog in town," I said to our waitress, Ginger. "Well, it's the only one, really," she said. I figured. Pretty good hot dog, though:

The storied El Rancho, host to movie stars once upon a time. The sign says, "Charm of yesterday, convenience of tomorrow":

Typical sight on today's long drive:


freda said...

Houston is a big sprawling mess, but once you are past it, it is an easy drive to NO, and you will pass by Lafayette and through Baton Rouge on the way. They are forcasting lots of rain on Friday, and some rain on Saturday morning, clearing in the afternoon and nice on Sunday, so if you are flexible you may want to go to the jazz fest on Sunday instead of Friday.

Anonymous said...

Freda's right-once you get past Houston, it's about a 6 hour straight shot drive. Pretty dull landscape though...I gotta go to the Fest on Friday because the harmonica player in my band is playing in the harmonica showdown in the Blues tent at 1:30 and my neighbor in Lafayette (who cuts my grass) is playing Fais-do-do stage at 11:30. Friday might be my only day to go this week. Rain predicted on Friday and Saturday and but Sunday looks clear. Hope to see you soon ...Sandyman

Janice said...

I'm probably too late, but the best way from Albuquerque to New Orleans is through Dallas then south around Shreveport. No need for Oklahoma or Tennesee

freda said...

Janice is also right, there is an interstate from Shreveport through Alexandria that didn't exist when we lived here before, but I still think I 10 is better.

Rita said...

Love this blog. You even make the desert sound fun. (The only part of the desert I like is Las Vegas).

Michelle, you make the El Rancho look like a hotel that caters to movie stars of today.

Keep up the great coverage.

freda said...

hey Sandy, what is that fantastic resturant just outside Lafayette, I think it is in Crowley, it has a fantastic crawfish dinner, crawfish seven different ways. If they are near Lafayette tomorrow evening, they really should check it out.

Anonymous said...


I think we'll probably still do Friday, because fest in the rain is better than fest in the ankle high mud for the two days after the rain. Hey Sandyman, do you have a spot in your driveway for us on Friday?

Anonymous said...

I think you might be refering to Black's Restauraurant outside Crowley. There are also a bunch of good boiled crawfish joints in Abbeville. Very rustic. What time do you think you will be coming in? Nat has to work so she needs our single parking space but I can put my orange cones on the street in front of my house till you get there. Give me a call on my cell at (504)909-9069 to remind me to save a spot for you....Sandy