Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, September 16, 2013

On the Road... Day 2

We stopped at the Santa Ana casino last evening... a good place to spend the night.  We did walk over to the casino, but have to admit we didn't put even so much as a penny in the slots.

This morning we headed out again...  The casino is in Bernalillo...  just north of Albuquerque, so we waited until the early morning traffic let up some, then off we went...
Crossing the Rio Grande for the last time on this trip, we drove the last mile or so on Rt 550 to catch I 25.  

We drove only a few miles on I 25 and caught the Tramway exit.  Tramway runs parallel to I 25, but runs east of it and you don't have to deal with the "Big I" (where I25 and I40 intersect).  
 It's kind of neat because you drive along the foothills of the Sandia Mountains...  those shiny cables you see in the middle of the photo are the cables that move the tram up and down the mountain.  If you're ever in ABQ, it's a great ride...  that cable car goes clear to the top and the view is fantastic!

We caught I 40 just east of Albuquerque...  and not far along we came to this exit.
 I have some good memories of Tijeras.  When we volunteered at Sevilleta NWR I worked with the education program.  I'd do presentations in schools about the endangered Mexican Gray Wolf  and the Tijeras middle school was one of my favorites.  The science teacher was so enthusiastic...  usually giving a presentation to 7th and 8th graders is a pain, but not with his class.  Good memories!

On we went...  along I 40
 Some of the road was through high desert...  some through brush and junipers...
 But one thing...  it's straight...  and even though the elevation varies, it feels like it's flat and goes on forever.

Finally, outside of Tucumcari, we left New Mexico...

 And entered Texas

Well, the land didn't change much...  seemed like there was more range land...
 The recent rains have made things a lot greener than we expected.  In fact, there was standing water in many places along the highway.

The signs for this place in Amarillo began popping up along the highway...
Apparently if a person can eat the whole thing (which includes the baked potato, the salad, the side of beans and the 2 biscuits) you get it free.  I don't know how long you have to go at it.  BUT...
a few years ago we were at a Sons of the Pioneers event in Tucson, AZ...  the leader introduced the band members.  As he introduced the big guy who played the bass fiddle he said that they'd stopped at this restaurant and the guy not only ate HIS whole meal, but he cleaned up the plates of the other band members.  Guess he earned his free meal ;-)

On we went...
On to the east side of Amarillo, for our overnight stay at the local Wal-Mart.  Day 2 of this road trip is over... 303 miles is a long day for us.  Tomorrow we'll continue our drive to Ohio.

That's All For Today!


  1. 1 hour to eat the whole meal at the Big Texas. 6Lbs of meat is a pretty big chunk.

  2. You passed right by us in Albuquerque. Glad you had a safe day!

  3. Love your header pic! Yep, if'n ya get hungry stop at the Big Texas! I don't think I could ever get that hungry though...looks like ya'll are having a nice trip back so far.

  4. Nice pics. Gotta say, that's a lot of meat to have sitting in your gut. Gah! And I like meat, but not that much.
    I could never understand eating contests.

  5. The great plains are so flat. Mile after mile of mile after mile. I so recall seven kids in the van and three adults and nothing but corn. Or salt flats. Lots of books were read, in the back seats.

  6. The thought of eating all that meat makes me slightly nauseated this early in the morning! :) Safe travels!

  7. Our son got married on the Tram as it was going up. Had the reception on the top of the mountain. Lots of fun. We ate dinner at that place - not the big steak though. Watched somebody try to eat it but they didn't make it so they ended up having to pay for it.

  8. The last time I went through Albuquerque, I came up route 84 out of Texas and got on I-40 at Santa Rosa. I-40 goes through some really high country.

  9. If you left the land of enchantment, does that mean you entered the land of disenchantment?

  10. Detailed tours are much appreciated.

  11. That's a lot of wide open country. I was surprised to see the speed limit sign of 75 mph. I guess with all the straight stretches, it makes sense for the cars.

  12. lovely country ... lol ... well, hells bells, Sharon, if you're coming I40 ... please let me know ~ As you know I'm keeping Charlie everyday but surely it might be possible to say hey before you get out of Little Rock! There are a bazillion Walmart parking lots ... if you're going to just drive on through.

    Amarillo is a hoot. don't know how I missed this post... my blog roll lies a lot.