Day 3… Destination Albuquerque, NM (Jul 2) 2010

Woke up in Lubbock to overcast skies and slight rain.   Lucy was ready to leave as was I, but first we had to go find Buddy Holly’s grave.    Holly is buried in the Lubbock City Cemetery on the east side of town.   The rain seemed to lend the appropriate atmosphere for a visit to the legendary singer’s grave site.   The grave can be found right inside the cemetery to the immediate right and is a rather understated grave at that.  Lucy paid her respects and then we were off.

Lubbock is a huge mecca in the West Texas cotton trade but there is not much too look at on the drive from Lubbock to Amarillo.   We headed north on interstate 27 which was an uneventful trip with more windmills along the way.   Plainview is a larger town on the way to Amarillo and also a major player in the west Texas cotton trade.   I stopped to take photos of the large collection of cotton warehouses in Plainview – all empty as the cotton crop has not been harvested yet.   I-27 also took us thru another cotton city.. Tulia, TX.

Thanks to the rain, which slowly passed as we drove north, the sky was beautiful with big white fluffy clouds.  You can see sky everywhere as the land is simply that flat.   About 30-40 miles south of Amarillo, we passed thru Happy, TX.  Yes, I said Happy.   I found this funny but later a friend of mine gave me a little significance of Happy, TX – there was a movie made back in the late 90s so I  may just have to check it out.

Amarillo Hello!   Finally we made it and we were starving.    We did not hang out much in Amarillo since we still had 4 hours more driving to get to Albuquerque by dark.

Heading west on I-40 we stopped just outside of town to tour the Cadillac Ranch.   Seriously this was pretty cool but Lucy absolutely did not want to get out of truck.   She kept running to the opposite side of truck.  There were about 50 people in the field coming and going.     In the end, I got her out of the truck but she fought me the whole way.   I got a great shot of her in front of the cars.   Apparently you can bring spray paint cans and write stuff on the cars.

After Amarillo the landscape does change but not slowly.   Just all of the sudden it goes from flat land to suddenly there are these canyons in the distance where the flat land just drops off – like miniature Grand Canyon.    The mountains then just start showing up before you even reach the New Mexico border.    I was pretty excited after looking at flat land with very little crops and a bunch of Star Wars looking windmills for the past day.    For those of you who are old enough to remember Roy Rogers and Gene Autry  movies, that is exactly what the terrain looked like and i could just imagine them riding across the canyon looking for cattle rustlers or whatever they exactly did in those movies besides sing.

Once across the New Mexico border (about an hour) we picked up the midway point of legendary Route 66 in Tucumcari, NM.   Road originally began in Chicago and extended all the way to Los Angeles.  There is an obvious effort to restore vitality to this legendary road while still retaining the classic look of it’s heyday.  Wrapping up our photo op at the Route 66 monument, we got back on the interstate with no more stops until Albuquerque.   Remainder of drive was easy until we reached town and the setting sun – very hard to drive with setting sun blazing directly in your eye.   Albuquerque was more mountainous on the entry side (eastern) than I had anticipated, but the city was very easy to navigate thru to our hotel on the north part of city.    Nativo Lodge was a step up from the La Quinta Inns of the previous 2 nights and I got a wonderful deal on expedia.com by paying in advance.   Hotel staff were extremely friendly and the hotel was decorated in the local tradition of Indian culture.

Also for anyone traveling with pets there is a website www.dogfriendly.com that has been extremely helpful with hotel listings, dog parks, attractions allowing dogs and even restaurants that allow dogs.

Last ordeal for the night once at hotel was Lucy’s absolute reluctance to get on the elevator.  Since our room was on the fourth floor I had no choice but to pick her up and get her on the elevator.