Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.
Originally published 26 February, 2014
Our last stop of the day, our campground in Albuquerque.
The Marines have a saying......"Adapt. Improvise. Overcome." It was one of those days.
We stayed in a Walmart parking lot last night.....and were awakened late by the carbon monoxide alarm in the motorhome. CO is something you don't wanna screw with. It will kill you. So we turned off the furnace, (which we thought was the source of the problem...maybe a holed heat exchanger) and started the generator to run the electric heaters.
Route 66, running side by side with I-40
About 4 am it went off again......and we couldn't figure out why. Maybe the generator exhaust was leaking in......we touched it and it was rather warm where the small electric heater was nearby. Maybe it's a heat thing. Either way, neither of us had ANY of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, so we thought maybe the alarm wasn't working properly. These alarms use sensors, and sometimes they can go bad, and sometimes have a shelf life.
Landmark route 66 filling station
When morning came, we took the thing down and examined it properly. It seems that it expired in 2008. It came with the motorhome and unless you took it down and read on the back, you'd never see the expiration date. Best guess, the sensor went screwy and gave us false alarms.
Route 66 bar, Prewitt, New Mexico
To top this off, we got a call from Heather (our daughter) at 7 am telling us she had lost her purse. Her phone is tied to Laurie's account so this set off a mad scramble to deal with things. Being the paranoid type that I am, I had an extra key to her truck on my key ring. I had it copied and I bought a new carbon monoxide detector. Laurie worked the phones trying to get her phone replaced and I found a place with a Fedex box.
Four legged shadow monster
While Laurie was working the phones, I installed the new carbon monoxide detector (which solved the problem) and we started rolling towards a truck stop an exit west that had a fed ex drop box. We Fedex'd a key to her truck and while I was rolling east, Laurie continued working on the phone issue. It took about 3 hours.
While Laurie was on the phone, I decided to take my film cameras and shoot the train going by with the mountains in the background. I set up over by the tracks, but a safe distance from them. A high rail truck came by and the guys in it told me I had to go back towards the road...that I was on the railroad right of way. I wasn't going to fight with them.....but it wasn't posted, there were no signs, etc. Back east, they post where the boundaries are so you'll know how far back to stay.
Shooting photos out of the motor home
Laurie finally finished with the cell company and we headed on down route 66. We stopped at an old road side bar with a very large parking lot. We looped around in the parking lot, which was right by the train tracks. I planned on taking pics from there....it's off the right of way and shouldn't be a problem. Then the wind picks up.....slinging dust everywhere. So I adapt, improvise, and overcome. I wedge the tripod between the bed and the wall and shoot out of the motorhome window. It works.
Iconic Route 66 signage
We head on down route 66, checking out old buildings that were there when the original road was there, and other things along the way. There are more intact pieces of route 66 here. We go for 15 or 20 miles, then back on the interstate for 5 miles, then on old route 66 for 25 miles, then back on the interstate for 10 miles.....etc. I also realized that a lot of route 66 had NOTHING on it....it's just open road. The buildings, especially the ones left, have some distance between them.
More iconic signage
Some areas have buildings that I'd like to photograph, but no place to pull off. Not much we can do about that...so we keep going. We get closer to Albuquerque and our studies tell us that taking the motorhome on route 66 through Albuquerque might be a bit......tight. So we decide that we will stay in a RV park tonight, and tomorrow night. This will allow us the chance to explore Albuquerque in the truck....a much more agile beast than the motorhome.
Dinner at the Standard Diner
We arrive where we're staying, which is right on old route 66, which is Central Avenue in Albuquerque. We set up and decide to head into town for dinner....and to check out the neon signs that route 66 is famous for. We drive into the city and start seeing old places with cool signs. We go to the Standard Diner in downtown for our dinner. It's not a real original diner....it's only about 8 years old. But the food is exceptionally good....it's kinda like an upscale fancy diner place. Dinner was superb.
Albuquerque has tons of neon signs
We leave from Standard Diner and head east, checking out the neon as we go. If you do neon here......you're probably a wealthy man. There's tons of the stuff. The thing about route 66 is that it travels through some of Albuquerque's nicer areas.....as well as some of it's seedier areas. I decide I'm going to shoot one of the neon signs, and we pull into a parking lot. There are people coming out of the motel towards us, hookers start coming out of doorways, and people on the street start our way. Yeah....I'm armed as always, but we just don't need this crap. I don't even get the cameras out.....and we leave.
Welcome to Albuquerque!
We head back west towards the motorhome. I shoot one place with my film gear and realize that I may not have fast enough film for what I want to do shooting neon. So I fall back to my digital and shoot a few neon pics for the travel blog. We shoot our way back west towards the motor home and finally arrive.
Albuquerque is a spot of light in a vast desert sea of black
It's been a hectic day. I'm tired and worn out.
Quote of the day- When Bill drops the Fedex package in a dropbox at a truckstop, he buys coffee for himself, and tries to buy a cup of decaf for Laurie. Bill to counter lady: Do you have any decaf? Counter lady: We're a truck stop. We'd never be able to sell that here.
Song of the day: Considering how long Laurie spent on the phone...."In the waiting line"- Zero Seven
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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