Westward Ho!: Day Four

Amarillo and I got off to a rough start. There was jack diddly to do, the whole city smelled like cow pies, Catie skinned her knees outside the admittedly very yummy Thai restaurant last night, and I twisted my ankle carrying my bags down the stairs this morning. We got out as soon as we could. As we passed the abrupt edge of the city into the scrublands, it became apparent that this was going to be a boring couple of hours of driving. Right outside of Amarillo though, in an unassuming field of sorghum, we found the Cadillac Ranch.

It was a spray paint covered mess, but it was an awesome mess. Even some of the sorghum along the edge of the field was spray painted. Catie had a blast poking her head into the windshield and window holes of the Cadillacs.

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Sorghum spray painted blue.

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We stopped again a few hours later in Santa Rosa to swim in the Blue Hole. It’d a sinkhole with brilliantly blue water that’s apparently quite popular with scuba divers. The water was 64° and felt freezing when I jumped from the little cliff, Catie cheering me on from the steps at the base of the sinkhole.

I jumped off the cliff twice more at Catie’s insistence, once backwards to her applause. Someone took a picture of that one, but she didn’t have cellular service when she tried to message it to me so who knows if I’ll ever see it. (Update: I got it! See 2nd Blue Hole Instagram picture below!)

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Definitely not Olympic diving.

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New Mexico was quite a change from Texas almost immediately. Instead of flat scrub, distant mesas rose up in the distance to the south. The road weaved slowly from left to right through the hills and mesas, and the signs for Historic Route 66 became more frequent. Kitschy roadside shops tried to lure drivers in with Mexican imports, Native American pottery, and “snake gifts”.

We could see the Sandia mountains from miles and miles away, so I knew Albuquerque was coming up soon. Catie has been asking every morning where we’re going today, and she was excited to be able to pronounce “Albuquerque” correctly, unlike Amarillo (“Ama-lee-row”). We passed through the mountains and came upon the valley in which Albuquerque lies and Catie immediately started yawning. Something about getting to our nightly host cities is exhausting.

We’re AirBnBing tonight, so we navigated to their home to find it empty, but it was still early in the day. I decided that we would visit the Petroglyph National Monument since it was so close to the house. Catie skinned her knees again in the parking lot, but climbed to the top of Mesa Point Trail in Boca Negra Canyon with no complaints. She was a trooper. It started to thunder once we got to the top and looked around, so we quickly hiked back down and hopped in the car and headed to our BnB. Catie and I will be spending the morning exploring Albuquerque and headed to Moab in the afternoon. Anyone have any suggestions for what to do here?

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