Tucumcari Tonite, read the signs along Route 66. And for the travellers motoring along the old two-lane, that must have seemed like a good place to aim for: a tiny town with nothing much besides motels, diners, and gas stations.
Once you get past Oklahoma City, the landscape dries out, becomes even flatter, and the tedium begins. It must have been a hard slog in the old days in cars with no aircon and a back seat full of unhappy kids. This is the West, land of cowboys and ranchers and miles and miles of nothing at all.
The ghosts of the Mother Road are not hard to find. Glenrio on the Texas/New Mexico line is within spitting distance of I-40, and the abandoned motels and cafes are picturesque ruins.
So here is my Carrielle, driving west in a powder-blue Mustang, looking for adventure. Took me a fair bit of research to find one for her, but thank goodness for online maps and Google Streetview, and I’ve hunted down a reasonably plausible narrative. Apart from the whole day and night of wild sex part, but you know that’s a given with my stories.
Happy memories of my own from years ago. I spent way too short a time doing this part of Route 66, in the end gobbling up hours on I-40, with a flight out of San Francisco a firm deadline. Reviewing my photos from that trip is slim pickings, but at least I managed a shot of an icon of Tucumcari, artfully aged in Topaz Studio.
Right. Research over. Time to get writing. I’ve got a big trip coming up soon, and I need to get 2 500 words out each day to build up a buffer – and to catch up for a couple of slack days. The first story out of Camp NanoWrimo just needs a bit of polishing, and is only a few days away from going live on Kindle.
Image by Britni Pepper