Monday, August 27, 2012

Ghost towns and ghost roads.

The morning air was cool and traffic didn't exist. We wanted breakfast in Texas and the Sportsters got us to Mitchell's in Shamrock before we knew it. Chasing my own shadow in the morning is a strange sensation. With the hills, traffic, and that pesky ocean it can't be done. Not that I ever noticed until today but it was kinda cool!

Anyway breakfast at Mitchell's Family Restaurant was another stellar occasion. I don't know how but we've had the best breakfasts nearly every day of this trip. I'll post links when I get home so you'll know where to eat.

Our plan for today was to ride through all the small Texas towns east of Amarillo, pick up a few alignments, find a mysterious ghost town in New Mexico, and eat lunch or dinner at Joseph's depending on the time.

We picked off Shamrock and groom, maybe Conroy, missed Alan Reed completely. While on old Route 66 looking for Conroy we went straight when we probably should have turned. We continued on a well paved narrow two lane road. About half a mile into it the speed limit jumped to 75 so we nailed the throttles. No sane person could ride or drive this road at it's posted speed and not be afraid of getting a ticket. The only car we saw in 10 miles was a postal vehicle who appeared to share a 150 mph closing speed and maybe 4 feet of air with us.

The problem was when we got to the end of the road Conroy wasn't there. We had 130+ miles on our tanks and iPhone said we were 20 miles from gas either direction and neither of us were on reserve yet. We figured we'd be better off going dry on an interstate than a 75 mph road with no shoulder or traffic to find us if we lost our signal and went for Amarillo.

We made it, Lori went on reserve right before the gas station. We got 56 mpg that leg.

We stayed on the interstate until Tucumcari got gas and started hunting old alignments. We saw a ghost town along the highway on the way out. I'd read about it awhile ago and remembered it being nearly impossible alignment even though it's visible from the interstate. Lori read off a few names and they all sounded familiar. We got on 66 at the Stuckey's east of Tucumcari and followed it east. We crossed the interstate on modern bridges and single lane tunnels finally arriving in Montoya. Pretty cool but the wrong side of the highway and smaller. We continued to Newkirk and crossed the freeway no road east and dead end west so we got on the 40 West...nothing. We rode back 15 miles to explore the dead end. It went 3 or 4 miles and ended at a flooded tunnel.

West again we exited the interstate at Cuervo and crossed a bridge to the south side of the interstate. There it was, Cuervo. The town is named Cuervo and it's clearly marked with it's own easy on easy off ramps. I'm going to have to read the article again.

The real mystery was not another tourist stopped the hour we were there. All the buildings are crumbling except the church. A guy in a pickup stopped to talk and said when they widened the freeway they tore out half the town and left the other half to die. A few locals maintain the church.

We made it to Joseph's for dinner and decided to call it a night.

Breakfast will be good tomorrow too, we're going back to Joseph's!
Montoya, NM
Tunnel under I-40 in New Mexico
Church in Cuervo, NM
I want to live on Bond Street.
Old bar in Montoya, NM.
Great Breakfast at Mitchell's in Shamrock, TX.
Cuervo, NM.
Cuervo, NM.
Lonely road through Cuervo, NM.
Tin sided building in Cuervo, NM.
A bunch of motorcycle riders should each buy a property out here and save it!
Cuervo, NM.
Somebody had a hot-rod!
Cuervo, NM.

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