Day 9, November 7, 2016
Start: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Destination: Taos, New Mexico
Total miles for the day: 320 miles
Total miles from day 1 start: 2520 miles
I do love waking up to the fresh smell of rain! After crashing early the night before and sleeping horribly on my triple layered box spring/sleeping pad/air mattress, we were ready to move our legs and spend some time outdoors. We drove from trail head to trail head, one after another, and eventually realized that every trail was closed due to the rain the night before! The front desk was closed too due to an emergency so they weren’t able to confirm that all the trails were closed. The lady I spoke to seemed to be in shock. (I wonder if the emergency was weather related.) So we enjoyed nature in other ways. We did a little birdwatching and then saw some Texas longhorns! They’re huge! It was very cool. We also stumbled upon a couple roadrunners, deer, and turkeys on the road. Also, because we were driving back and forth in this wet, red dirt park looking for a trail, our car ended up coated in red dirt!
After Texas, we headed into New Mexico. We were driving along what used to be Route 66 and we visited this little town called Tucumcari. It’s apparently the best maintained stretch of Route 66, which says a lot because it’s pretty short and everything around it looks pretty run down. I guess once people stopped heading west by car, businesses closed down. Somehow, this little town is still around and there are still some old motels, a gas station, and a theatre. It must be cool at night when the neon lights are on. (Also, starting in Palo Duro and through Tucumcari, every time we opened our car door, at least 5 flies would welcome themselves into the car. It was insane. There were so many!)
After Tucumcari, we made our way to Taos, New Mexico. We ended up on a very empty highway on our way there… in the desert. Marc was a little nervous we’d get stranded but we reached life in Las Vegas, NM and then we turned on to mountains roads again. Beautiful sunset on our way to Taos!