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Report 2041: Driving the Great Mississippi River Road

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2012

Trip Description: We drove from New Mexico to Hannibal, Missouri where we picked up the Great Mississippi River Road and drove it south to New Orleans and beyond. We put a little over 4900 miles on the car over a 35 day period. Not exactly SlowTrav but what road trip is?

Destinations: Countries - North America; Regions/Cities - Other North American region, Southern US, Southwest, Texas

Categories: Family/Friends; Hotels/B&Bs; Art Trip; Attended GTG; Day Tours; Foodie Trip; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 33: Day 1-Placitas to Amarillo

photo by BJ Firestone

Cadillac Ranch

Here we go, 35 days on the road in a car, just the two of us.

This should be interesting. Today we drove from home to Amarillo, stopping in Tucumcari, NM for lunch. As befits the start of a road trip from New Mexico, we followed Route 66 by traveling on I-40. Getting off in Tucumcari really did take us onto Route 66, which is Tucumcari's main street. Lunch was at Kix on 66 and was good, old fashioned New Mexican diner food; that is, everything had green chile on it!

On the way to Amarillo we stopped at Cadillac Ranch. This consists of a bunch of Cadillacs half buried in a cow pasture. The cars are covered with graffiti and everyone is encouraged to add to the colorful display. There are even cans of spray paint to use.

Overcome with excitement at finally seeing Cadillac Ranch up close and personal, we left, making our way to the hotel. After checking in we set out to find the giant "International Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument." Apparently Amarillo is huge in the helium business and this commemorates the discovery of helium in 1868. It was erected in 1968 with lots of helium data in a time capsule and a $10 saving account in a local bank which purportedly will be worth $1 quintillion when the time capsule is opened in 2968.

We actually found a local restaurant in contrast to the wall-to-wall chain restaurants in Amarillo and it was really good. We went to Los Braceros Mexican Grill. I had very good shrimp fajitas and since they were out of the goat Alan wanted he had an excellent steak with a spicy sauce. What a nice surprise.

Tomorrow we go to Guthrie, Oklahoma.

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