Posts Tagged ‘cactus motor lodge’

 “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra

Cactus Motor Lodge

Tucumcari, New Mexico, is a city full of Route 66 memories.

Until you take a closer look. — Photo by Pat Bean

One of those is the old Cactus Motor Lodge where I stayed this past week. Not in the lodge itself, but on the property where it once stood.

While the former well-used motel rooms, some with their own auto garages, sit vacant and ghostly, the grounds have been turned into a landscaped RV park. While I was there, it was popular with both travelers and western kingbirds, the latter an especially nice touch for this avid birdwatcher. The gray flycatchers with their bright yellow belllies were all over the place.

The historic stone lodge, once neatly trimmed with bright orange and yellow paint, was built in the 1930s. Its office was converted from an old dance hall, where gambling was conducted illegally in the basement, according to some unsubstantiated information I turned up on the internet.

The dance hall supposedly had an escape tunnel, which was most likely cemented in when a swimming pool was built at the lodge in the 1950s. At least that was the guess of new owners who looked for the tunnel, but couldn’t find it.

Memories from Route 66’s past, when gas was only 39 cents a gallon, seeped into my thoughts as I walked my canine traveling companion, Pepper, around and around and around the property. She’s a young dog with a gazillion tons of energy and I’m an old broad who needs to keep walking.

We’re the perfect pair of wanderers. And Route 66 is providing us with plenty of colorful opportunities to wander off the beaten track.

Bean’s Pat: This Man’s Journey http://tinyurl.com/7wkhksa A different take on the photo challenge.  Perhaps we all need to unfocus a bit.

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