Archive for August, 2007

Tootling Thru Tucumcari!

August 31, 2007

             Tuesday, 28 August.    Good dinner & breakfast at the restaurant adjacent to the Pow Wow.    I picked up route66 on the east side of Tucumcari and took it to where it split.  I continued on the dirt, pre-19 50s, Route 66.  It was a lovely drive seeing almost no one. I took some photos of the deserted motel at Glenrio at the border and chatted with two travelers down Route 66 who were from Chicago.    I then headed down the paved portion of 66 back to Tucumcari.    I picked up 66 in Tucumcari & drove it to Santa Rosa.  I, of course, took the routing rather than the interstate from Cuervo to Santa Rosa.  The Cuervo cut off is not only impassable but almost impossible to find.  I think I found the west end of it.    More computer problems! The universal power cord is not so universal & wasn’t supplying power to the computer.    However, I was treated to a glorious sunset to the west & a towering thunderhead to the east.    I stopped at a restaurant for dessert & met 2 Spaniards driving 66.  We had a lovely conversation. 

Getting to Tucumcari!

August 28, 2007

            Monday, 27 August.  Today was not very productive as far as doing route66. —  first the rear power outlet died again.  This prevents me from using my computer as I drive & also charging my cell phone in. I tried to call Saturn, but there was no answer.    When I finally get organized & checked out of the hotel, I headed east down I-40.  I was originally planning to call ahead and stay Tucumcari.  When I got there, my first choice was closed & and was happy with my second, the Pow Wow Inn.  Unfortunately like to any other motels the wireless only works in the lobby.    this whole problem with the car has really perked me out and also put need at least a week behind where I wanted to be.  I’m now considering giving up the slow drive down 66 after Coppercon.  While all hit the high points and sums up specific places along the way, I have the vague feeling I will only need to take less than a week to get to LA and wrap up the trip.  I’ll just have to see how it goes.

Let’s Party In Albuquerque

August 28, 2007

            Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 August  The convention was quite nice to have a small art show, but a nice one, a small dealers room where I was able to find one book to buy, and lots of new people to meet.  I had one panel on encouraging new fans.  All of us on the panel had been in fandom for many years.  I ended up chatting with people after the panel and for God to my chagrin that I had the panel right after the first one.  I don’t usually miss my panels.  That evening I was one of the judges at the small but very nice masquerade.  This was, of course, followed by parties.  I staggered up out of too little sleep for Sunday’s events.  I had a panel and auctioned at a fund-raising auction for individuals and the con.  Again, we did well.  I had a hard time keeping a straight face and was laughing very hard when I auctioned a light switch cover of a hunky male with a part of him missing which would be filled by the light switch.  The audience was also cracking up.  At the closing ceremonies I was presented with a book entitled “How to Catch a wombat.”  After the auction I had a nice chat with Vernor Vinge.  He was the literary guest of honor.  I had known him for sometime through conventions.  After a dinner where they overcooked steak, if I hadn’t been so hungry and tired I would have sent it back, I joined the dead dog party for about an hour or so.  I then went upstairs and crashed taking some Ambien to help me through the night.  This was a delightful convention,and I wish it wasn’t so far away or I would come back to it.  I’m glad my trip down route66 brought me here.

Cars, Computers & Fans!

August 28, 2007

            Friday, 24 August.  Up at 0600 in order to take my car and to Saturn.  I spent six hours there before they turn my car loose.  Unfortunately, my power cable did not work and I could not make use of their wireless system.  I did not wish to use up all my battery in the laptop.  I slowly and read a book.  They did most of what I wanted, however, only the rear power outlet was now working.  I would need to order the part.    En route to the convention hotel I stopped at CompUSA to get some goodies for my computer: a power cable and 2G of RAM.    I finally got to the hotel and settled in.  Then I went in search of food as I was starving.    Somewhat filled by headed over to my first panel.  A slide show on my trip to Middle-earth.  Once again the gods of technology and they could not get the set up working.  Later that night I was one of the auctioneers at the charity auction, which raised a fair amount of money.    I then went to a bunch of parties.

Ugly Crust Pie & Surfing in Albuquerque.

August 28, 2007

            Thursday, 23 August.  I awoke to a rain washed sky.  I headed over to the 1920s Magnolia gas station, the courthouse, Roark’s Hardware Store, and then over to Dot’s Mini Museum. Dot’s killed a fascinating collection of items related to 66.  The sides said just go on in, the door was open, and so I did.  It took a lot of photos.    from there I hopped on 66, which is the North frontage road, all the way to Adrian.  There I had some ugly crust pie along with meeting roadies from different parts of the US and Europe.    I then called it a day and drove into Albuquerque.  Once more I found that the motel had wireless only in their lobby.  This sucks.    This evening I got together with bandit, his wife and son.  We went over for some barbecue at Ruddy’s which was excellent.  After this bandit and kid let me over to a day before the con party at the home of a very well-known old-time fan in the name of Jack Speer.    I was treated to more atmospheric excitement.  Over for reuse parts of Albuquerque the skies opened and the rains poured down along with some soft hail.  When I turned in to see office where bandit was working the water was rushing so fast that you could almost surf the waves.

Lightening over Vega

August 23, 2007

            Wednesday, 22, August.    I headed back to Groom to pick up the trek in.    the day was sunny and promised to be quite warm, although the morning itself was cool and a delight.   I stopped first to get a photo of the Bug Ranch at exit 96.   The middle of the day was spent driving around somewhat in circles or maybe a figure 8.  In this way, I managed to drive the various alignments of 66, through Amarillo.    I also did the dirt road segment.  It was an easy drive and very quiet.  There was not car on the road.    I then headed West with a slight detour to view from afar The Cadillac Ranch.  I was too tired and hungry at the time to wander all way down and get close-up shots.    My next stop was Vega.  I arrived too late to really do any touring of the 66 related places there, but did drive through the town such as it is.    Later that evening, we were treated to a fine Panhandle thunderstorm, complete with lightning and thunder.  It was most impressive.

Few Hungry Radicals!

August 23, 2007

I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
-Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

Celebrating the Plague!

August 22, 2007

Looking forward to Bubonicon.  I had often heard about the con, but had never before been in a position to actually attend.  —  It has always been great fun to attend a new con with new folk.  —  The concom is being nice to this wandering wombat and putting him on a number of panels, etc.  I love doing stuff like this.  —  I was amused, when I asked about the con’s name, to learn that Albuquerque claims the title of “Bubonic Plague Capital” of the US.  Very interesting.  The things one learns by hanging around science fiction.

Barbedwire, Steak, Dirt & Mud = A good day!

August 22, 2007

            Tuesday, 21 August.    I started the day with some photos of the U Drop Inn, the Magnolia gas station and the Corner Drugstore.    Then down the old road to McLean.  First was the Devil’s Rope Museum with a small section on Route 66.  I never knew there could be so many different kinds of barbed wire.  A photo of the Cactus Motor Inn and then lunch at the Red River Steakhouse.    I superslabbed it to the west end of the dirt section by Alanreed, stopping for a photo of the neat “super service gas station.  The  drive back down the dirt road to McLean was a step into ancient history & was a neat.  I then took the paved section back to Alanreed and continued down 66 to Boydston Rd. where I turned down to do the Jericho Gap stretch of dirt road.  This, too, was a fun drive.  It was dry except for one little bit of mud.  I didn’t quite avoid it and covered the front & right side of my car in mud.  – I made it almost to Conway before deciding to call it a day.    It was another warm day, but it seemed a little bit drier.  However, hot is hot.    In between cities there is a lot of open land & big sky. The small towns seem to zip by before you know it even if one is only doing 42 mph.   Some of the grass reminds me, like the landscape does, of some of the cattle country in Oz.  However, I don’t think, spinifex grows in the US.

Looking for a 4-leaf clover in Shamrock!

August 21, 2007

            Monday, 20 August.  My first stop was in Burns Flats and Spaceport Oklahoma.  A friend works as an ATC at the airport.  I hope they have great success.    Then down 66 to Canute.  It has some old remnants of when the town had more glory.    I then visited the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City.  It is a nice museum, but the museum in Clinton is nicer in my opinion.    I crossed the Timber Creek Bridge to reach Sayre, were I took some photos of neat old buildings.    As I drove down 66 North of Hext, I noticed some ghost 66.  It ran parallel to the current road and was overgrown with some grass and brush.  At one point, I was able to access the road and drove along it for several miles before it joined the newer version of the road when it became a four-lane divided highway.  It was a fun ride.    In Erick I took some photos at the corner of Roger Miller and Sheb Wolley.    By now, the red soil of Oklahoma had become tan in color.  However, it was just as hot and humid as when the soil was red.    I took a photo of the historic jail in Texola, which had some posters on the back wall showing people who had been hung.     At the border with Texas I found the marker denoting the renaming of the road as the Will Rogers highway.  The landscape around here is becoming petty empty.    I had a pretty straight shot on old Portland cement road into Shamrock.  It have been a pretty good day covered many a mile and I now needed some food and sleep.