Well, I told people who asked that we would probably spend Christmas in a Super-8, and here we are. In Las Vegas, New Mexico (not to be confused with Las Vegas, Nevada), a small town northeastern New Mexico. We weren’t really fixed on this motel chain — but how can you beat free soup and salad for supper (green chili tonight, whatever that is) and a free hot breakfast–all for $59? And, according to the desk person and the plaques hanging on the wall, this is THE NO. ONE Super-8 in North America.
Here’s a new feature: I’ll try to include a map of each day’s travels. And perhaps I’ll go back to earlier posts and insert one there, as well. But not this evening…
Driving across western Kansas and the panhandle of Oklahoma today, we moved from flat, flat prairie to the beginnings of the landscape that typifies New Mexico and Arizona: mesas, gullies, mountains jutting abruptly out of flat land. Memories of our time in New Mexico two years ago, and a preview of the next couple of weeks.
And, of course, Kansas is the land of Oz.
We drove past a dozen, at least, abandoned houses along our stretch of highway–and this is just one road through the huge agricultural heartland of America. Huge acreages with great silos and farmsteads in the distance, empty houses and dilapidated barns close to the road. A requiem for the family farm.
Hawks. Everywhere. It must be hawk heaven on the flat prairie–little critters to feast on all year long, and open land stretching forever.
A couple of places we decided to pass by: The world’s biggest hand-dug well; Panhandle U (down a dirt road); the Dalton Gang hideout.
It’s a funny feeling to be on the road on Christmas Eve and planning for a Christmas Day far from home, far from family, far from grandkids and stockings and turkeys. In a Super-8. It will be the first Christmas in my life that I haven’t opened gifts, emptied a stocking–yes, even the grownups in our family do that–sucked on a candy cane, eaten too much stuffing. Instead, we will explore the Las Vegas National Wildlife Preserve for awhile and then travel on…destination as yet undetermined, though I think we’re ready to spend a couple of days in one spot. Not this spot, though, we’ve decided.
We may awake to a white Christmas…they’re calling for a millimeter of snow here overnight.