Western States Part II
October 3, 2009 - Clinton, OK to Albuquerque, NM

We left Clinton, OK under, once again, clear blue skies and moderate temperatures.  As usual we headed even further west along I-40.  We crossed into Texas about 8:45 in the morning, anb then cut north to the Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument southwest of Fritch, TX for what we hoped would be our next National Park Passport Stamp.  Unfortunately we got skunked on this one.  When I called before our trip I was told that the ranger in charge of the station took guided tours around twice a day and our visit coincided with one of those tours.  We decided not to wait an hour for the ranger to get back, took a few "I Was There" photos, and headed southwest again.

Update - 10/30/09 - I sent a letter and self-addressed stamped envelope to the park office in Fritch, TX. when I got back home and requested that they stamp a piece of paper and send it back to me.  They were good enough to do this so I did manage to get a Texas stamp after all!

I'm going to pirate a couple of photographs from AGirl's ride report because I wasn't in a position to take them.  As we entered the Alibates Flint Quarries site AGirl motioned that she was making a U-turn for some reason.  No surprise in that, it happens frequently!  The reason for the U-turn was a surprise though.  She had spotted a small critter crossing the road and needed to get a photograph of it.  I decided I needed to help prod it the rest of the way across the road before someone else came along and made a squish mark out of it.  No, I don't know if Tarantulas can bite.  No, I wasn't going to get real close to it.  Damn right I kept my gloves on and used a long piece of prarie grass to prod with!


We crossed into New Mexico about noon, made it into Albuquerque late in the afternoon, and stopped by the Petroglyph National Monument for another stamp.

We had pushed pretty hard the past couple of days to get to Albuquerque, NM and there was a good reason for that.  When we started planning this trip AGirl mentioned that she would like to stay at the Route 66 Hostel in Albuquerque.  She really enjoys hostels and the experiences that they offer so I agreed.  We made our reservations in August and only later found that the weekend we would be there was the weekend of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Had we not made early reservations I'm not sure we would have found a place to stay since lodging in Albuquerque was pretty much full!

The hostel was interesting, never a dull momemnt with AGirl around, and we met some interesting people who provided advice on how best to view the mass balloon ascension of the following morning.

We organized our "Stuff" at the hostel, talked to a few of the other visitors, and then decided to get something to eat and go look at the balloons.  We are both pretty much down-to-Earth people who prefer simple fare for meals so we picked a simple sounding place named the "Standard Diner".  Our first clue that something was amiss were the white tablecloths on the tables.  The next were the wine glasses waiting to be filled, and finally was the waitress who spent several minutes describing in detail how the special of the day was prepared.  OK, so maybe the Standard Diner isn't what we expected.  We decided to take our helmets and gloves and leave the manicured clientele to pick their own jaws up off the floor.  We headed down the road a bit and had a hot turkey sandwich at the 66 Diner instead.  The juke box in the corner, the Coke signs on the walls, and the old-fashioned soda fountain were much more to our liking.

Fortified with a good dinner we headed back to the hostel, got things ready for the following day, and closed the book on this one.

Trip Totals:
Miles Today: 556.3 (GPS)
Total Miles: 1,404.9 (GPS)
States Crossed: 5 (TN, AR, OK, TX, NM)
AGirl's ride report for this date is at This Page