|Cuervo cutoff, Route 66.|
|Yucca, a seed pod that looks like a flower.|
During the ride to Tucumcari I was thinking how much the appearance of a town influences its destiny. People have been talking about how some of the abandoned places we pass through seem sad. It makes them want to avoid those places. We want to be a part of vibrant, successful things. Travelers pass through and make a quick judgment based on what they see. Cyclists see more than most folks in cars or motorcycles. But it's not possible to see everything.
|Sometimes we see only cookies, bananas, and Gatorade...|
|Inside the old school house in Cuervo.|
At the TePee Curios shop, I found this tribute to Bob Waldmire. You might remember him from the Hackberry post. Bob was a traveling artist who lived in an old school bus on Route 66.
There is a lot of positive, creative energy if you know where to look. Many of these folks are living on the margins right now. They don't fit neatly into a traditional narrative of success. But experience with failure does not make you a failure. It's the first step in an evolution.
The Blue Swallow Motel is a classic 1930's motel on the main drag. Each room has a little garage next to it (that's where the bikes are sleeping). It's incredibly welcoming, attractive, and well-kept. A fabulous neon sign flags down travelers. Under the original owner it was apparently a little bit of a scary place. New owners have fixed it up and made it into a motel where anyway would want to stay. I'm going to sleep well here tonight. It's not cookie cutter. It's part of the real Route 66.