Fotoeins Fotografie

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Posts tagged ‘road trip USA’

My Kicks on State-68: Classical Gas Museum in Embudo, NM

I’ve always been mesmerized by highway signs and fascinated by the history of big highways. There’s also big nostalgia, because Dad loved highway driving and road trips. He was the sole driver on the Trans-Canada highway between Vancouver and Calgary or on US Interstate-5 to Bellingham and Seattle. How obvious is it then, that a deep yearning for open roads comes directly from my father.

The following is a part of day 8 (of 17) in our drive through the American Southwest.

We set out on a day trip from Santa Fe to Taos and Taos Pueblo, with a scenic drive on New Mexico highway NM-68, the “low road” or “river road” along the Rio Grande river between Española and Taos. With low light in the morning hour, we didn’t see it when we drove north to Taos. But on our mid-afternoon return on the low road, we found the Classical Gas Museum in the small town of Embudo. We pulled into an open sandy rocky patch, marvelling at the collection in front of rusting gas pumps and a wooden building resembling a historic gas station.

The Classical Car Museum is owned and run by Johnnie Meier who is a retired scientist and former employee at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory. His interest and collection grew to the point where he needed more space. Reading about the museum is one thing, but it’s no match for seeing in person his extensive collection of memorabilia, including whole and partial gas pumps, highway signage, oil cans, gas company signage, license plates, a model gas station, a working vintage Coca-Cola cooler, a classic car or two, an entire “pre-fab” diner building, and a mascot for a once thriving restaurant-chain. From within the building, it’s the glow which provides further fuel for interest, and once inside, the neon and warm illumination of symbols and signs combine for the inevitable “wow!” Altogether, it’s a broad mix of elements from mid 20th-century American history which is all about highway-driving and open-road nostalgia. There’s a saying about how someone’s junk is somebody else’s treasure, but the entire collection deserves careful cataloguing and a larger permanent building. A new museum would be fitting somewhere along the old US-66 highway. Santa Rosa, NM is a leading candidate, but other cities in the state are also possible.

For now, the museum is located next to highway NM-68 in Embudo; the coordinates are 36.209102 degrees North, 105.951658 degrees West. The museum sits on 0.81 hectare (2 acres) of Meier’s land, and the museum building is 93 square metres (1000 square feet) in size. There is no admission charge, though donations are most welcome, especially for the local animal shelter. You might want to call ahead (505-852-2995) to see if Meier is around in case the building is closed.

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The Pi(e) in Pie Town

Above/featured: Welcome to Pie Town. The 2018 Pie Festival was held on 8 September.

The two words reach your eyes and enter your brain.

Pie Town.

The questions are immediate.

What? Who? Why? How do I get there? Is there really pie?

A sense of calm eventually prevails, and that’s when planning begins. Because there’s firm promise: “oh there will be pie.”

Fast forward to our drive through the American Southwest over three weeks in October 2018, and our adventure is drawing to a close.

With morning sun and excellent conditions, we’ve departed Tucson for a long drive for which there are three goals. One, we must arrive in Santa Fe by tonight to catch our flights out the next day. Two, we have to stop in Albuquerque for a return visit and chomp on a spicy stuffed sopapilla at Mary & Tito’s Cafe before they close at 8pm. Three, we’re desperate to visit Pie Town which by design is on the way to Santa Fe. We’re on the road for over 300 miles (480 kilometres) through Arizona, into New Mexico, and to Pie Town, and that’ll be followed by another 220 miles (350 kilometres) to Santa Fe.

The car continues to roll along the paved undivided two-lane highway on a stretch of lonesome landscape with short stubby hills and tall grassy fields for company. US-60 is nowhere as famous as its northerly US-66 counterpart; both are historic national highways. As some have noted, driving present-day US-60 comes very close to similar conditions on US-66 in the latter’s bygone heyday.

The miles add up, and the hours tick by. Isolation is punctuated by farms, ranches, and small towns. We’ve made notes about the towns, because there’s always a need for fuel: gas for the car, snacks and drinks for the occupants. Small towns may not look like much on first approach, but I know the welcome greeting and warm atmosphere are in store as soon as we step inside a shop or restaurant.

Our destination in New Mexico isn’t “nowhere.”

Because there, pie awaits.

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Continental divide, US-60, US route 60, Pie Town, New Mexico, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: East on US-60 at the continental divide

I begin 2019 with glimpses from the road over two weeks this past autumn in the American Southwest.

Driving east on US route 60, a sign appears two miles outside of Pie Town, NM. The sign reveals the highest elevation reached over the entire length of the highway. Here at an elevation of 7796 feet (2376 metres), we pass by the geographic feature known as the “continental divide” which separates rivers flowing east to the Atlantic from rivers flowing west to the Pacific. The coordinates of the highway-sign are 34.291 North, 108.101 West; this location is about 72 miles east from Springerville, AZ, and 81 miles west from Socorro, NM.

This picture complements one taken at the town of Continental Divide, NM as we drove west on I-40 from Albuquerque to Flagstaff.

I made the picture above on 19 October 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the settings: 1/1000-sec, f/11, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-cBH.

Springerville Volcano Field, Springerville, Arizona, US-60, US Route 60, United States, USA, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: US-60 in the Springerville volcano field

I begin 2019 with glimpses from the road over two weeks this past autumn in the American Southwest.

Driving east on US route 60, extinct cinder cones begin to pop up on the landscape in an area known as the Springerville Volcano Field containing over 400 cones and volcanic activity with ages between 3 million years and about 300-thousand years ago. The volcano field is situated between Show Low, AZ and Springerville, AZ; is one of the largest volcanic fields on the Colorado Plateau; and is the youngest volcanic fields in the United States. The cinder cone shown above at right is Cerro Quemado.

I made the picture above on 19 October 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the settings: 1/1000-sec, f/11, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-cBQ.

Dreamcatchers, Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, AZ, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Dreamcatchers (US-89A)

I begin 2019 with glimpses from the road over two weeks this past autumn in the American Southwest.

On US route 89A just east of Navajo Bridge are market stands along the side of the highway. Some were occupied with wares for sale; others were empty and abandoned (for the season). An “ageless superposition” against the backdrop of the towering Vermilion Cliffs seemed like a good idea at the time. But time itself seems unimportant because we’re standing on lands of the Navajo Nation.

I made the picture above on 13 October 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the settings: 1/1000-sec, f/13, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-cC3.

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