We have been in Tucumcari, NM, for 6 days. We have driven from the north to south and the east to west; we have seen almost all of Tucumcari and can’t help but think of the movie ‘Cars’. I decided to look up the the towns that were depicted in the movie on this website.
“If you are able to drive to only one Route 66 city that best resembles Radiator Springs, I recommend Tucumcari, N.M. It’s a small town that boasts a bunch of vintage motels, a Mexican restaurant shaped like a sombrero, lots of neon lights, a Route 66-themed grocery store, Tucumcari Mountain and the well-preserved Odeon Theatre, which still shows first-run movies.”
These are some of the scenes we found while geocaching in Tucumcari. This was a challenge. If we did not have the GPS working on our cell phones, there is no way we could have found a cache in this “pickers paradise”.
Another cache was found in the iconic motel, Blue Swallow, also mentioned on the website. “Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in the film is a composite of the historic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, N.M., and the teepee-shaped Wigwam Motels, with one in Holbrook, Ariz., and the other in San Bernardino, Calif. All of these motels are restored, well-maintained, and worth seeking out for a night’s sleep.”
Of course the mountain shaped like a radiator cap that overlooks Radiator Springs is inspired by Tucumcari Mountain in Tucumcari. The mountain is the dominant feature in that region for miles around. Local high-school students repaint the town’s initial on the side of the mountain each year.
We looked for a cache called Zombie Town. This was the huge Tucumcari Truck Terminal. There was a restaurant, diesel pumps (where the cache was located), a Shell gas station and store. This was totally abandoned because the Highway passed the town of Tucumcari by.
While we are stuck in Radiator Springs … Tucumcari we have been reminded that like Lightning McQueen we have had been forced to slow down. Whether we like it or not after all the crazy travel from Kansas City to Montana to Sault St Marie back to Indiana and back to Kansas City in just 2 months we slowed down even if we did not want to, just like Lightning McQueen.
We have seen the specialness of this small town from the friendly waitress in Pizza Hut that sat down to talk to us to the lady at the hotel breakfast room that greets us each morning with a smile and is sorry we are still stuck here. While caching today we were sneaking around a little building outside a historic old home when the door opened and Robby, who we had dinner with last Saturday in Logan, poked his head out the door and asked what we were doing and then invited us in to listen to their jam session. What a wonderful time we had with Robby, Carol and Bob.
I think we are resolved to look on the bright side of this situation and there are really some good things going on. We eat a fabulous breakfast each morning, we have good internet, we take long showers, everyone is super friendly, and we have gotten almost all the available caches in Tucumcari. Tomorrow we will get the rest of the caches.
The latest news on the repair is we are waiting for the adjuster to approve the recommendations Cummins suggests when a head gasket is blown. If they do not the predicted failure will cost much more than the $9,000 of this repair.