Gallup to Santa Fe

After spending a comfy night in an old Route 66 motel, I went out to find Lucille had been snow-dusted overnight. Then, I had to relearn how to walk on black ice. Scary stuff!

Lucille meets snow.
Lucille meets snow.

I took off in the morning gray and was delighted that the highway was in good shape. Cloud cover was thick, and dawn gave little light.


Then, a truck passed me and flipped dirty slush onto my windshield. I hit the wipers, but it was so cold out it froze into a blur. Tried the wiper fluid, but the slush must have frozen them shut. That’s when the sun chose to burst through the clouds and hit my windshield dead on.

I was blinded! Zipping down the highway at 65, and I was unable to see a thing. I braked, turned on the flashers, and watched the white stripes next to me for guidance. I couldn’t pull onto the shoulder – it was solid ice.

I’d slowed to maybe 35 when the road began to curve, and the sun no longer hit the windshield in the same way, so I could see. Sort of.

Thankfully there was an exit ramp in about a mile. I took it, pulled over, and threw snow on my windshield while using the wipers. Finally got clean glass. That sudden inability to see a thing is probably the single scariest thing that has ever happened to me while driving.

From where I cleaned my windshield.
From where I cleaned my windshield.

Then – on to Santa Fe, no other incidents. The scenery on I-40 between Gallup and Albuquerque is beyond beautiful. With the cloud cover and sunlight slanting against the mesas, it was hard for me to keep my eyes on the road. Unfortunately, the ice on the shoulder kept me from pulling over for photos.

I passed Native American territory, recognizable by the occasional hogan and the areas of government-built housing – cookie cutter houses all painted the same color and placed too close together. How fast do a people lose their culture when they move into a place like this?

I met a woman I know through Facebook for lunch. She’s one of the few people I’ve “liked” on Facebook without actually knowing her. She took me to a fabulous place called the Back Street Bistro where I had a seafood chowder. GO to this place if you’re ever in Santa Fe!

Then, I caught up with an old Bisbee friend who now lives north of Santa Fe. I hadn’t seen her in five or six years. We had coffee near the plaza. Good, New Mexico coffee, the kind that is brewed with piňon. I may have to buy thirty or forty pounds of it. Well, maybe two.

I found another Route 66 motel – an old and worn motor lodge with carports. I chose it especially for the carports because more snow was predicted, and I didn’t want to have to scrape Lucille with a credit card. Again.

But – no snow.  This morning I’m off to breakfast with another old friend from Bisbee. I haven’t seen this woman in maybe fifteen years!

El Santuario de Guadalupe, downtown Santa Fe.
El Santuario de Guadalupe, downtown Santa Fe.

Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

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  1. Looks (and sounds) like a beautiful trip…especially when you can see it!!!
    Good thing you kept your cool. That’s our Emilie!
    I’ll be looking forward to more lovely photos and interesting stories…

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