The Great American Total Solar Eclipse Journey – Day 2

A day closer to the eclipse

It’s a bright sunny morning as we depart from Winslow, AZ. It’s Thursday, August 17, 2017. Were another day closer to the Eclipse on Monday, August 21. Heading east as we travel down I-40, we’re enjoying the scenery but definitely thinking about this coming Monday. Checking weather forecasts on out phones as we drive, we keep seeing that the forecast is for mostly cloudy. Maybe I made a bad choice in choosing Jefferson City? Only time will tell. Until then, we’ve got many things to see.

We arrive in Holbrook, AZ in mid morning. We exit off of I-40 and cruise through town on Old Route 66. Right away, Margaret spots an old sign at the “West End Liquor” store. It’s a great old sign with an arrow. The colors are good to, blue, yellow and a touch of red. Now, will the blue standout enough against the bright blue morning sky?

As we travel further into Holbrook, it seems as if “Jurassic Park” has claimed Holbrook. There are dinosaurs everywhere. Here are a few.

In Gallup, NM we went to a supper Market to get some fruit to snack on as we were driving. We found a sign with not only an arrow, but also the word “arrow” in the sign. We were now in our third state during our trip and we were finding subjects for my projects everywhere. We need to spend at least a day or two in each town to explore all the possible targets. Definitely I will have to plan to make a much slower trip along I-40 (Old Route 66). I can only imagine what the rest of the trip will produce.

In Albuquerque, NM we stopped to gas up the car and had a quick lunch at Subway. It was then back on the road to get to our days destination, Tucumcari, NM. In Tucumcari out motel was the legendary “Blue Swallow Motel”. It is an excellently preserved remnant of Old Route 66. Being old, I knew it wouldn’t be handicapped friendly. They were very friendly and had it so we could park right in front of room. I could get in and out of room using my cane. The motel area was gravel, I couldn’t use my wheelchair to get around. I could wait until dusk shoot the neon at the entrance of the motel.

Earlier in the afternoon we found some interesting old signs in Tucumcari. There was a sign from an old non-existent “Ranch House Cafe”. The sign was still there, but no cafe. While there are many signs to photograph, I’m having problems getting to the right location to photograph them. Many of the signs I’m finding are located in areas with out a hard surface. This makes getting to them very difficult if not impossible with my wheelchair. But, who said life was easy.

Next there was an old sign for a non-existent Shell gas station.

Hiding in some bushes and trees was a sign for the “Paradise Motel”. It must have been a swell motel at one time. It had TV’s and a swimming pool. There is so much great old reminders of days gone by, we could have spent 2 weeks getting here instead of 2 days. I’m also noticing a trend, signs that still exist, but what they are advertising no longer exists. I’m happy for this trend since without it, I wouldn’t have so many old signs to photograph.

I also found an “Arrow Sign”. That’s what I call them. I first saw these when I photographed RAAM in the mid 1980’s. There are a few in Southern California, but as you get further east and south in the US, they are everywhere. There are many different styles. They vary from being in pristine condition to various states of decay. I’ve wanted to travel and just photograph these signs as a project. Here’s a sample.

Tomorrow will be Day 3. We’ve had great weather the first two days and we’re hoping it continues for the eclipse. Checking the weather report each day it still show partly cloudy for eclipse day.

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