A quick click of the pic is all it takes to make your day.
My last sunset at the Valley of fires last night. You can still see the smoke from the various forest fires hanging low on the horizon.
I left Valley of fires about 7:30 this morning and had about a 200 mile, two-lane blacktop drive to get to Fort Sumner, and then up to Santa Rosa, which is near I-40.
I first stopped at Sumner Lake State Park in New Mexico and was very disappointed in the condition of the Park. It was run down, and some of it was even closed. It looked to me like it was suffering a severe shortage of money to pay the people to take care of the place. So I decided to hat-up and mosey on up the road to Santa Rosa Lake state Park where I'm currently ensconced.
I've boondocked here before and found it enjoyable and have yet to see a reason I should feel otherwise. I figure I'll stay here at least a couple of days. One of Santa Rosa's claims to fame is the famous highway Route 66 went right through town, so I need to go downtown and see if I can catch a Route 66 vibe or two.
I've never taken the opportunity to explore Santa Rosa, but this time I'm going to try to spend more time in town to see how much of Route 66 is left. Every once in a while if I'm anywhere near Route 66 I get the urge to one day follow route 66 and drive as much as possible on the original route. Mostly because I enjoy seeing, and obviously taking pictures of, the old buildings and especially the old signs.
There's a lot of little towns in New Mexico and Arizona that lay claim to being on the original route 66, but unfortunately in a lot of cases being on Route 66 was a death sentence for the little towns, as most of those places were bypassed by the new interstate highway system, and were left to wither and die a slow financial death.
The towns may have only been a few miles from the interstate and the thousands of people driving by at 70 miles an hour. But they might as well have been on the moon. With no time or interest in stopping for a hamburger and milkshake at a nameless little town in the desert miles from nowhere, tourist, flew down the interstate only paying attention to the latest in fast foods and big name motels.
So as soon as the new interstate highway system opened their fate was sealed. The small towns, villages, and yes even tourist traps were finished. Prime real estate on main Street was taken by the County for back taxes forcing main Street businesses to move to greener pastures, and their employees to drift off looking for better jobs.
New Mexico and Arizona had a lot of those little towns.
There's a great view of the lava field from this campsite, but experience has taught me that if the wind is blowing you may have to tie yourself to the picnic table.