We took a spur of the moment day trip today to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Tucumcari, for as long as I remember, boasted it’s “1000 motel rooms”. My intent was to shoot the signs of the many motor courts and motels there from the heyday of American travel on Route 66. Instead, I ran headfirst into 2010.
The photos above are most of the remaining post-war signs that that greeted tired and hungry travelers for decades. Things change. There are new motels are on I-40, and most of the old have been “removed”. My fault for not stopping any of the two dozen times I’d passed through over the past 35 years (always with film and cameras)… What should I have expected when kids in the Brazilian jungle wear Bart Simpson tshirts?
Dinner at Del’s was good – both American and Mexican. 🙂
Pecos Daisies, 1988, 8 X 12 black & white photograph, -Mark Scantling
Afternoon clouds were gathering as we drove north along the Pecos River. By the time we got to the old adobe church, there was more cloud than light. I saw the splashes of light on the south side of the church and grabbed my Nikon and 200mm lense to shoot the white arched-window frame. I overexposed to further darken the church for a moody feel. Finally a dagger of sunlight hit the daisies under the window and across the adobe at the corner of the church. If I had time, I would have used my tripod to get better focus and a sharper image. Overall though, I’m okay with the slightly softer focus.
Back story: East of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, is a canyon called Holy Ghost, named presumably by the Spaniards who explored and settled the area. The canyon is in the Pecos National Wilderness Area. I visited the area the first time, in 1961 when I was 5 years old. My parents rented a cabin for a week, and I learned about outhouses, wood stoves, trout fishing, and uncooperative horses. Very rustic! I also took my first photograph there with a Kodak Brownie. Through the years, my wife and I have camped and visited several times. It is one of the most tranquil places I know – as well as being one of the best smelling because the canyon is filled with Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and at higher elevation, Aspens. Great daytime hiking and nighttime stargazing. I suggest a good bottle of red to enjoy with your campfire.