We departed Cottonwood around 8:30 on Tuesday morning and headed North on I17 to continue East on I40, climbing again up to 7200 feet and bidding the snow covered ground farewell.
We continued East on I40 thru Arizona into New Mexico. Traveling mostly through desert high plains and remaining at over 6000 feet altitude.
At one point in the day this was our view on the drivers’ side;
And below was the view on the right side:
Interstate 40 follows the historic Route 66 through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, to Oklahoma City, where Route 66 turned North to Chicago.
The old road, which John Steinbeck affectionately named “The Mother Road” still holds an attraction to most who follow it’s path. It harkens to the time when Americans had a love affair with their automobiles and the open road, and it is a sad reminder of the price of progress. We saw many remnants of the grand old road and the motels, diners and garages which lined its route. We stopped for breakfast in Holbrook AZ (just east of Winslow and its famous corner) and realized that we had parked in this exact spot at the same diner, on our last cross country trip seven years ago.
We crossed the Continental Divide (on Route 66) near Grants, NM about an hour west of Albuquerque.
This is at 7200 feet elevation and at this point, all rainfall runoff divides to the West into the Pacific or to the East and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Stopping for the night in Santa Rosa, NM, we will continue East tomorrow and hopefully make it east of Oklahoma City. We are threading a “weather needle” with snow storms just behind and in front of us so we are timing our travel accordingly!