The Santa Fe Roundup

Trip Start Jul 29, 2011
Trip End Aug 02, 2011

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hello Again!

This time I'm OFF the road, back home in Chicago.  I tried getting online at the Albuquerque "Sunport" (a/k/a airport) last Tuesday, but couldn't do it.  So, after our flight home was diverted for awhile in Milwaukee due to a storm and after getting back into the routine this week, I'm finally writing what should have done a few days ago.  Sorry for the delay.

I left Santa Fe Tuesday morning during a warm day, which got warmer as I got closer to Albuquerque and down to a lower altitude.  The big local news in Santa Fe while I was there was the homecoming for Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, who won the Medal of Honor after saving a group of Rangers from a grenade.  While throwing an enemy grenade away from his fellow soldiers, it exploded and Sgt. Petry lost his right arm.  Not only has he received the Medal of Honor--the first for any Santa Fean and the second person from New Mexico since Vietnam--President Obama earlier presented him with a Distinguished Service award.  The pride around town extended to visitors like myself.  In striking up a conversation Monday afternoon with some people from Colorado, they, too were into the sense of occasion.  I also saw the pride people had in Sgt. Petry when I arrived in Albuquerque on the 29th, as a HUGE line of soldiers in fatigues and veterans from various wars lined the airport terminal to welcome him home.  Tuesday morning's front page of the local paper, The Santa Fe New Mexican had a large picture of Sgt. Petry at Monday's parade saluting the American flag...with a prosthetic right hand.  It was a humbling experience to witness all of this.

I left Santa Fe (reluctantly) and headed south on Interstate 25, but didn't get into albuquerque on that route.  Instead, I took "the highway that's the best" as the song says: America's Main Street, Route 66.  Albuquerque may have the distinction of being the only town that has two entries from 66.  From 1926 to 1937, 66 went to Santa Fe from a tiny stop on the highway called Cline's Corners.  After '37, the U.S. Highway Department decided to straighten it out, so it bypassed Santa Fe and now runs east-west from Tucumcari and Santa Rosa, more or less in line with Interstate 40.  But 66 devotees still include the old alignment up to and down from Santa Fe.  Thus, you can enter Albuquerque on old 66 either from Santa Fe to the northeast or on its east-west alignment.  As with every other place on 66, Albuquerque is proud to be on the old highway, which includes Central Avenue running straight through downtown.  A showpiece on this stretch is Albuquerque's Kimo Theater, built in 1927 and beautifully restored.  Even if you don't have time to take in a show, it's worth admiring the building's exterior with its Southwest motif.  If you're hungry, a stop at Lindy's Diner across the street at 5th and Central, or Nick's Crossroads Cafe a block away will satisfy you.

This was another terrific excursion.  More than just a "vacation" it was another journey, an adventure.  For me, that's what every trip should be about.  Then again, it would be darn near impossible NOT to have a terrific experience in the place aptly named "The City Different!"


Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: