After five straight days of driving, we have arrived in Gallup, and we are going to squat for a day. Today was 422 miles which we accomplished in under eight hours. The cruise control was on 62 while the speed limit was 75 most of the day. The mileage dropped off today. There were some moderately gusty headwinds, but the biggest factor was the elevation gain. We are camped at 6500 feet, but we had several excursions over 7000...the highest being the crossing of the continental divide at 7275 about thirty miles east of Gallup. We did Amarillo to Gallup on a half tank of gas.
I-40 basically retraces the old route 66. Out here in the open country I-40 sits right on top of the old 66 EXCEPT when you approach one of the infrequent towns. In that case the newer I-40 makes a broad swerve, usually to the south, of the town while "Business 40", which is the old 66, goes directly through the town. There are many 66 landmarks. The campground we are currently occupying is on the old 66.
As I commented in the 2008 blog, the thousands of square miles of featureless landscape are completely foreign to us coastal inhabitants, but they serve to remind us of the country's grandeur. Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures. Tonight I'm just going to crash and get outside of a couple of martinis while Durelle makes us some supper.
Nephew Danny Taylor asked in a comment if we had sampled some of the southwest cuisine. We will tomorrow. On that score, however, I should mention the billboards leading into Amarillo. There is a steak house that advertises the "Free 72 ounce steak". So, if you feel up to eating ALL of a 4 1/2 pound steak, it's on the house!! I was just informed by a classmate who grew up in Amarillo that you must also finish the sides which come with the steak, and you must finish it in one hour.