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Route 66 RV Park

Weather door of Cactus RV Park Tucumcari New Mexico on Route 66

We were gone just a little more than two days during our recent trek down Route 66 to Tucumcari, New Mexico, but it was long enough to realize that sadness, beauty and hope are still alive on this old American highway.

Cactus RV ParkEarly Wednesday morning while everyone slept, I got up and photographed as much of the town as I could in about a 30-minute time-frame.

Route 66 RV Park

The Cactus RV Park is a bit of a mystery. The landscaping on the property was well maintained — not overgrown like many of the abandoned motel parking lots in Tucumcari. But, there was not a soul in sight, and the paint on all the doors was weathered.

I nearly gasped when I realized that the owner of this property decided to knock through a portion of the motel to make a path for RVs. I could not believe that anyone would do something so stupid. They ruined it.

Abandoned Motel Route 66
Cactus RV Park

When I tell people we went to Tucumcari, I get mixed reaction. There are those who completely get our fascination with roadside motels. The desert neon calls my name just as much as the faded sun of folklore signage that’s desperately in need of preservation.

Route 66 Motel Tucumcari

But, then, there are those who are perplexed by our choices, and who can blame them? It’s risky taking your kids to a place where there’s really little or nothing to do. But, honestly, they had a great time and your kids would, too. They played with the hula hoops half the night under the lights of the Blue Swallow Motel and swam in the city pool during the day. It’s a great pool, by the way. One of the nicest I’ve seen. Everything doesn’t have to some impressive, grand production to count – to be a vacation – to make your kids happy or feel great about a summer excursion.

Cactus RV Park Abandoned Motel

All this reminds me of an interview I heard recently on National Public Radio. It was with author Susan Cain who wrote Quiet: Unleashing the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

“Introversion is really about having a preference for lower stimulation environments. So it’s just a preference for quiet, for less noise, for less action. Whereas extroverts really crave more stimulation in order to feel at their best…

Cain talks about conditioned responses to certain types of activities, and how many times the choices people make are more reactionary and not really based on what they love or want to do.

Cactus RV Park Pink Stair Railing

What I want to do more than anything is savor my children’s tender years. I want to watch them swim in a pool in the desert underneath a neon light. I want to hear them giggle, dive for quarters and play LetsMakeBelieve. These years are as brilliant and brief as the spark of a firefly. And as it turns out, just like the towns on Route 66, they too, are disappearing! Both need our love in order to thrive.

Have you ever stayed at a Route 66 RV park?

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. RoseByrd

    How long it has been since I have seen so many cut-stone faced buildings!  Wonderful!

  2. yogiabb

    Life is right now, and I think you know that. Our kids are grown in a flash.

    I can’t believe the guy cut the building!!! Surely there was another way to do what needed to be done.

    I laughed at the image of you getting up early to take pictures. That is how I get my geocaching, and much of my taking pictures done(you do photography, I take pictures).

    I love the comment about introversion. I’ll have to check the book out. I go to lots of conventions but I get overwhelmed and go walkabout for long periods while I regroup.

  3. Leplusthree

    I loved the sentiment Jen … I’m stealing the quote to explain to people why we choose country over city living 🙂 le xox

  4. Andi Fisher

    I’ve got to pick up that book, the quote is perfect. I could have gotten lost taking photos for hours!


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