Route 66 Day 15: Vegas Baby!

After a restful nights sleep at the Blue Swallow, we set up the GPS and headed out to travel the pre 1937 alignment of Route 66. That meant…..we are going to Vegas!!!!

Las Vegas, New Mexico that is. This is not your Nevada Vegas. Let’s compare some of the characteristics of traveling to Nevada LV with New Mexico, LV.

Traffic going to New Mexico LV is very different than Nevada LV. The traffic on old Route 66 (on the left), or lack thereof, was in stark contrast to the traffic, especially trucks, on the highway. There was a steady stream of semi trucks in both directions. Even this, compared to trying to get to and around LV Nevada, is a walk in the park.

We encountered some trains too.

These are the crowds we encountered traveling to New Mexico LV; American pronghorn antelope. I prefer this crowd to the party going crowd in Nevada LV. 

Even though we were far away, keeping a safe distance, the female stared at us the whole time we took photos, and didn’t move until the others had moved off, then bounded away. 

While Nevada LV has some spectacular neon signs, the towns leading to and in New Mexico LV have neon signs too; these are vintage, many to the early years of Route 66.

The first part of the road we travelled today was lined with beautiful yellow flowers. I understand it is called rabbitbrush. These are very different landscapes than Nevada LV.

Ummmm some of the roads we took were one lane, and still drying from the rains we had last night. Time for a car wash!

More rabbitbrush landscapes. 

Landscape through a train trestle.

A red rock formation along the way. These are the only skyscrapers we saw today.

On the roadside to New Mexico LV, we came upon a historic marker recognizing Mela Leger. As a 4 year old child, she had learned to read Spanish by reading newspapers to her grandfather who was blind. Bilingual education became her lifelong passion, and she is considered a pioneer in bilingual education. She contributed to establishment of the 1973 Bilingual Education Act. 

Today was another day of new sights and new experiences. While we aren’t really gamblers, I would say we won the jackpot with our travels to Las Vegas, New Mexico. 

Art’s View from the Driver’s Seat

So tonight we’re in the “other” Las Vegas which is polar opposite to the one in Nevada. This Las Vegas has history and charm, along with a town square complete with a gazebo. In this Las Vegas, what happens here definitely goes with you. 

Tonight we’re staying in the Plaza Hotel, a very old restored hotel that’s retained its elegance from a by-gone era. 

We splurged and took a two-room suite overlooking the town plaza. Each suite is named after a famous person that stayed in the room, complete with their photo and biography on the wall outside the room. 

Initially, we were offered the second floor but requested the third (top floor) to avoid hearing footsteps at night.

It turns out that the suite we were initially offered is the Michelle Obama room. 

Our room, the one above it, is named after the actor Javier Bardem, who played the psycho killer in No Country for Old Men. 

He stayed here while they filmed that stairway scene with him and Woody Harrelson in the lobby of this hotel. That movie gives me chills.

I’ll likely still be hearing footsteps tonight.

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