Route 66: Day Six

So…no UFOs to see last night, what about today? Yes! Well, at least from the Roswell UFO Museum, which was our first stop on Day Six. This museum is pretty awesome, and a little quirky at the same time. If you’re looking for the facts on how it all went down, you’ll find them here. Lots of period photography of the key players involved, along with copies of signed affidavits of many military personnel and other witnesses about what they saw. Also cool were the installations throughout the museum. They had a neat little radio ticker tape thingy in the “office” where the broadcast was sent out. If you pressed the button next to the speaker you would hear the recording of that broadcast.

As you walk around you’ll find lots of documentation on the walls, photos and some…quirky stuff. There are some “artist’s interpretations” of the event, in the form of dioramas. Some were pretty cool, some…eh…not so much. They had a “life-size” set up of some aliens, maybe 4, and a UFO behind them. This was the biggest installation in the museum. Also found on the walls were paintings and photos of unidentified objects, created by people from around the world. They had photos and descriptions of crop circles, types of UFOs and other miscellaneous trivia. On the way to the gift shop, you would pass “the operating room” where a Man in Black stood next to a surgeon and an alien on the table. While some probably think it was dorky, I thought it was interesting, and perhaps plays out with some authenticity. The gift shop had a decent assortment of books from key Ufologists as well as the token alien t-shirts, mugs, key chains, buttons…breath…pencils, hats. And so on. Route 66 coincidence: the total for my purchases from said gift shop = $66.00. As we were about to leave, we found the “Roswell Research Library.” This area consisted of a few rooms packed with books, video, magazines, audio…all with topics of UFOs, outer space, old sci-fi topics. This used to function like a library until things didn’t come back after being checked out. Everything is still tagged like you were in a library, but you can only do your research while you’re there. Everything has to stay on the premises.

Since we got a late start, we got a late breakfast. Starting to see a pattern here? Once again, we went with a Mexican themed restaurant, this one was called Martin’s Capitol Cafe. Huevos Rancheros for both of us. Raspberry tea for Brian, Dr. Pepper® for me. One bit of beverage trivia…on this trip, I am finding Dr. Pepper® pretty much anywhere. One waitress even said, “It’s the best soda ever,” and I have to agree with her. Back to brunch. The Mexican food on this trip so far has been outstanding! The plates come out scalding hot and the food is just so flavorful! I love it!

After perusing some of the local gift shops (most kinda sucked), we ventured out on an architectural hunt, courtesy of our intel from last night’s waitress, Kim. She told us where to find the air base for the former 509th Bomb Group, so off we went. This base is now an airport (go figure) and apparently a university of sorts. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the buildings. We drove around “the base,” as I like to call it, slowly, with the windows down. I was shooting my Canon 7D through the open window trying to maintain a stealthy profile. You know, in case someone was watching. We found what appeared to be period correct “old” buildings, so I shot those. Next up on the list, the Ballard Funeral Home. We found out about this gem from our stint at the UFO museum. It was here that the aliens were to get their “child-sized” coffins at the request of the military. Not sure what all went down here, but I have photos of the building. Mustang included. The last stop on our hunt proved to be a bit elusive. We were looking for the radio station where the broadcast was transmitted about the UFO crash. We found this info in some book at one of the weirdo gift shops on Main Street. Rather than buy the book just for this tidbit, I took a snap of the page with my camera and then we split. As we drove around we figured the building had been repurposed as we couldn’t find it anywhere. Then we saw a radio tower. This had to be it. I took a crappy photo of it and then we split. Got a few snaps of the “Now Leaving Roswell” sign (and turned around to get the “Welcome” version)…and we were off, on our way to Holbrook.

Our goal was to get a room at the Wigwam Motel. I call them Tee Pees, but I guess they are Wigwams. We call from the road, “Hello? Can we get a room for two tonight?” Nope. Booked. So we got the next best motel (actually, TripAdvisor.com rates it as THE best!), and that was right across the street from the Wigwams, at the Globetrotter Lodge. Outstanding motel! Local legend has it that this place was about to be torn down about 3 years ago, until some kind folks from Austria decided to move here and rehab it to its awesome condition. The sinks in the bathrooms were sourced during one of their trips to Mexico and hand painted, each one different. The rooms were then uniquely decorated based on the sink! How cool is that?! Very, very nice presentation, comfortable, awesome. I think the owners actually live there, just behind the managers desk. They speak German! After checking into our room, we were off for dinner. For some reason, we seem to only eat two “real” meals a day. And Combos®. We chose Joe and Aggie’s Cafe. This is a Mexican diner (here we go again) with outstanding food. This is a family owned restaurant which was opened around 1943. For you movie enthusiasts, Holbrook and Route 66 were sources of inspiration for the animators of the movie Cars™ and they dined here often during their stay. If you watch the film closely, you will see that the shape and design of the exterior of the building was recreated completely for the film. The owner also told us about how some very important person on the film (I forgot his name, of course) came back a few years later and saw they were lacking some proper souvenir items so one day he sent them a huge box of Cars™ toys and such. Now it’s back to our room and trying to deal with the time zone change, probably staying up late (again) working on our photography and my blog entries. Tomorrow will be early start as we were trying to get to Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ, for some crazy “slot canyon” photographs by 11am. Brian suggested I call (after hours) to try to book a spot. Answering machine. Left a message. Went to bed.

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