Monday, November 14, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 22

Last night John was wondering what our Motel 6 breakfast would consist of. Betty Ann's guess was that it would consist of one table heaped with packaged muffins, donuts, etc. Actually, when the old buzzards checked it out they found that it was low fat, low sugar and high fiber (if you count the table top). In other words the table was bare and there was a sign on the wall that we missed last night. It said Free Coffee available from 6am to 10am.

When Fannie and Linda went out for their morning walk they had discovered Off the Hook Cafe and brought back a breakfast menu. It looked like a place the locals liked (4 pick up trucks and more pulling up as Fannie and Linda walked back to Motel 6). It turned out to be a cute place. Linda had Raw Bits Twang Twang, orange juice and dekaf senior coffee. John had eggs, bacon, hash browns (just a taste), toast and senior coffee.

After breakfast we picked up Fannie at Motel 6 and toured historic downtown Silver City. It sprang to life during the summer of 1870 with the discovery of silver. Miners and merchants were soon present in abundance. Because of devastating floods between 1890 and 1910, what used to be Main Street is now known as the Big Ditch and lies some 55 feet below grade. There has been lots of downtown revitalization since 1985 and downtown is bustling with over 200 entities, including businesses, art studios, government services, nonprofits, churches and schools.

John and Linda spent some time at the Javalina Coffee House. It was brimming with personality and a few dogs (even though there was a sign on the door forbidding dogs). They had lots of unusual seating arrangements. Some were couches and tables up in areas that were formerly display windows. The coffee and tea were excellent and the people watching was spectacular. You'll get a good flavor of this business in today's photo gallery.

Linda visited a few antique stores and found some treasures at practically every one. John, Fannie Mae and Wilma waited patiently outside each location until it was lunchtime. John headed up an investigation of a Whataburger wanabee called Blake's Lotaburger. We had been seeing them around since we drove through New Mexico 2 weeks ago. And since John had run out of Whataburger establishments, he felt duty bound to see what a Lotaburger was. They started in Albuquerque 2 years after Whataburger started in Corpus Christi. They copied the orange and white stripes (using red and white stripes) and most of the name. There are 79 Lotaburgers, all in New Mexico. John reported that his Lotaburger was OK but not quite as good as a genuine Whataburger. Linda got chili pie (chile and Fritos) with jalapenos and green peppers. It was OK. The buzzards both had diet Dr. Pepper. (He's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?)

After lunch we drove north to explore Pinos Altos (before the thought even crosses Jim's mind, it means "Tall Pines"). We went up about 1000 feet in elevation and all at once found that we were at the Continental Divide. For those of you not paying attention in geography class that day, here is a link which explains what the Divide.

There were pine trees, some very cute cabins and a lot of really old things, as in museum-old. We saw an ancient sign telling us about the Pinos Altos Museum and found it right down the road. The proprietor was a fellow named Francis Schafer who is a 4th generation Pinos Altosite. His family has owned the building the museum is in for over 130 years. After we bought a couple of things in the gift shop he offered to let us go through the museum for free (it's only a dollar admission). It turned out to have LOTs more in it than we were expecting. We hope you will enjoy seeing some of the fascinating historical things in today's photo gallery.

We returned to our lodging to blog for a while and work on the photos. Because there was such a beautiful sunset yesterday with all the clouds we decided to try to get some "drama" shots during the golden hour (1/2 hour before until 1/2 hour after sunset). So, at 4:15 we drove back on the road towards Pinos Altos to take our photos. Our subjects would be the sun, clouds, hills, brush and trees. Turned out it also included a strand of barbed wire. We have put the sunset pictures in a separate photo gallery. We'll provide the link below.

For dinner we returned to Off the Hook for an all-you-can-eat catfish, shrimp, chicken, hush puppies, fries, coleslaw and iced tea. The owner, cook, bottle washer, cashier told us that he has had the place for 6 months and his wife told him he was the only person she knows who pays to have a job. The restaurant business is hard and his place is sort of out of the way. We hope he succeeds since he seems very nice and has great food.

And so ends another day for the two old buzzards as they prepare to roost and get up early tomorrow to journey to another state of mind, namely Arizona.

So, we hope you enjoy the 107 photos in today's photo gallery which you can view by clicking here. The sunset images are in chronological order, earliest to latest part of the day. If you'd like to view these 18 images, just click here.

Linda's favorite sign was seen at breakfast under some old boots. It said “Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be like a pair of old boots … the worse we look the better we feel!”.

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