Theme of the day: Murphy. As in Murphy's Law. Just a lot of little disappointments, I guess.
Left Tucumcari at 7 AM via Historic Route 66 to San Jon, a nice, leisurely stretch while the traffic on I-40 buzzed nearby. Climbed up the mesa at Cap Rock and continued the rest of the day on the Llano Estacado - the featureless flat grasslands. Our first stop was the bustling town of Clovis. Our stop there was - hold onto your seat - a Dollar Tree store, 3x the size of any around our part of Missouri. Clovis is a military town as well as a major railroad employer, with extensive RR yards on the old AT&SF.
Portales is about 20 miles south of Clovis. ENMU (Eastern NM University) has several museums. The Anthropology Museum was closed and locked with nobody able to locate someone in charge - naturally, this is the one we were most interested in. The Natural History Museum is small, and concentrates on reptiles, especially semi-aquatic ones - turtles & a gator, plus a few local snakes and some fish. The Miles Mineral Museum is also small, but has a wide variety of rocks & minerals plus pieces of a large meteorite that was found locally. Meanwhile, we found that the business phone wasn't ringing - not good!
Another 85 miles past vegetated dune fields and operating oil wells brought us to Lovington, named for one of the pioneers of cattle drives thru the Llano (the Goodnight - Loving Trail). The attraction here is the Lea County Museum, with several buildings in the main complex and almost one whole side of the courthouse square. A sign on the door said the manager was running errands. We went looking for a place to eat, finding Taqueria Jalisco. This was a good meal, and reasonable. Back to the museum - sign still on the door and locked up tighter than a drum. Oh, well.
Another 20 miles to Hobbs, looking for the Western Heritage Museum. Missed it twice, so seeing our Holiday Inn Express, we pulled in & asked directions. Wonder of wonder, our room was ready by 2:30, so we checked in, deposited our bags, and went back to the museum. The local hall of fame would be of more interest to the locals, although we did recognize some big name rodeo stars. The other exhibits were being rotated, so little to see. Sigh.
We went to Wal-Mart &a young whippersnapper reset the ringer so it worked. Then we drove thru downtown, circled the city, then found a recommended BBQ place. To quote Lili Von Stupp, "How ohdinawy."
Back at the motel, we couldn't get any local channels on the TV - the desk clerk unplugged the TV and it reset. Whew. So, I guess the day wasn't that bad, after all. Oh, BTW, few pictures!