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New Mexico
     This was one of the last parts of the lower 48 to become a state, not being admitted into the union until 1912. Much of this area was not even mapped until the late 18th century. Like the rest of the southwest, this had once been part of Mexico.
Entering New Mexico, one of the very tourist friendly southwestern states.
The rest stop and tourist information center, just inside of the New Mexico border.
Well, whatever it is you are thinking about, forget it pal. Just kidding, most of the warnings are common sense, though  few make me wonder. This is the first time I have ever seen a sign about pets in rest rooms. It makes me wonder what people are doing, out in New Mexico.
Typical eastern New Mexico landscape, though not yet quite  desert, this is some pretty rugged and arid country.
Heading out into the near desert of New Mexico. 
We are far from the only people out here. Though this is a pretty sparsely populated place, many people travel through here either as tourists, or simply to pass through on their way to someplace else. 
The lack of obstacles, and of vegetation give a very clear view, making things seem deceptively close. The line of cliffs up ahead is over an hour away, but looks as if it is only a few minutes off.
Some of the erosional features remind me of the Badlands, or the Painted Desert.
Traveling through the high plains area makes me adminre those who came through here as pioneers. 
A rock face. We will be seeing more exposed geology as we continue west, and the land gets drier.
Outcroppings of rock are becoming more common as the sparse vegetation finds less to hold it in place.
An outcropping forms a small hill.
One of the few watercourses (I wouldn't really call it a river) I have seen out here.
The backside of Tucumcari. This is not a wealthy town, though it is making somewhat of a comeback.
The Pow Wow Inn. 
Mount Tucumcari, showing it's position just outside of the edge of town.
Mount Tucumcari, and friends. These more recent chain motels arrived to late to catch Tucumcari in it's full glory. It is now a shadow of it's former self. This location is a mile or two out of town, on old 66.
Our Motel (yes, it's a new chain). 

The sun set behind the motel, given us a break form the day's heat.

The lights come on as the sun goes down.
My first sundown over the desert. 
A look down old 66 at dusk. This becomes the main drag of Tucumcari a  mile or two down the road. 
A little cluster of services sit outside of town. Though I would have preferred one of the Classic old neon lit motels in town, I was out voted.
Sunset just outside of our motel.
The same field early the next morning.
A last look around, before heading out. The town of Tucumcari was one busy, hectic place, up until the bypassing of old Route 66. Now it is just a little town in the middle of nowhere. 
Getting off of old 66 and heading west to Albuquerque. 

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