Day 5: From Tucson onward to New Mexico

For those of you who are curious about the route of this trip…. From SoCal, I headed through southern Arizona and New Mexico and into Texas.  The eastward most point was the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  On to some northern Texas and then northern New Mexico and Arizona.  I dropped back down to I-10 for the trip home.  That was the hottest day which was at least 118 degrees.

Yes, all of my roadtrips are very planned out (see the “How to Plan a Roadtrip” page here at my blog) for the details.  I have been to these states about four times now and combed them pretty thoroughly.  But there are always new things that I didn’t know about or things that have changed (repainted, remodeled, or fallen on harder times) that merit reshooting.  I’d say I only stumble upon 1% of the stuff that I shoot by accident.  I only post a few of the “lesser” subjects here at the blog.  A handful of nicer subjects over at Flickr.  Then, the bulk of the photos (roughly 2,000 photos on this trip) are gradually inserted at the website over the next six months or so.

I wrapped up Tucson in the morning.  Here’s one of my favorite storefronts:

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The only photos of my three dogs that I took on this trip were these at the abandoned Spanish Trail Motel.  As I have mentioned more than a few times already, the heat was brutal on this trip.  So, the dogs only left the van to pee during the day.  Their running was only around sunup (5:30am) at public parks and schools which have grassy areas.  Nothing interesting to shoot for you there.  Although this place has pavement, it wasn’t warm yet and there were no stickers, fire ants, or cactus.  We had the displeasure of all three of those on this trip. Here are a couple shots — left to right — Gremmie (Gremlin, ~10), Grizzie (Griswold, ~5), and Sparkle (my legendary van, ~14).

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Nik (Sputnik) prefers his giant ballie on pavement.  Since he’s blind, he can hear it bounce when I throw it.  He likes to hover over it and bark at it; push it around with his nose and bark at it.  He can smell the plastic that its made of and I can also help direct him to the ball (“right”, “left”, “back”, “come”).  For water romps (I was always on the lookout on this trip and scored more than a few times), he likes more normal-sized toys.  He can approximate where they land when I throw them and then fine-tunes with his nose.  He’s in good shape for a 14-year-old.

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The Silver Saddle sign is located just across the highway from the Spanish Trail Motel:

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Family shot — temps going up, let’s get outta here:

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Moving on to New Mexico.  One of the highlights of the day was finally meeting Teaku Nunn who has transformed Hatch into a whole lotta fun small town.  He has lots of fiberglass statues & other cool stuff along the main drag.  His “Sparky’s” restaurant is the epicenter of the statuary.  The interior also has loads of signs & other stuff.  He showed me some of the things that are not on public display.  This mystery statue appears to be a bunny but with a globe-shaped head.  I don’t recognize this character (and neither does Teaku):

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He also has a couple of fiberglass A&W (Root Beer Drive-in) Family mugs.  Many of these statues are missing these so maybe these will be snatched up soon.  Note the mugs are different sizes depending on whether they are for Mama, Papa, Baby or Teen Burger statues.
http://www.roadarch.com/giants/aw.html

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Inside Sparky’s — a rare Harbie statue:
http://www.roadarch.com/critters/sea2.html

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In the background is this sign — which I recognized immediately as missing from El Paso.  This two part sign was originally installed at Sanitary Plumbing & Heating.  Here’s what it looked like in place:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/52676908@N02/5043701804/

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One more from Sparky’s.  I’m not sure if this is vintage or a repro.  But I think it’s vintage:

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More tomorrow night,

dj

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7 thoughts on “Day 5: From Tucson onward to New Mexico

  1. Thanks. Yes that was about a year ago? Fixie had 17 good years. Just moving around (lots of joint probs), even with lots of drugs, was getting to be uncomfortable. I felt it was time. I don’t want my buddies to suffer in their golden years. I’d rather err on the side of too early than too late.

  2. The Hirsh’s closed up business Feb. of last year after 62 years in business. I interviewed Mr. Hirsh a few years ago in regards to his store building (on a list of 50 or so mid-century modern buildings in Tucson). His mother opened in 1954 and then he took over. A really wonderful man who sold many thousands of ballet shoes for little girls, as well as specialty shoes for those with special issues. One of his clients for many many years was the architect of his store, Bernie Friedman, who remained a friend until his passing in 2012. An institution of Tucson, both the store and the business that sits empty wondering why their are no happy little ballerinas running around. I know the Hatch signs well growing up in Las Cruces and going to the Hatch Chile Festival for many years. We always take that loop around when driving between Tucson and Albuquerque to visit my dad. Thanks for the walk down my life’s paths, always enjoy your photos, and I too missed your sweet pup. I know she’s along for the ride in spirt!

  3. Yes, it’s very sad that Hirsh’s is closed. I hope the building, display cases & sign will remain intact. Do you know if they are landmarked in any way? Thanks for acknowledging little Fixie. She was as sweet as they come.

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