the murals of tucumcari (nm)…

From Empire, CO during a snowstorm.... the Dairy King

This week…. 20 inches of snow on Friday, the day we were supposed to drive up to Breckenridge for the annual Ice Sculpture Competition, and not wanting to get stuck in a 4-5 hour parking lot on I-70 up into the mountains (or coming back), we decided discretion was the better part of not driving and stayed put in Golden (where’s that sense of adventure… slippin’ and slidin’ and fishtailin’ all the way up to the Eisenhower tunnel?). And of course, the traffic jam never materialized because everyone else decided to stay home more or less so, aside from all the snow – 40 inches around Floyd Hill – the roads were virtually traffic-free. Breckenridge Ski Area touted a ‘whopping’ 2 inches of snow (that’s nothing!) but the decision had already been made. Well, there’s always next year…

And the new song, “In 4 the Evening,” is still in the finishing stages and not quite ready. So, sorry for last week’s ‘teaser’ but hey, these things happen….

AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Instead, I dug through the vast photographic archives here at la casa NoV and revisit some photos that I took from 2009 while traveling through Tucumcari, New Mexico, “Town of Murals.” I used to go through Tucumcari in eastern New Mexico quite a bit when I lived in Santa Fe from 1984-’86 but I was very surprised on my last visit (since 2003) to find a number of wall murals on the buildings in town – it was completely unexpected. There may be even more now 3 years later. Among them, this mural about Route 66, “The Mother Road,” through Tucumcari (you can click on the images to see the larger photographs):

Composite panoramic view of the "Route 66" mural
Left side... "Get your kicks on Route 66." The old red pickup - a reference to the westward migration to California during the Dust Bowl years as chronicled in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath."
Center, "Route 66" mural
Detail of "Route 66"... complete with wandering musician, guitar case in hand
Right side, "Route 66" mural
"Live to Ride.... Ride to Live"
Next stop, a few blocks away... a mural of Conchas Dam and Lake nearby, across a couple of buildings
Detail from the above mural
Note the doorway to the right...
And from further away in the parking lot...
Mural #3 across the way.... the Plains and the Caprock
Center, "Plains" mural... with pickup
"Ford Country.... the New West"

I don’t know who the artist is or if these are the work of several different artists but they are all very well done. If you find yourself traveling on I-40 between Amarillo and Albuquerque, take the business route exit through Tucumcari – old route 66 – drive around and seek them out. They’re worth your while, and stop in at La Cita if you’re hungry – great Mexican food.

“More art in public places…. fewer torn-down “old” buildings.”

Back in Golden
Me... in front of another mural in Golden

Cheers,

Nights on Venus - the debut album (2011)

The Nights on Venus debut album is available as a digital download (MP3) and can be found on CDBabyiTunesAmazon.mp3eMusic, and other fine online retailers.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter (@xlntsky) and Facebook.

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Author: nightsonvenus

Musician and producer with the band Nights on Venus.

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