The C-10 Nationals were history.
My next gig was the Goodguys “Great Salt Shootout” in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As I left the hotel it was pouring down rain.
Instead of making a bee-line for SLC, I decided to take in some sights.
My first stop was in Abilene.
At the Royal Inn.
Then on to Merkel.
And the Merkel Post Office.
After my blow-out a few weeks ago I’ve been putting on a lot of miles.
I’ve gotta thank Continental Tires for my Extreme Contact DWS06 tires.
And how do you like that?!?
Continental Tires and a bitchin’ batwing!!
Love that batwing!
And I love my Continental Tires!!
After driving through Texas for what seemed like forever, we finally made it into Clovis, New Mexico.
The city of Clovis began in 1906 when the railroad started construction through the area.
To this day it’s still a massive base of operations for the railroad.
And its got some really cool buildings.
Like this Citizens Bank of Clovis dome thing.
I love it!
Here’s another Citizens Bank of Clovis building.
It kind of reminds me of the Forum in Los Angeles.
After exploring Clovis for awhile I was getting hungry.
But there weren’t a lot of open restaurant options in Clovis that night.
As I passed by the Shogun Japanese Steak House I saw the parking lot was full and there were people coming out of the front door.
After a great dinner I hit the sack.
But not before catching the sun setting the evening sky on fire.
The next morning we were back out on the open road and headed towards Albuquerque.
I missed Billy The Kid’s grave in Fort Sumner, but I think the Bowl-O-Matic Lanes building makes up for it.
From Fort Sumner I took Highway-84 up to Santa Rosa and Historic Old Route 66.
You know I’ll hop on Historic Old Route 66 every chance I get.
The east-west highway through Santa Rosa was designated as Route 66 in 1926 and it became a popular rest-stop for tired travelers.
Now, Santa Rosa is like a time-capsule.
An abandoned time-capsule – but a time-capsule none the less.
Unfortunately I neglected to call ahead to make sure the restaurant was open.
After Santa Rosa we got on I-40 and headed towards Albuquerque.
One of the things I love about the interstates, is that the road surface is usually pretty smooth and they’re made for driving fast so we made good time into Albuquerque.
Back before the Interstate System, Central Avenue in Albuquerque was Route 66.
And it still has a lot of great old signs like this one at the La Puerta Lodge.
Whenever I’m in Albuquerque, I always stop in at the Doghouse for a chili-cheese dog.
For breakfast, lunch or dinner – they never disappoint.
I tried to go to the Unser Racing Museum, but due to the pandemic it was closed.
Robby Unser couldn’t even get me in!!
Leaving Albuquerque, we drove north on I-25 until we came to highway 550.
550 would take us into Cuba, NM where we found the Del Prado Motel.
I didn’t spend the night there – I just dig that old sign.
We took 550 all the way up to Bloomfield then made a left onto 64 towards Farmington.
That’s where I found this bank.
This Wells Fargo Bank branch was built as the First National Bank of Farmington in the 60’s or 70’s.
I couldnt pass up the Allen Theater.
Just look at that marquee.
From Farmington I drove to Shiprock and made a right onto Highway 160/491 north headed towards Cortez, CO.
Usually I’d stop in Cortez to say hi to my friends Dick & Karyn, but they were out of town on the FM3 Cars & Cones road trip.
In Cortez I continued on highway 491 to Monticello, UT.
The last time I was in Monticello I had dinner at the Granary Bar & Grill.
It was so good I had to come back.
I spent the night in Monticello and early the next morning I left for Canyonlands National Parks south entrance.
Everything seemed to be going great.
I got my picture of The 55 with the Canyonlands National Park sign and I was waiting patiently in line at the ranger station to enter the park when I noticed my coolant temperature was slowly climbing.
It usually lives at about 181 degrees when I stop in traffic.
The coolant temperature went from 181 to 182 to 184 to 188 to 192 to 198 to 202.
What the heck?!?
That’s when I started sweating.
I finally got to the head of the line, showed the park ranger my America the Beautiful park pass and promptly made a u-turn.
As long as we’re moving and I’ve got air flowing through the radiator, my Mattson’s cooling system will keep my engine cool no matter what.
We made it into Moab and I pulled off into a parking lot to check things out.
I popped the hood, looked around and everything seemed to be in order.
Then I fiddled with the wires on the fan relay.
After a little fiddling I turned the key and WOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
The fans came on!!
$30.90 later I left NAPA with a brand new relay and fully operational fans.
But after that minor scare I was a little gun shy.
I had planned to go into both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, and into Dead Horse Point State Park, but after the relay thing I decided to hit only Dead Horse Point State Park and call it a day.
Dead Horse Point State Park doesn’t accept the America the Beautiful park pass so I payed the $20 entrance fee and went in.
It’s frustrating to me when I pay $20 to get in and there’s no parking.
There was no open parking spaces available at the visitor’s center and there was no parking at the scenic view point at the end of the drive.
I did pull over and get this shot though.
Dead Horse Point State Park is beautiful.
Utah is beautiful!!
If it looks familiar to you that’s because it’s where Thelma & Louise drove off the cliff at the end of the movie.
From Dead Horse Point State Park I took highway 191 up to I-70 west to Green River.
After fueling up at the Conoco station in Green River I stopped by Frank’s Pizza.
But no pizza and no beer make Jeff a dull boy.
So I left and went to Rays Tavern.
I had just been to Ray’s about a month ago and it was so good I had to come back.
I sat at the same place at the bar and the waitress even remembered me!
It’s a family owned place and it’s legit!!
The next time you’re passing by Green River be sure to stop in Ray’s Tavern for a burger and a beer.
After I took that picture, a guy asked me if that was my 55.
“Heck yeah!” I said.
Then he asked me where I was going.
“Goodguys?” he questioned.
Wait – what?!?
Yeah – my three friends and I are driving from Texas to Salt Lake City for the Goodguys show.
Get outta here!!! That’s where I’m going.
Wanna roll with us?
So I rolled with my new car-guy friends for awhile.
We left Green River and got onto I-70 west for a few miles until we came to the US-6 / 191 exit.
I had a blast rolling with these guys.
We parted ways in Price after I saw a Walmart I could get some supplies.
In Helper I found the historic Strand Theater.
Built in 1922 – it’s almost 100 years old.
And I couldn’t pass up this cool Post Office.
That night – a few miles up the road – I spent the night at a BLM campground – the Price Canyon Recreation Area.
The Price Canyon Campground sits at the top of a steep, winding, one-and-a-half lane road.
And there’s no cell phone reception up there.
The only sound I could hear was the wind wooshing through the pine trees.
It was a-maz-ing.
I got set up on my picnic table next to a fire pit and went to work.
My nephew Drew calls me the “Fire Master” so I couldnt let him down.
The next morning, as I was rolling into Salt Lake City, I decided to make a little detour.
Remember the movie “Footloose?”
Lehi Mills is where Kevin Bacon does is big dance number in the film.
From Lehi Mills the Goodguys was only 30 miles away.
Then, out of the blue, I see four guys coming for me.
My new car-guy road-trip friends!!
This is just one of the reasons I love life out on the open road.
Making new friends.
And they told me that we made the Goodguys Year in Photos magazine!!
How cool is that?!?
I got my car in a car magazine!!
My ultimate goal is to get The 55 featured in Hot Rod Magazine.
I had a great time on this road-trip adventure.
We drove through all sorts of inclement weather and saw some cool sights along the way.
Until the next time.
I hope to see you out on the road.
I’m Jeff Thisted, and I drive a 55
The C-10 Nationals were history.