Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

13 April 2017

The Ultimate Route 66 Spring Training Road Trip || Dallas to Phoenix

I am so PUMPED to share with you guys our ULTIMATE (read: 16ish hours) road trip from Dallas to Phoenix to attend Texas Rangers' Spring Training in Arizona. There are a couple of routes you can take to get to Phoenix from Dallas, but we opted to drive through Albuquerque, New Mexico rather than El Paso. We made the best stops along Route 66, and I'm going to share them all with you today.  
Let's take a step back real quick! Toyota contacted me back in January to see if I'd like to partner up by road tripping to my team's spring training in their jaw dropping, gorgeous 2017 Land Cruiser. LOLS.... WOULD I??????????? Why, yes. Yes, I would. 

An offer to see my favorite team in spring training in a state I'd never even been to, in one of the nicest SUVs to ever be put into production doesn't come around very often. CB and I were PUMPED!

I spent so much time researching what stops we needed to make along our trip. By the time we left, and with a little help of the best app ever, I had our entire trip totally mapped out, Route 66 stops and all!


Tuesday night after work, we took off to knock out the nearly 6 hour drive from Dallas to Amarillo. I was very apprehensive about missing some cool attractions because it was dark, but CB insisted that there is NOTHING TO SEE between Dallas and Amarillo. He was right, we saw a crap ton of windmills and that's about it. 

Let's talk about this Land Cruiser we were driving. This SUV was my dream car. I drive a smaller SUV, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel in such a big car. When I climbed in I was shocked at how manageable it is. I felt right at home, not intimidated in the least.

Like any normal human, I immediately started pushing buttons to see what everything did. 
I lifted the center console and GUESS WHAT I FOUND.


I realize I sound like a Beverly Hillbilly right now, but I was dying over the cooler. I think I was most sad to say goodbye to the cooler on that last day with the Land Cruiser. Yes, I'm weird. 

The Toyota Land Cruiser also practically drove itself. When you'd put the car in cruise control, it would detect when another car was in front of you and then match that car's pace. It also beeped at you when you crossed over into another lane without your turn signal on!! 

AND THE SEATS WERE AIR CONDITIONED. I am always hot, and when it hits 108 in Dallas, I would give my right arm for that kind of feature in a car with leather seats. 

I assume you've gotten the point by now, I was OBSESSED with this vehicle. It was a dream. 

Here is a fun little fact you didn't know about me. I have this little teddy bear that I do not drive without, ever. I got my driver's license on March 17th, and on that day, my mom left a "Lots-Of-Luck" bear in the car for me. I've transferred that bear with me from car to car, ever since. He keeps the luck on my side, and there was no way he wasn't coming along for the ride. 

Now, on to the trip itself!
We woke up bright and early in Amarillo and hit the road for all of 3 miles to our first stop:
Cadillac Ranch

Road Trip Shirt similar here and here |  

Of course I wrote that....

From there, we hit the road for an hour and a half until we arrived in Tucumcari, New Mexico at a little trinket store on Route 66 better known as:
TeePee Curious

From there, we hopped up and down Route 66 for about a mile making stops at:
The Palomino Motel

Then this awesome little gas station down the road for a couple of authentic Route 66 photo opps.

Still in Tucumcari, we pulled off for a few scenic shots!
We took our sweet time, can you tell?

On the road again.
Next stop, an hour and 9 minutes down the road:
Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Back at it...
Next stop, two hours down the road just outside of Albuquerque:
Sandia Peak Tramway
$25 gets on up the mountain tram and back down again. 

Hold on to your hat,
it's WINDY AF up there!

Done driving for the day, Toyota put us up in the very quaint Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Since we were done behind the wheel, we settled in for an IPA at Tractor Brewing, followed by happy hour at the hotel's rooftop bar with incredible views.

We were back at it the next morning at 7am, Phoenix bound.

Our first stop was 3 hours down the road at the
Petrified Forest National Park
Pro Tip: I would NOT stop here if you are in a time crunch (like we were). I WOULD ABSOLUTELY stop here if you have about 2 hours to give. The park is a 30 mile long drive. The north side of the park - the painted desert, shown below - is all we got to see. The Petrified Forest is on the south side, and will continue to live on my bucket list of must-sees! 

ALSO- it was FREEEEZING cold and sleeting. Wasn't expecting that in the desert! 

Onward and outward. One hour drive to:
Standing On A Corner in Winslow Arizona
I mean why not. It's hardly a detour at all, maybe 5 minutes off the highway. This entire town is devoted to that single line in the Eagles song Take it Easy.

LOLS. That one makes me laugh.
We then headed through Flagstaff where we faced a....

I'm still confused on that one. I thought the desert was hot?!
We drove through the blizzard, and were soon rewarded with fields on fields on fields of cacti!

I had never seen a cactus  that looked like the emoji 🌵, I screamed with glee! 
I knew we had made it to the Cactus League Spring Training! 

I'll be recapping the rest of our #ToyotaGrandSlam Spring Training trip in a second post next week! 

What is the longest road trip you've ever been on? Where did you go, what stops did you make?  
Have you road tripped Route 66?! 

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