It was the final homestretch into our 10 state, 3 day journey to Arizona and everything about that night sparked strange events:
In the final hours of June 9th, we made our way out of our hotel in the bone chilling weather in Texas and made our way into the equally chilling weather in New Mexico.
It was supposed to be summer...
We crossed what we originally thought was some sort of landmark along the desolate road. Unlike all the other state lines, this one was not lit and was almost completely out of sight, until I flashed the light on my Blackberry to see the blood red symbols next to the words
Welcome to New Mexico
At 1:00 AM, the infamous Route 66 felt stagnant and isolating. When Andrew finally pulled over at the first rest stop, I immediately refused to get out since I was dressed for one hundred degree weather and the temperature felt even colder than before. The area surrounding the rest stop was dimly lit. As I sat there watching him walk around, I couldn’t get over how tired I was becoming. Like all the other moments on the road, I pulled out my ipad and began vlogging. I could feel myself sounding like a broken record as I kept reiterating, ”I’m tired, I’m tired....tired....so tired.”
Andrew climbs back into the car, intrigued by the U. S. Soldier’s Monument that’s planted in the center of the place. It is a monument dedicated to the U.S. Soldiers who successfully annihilated the Native American tribe that once resided nearby.
That did not sit well with me.
About two hours later, no rest stops are found down the pitch black road. Andrew announces that he is pulling over at the next exit to find a dark place to pee.
He pulls over to a not-so-normal exit: It took us into an open field loaded with tall grass where we couldn’t be found. He tells me that he’ll open the hatchback and feed the rabbits while he’s at it. When the light comes on at the sound hatchback opening, I started getting an uneasy feeling. He closes the door and starts walking away from the car. I stare off into the field.
Deep in the distance, I could…sense something, a vision flashes in front of me.
I see an old wooden handle strapped onto a piece of a chiseled stone with a very sharp edge. It looks like a thick, stone-made hatchet, tethered by a piece of brown leather-like string that loops around the center of the stone and the edge of the wood.
The hatchet starts chopping at something, but I don’t know what…and it keeps moving closer.
And then a man appears. It’s as if his face is lit by moonlight, but there’s no moon. His face moves closer to me. I can see his Native American features... The lines along the side of his face rest below his nose and fall into a parallel pattern between his lips…
He’s an older man.
His thin lips grim…His eyes are squinting, but glaring right at me.
His face moves closer as the hatchet is coming at me.
My heart is pounding in my chest.
I can’t breathe.
Startled by the sound of the car door opening, Andrew climbs back in the car, grinning from ear-to-ear.
”Man! There was some serious hissing while I was out there!”
With Andrew back in the car, I don’t feel any safer.
He starts to open the moon roof and sits back smiling and gazing at the stars.
….We are sitting ducks now.
We’re in danger.
Andrew looks at me, “Let’s enjoy this.”
I start to panic....
Then came the scream
“ WE’RE NOT SAFE! NOT SAAAAFFFFFEEEEE!!!!!!”
I can’t stop screaming…
He jumps three feet out of his seat and starts the engine as I continued screaming. He peeled out of the exit and we were suddenly back onto Route 66. Trying to vocally communicate what I just experienced was hard to do, but I told Andrew what I saw. Not surprisingly, he chalked it up to, “Okay, you are a creative person who develops stories and sometimes basks in an imaginative world…I think you just let your imagination drive you into a state of paranoia...”
We shared the story with a couple of friends of ours over dinner and one of them paused for a second before giving his candid response.,,“ You know people go missing around that area all the time.” Of course there have been numerous rumors of sights and incidences that are heard to explain. People have claimed there have been others have vanished on land that’s been cursed by Native American bloodshed.
When we left the restaurant, Andrew turned to me and suggested we go back to the apartment and do some research on that exit. What he found was quite a history.
The exit is called Tucumcari....which means ambush in a couple of Native American languages...
A great tragedy happened on this land that drove a Native American Chief into fatal despair. His daughter loved a man, but was betrothed to another. The chief granted the men a chance by having them combat each other in a deadly duel. The man that remained standing would win the right to marry her. When his daughter’s beloved lost the duel, she stabbed her betrothed to death before fatally stabbing herself. Grief stricken, the Chief fatally stabs himself to death after discovering her body.
Andrew looked right at me:
”Okay, you picked up on something…”
It was nice to know that I wasn’t crazy for feeling what I felt…and seeing what I saw.
I don’t know if I’m entirely on board with ”cursed“ Native American lands being one of the reasons so many people tend to disappear, but I do know what I saw and what I experienced. And I will openly admit that it may have easier to drive along Route 66 in the middle of the night to avoid our car engine from overheating in the desert sun...but we became perfect targets for predatory entities in the lonely night. I kept this awareness in my mind as I was trying to comprehend other possibilities...logical ones perhaps that could lead me to believe we were in danger that night at Tucumcari...
But when Andrew looked their local news reports, it turns out within days after our encounter, a man and a woman had gone missing.