The Great American Road Trip from @abcnewsradio and @astoneabcnews
Today: Santa Rosa, New Mexico
ABC News Radio’s Alex Stone explores gas prices, the economy, and culture across the America. Read about yesterday’s stop in Flagstaff, AZ.
ABC News Radio Correspondent Alex Stone is hitting the road. Starting on Sunday, May 8th, Alex will begin a Flagstaff, Arizona, to Chicago, Illinois, road trip along historic Route 66. During the five day, 1600 mile journey, Alex will speak with Americans about gas prices, food prices and how their lives are being touched daily by the economy. Stone will find out how people are changing their day-to-day life to cope with the many challenges they face.
Ride along with ABC News Radio Correspondent Alex Stone on his Great American Road Trip.
Short link to the blog: http://abcn.ws/isWhnE
ABC News Radio Correspondent Alex Stone stops at Moriarty, New Mexico, where he finds a local fireworks warehouse struggling to make sales.
Cost of gas: $3.81 per gallon.
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(SANTA ROSA, N.M.) — Welcome to Santa Rosa, New Mexico! Our hotel is on the old Route 66. This is a town that grew and developed with what was once “America’s Highway.” The small diners and motels are straight out of the iconic 50s image of a Route 66 road trip.
On our 430 mile journey from Flagstaff, Arizona to Santa Rosa, New Mexico we heard a real mixture of stories. First, we were enlightened when we stopped in Albuquerque and small business owner Cathy Kumar, who owns a store that sells “green” earth-friendly products, told us her life is getting better. Since opening Southwest Green Building Center two years ago, business is beginning to improve and she feels finally she may be able to survive, whereas it was a question not long ago. Kumar says finally, people are coming in her door and seem to have money to spend on her products.
But then a short way down Route 66 — well, actually down I-40, since big chunks of Route 66 don’t exist any longer — we heard a very different story. After we filled up the car with gas in Moriarty, New Mexico at $3.81 a gallon, we walked into one of the many fireworks stores that line the freeways here in New Mexico, where high-powered firecrackers are legal.
William Brandon, the manager of the store, was very candid, telling us how tough life is in a small desert town these days. He says they aren’t selling a thing. A decade ago, he says, they couldn’t order enough fireworks. Now he goes some days without any seeing customers at all. Brandon has a warehouse full of fireworks — some costing over $600 that just aren’t selling. He says life is painful these days in these small towns, where tumbleweeds constantly pass by.
We stopped next at the Flying C Travel Center along the old Route 66. Manager of Operations Kit Johnson showed us around and explained how their hands are tied with gas prices. The gas they sell is coming to them expensive and they have to pass that along to customers. In fact, he told us prices had gone up 16 cents on Monday alone. That means a big hit for their sales inside their travel center on items like trinkets and food. Sales are way down because customers are spending money on gas.
It has been a very windy, dusty day here in New Mexico, a day that had us driving through big dust storms. On Tuesday, we have another 430-mile day stretching across the rest of New Mexico, through Texas and into Oklahoma City, where we’ll spend the night. We’re rolling right along, and we’ve been talking to some remarkable people along the way!
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