Friday, June 20, 2008

Get Your Kicks . . .

Ah, Route 66, the Mother Road.

It winds through the United States like a broken chain, coming and going. In some places it survives and in others is just a wisp of a memory.

And while many areas of the US lay claim to its' name, here in north eastern New Mexico, it is very much alive. Not as it was in its' heyday, but certainly not dead and gone.

Santa Rosa lays claim to the name, with signage and memorabilia, but really, it kind of feels like an effort, with Route 66 having been eclipsed by Interstate 40. But about fifteen miles east, you can take off at Cuervo and drive on the real authentic, two lane blacktop Route 66.

Now, I ask you why should there be any difference between a four lane divided highway and a small two lane road that rides directly beside it ?

For one thing, you'll have the road almost completely to yourself. No semis, no screaming fast cars whizzing by, so you're automatically more comfortable.

Then, there's the view. Since it usually rides a bit lower than the newer supposedly snazzier highway, if you look off to the side, you get an unobstructed view of the incredible New Mexico landscape, no guardrails, no huge sloping shoulders, just open vistas and blue skies.

I like it! There's just something about it that has a kind of magic. I have to admit that whenever we drive it I feel transported.

While it is quite special, it's also kind of sad. Passing through these towns that once thrived on this national highway and now sit crumbling into dust.

Still, I find an austere beauty in these old villages.

And remembrances of days gone by.

We try to drive as far as we can, but eventually the road joins up with I40 and we head on in to Tucumcari.

And boy, these folks know how to celebrate the Mother Road!

This monument stands on the outskirts of Tucumcari, proudly commemorating Route 66. There are also murals all over the community, brightening up the neighborhood.

These newer murals are interspersed with memories of the glory days of Route 66

I love the La Cita Sombrero

And the Tee Pee Curios front door takes you right back in time.

If you're in the area, I recommend that you spend a bit of time in Tucumcari and take a little drive on what is left of the real Route 66.

My next blog will give some details another unknown treasure (at least it was unknown to us), the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum in Tucumcari.

What fun we're having . . . Life is Good.

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