New Mexico Route 66

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VR Panorama of downtown Glenrio. At one time this was a busy enough that 66 was four-laned through it. Now it is a ghost town. ('07)
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Old old 66 between Glenrio, TX and San Jon, NM. ('97)

West of Glenrio old old dirt 66 can be driven through San Jon. ('07)
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VR Panorama of old old dirt 66 west of Glenrio. The road is in much better shape than it was when we drove it back in 1997 when it had grass growing down the middle towards the west end. ('07)
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VR Panorama east of San Jon back on the newer paved 66. ('07)
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Not a lot left in San Jon. This is a repurposed 66 building next to the post office. ('08)

A closed auto repair shop in San Jon. ('08)

66 is Hotel Row in Tucumcari. The Pony Soldier Motel. ('08)

Palomino Motel. ('08)

Apache Motel & the Kix on 66. ('08)

Tee Pee Curios in Tucumcari. ('97)

A updated shot of Tee Pee Curios. ('08)

There are some closed storefronts. ('08)

Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari. ('99)

An updated photo of the Blue Swallow. There have been some subtle changes to the sign and the property has been cleaned up and restored. The place was packed. ('08)

The Safari Motel. ('08)

Americana Motel. ('08)

La Cita Mexican Restaurant (with a Sombrero). ('08)

Pow Wow Inn and Lizard Lounge. Do you think Larry hangs out here? ('08)

Route 66 sculpture on west end of Tucumcari. ('97)

Yes, Stuckey's is alive and well. ('08)

When following the Route 66 switchbacks across the interstate, you cross behind this Stuckey's. Interestingly enough, we ran into the Moeur family AGAIN here. ('08)

Trading Post ruins in Montoya. ('08)

VR Panorama of the remains of Montoya. ('07)
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Tunnel under the interstate between Montoya and Palomas where 66 switches to north side. ('97)

The same tunnel looking back to the south. When the map directions say 'No RV's' they mean it. ('99)

VR Panorama of a picturesque railroad bridge east of Cuervo. 66 is sandwiched between the interstate and the railroad. ('07)
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VR Panorama under the railroad bridge. The water here has scoured the rock and etched it into interesting patterns. ('07)
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VR Panorama further north of the railroad bridge. Here the water cuts down into a brush-filled gully. I don't think this would be a good place to be standing if it was raining but is a definite photo-op location when dry. ('07)
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VR Panorama on hill just west of the railroad bridge. ('07)
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Heading west on 66 as the north frontage road towards Cuervo. ('08)

Approaching Cuervo. ('08)

As 66 comes into Cuervo, there are auto maintenance and gas stations on the north side. ('08)

Looking across the interstate, you can see that they split the town when it came through. ('08)

Abandoned buildings on the south side. ('08)

It seems like EVERYBODY has a web site now. ('08)

Looking up '30's 66 as it heads southwest from Cuervo on the 'Cuervo Cutoff'. There is another alignment that heads due south (but isn't as interesting). ('08)

Looking down into Cuervo from the hill south of town on the Cuervo Cutoff. ('99)

Another look back to the northeast towards Cuervo. ('08)

VR Panorama just up the hill south of Cuervo along the Cuervo Cutoff. This piece of 66 has been abandoned since the 30's. ('07)
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Looking uphill to the south from the mostly washed-out culvert on the Cuervo Cutoff. ('99)

Close-up of the wash out. There was just enough road left for our van to get by. Another year or so and it will be down to motorcycles only. Better do the cutoff while you can. ('99)

Update: the wash out has been filled in so the cutoff is a go. ('07)

VR Panorama where 66 crosses a culvert. Someone must still use the road as they went to the trouble to fill in the washout that was there in 1997. ('07)
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VR Panorama where 66 cuts up through an escarpment along the Cuervo Cutoff. ('07)
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Since last fall, erosion caused the part of the cut through the escarpment to collapse. This was about the spot where I took the preceding pano from. ('08)

I didn't notice this culvert when driving the cutoff before. I couldn't find any dates on it. ('08)

VR Panorama from the shade of a tree in a low spot on the cutoff. The road is starting to get rough the further south you go here. I made it in my old Mustang but I would recommend that a higher clearance vehicle be used unless you are used to driving this type of roadbed. ('07)
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VR Panorama approaching the south end of the Cuervo Cutoff. ('07)
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Looking north up the hill near the south end of the cutoff. ('99)

Looking back at the end of the cutoff. Not marked on the maps but it is pretty obvious if coming from the west. There is a drive-over cattle gate as they are on the 66 side of the fence. ('99)

Update: the cattle-guard has collapsed but there is a drivable bypass trail. ('07)

The cattle guard at the south end is in pretty bad shape. It appears someone drove a very heavy vehicle over it and bent all the pipes. Fortunately, there is a gate next to it that bypasses it. ('08)

A rabbit watched us drive around the cattle guard. ('08)

VR Panorama taken where the Cuervo Cutoff feeds into the paved roadbed into Santa Rosa. ('07)
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Coming into Santa Rosa you can see how the interstate cut across 66 and 66 continuing on the other side as the main street into town. ('08)

Club Cafe in Santa Rosa. The big 'Fat Man' sign on the roof is missing but the sign out front is still there. ('97)

VR Panorama of the southeast side of the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa.
Old old 66 used to come into town on the street outside the park. ('07)
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VR Panorama in the southwest corner of the Blue Hole Park. ('07)
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VR Panorama taken from the diving board in the swimming area of the Blue Hole Park.
It isn't very deep here but you can see where the drop-off is just beyond the ropes. ('07)
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VR Panorama of the Blue Hole swimming/picnic area. It looks like it was allowed
to deteriorate from its heyday but is now being fixed up. ('07)
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66 east of Albuquerque (looking east) near Moriarty. ('99)

Looking east in Tijeras Canyon near its east end. ('02)

Closer to Albuquerque (looking east). ('02)

The canyon is really getting civilized (i.e. built up). Evidence of the old route along the streambed is rapidly being dug up and developed. ('02)

The 66 Diner downtown is a great place to stop for a break. ('02)

Close-up of the sign on the roof. If you are coming from the east, pay attention as it is easy to miss. ('02)

Lots of neon and memorabilia inside. The burgers are great! ('02)

Albuquerque street-pole banner in Albuquerque. ('99)

On the west end of town looking to the east where old 66 descends into Albuquerque. ('99)

The 66 theme runs throughout the city. The airport has the Route 66 Micro-Brewery. ('02)

66 bridge west of Albuquerque (looking east). Interstate is on right. ('99)

The bridge has now been bypassed and is now a little roadside park. ('02)

66 goes through Sante Fe on its original routing. ('02)

Old Church in old downtown area. ('02)

Pic of LaFonda hotel on the 66 routing through the old section of town. This part of the Route is very difficult to follow (a good navigator is required) due to the amount of traffic and the narrow winding streets. ('02)

Volcano cinder-cones NW of Los Lunas on old old 66. ('02)

Looking south from west end of Los Lunas routing. the terrain is desolate but picturesque. There must be something out here though as there is a LOT of traffic. ('02)

Heading west of Albuquerque the Route 66 Casino is seen on the south side. ('08)

Old 66 still exists between Albuquerque and Mesita. 1 mile south of I-40 at the Mesita exit (where the original 66 Route from Laguna joins the thru-Albuquerque routing). The overpass on the right is where you turn off to go on the older alignment. ('03)

VR Panorama from atop the old 66 bridge over the railroad tracks at the north end of the Los Lunas alignment. ('07)
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Looking west while descending from the overpass over the RR tracks and joining the original pavement. ('02)

More traffic west of the bridge has widened 66 but not much else has changed. ('08)

10 Acre desert plots are for sale south of 66. ('08)

The ruins of a building along 66. ('08)

From the bridge to this point, 66 sees heavy traffic going to the facility ahead on the left and the roadbed has been destroyed. Continuing ahead you can see the old pavement continues after the truck traffic turns left. ('08)

66 continues due west. ('08)

The heavy traffic is going to a dump that has been established south of the road. ('08)

66 continues due west. The asphalt is in pretty good shape. We found only one washout starting. ('02)

Coming up on the long bridge over a desert wash. ('08)

One of many bridges across dry streambeds. ('02)

QTVR taken from the east end of the old 66 bridge over a desert wash east of Mesita. ('08)
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QTVR taken from the west end of the old 66 bridge over a desert wash east of Mesita. ('08)
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The top view of the same bridge. Not much by way of safety railing. ('02)

We did a little prospecting around the bridge and fund some interesting rocks and some old bottles. ('08)

A view to the north (towards I-40). The terrain is "postcard" perfect. ('02)

There are a few patched (particularly near the bridges) where the asphalt is starting to break up. ('02)

66 continues as straight as an arrow towards Laguna. Up ahead, 66 crosses over I-40 and continues as the north frontage road.('02)

Looking back, 66 is in the background. The dirt tracks are the original route before I-40 chopped 66. ('03)

The loop-de-loop to get over I-40. ('03)

After crossing over I-40, 66 becomes the north frontage road and then moves north away from interstate. ('02)

Getting closer to the cliffs along 66. This is the beginning of some of the most interesting terrain on the entire Route. ('08)

The North frontage road 66 approaching some of the picturesque terrain. ('02)

The interstate rock cut can be seen center left. 66 bends to the right of the rock spur following the terrain (as usual) rather than plowing through it. ('02)

A newer view, ('03)

Mission on hillside along 66 west of McCartys. ('97)

Cliffs along old 66 near Mesita. ('97)

This is a BIG rock. ('02)

VR Panorama of the BIG rock along 66 near Mesita. ('07)
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VR Panorama of the picturesque cliffs along 66. This section of 66 is one of my favorites
to drive as 66 snakes along the base of the cliffs. A definite photo-op. ('07)
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The Road Warriors take a photo-op break. ('03)

A close-up. ('99)

No change from the last time.... ('03)

Looking back to the east. ('99)

This is one of my favorite sections of 66. This is the view we give up to drive on the Interstates. ('03)

The terrain has to be seen to be believed. ('02)

This stretch has the best postcard potential of the entire Route ('02)

And the roadbed is well maintained. ('02)

VR Panorama further along 66. ('07)
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VR Panorama of another big rock along 66 near Mesita. ('07)
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Another free standing pillar of rock. ('02)

The Route winds through the terrain. ('02)

Continues west. ('02)

And eventually descends into New Laguna. ('02)

VR Panorama near the ruins of a Whiting Brothers gas station in Cubero. ('07)
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West movie theater in Grants. ('99)

Street Pole Banner in Grants. ('99)

Cool '66 Mustang parked next to Continental Divide sign along 66. ('97)

VR Panorama of a massive pot-hole at the Continental Divide. The motorcycle rider in the green vest is
taking pictures from the interstate. I never was able to talk to them but they were driving down 66
also as we passed each other numerous times across OK, TX, and NM. ('07)
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VR Panorama of the hills west of the Continental Divide. They reminded me of the terrain that was used
in the movie 'Cars' (except in the movie they were shaped more like actual cars. ('07)
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VR Panorama of cliffs close alongside 66 east of Gallup. ('07)
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Sign in front of the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup. ('99)

The famous El Rancho Hotel. ('99)

Close up of the front of the hotel. ('99)

The El Morro Theater in Gallup. ('99)

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 Route 66
Air Guard
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