Amarillo by Evenin’
…with apologies to George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning”.
Yesterday was a long, but fun, ride. I started in Santa Fe and promptly got lost. I ended up wandering around the “Old Town” area where the streets are narrow and the speed limits slow and the shops enticing. I lucked into the right street (thank goodness for reading ahead!) and made it out of town with only a slight delay. 66 goes east as a frontage road along I-25, but where the directions say to get on 25 – the ramp was closed for reconstruction! So I had to backtrack 4 miles (o deer) and get on I-25 there.
My first real stop of the day was at Pecos National Historical Park. This park encompasses both the Pecos Pueblo and the site of the Glorieta Pass battle in the Civil War. Said battle was s decisive defeat for the Confederates, and they left New Mexico shortly afterward. I didn’t go see the battle site, but I took a self-guided tour through the pueblo’s ruins.
After having lunch at the Park, I continued east on Old 66 and discovered that I was also following part of the Santa Fe trail:
I eventually left the I-25 corridor and headed south on US 84, which closely parallels the old 66 route back down to I-40. It was fun riding somewhere that *wasn’t* a frontage road, and I realized that, if the Interstate System hadn’t been thought of, much of 66 would look like the road I was on. There would be a lot more traffic, of course!
One of the towns along I-40 that 66 goes through is Santa Rosa. One of the attractions in Santa Rosa is The Route 66 Auto Museum. Naturally, I had to stop in. It’s a small place, with only about 30 vehicles, but what a collection! It includes a 1963 Corvette split-window coupe, several Mustangs, and this beauty (not the cardboard woman – the truck!).
They also had an Auburn for sale – I didn’t ask how much they wanted.
This photo shows where 66 goes under I-40. I’m sure that some of the original travelers encountered dirt like this – I’m glad it wasn’t muddy!
And, finally, I made it to the Central Time Zone and Texas! I rolled past my 1000th mile on the trip while still in New Mexico and ended the day with 9200 total miles on the odometer.
Right at the Texas – New Mexico state line is a ghost town called Glenrio. The town actually straddles the line and was a popular place to stop – until I-40 passed it by. Interestingly, there is a section of Old 66 designated as “Business 40” that goes through the town. The road is 4 lanes with a median through the town; narrowing to 2 lanes east and west and then becoming dirt as you go farther back into New Mexico.
Although it’s a little bit of a bummer riding on the frontage roads all the time (I think it would be more fun if it were its own road, as it was when I was on US 84), there is an advantage: There’s hardly any traffic, so when something interesting comes up, like the painted markers on the road, I can stop and take a picture with little fear of being run over.
Last night I stayed in a nice little (also inexpensive) local motel, probably similar to those that people stayed in during the latter years of 66. [I had planned to stay in a campground last night, but none of them in the area accepted tents. *sigh*] Today my first stop is the Cadillac Ranch, and then I’m hoping to get to Tulsa tonight. We’ll see how *that* goes…