The Return of Route 66
It is a good day to drive.
Heading out of Chambers in the Intrepid provided a jaunt on Route 66 right off the bat. Then Sanders showed up, a further stub of 66 was just a few hundred feet, and it was time to get onto I-40 eastbound. Off again at Exit 341, I jogged north to Road 7250/Quentin Dirt Road for 5 miles. This is Reservation land, and Quentin is an early route for 66. It is dirt, and dirt over pavement for a few miles. I stopped and jumped out when I came to the 1930 Querino Canyon Bridge, a steel structure spanning a remarkable gorge.
The bridge from one side.
Then the other side.
Now when you see people standing tall on top of overhangs, you’ll know that nothing in nature is unchanging.
Back East, 66 was a narrow ribbon of two-lane pavement. Here, you get what you get.
Wow, a 1997 1-ton Chevy passenger van parked out in front of a church, and they want just $1,000 for it! I noticed that it’s been here a good long time, maybe because the sign says “bad motor”.
Seeing I-40 takes some of the glam out for me, since it’s like installing conveyor belts next to historic adventure. Temporarily blocking it off with one hand does wonders for getting the feel of Route 66 back.
Doin’ it the hard way. This guy was just out for a ride (no equipment), but made some pretty good time.
Now THIS is 66 in the Southwest. And the nice thing was that I could often go slower, and always pull over when I liked, to take it all in.
This Exit had a long string of shops (not shown) and marked the beginning of Route 66/NM118.
Piles of rocks impress me enough, but huge sculpted 1-piece ones amaze me.
Looking up. I just can’t wrap my mind around it.
Location, location, location.
And moving on…
NM188 is a long, satisfying ribbon of 66 goodness.
It actually tunnels under I-40 to continue on.
Something a little different.
The west edges of Gallup.
Nope, didn’t stop at the museum. This ride is about pavement. Gallup is a large, varied and healthy town, with many blocks of Indian wares traders and vendors packed together along this road.
The famous El Rancho Hotel, which boasts that many stars stayed there in Hollywood’s heyday. In its time, it may have represented the poshest hotel in town.
Oh, just one more. Come on.
It’s like I was leaning left trying to avoid the dream-killing efficiency of technology. Progress is often a trade, not a step up without cost.
Add throttle, or don’t. But do enjoy.
Oh boy! Another restart of Historic 66, right here!
This was actually quite a long stretch as well, and made for a very good day, if one is into retracing Route 66.
For no reason I can discern, 66 split into a divided highway for many miles.
Milan, New Mexico, home of the Petro Stopping Center and, across the street, the meritorious WOW Diner, which is not ill-named. It looks like a ’50s retro, but the menu is eclectic.