Yes, Route 66 remnants remain in New Mexico
Q: I'm going to be in New Mexico and I would like to know about any portions of Route 66 that still exist there. I have followed the old route in other states, and I thought since I was going to be in New Mexico I'd check it out. Do you have any information?
A: Thanks to the New Mexico Department of Tourism, I received a brochure some time ago devoted entirely to that state's segment of historic Route 66, and I'm happy to share the information with you.
The route you'll follow starts just after you cross from Texas into New Mexico at Glenrio. Westbound motorists can take a 20-mile gravel stretch of the old highway from Glenrio to San Jon, which harbored the last active segment of 66 in the state before Interstate 40 was built in 1982.
From San Jon, a nearly continuous 24-mile paved chunk of vintage 66 continues all the way to Tucumcari. Along Tucumcari Boulevard, the city's five-mile claim to Route 66 fame, you'll find a '40s and '50s flavor that includes the legendary Blue Swallow Motel and Teepee Curios.
In Santa Rosa, Will Rogers Drive is the city's four-mile tribute to 66. It passes the Club Café, a landmark since 1935. About 40 miles west in I-40 you'll climb Palma Hill. See 7,576-foot-high Cerro Pedernal to the southwest and reach Cline's Corners. In Moriarty there's another three-mile stretch of pavement along New Mexico Route 333.
Metropolitan Albuquerque's Central Avenue is an 18-mile section of Route 66. Start at the state fairgrounds, a landmark since 1936, and enjoy the architectural sampler of art deco and Pueblo revival.
If you'd like to retrace a leg of the 1926 route, head north in I-25. Take the Algodones exit and return south via New Mexico 313, the original 66 masquerading as Fourth Street and New Mexico Route 314. You'll go 46 miles from Aldodones south through historic Bernalillo, past Sandia and Isleta Pueblos.
In Los Lunas turn west onto Main Street. Stay on New Mexico 6, 33 miles of historic highway all the way to Correo (once known as Suwanee). At Mesita old 66 reappears as New Mexico Route 124, going 25 miles though Laguna, New Laguna, Paraje, Budville, Cubero and McCartys.
At Grants, old 66 is Santa Fe Avenue and its six-mile segment is right out of the '40s. The original highway re-emerges near Iyanbito as a 13-mile introduction to Gallup, which also has a nine-mile segment. The final 16 miles of old 66 continue west from Gallup as New Mexico 118 to Arizona.
Send your questions at least sixweeks prior to travel to MadelynMerwin in care of
Travel,Daily Herald, P.O.Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006, or e-mail