Motor Thru New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment. From Glenrio all the way to Gallup there is plenty of Route 66 to enjoy. Route 66 has been realigned many times over the years, and finally, I-40 was constructed covering much of the original Route 66.
In spite of the realignments, Route 66 was fixed in the memory of many by John Steinbeck’s novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” and Bobby Troup’s lyric “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” as well as CBS TV’s “Route 66.” Today, I-40 runs over much of the original roadbed, but many parts of the old highway can be seen today just beside I-40.
Heading west the first town you come to is Glenrio, and it’s also the last town you just left in Texas!
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Although a ghost town today, Glenrio was once a thriving, bustling town on the Texas/New Mexico border. Located in Deaf Smith County, Texas, and Quay County, New Mexico, this small town was once a bustling train town and welcomed Route 66 travelers for many years. There were no bars on the Texas side of the community since Deaf Smith County was dry, and no service stations on the New Mexico side because of that state’s higher gasoline tax.
Glenrio today is a ghost town. A few abandoned buildings remain, but I-40 was the final blow to the town of Glenrio and today only travelers exploring Route 66 darken the town’s borders.
New Mexico offers many Route 66 attractions and several authentic motels. The Blue Swallow, Motel, Motel Safari, and the Historic Route 66 Motel are a few of the motels in Tucumcari. Stay a spell or drive the Mother Road through town and enjoy the view.
Like many other Route 66 towns, there are museums, motels, and other attractions throughout Santa Rosa, but for me, the best place in Santa Rosa is Blue Hole. Its gorgeous blue water is calming and soothing to see. Blue Hole is a big attraction for scuba divers and other outdoor lovers. Scientifically the Blue Hole is an Artesian spring that is 80 feet deep. The water from the spring fills the sinkhole and stays around 60 degrees year-round. With 100% visibility, it’s a scuba divers paradise!
In 1932 The Blue Hole became a fish hatchery, and then a recreation area in the ’70s. Recently expanded to include the Blue Hold Diving and Conference Center. It is still a roadside attraction that draws travelers of all kinds today.
The Blue Hole is connected to several other lakes in the area. Although at current writing, there is a grate over the underwater connection in the Blue Hole for safety reasons.
Cline’s Corner has been a stop on Route 66 since 1934! The largest gift shop in New Mexico is there, and it is still a welcome break for travelers. Stop in and eat at the restaurant, get some souvenirs and then hop back in your car and head west to Albuquerque.
Albuquerque and Route 66 have grown together. Even today, Route 66 is a popular attraction as it runs through the center of Albuquerque on Central Ave. There are plenty of restaurants, neon signs, and nostalgia to quell your Route 66 craving.
The last town in New Mexico is Gallup. There are not many scenic attractions, in Gallup, The El Rancho Motel, is one you don’t want to miss. A happening place in the day of Route 66, frequented by movie stars and others traveling through to the coast.