Continental Divide Marker
(Gallup, New Mexico)
Noted by many as the highest point on Route 66 (which is incorrect, I've found many articles stating Brannigan Park in Arizona takes that honor at 7,300 feet above sea level) it is a significant marker along the route. At this location, the continent is divided and all water to the west flows to the Pacific Ocean and water to the east flows to the Atlantic.
This has nothing to do with the historic route but was worth noting for any of you nomadic travelers. I haven't eaten at a Denny's in a few years but found they have a super cheap "$2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu®" where I got a biscuit and gravy with hashbrowns for $2! I put the fork on the plate so you can see it's plenty of food.
Being big fans of the movie Cars, we had to hit a few of the places along the route that inspired the movie and planned a stay in a Wigwam. (An inspiration for Sally's Cozy Cone Motel). There are old cars parked in front of every wigwam so you definitely feel like you've stepped back in time. The actual rooms are much bigger than you think and are a comfortable stay.
Dinner stop at Salsa Brava
This was a must stop on our list as we are big fans of the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It has a great authentic feel to it and the food was plentiful and pretty tasty. But the unique part of this restaurant is something that I'm surprised I don't see in many other Mexican restaurants. You sit down and they not only hand you a big basket of chips but also 3-4 little bowls that you take up to their salsa bar. You can pick and choose (or mix) the salsas you want to go with your chips. Many were too authentic for me in that they had pretty good heat but Mark loved their Habanero Pineapple salsa.
The Rio Puerco Bridge
(Rio Puerco, New Mexico)
Another geocaching stop that made for a few great pictures. Located just off IH-40 on an old section of Route 66. It was originally built in 1933 and is the largest bridge in New Mexico at 250 ft in length. It was bypassed in 1999 and is on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Worth a stop for the Pink Cadillac Milkshake - 66 Diner
(Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Our main reason for spending time in Albuquerque was a photo stop at Walter White's house (for all you Breaking Bad fans) but we also grabbed a quick bite at the classic 66 diner. Food was good and if you are a fan of beginning or ending your meal with a shake, I have to recommend their featured "Pink Cadillac" shake. Strawberry and Oreos...awesome...
(Tucumcari, New Mexico)
Blue Swallow seems to be the more well known motel in this city but we stayed at the nearby Roadrunner Lodge. The owners just recently purchased the property after it had been closed for about 4 1/2 years. They have only a few rooms available right now but them, along with a few other new business owners in the area are working to relight the fire of Route 66 in Tucumcari.
Another quick photo stop. According to Wikipedia, it originally was a functioning water tower which was slated for demolition until Ralph Britten bought it and moved it to serve as a sign for his truck stop and tourist information center (located on a stretch of interstate that was once a part of U.S. Route 66). This truck stop can still be seen, set back off the road behind the tower, now boarded up and in disrepair following a devastating fire decades ago.
What a great stop! An artistic endeavor, it was installed in 1974 and consists of older used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line from 1949 to 1963. All are half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt
According to Wikipedia, Lizzie's Curio Shop in Radiator Springs resembles the Route 66 jumble of memorabilia and knick-knacks at Hackberry General Store in Hackberry, Arizona and this place, the Sand Hills Curiosity Shop in Erick, Oklahoma. Nothing's for sale but it was a great photo stop. I guess the owners are pretty fun too if you get a chance to meet them.
Adrian is the geo-mathematical midpoint of Route 66. It is exactly 1,139 miles both from both Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. There is a big midpoint sign for taking pictures and nearby is this great old truck that many travelers over the years have signed. We decided we would sign it when we make the full trip from Chicago to LA.
We stopped here simply to get a Kansas geocache and didn't realize the history we would find. The geocache was located just behind the grave for three of the Dalton Gang members.
History has it that their graves were marked with only the metal pipe which was the hitching post to which they tied their horses on the day they died. Today the graves of three Dalton gang members are marked with a headstone.