The stretch of Route 66 from Albuquerque, NM to Shamrock, TX is littered with ghost towns, automotive folk art, and oversized oddities. Happy travels!MoreLess
A violent 2013 windstorm took his arms right off but this dude's burly arms were finally restored in 2019. The long wait was due to the high cost of his new bionic limbs and ax. He's back in business and guarding his territory!
Walter White’s Car Wash is a family owned and run business that began in the late 1950s. The founder pioneered the brushless system. At this location, on AMC's "Breaking Bad," you might notice Octopus as being the A1 Car Wash. Recently sold, the Octopus Car Wash has changed its name to "Mister Car Wash."
Wildlife West Nature Park is 122-acres of rescued wildlife featuring over 20 species of native New Mexican animals. The zoo features cougars, wolves, bear, elk, deer, javelina, fox, raptors, and more. Overnight adventures are available by appointment.
No, it is not a mirage. This miraculously blue swimming hole is calm on the surface but hides a maze of mysteries. It is not only a place to cool off and relax but it is also the entrance to a system of underwater caves and tunnels which remained unexplored up until 2013. This doesn't include the ill-fated adventure of a couple of SCUBA divers in 1976 who died after becoming trapped in one of the caves.
Old Ranch House Cafe Ruins: This dismal-looking structure with its broken neon sign had its heyday in the 1950s. Just as dilapidated but a little more interesting is an old Chevy truck with a strange covered bed. No one is sure when the "Mexican Food" was added to the sign as it is absent from a vintage 1950s postcard photograph of the cafe. This is just one of the many abandoned spots along the "Mother Road" Route 66 which was an important route that ran from L.A. to Chicago.
The La Cita Restaurant features a high-peaked sombrero resting atop the restaurant and is lit in neon at night. Don't know if this was an original landmark on retro Route 66 but it really doesn't matter - the restaurant and hat fit the kitsch and the light up sign on the pole is just as kitschy. You may find the restaurant closed when you visit because the establishment does have occasional dormant periods.
This peach-colored motel is a throwback to the days before chain inns when all a traveler had was a lonely little room for the night. The rooms are even appointed with items and furnishings from the early 1900s although amenities such as air conditioning and wi-fi are provided too. Any road trip enthusiast who wants a real taste of the old Route 66 should stay here.
This fun specialty shop is your one stop shop for gag gifts, souvenirs, and a bit of Route 66 history. Some cool exhibits such as a Falcon and a "skeleton truck" are great photo opps. Don't forget to purchase some Indian jewelry and pottery as keepsakes of your road trip in New Mexico.
Glenrio was a bit unique straddling the border of two states. When Route 66 was the only major route from L.A. to Chicago Glenrio thrived along with it. With the decline of Route 66 the small town also withered. Interstate 40 hastened its demise and by the 1980s there was a small population of 2. Still the town is memorable for making an appearance in the film "The Grapes of Wrath." What still remains today might make a good black-and-white or sepia-tinted photo opp.
Cadillac Ranch may not really be a ranch, but it really is a resting place for non-functional Cadillacs! Created in 1974 by Chip Lord and Hudson Marquez, the un-ranch features Caddies manufactured from 1949 to 1963 half-buried hood-down in the ground. The halves above ground were painted by Robert Smithson. Lord and Marquez fancied themselves as artistic rebels, but it is up to you to decide if they are as original as other breakthrough artists such as Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch.
Naturally you've heard that Texans do everything bigger and better. The Big Texan Steak Ranch does everything bigger, better, and crazier - it was even featured on The Food Network's Craziest Restaurants in America. One reason is the 72-oz. steak challenge - which defies the eater to consume 4.5 ponds of steak, shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, and bread roll. If you've got some digestion issues, partaking in this challenge is ill advised!
The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo has spawned many a descendant, such as the VW Slug Bug Ranch. On a dusty plain with patches of wild grass, five VW Beetles are planted hood down into the dirt. Painted in garish color, these round shells of metal should be on the list of stops during your Route 66 road trip.
This gas station opened to customers in September of 1929. For more than 50 years people stopped here to fill up their cars while traveling on Route 66. The orange pumps have the distinctive Phillips 66 trademark logo affixed on them. Also there is a vintage tank truck parked right outside of the small cottage-like structure. Definitely a required detour for Route 66 aficionados.
You learn something new every day - such as discovering that barbed wire is informally called "devil's rope." A Route 66 stop, this McLean, TX museum is also a store, where you can purchase bundles of barbed wire if you are so inclined.
A meticulously restored historic Route 66 gas station has three well-preserved gravity feed gas pumps. Like many gas stations and businesses along Route 66 Magnolia Gas Station became obsolete when Interstate 40 was opened. It's right next to the Pioneer West Museum. The gas station is viewable any time but the museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.