Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Have spent the last few days riding Route 66 - or what is left of it. Where the road exists there is nothing special about it as a road. In fact it is a bit of a pain because it is bumpy and has a reduced speed in force. What is interesting is the small towns that were bypassed when I40 was built. Towns like Holbrook, Gallup, Thoreau, Grants etc still have relics of the 50's but they are fast fading. Few eateries exist, no garages and most of the motels have been abandoned and their art deco signage rusted and fading. Some towns have embraced the old and promote the "Route 66" theme - Albuquerque (actually a city) has done it very well even to the point of building their bus stops in a 1950's style. Look here for Route 66.
I got off Route 66 and used the Interstate to ride through New Mexico and Texas and popped into the small towns as they appeared on the map. Both these states are so vast and featureless that you will take all day at 55mph. Besides you can see the old road running right next to the interstate. I stayed in a 50's motel last night in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, complete with flashing neon sign, 50's fittings and fixtures. Today it was a 750k head down bum up slog through New Mexico, Texas and into Oklahoma.
All goes well so far.