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New Mexico Reimagined at Star Ranch, Chimayo, NM
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Route 66, The Mother Road, cut through the center of New Mexico, leaving a legacy of broken dreams, heartache, and the spirit of a people seeking the American Dream.  Many of the businesses that sprang up to greet weary travelers have become landmarks that can still be seen today. To attract customers, many of the businesses along Route 66 invested in huge and elaborate neon signs to entice cars to pull in for a night in a motor court cabin or a simple but hearty meal.  Many of these marvelous signs have lost to us, but many still exist and some are being refurbished and re-lit, an honor befitting the works of modern art that they are. Experience just a taste of what it must have been like to drive across America’s heartland.  You can drive the entire New Mexico span, eating at vintage diners and sleeping in a motel out of history...or, spend a half day or a day enjoying the many Route 66 landmarks in the Albuquerque area.  No tour of Route 66 sights is complete without dinner at the Route 66 diner and an enchanting look at many of the vintage neon signs that still light up night and the imagination. To drive on the actual roadbed near Albuquerque, take I-40 east out of the city and take the Carnuel exit.  Continue away from Albuquerque and you will see signs for the musical road.  You’ll have plenty of warning to slow your speed to 45mph and guide your right wheels onto the right hand shoulder line.  Then enjoy the music!  Continue east to the small town of Tijeras.  You will be travelling on the road bed of the original Route 66.  In Tijeras, you have four great options: 1: Turn right on Highway 337 and drive through some lovely scenery on some deliciously windy roads. 2: Drive 1/2 mile past the turn off onto 337, turn left, pass under I-40 and drive north on Highway 14.  Watch for signs for the Tinkertown Museum, which is a whimsical and wonderful place to visit, or follow the signs to Sandia Crest and view Albuquerque from 5000 feet over the city.  Note: this road is winding.  Bad weather can close this road. 3: Stay on the old Route 66, which is now called Highway 333.  In Edgewood, visit the wildlife rescue sanctuary and zoo, or continue to Moriarty.  In Moriarty, drive almost to the east end of town and visit the Lewes Antique Car and Toy Museum. 4. As soon as you enter the town of Tijeras, turn left at the light and get onto I-40 for a speedy return to Albuquerque. Below is just a partial list of the Route 66 landmarks that you can experience in the Albuquerque area:
Route 66 and Neon Tours More Photographs
Route 66 - The Mother Road