RT 66 MONUMENT FROM ACROSS 66 (Rt 66 Tucumcari NM)
This is not the official Chamber of Commerce-authorized shot, but I think it sums up the 66 experience.
There's shiny chrome and new construction as the past is reinterpreted...this time with air-conditioning. But 66 is also rust, peeling paint, ruins of old gas stations, and blacktop under assault from "native plants" (weeds).
A little visual clutter too. Poles and wires and all the other things you only miss when you are so far away from a town you don't see them anymore.
Fewer than 6000 people live in Tucumcari, the largest place, by far, between Albuquerque and Amarillo--a span of 272 Interstate miles. The city, once known as Six-Shooter Siding, is trying to reinvent itself once again. So here's a monument to all that's new and shiny. Framed by the historic and falling-apart.
Just down the historic pavement of 66, an abandoned 1950s era motel sits between iconic neon signs for the Blue Swallow Motel and Teepee Curios. A sombrero-topped Mexican restaurant tries for new life as a flower and gift shop.
Meanwhile, the real business in Tucumcari flows to Mickey D and Subway and Chevron--all conveniently located along I-40. Their great big poles hold up great big signs that are completely free of neon or fins.