On a recent trip, I exited I-25 into Santa Fe onto a crowded, modern road with new, adobe-style Marriott Courtyards, Targets, and the only Starbucks I found within 100 miles of Taos. Wondering how I might be able to find the dusty remnants of Route 66, I soon realized that I was already on the Mother Road, just the 2013 version. Here are some of the old motel gems I found nestled between the modern retail.
The Cottonwood had a great sign and a basketball court and, no worries, they do have Color Television. (Had I known that in advance, I would not have stayed in the hotel I picked which only had black and white UHF channels).
The next one – the Western Scene – was great because it was a court-style motel and also had different religious scenes on the walls in colorful tiles (see 2d photo). One was of the Virgin Mary. I pointed this out to a man with No Country For Old Men hair who was standing near the front office and suggested the motel should also be called the “Religious Scene” Motel. I had to beat it out of there after that and heard the sound of a strange beeper outside my room all night long.
I found the whole ten mile stretch of road almost impossible to turn around on. At one point, my only choice was to pull into a packed Lowe’s parking lot to make a U-turn and saw that 12 other cars were making the same maneuver. Maybe it’s because Rte 66 was the way West, the only way for many with little hope. Although two lanes, it became esentially a one-way road.