BRUNO MICHEL Country Music Journalist
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Kempner, TX 76539
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Route 66 from Joplin, MO to Gallup, NM

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A slightly different approach to do the entire road. This year it was Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico

Tour Map 2001:

We explored the next part of the road on our second trip. At the occasion of Mother Road's 75th birthday, we expected her to be crowded with people.. But once more we found ourselves to be among the few who really experience the road on all of it's oldest driveable parts.

Arriving in Dallas at 2.30 p.m. Our starting point was Joplin, MO, so we stopped half way in McAlester, OK, for some dinner and a rest.

On to Joplin the next day. A place to stay was the Roadsite Motel and for a good steak we found Jim Bob's. The Jukebox and the Paint Stallion closed in 2002) were our preferred hangouts after dinner.

Just a few miles in Kansas. Visited Galena and the

Eisler Brothers Store in Riverton

The Historical Museum and the old bridge in Baxter Springs.

Crossed the state line into Oklahoma.

Quite some murals in Quapaw. The Coleman Theater in Miami.

Top Hat and Foyil Cafe

Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park near Foyil. The world's largest totem pole stands here 90' tall. It took almost 10 years to build it before completed in 1948.

The Round Barn in Arcadia with it's friendly keeper.

Lucille's in Hydro. Lucille served guests since 1941 until she passed away in 2000.

Route 66 Museum in Clinton and the

Elk City Old Town Museum.

The Lonestar State line. In Shamrock, U-Drop Inn has recently reopened.

The Devil's Rope Museum in McLean

and the restored Phillips 66 station.

The Big Texan in Amarillo is a good place to eat - not just for very hungry people. It's also the place to stay for the night at the motel and a swim in the Texas-shaped swimming pool.

While in Amarillo, don't miss Palo Duro Canyon

and the Cadillac Ranch. The cars have recently been repainted.

Anita's Longhorn Cafe in Vega has moved down the road in 98. Next is Adrian, the self declared mid-point of Route 66

with the Midpoint Cafe

Glenrio and the First/Last Motel in Texas.

Crossed the New Mexico State line.

Soon we reached Tucumcari, once the Motel capital of Route 66. We stayed for the night. The neons are just great.

We settled down in Santa Rosa, our base for several trips.

Carlsbad Caverns. The caverns can be combined with a visit to

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens (not to be confused with the one in California with the same name).

In Roswell are simply crazy about their aliens. Everything from windows to street lamps, shops and souvenirs is decorated with aliens. The famous date of July 8, 1947, when the aliens landed is omnipresent.

After our alien encounter it's time for some relaxing trip on the Lincoln Trail.

Capitan is the home of Smokey Bear.

Back on Mother Road. The pre-1937 routing of Highway 66 was from Santa Rosa to Los Montoyas, Las Vegas, Santa Fe to Albuquerque.

Santa Fe, the town of arts and galleries, but also some great restaurants, such as the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and The Ore House.

Again two side trips from Santa Fe: the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and

Puye Cliffs in Santa Clara Canyon.

Stretches of Old 66 on the pre-1937 routing back to the main road.

On the post-1937 alignment to Clines Corners.

Many abandoned buildings and cars on the way.

Old Town Albuquerque was the scene for the 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Celebration, a 3-day event with oldtimers cruising and a big fiesta on the plaza.

Sandia Peak is a nice place to walk and overlook Albuquerque and the surroundings.

We enjoyed the excellent dinner and a great sunset.

On we went to Grants and

the Continental Divide. Rainfall in the west drains into the Pacific and rain in the east drains into the Atlantic.

Finally, we reached the starting point of our trip in 2000: Gallup and the El Rancho Hotel

back to Santa Rosa, then to Fort Sumner and the grave of Billy The Kid.

Arrived in Texas and Gatesville to see our friends for a few days

before it was back home after 4'784 miles on the road.




© by Bruno Michel.
US Trip Photos by Bruno Michel or websites. Music photos by Bruno Michel, Artist Management or Griz Weimer (freelance photographer and editor of Hot Country News