Traveling across the country on our interstate system is much quicker than it was back when state roads simply meandered from state to state. One of the highways that was pretty much relegated to “history” was The Mother Road,Rt66. Rt66 connected Illinois to California. When Interstate 40 was constructed much of Rt66 became little more than rubble.
Over the last Southwest has bucked that trend and embraced the history of Rt66 as it winds along the l40 corridor. No where is this more evident than in New Mexico. You will see this from the time you enter the eastern portion of the highway until you reach Arizona.
New Mexico embraces The Mother Road and the growth it brought to New Mexico. All along I40 you see markers for Historic Rt66. Some will take you on ventures to see amazing landscapes and sites. They will also take you to truly great places to eat. You will go back to small town diners where you get great service and even better food.
The first place you will encounter is Russells. This truck stop diner brings new meaning to tourist spot. There are many easy to access pumps and more than full service store. You will all the snacks and drinks you need to feed an army. You will also find a travelers museum with historic cars, motorcycles, memorabilia of all types. Take time to see it all, it will refresh you. After that visit the diner.
Russell’s Diner is simply put, great. I have stopped there every trip l take west. You will find traditional breakfast food, trucker staples like hot roast beef sandwiches to New Mexico favorites with chilies. I would be remiss not mentioning the mile high pies which taste as good as they look.
I have had their egg, sausage, pancake, home fries combos; burritos and hot meatloaf. They were truly like mom or your friends would serve. Judging from other’s empty plates they felt the same as l did. Unless they were ordering to go, l have not seen any “doggie bags” going out the
Another amazing diner, actually three is Laguna Burger. There are three located at Rt66 Shops along 40/66 heading west from Albuquerque. The original is located on the Laguna Pueblo and is one of the original stops on Rt66. Laguna Burger has a limited menu; hot dogs, fries, awesome homemade onion rings, fresh individually made burgers and a limited breakfast menu.
jLaguna Burgers are good enough that l stop every trip. The last trip l had stopped just outside of Albuquerque heading home from Vegas on a Sunday. There was a half hour wait and folks were still lining up. Fortunately there is a large lot/entrance to a quarry so l could take my dog for a walk. It was well worth the wait.
Other sights and sites along Rt66/l40 include the rock out croppings, towns like Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, old town Albuquerque to name a few. The small shops at the shops of The Nations have both imported and handmade work from the American Indian members of The Nations. Their artwork and crafts are second to none.
The trip across northern New Mexico gives you insight to the history of the area and country. You can see the volcanic rock outcropping just west of Albuquerque, the Pueblos near the center of the state, stunning sunrises/sunsets and great food to enjoy. New Mexico is a state of history and attractions, see them to make your trip worthwhile.