If you want to skip reading and just see the pretty pictures without the tales behind them you can do that here…but you’re missing out! Come back and read!

We’ve been up and down, er, make that east and west (so is that back and forth?) on I-40 so many times that the trips blur. Always heading somewhere, with a destination, an arrival date, and so we blast through places like Winslow, Holbrook, Tucumcari, maybe a one night stop in Amarillo or Albuquerque. This year we slowed the roll and chose to stop for several days in all the places we normally wave at as we fly by on the 40, or maybe we stopped in for gas and then got back on the road. These old towns the interstate bypassed that are still struggling to recover – decades later.

First comes Holbrook, the gateway to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park. Holbrook was once a thriving stop on RT 66 and still has some of the most iconic stops.

Just down the road a spell from Holbrook lies the infamous town of Winslow. An active railroad town that also houses the most elegant jewel of the Harvey House Hotels and Restaurants, La Posada. Yet Winslow is famous not for it’s actual past, but for the lines of a song.

A couple hundred miles up the road is the not quite as quaint town of Albuquerque, NM. Now a big city but still once a route 66 town. As we like to do, we went to the ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ web site to find a good place to eat. The Monte Carlo Steak House, in the back of a liquor store, and on what was once the 66, had a great steak sandwich.

ABQ also offered one of the biggest most complete cigar shops I’ve seen in our travels, Monte’s Cigar and Pipe sure had a great selection.

Again, a short jaunt down the road took us to Tucumcari, NM. Once a thriving highway town it is now a shadow of it’s former self. It does have a great dinosaur museum and is trying to reinvent itself. Mike at Blaze-Inn Saddle RV Park bought a dilapidated abandoned park and has turned it into a gem for all you RV’ers needing a reasonable, safe, clean spot. The town has a great ice cream and pizza joint and lots to see.

Our final route 66 stop is Amarillo, TX. So many songs have been sung about her and it’s one of our favorite stops. I could do a whole blog spot about all the cool stuff to do and see in the area, but for now we will stick to the Route 66 related stuff. A vibrant arts district has emerged on the old 66. A stop at Lile Art Gallery is a must as it is owned by a self proclaimed Route 66 Historian and Tour Guide and and the only person with the rights to make jewelry from the fallen chips of paint from Cadillac Ranch! You have to see it to believe it!

And to close on a smoky note, Amarillo has one of my favorite cigar shops, Good Karma Cigars!

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