Getting kicks...

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Thursday, November 15, 2007

I get my kicks on...yep you got it. Route 66 runs from Chicago to LA and is the stuff of legends. We touched it before in Williams on the way to the Grand Canyon and now here in Albuquerque it runs right through the city, along Central Avenue.


 The first time we drove down it here, to be honest it looked a bit shabby, but later in our stay we returned and found some of the magic that's been associated with this legendary highway for decades. We discovered that the 'original' route' through NM was less direct, following old Indian trade routes; it was straightened in 1937, cutting the length from 506 to 399 miles. Drawn by accounts of original landmarks still existing along the old track we set of to take a look. Somehow we managed to be doing this at rush hour; we seem to have this knack.  Anyway it was indeed a devious route, today winding through the Hispanic area of Barelas, we searched for the 'historic mushroom' shaped gas pump that had won a petroleum industry design award, in the days when they were individual and not cloned. Well judge for yourself...







The main route was crammed with traffic - making photo taking frustrating - and disappointingly not many bikes either.
 
Lined with motels, motor traders, petrol stations and bars it's easy to see how it developed. Today new bars take on the old mantle, replicating the style of the signs; they stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have many tales to tell. Past fortunes and heydays became faded as the route was replaced with interstates that attracted shopping malls, food outlets and hotels. But it seems the route refuses to disappear, forever in the public's memory it thrives as a nostalgic tourist magnet,  
There are lots of web sites as you may imagine; these aren't bad...
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_66
http://www.theroadwanderer.net/66NMex/albuq.htm 
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