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Feb 22nd
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Home People & Lifestyle Editor's Blog Exploring the Mother Road, Route 66

Exploring the Mother Road, Route 66

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Author John Steinbeck called it the "Mother Road," and while Route 66 no longer is part of the interstate highway system it remains a highway of legend and dreams and a very big part of the West.

Earlier this summer I took one of my seasonal drives through the West, I-40 to be exact. I like I-40, because it's pretty straight, and going through parts of Arizona and New Mexico (weather permitting) legally I can drive at 75 miles per hour. Stops basically are for gasoline and a restroom.

tucumcaristreet

So I'm buzzing along in cruise control mode through New Mexico, being passed by a lot of cars (and even 18-wheelers), when I see the sign for Tucumcari. A little bell goes off in my brain. Tucumcari. Route 66. The Mother Road. Why not stop?

Tucumcari (pronounced TOO-kum-kair-ee) is one of those names that's hard to forget. Little word games to play. Sounds like...two can carry...carry what? Two can carry a bag of potatoes easier than one can. The toucan carried a piece of fruit out the window. Anyway, Tucumcari is a name that can be fun, especially when you're driving by yourself with nothing to do.

It's also a town on the old Route 66 road. Many Route 66 towns were bypassed when the interstate was built, but several have used the popularity of Route 66 by nostalgia seekers as way to attract tourist dollars.

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