Route 66 West of Tucumcari: Montoya and Newkirk

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Leaving Tucumcari headed westbound, you have no choice but to hop onto I-40 between exits 329 and 321.  A remnant of the old road exists on the north side of the highway, but it’s a dead end.  From exit 321 west, you can travel the frontage roads, so long as you’re not driving a big RV.

The frontage roads west of Tucumcari provide a slow, but authentic alternative to Interstate 40.  As a reward for squeezing through a couple of tight underpass tunnels…

… you can explore the ruins of old roadside businesses like this one.

Okay, don’t explore too much.  It wouldn’t be fun to fall through that floor into the basement.

A little further down the road, Richardson’s Store has an old canopy over the fuel pump area that’s slowly giving way.  The pumps are gone, and now a fence stands around the property.

There are more old gas stations and abandoned buildings in the next town, at Newkirk.

I was starting to be overwhelmed by one old building after another, so I didn’t stop in Newkirk.  You can find some great pictures and history on Newkirk’s old businesses at theroadwanderer.net.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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