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.
Note: This trip was first published in 2008.