San Jon, New Mexico

By the time I arrived in San Jon, I found myself in the middle of a fierce windstorm, with gusts topping 50 miles an hour.  The wind was so strong, I took most of these pictures from inside the car–partially because I could barely push my door open.

Route 66 is the main east/west street through San Jon, running parallel to, and just a few blocks south of, Interstate 40.

That same day, just up I-40, a famous landmark sign at Clines Corners came crashing down on a car in the parking lot, due to the winds.  The sign has now been replaced, but as of 2010, you can still see a picture of it on

San Jon hasn’t quite achieved ghost town status, yet.  A few businesses remain open (I believe this EAT restaurant was one of them), and there’s a high school in the middle of town that’s still in use.

But for the most part, San Jon’s streets are lined with empty buildings…

… which are often beautifully painted…

… with reminders of the better days.

On the west end of town, you’ll find a rusting sign with broken neon in front of the old Western Motel.  Needless to say, this business folded long ago.  There is, however, one motel, a few blocks away, that is still open.

San Jon is pronounced “San Hone”.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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