Much of the following information was provided by the Santa Rosa NM Route 66 site.
Santa Rosa is an old Spanish town on the Pecos River, it began as a large Spanish rancho. It got its name in 1890 from a chapel built by Don Cleso Baca to honor his mother. In the early days of Route 66, 1926 through 1937, the old alignment of Route 66 left Santa Rosa to continue on towards Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico then drop back down to Albuquerque and Los Lunas. In late 1937 Route 66 was straightened out to go directly to Albuquerque and by pass Santa Fe completely.
Roadside dining was an important Route 66 experience. Santa Rosa’s. home-owned and home-operated roadside cafes were famous up and down the highway.
The “Fat Man” symbol of the Club Café was a familiar icon and appeared on the highway as early as 1937. The Route 66 landmark is now closed but was operational from 1935 to 1992. Joseph’s Bar & Grill, family operated since 1956 is now the home of the grinning “Fat Man.”
Gloriously neon-lit roadside cafes include the Comet II (circa 1952) and the Sun n’ Sand Restaurant (1966)
Bozo and his wife Anna have taken is hobby and created a museum which welcomes all Route 66 travelers. We didn't go in but I have only read good things about it.
It was time to get on the road as we were booked in Oklahoma City for two nights with a visit to some friends. The drive is approximately six hours but we would be making several stops along the way.
We needed a pit stop and were trying to find the town of Endee in New Mexico so we pulled into Russell's Truck Stop which appeared to be your average highway travel centre. We ended up going back to the car for the camera and spent some time visiting the fascinating car museum that also contains some great memorabilia.
There is also a Subway and a diner that is supposed to be excellent, it was too early for lunch.
I'll be featuring more of the photos from the museum in upcoming posts.
Even the washroom signs were a delight.
We were going to find the town of Endee but when we saw it was a sixteen mile dirt road we decided not to invest the time.
We crossed into Texas and had lunch in Amarillo at a great diner Blue Sky with fantastic burgers and fries. We realized that we would not get to OKC at a reasonable hour to meet our friends as we had crossed into Central Time and lost an hour so we sent a message that it would be better to meet tomorrow.
I was browsing in our Route 66 an came across a reference to the Slug Bug Ranch in Conway TX which is a play on the Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo which we saw on our southbound trip back in December instead of cadillacs planted into the ground Conway has VWs.
Texas is only 1,700 feet on average above sea level but it is very flat and very dusty.
We cross into Oklahoma which is at 1,300 feet above sea level, more green and definitely more red.
We reached Oklahoma City and got settled into the Wydham on Meridian near Will Rogers Airport and went to dinner at Shorty Small's next door for ribs.
The ribs were dry and had too much burnt charcoal flavour.