Really – the two most important things that makes Route 66, Route 66 is the road (obviously!) and all of the attractions!
A few wided-eyed entrepreneur’s had the crazy idea of building gas stations, restaurants, motels and all sort of things to help the weary traveler get from Chicago to Los Angeles.
I am showcasing the Motel Safari in Tucumcari, New Mexico for two reasons:
1) It is a historic motel that has just about stayed close to character as you will find (plus internet and a flat screen TV!!)
2) These folks saw the importance in preserving the motel, as well as many other stops along the route, for thousands of travelers and future generations.
The owners of the Motel Safari sit on the town’s Lodger’s Tax Board and were instrumental in bringing back a focus on Route 66 there, as well as bringing back the long forgotten “Tucumcari Tonite” billboard theme. One of the most recent projects, in conjunction with the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce, is an all volunteer project, where they have begun re-painting old gas stations throughout town in old original gas station company themes. So far they have completed an old Texaco, a Whiting Bros., and are currently working on an old version of a Continental Oil Company (Conoco) station.
In addition, the town’s Main Street Program is revitalizing the old Tucumcari Train Depot, which will open as a Railroad Museum in 2011 and hopes to gain a state designation as the New Mexico State Railroad Museum.
It’s things like what these folks are doing to keep Route 66 alive, that really puts a smile on my face! I am all about preservation and restoration! And they are doing a grand job!
I will have to admit – I have not taken the chance to stop and stay the night at the Motel Safari - BUT I promise I will next time I am crusin’ Route 66 through Tucumcari!
A VERY good friend of mine recently stayed there and he said he had such a great time, the owners were so good to him and his wife, an the town of Tucumcari was so alive with the spirit of Route 66 - he told his wife he was moving there!!
Then he got home to Florida and she said no……
Most importantly – JUST VIST THEM next time you are driving Route 66 through Tucumcari NM!