Touring old Route 66 through the west certainly is not a 100% glitz and glamour experience, especially in the small towns that were completely bypassed by Interstate Highway 40. Many of these affected small communities were way out in the middle of nowhere in the first place, so there was little chance to reboot the local economics after being bypassed. Home values plummeted, businesses were abandoned and many of the local population moved on to greener pastures. All that remains is dilapidated old motels, graffiti covered gas stations and a few relics that were gems in the past, but for avid Route 66 fans it is still worth taking a quick look!
Glenrio, Texas is a prime example of a bypassed Route 66 community that has literally turned into a ghost town. Glenrio was basically a Route 66 stopover way back in the early days, when the driving distances were much shorter than in modern times, so there were no other attractions to lure tourists in after the high speed freeway skirted around this area. Tucumcari, New Mexico is located just a few miles west across the border, which has always been a large tourism hub that offered several unique vacationland attractions. Glenrio basically was overshadowed by the larger destination after the bypass and this little stopover eventually completely faded off the map.
Doing a complete tour of the Route 66 Glenrio Ghost Town only takes about five minutes, since there really was not much to this scene in the first place. However there are a couple of landmarks worth noting, which include some classic art deco era architectural design and one of the old original Conoco fueling stations complete with the red triangle symbols painted on the wall. Way back in the day, the number of red triangles on the building indicated what kind of services were available, which is something that not every modern tourist knows. Good things always come in small packages, so be sure to check out old Route 66 Glenrio before crossing the border!
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