Of the eight states Route 66 passes through, the path through New Mexico is the most changed from it's original route. In 1926 Route 66 came from Glenrio on the Texas/New Mexico state line west through San Jon, Tucumcari (TOO-kum-kair-ee) and Santa Rosa before turning north to the capital of Santa Fe by way of Dilia and Romeroville, giving Las Vegas a miss [Las Vegas, New Mexico, was a true, original wild west town, even more dangerous than Dodge City, Kansas. ] . From Santa Fe the road turned back to the south passing through Bernalillo on it's way to Albuquerque (AL-buh-kir-kee), then further south to Los Lunas, then northwest to Grants and on to Gallup before heading for the Arizona state line. This made for a very indirect path through the state while keeping politicians happy by making their city a major stop on the route.
The story is told that when the sitting governor of New Mexico lost re-election in 1937 he blamed politicians in Santa Fe for the defeat. To exact revenge before his term expired he scrambled to re-route highway 66 to bypass Santa Fe altogether. With only a very short time to accomplish this,Continued page 3/11