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Tucumcari Today

Located in eastern New Mexico along historic US Route 66 is Tucumcari. Optimally located between Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Amarillo, Tucumcari was a common stopover for the night for weary travelers taking Route 66 during the highway's heyday. Billboards from miles away would advertise "Tucumcari Tonite" as a way to drum up business in the local economy.

Today, you can find a number of places around Tucumcari that feature old neon signs, Murals celebrating both the Western landscapes and the highway heritage of the area adorn the streets if Tucumcari, along with restored service stations and motor lodges. The murals were painted by the artist Doug Quarles, a former resident of Tucumcari, and you can view a map of the various murals around town here (PDF).

The Blue Swallow Motel, which has been serving travelers along historic US Route 66 since 1939.
The Teepee Curios was once a service station, but after the road was widened through Tucumcari, the business started selling curios to travelers along the Mother Road.
The Legendary Road mural, featuring area landscapes, an ode to Route 66 and buffalo skulls.

An old Texaco station in downtown Tucumcari with a Route 66 mural.

Closeup of the mural.

Cruisin' the Mother Road mural at an old service station in Tucumcari.

The mural also includes an ode to "The Woman at the Pump", honoring women who did their share during World War II.

Kiva Motor Lodge on Historic US Route 66 in Tucumcari. The road is now a business loop route of I-40.

Apache Motel on Historic US Route 66 in Tucumcari.

I like how the Ken's Ice Cream sign fits in well with the other old signs found on Historic US Route 66 in Tucumcari.


Sources and Links:
Exploring New Mexico - Tucumcari Murals
The Route-66.com - Tucumcari
Drawn the Road Again - Tucumcari Tonite

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