Getting Your Kicks on Route 66

Route 66 isn’t what it used to be. In the heyday of the American highway, it was a tradition to take your family along the famous Route 66, stopping for burgers, taking in a movie, staying in a low cost motel, taking photos at the famous landmarks. In fact, the iconic road trip as seen in a lot of American films still uses Route 66 iconography as the travelers pass by picturesque desert landscapes in the Southwest and send those postcards with the big “Welcome, from Albuquerque!” text.

Although Route 66 isn’t as lively as it once was, it’s still worth traveling for the lifelong Minnesota RVer who wants to take in an important part of American road culture, and while you’re making the journey, you’ll want to make a stop in Gallup, New Mexico.

Gallup was one of the thriving capitals of the Route 66 empire, and a drive through the city shows you a wide variety of beautiful sites. The facades of old movie theaters and restaurants and cafes all have a certain ghost-town charm to them, a bittersweet nostalgic feel, as if you can sense the presence of thousands of fellow travelers who’ve been here before.

Gallup is also the home of the world’s most popular Wal-Mart, as it serves as a shopping center for people from more than a hundred miles away in towns like Bluewater and Thoreau where it’s hard to find a big grocery store. This is useful for any RVer who needs to restock on the essentials or take a day to relax in the parking lot.

Gallup also puts you a stone’s throw away from Albuquerque and Santa Fe if you want to enjoy the whole New Mexico experience, and the state is full of great RV parks and camping sites. The real joy of New Mexico, however, is simply driving through the tremendous landscapes. A few hours on the road in N.M. and you’ll feel what it truly means to be an American nomad.