The “Land of Enchantment” as its license plates say, New Mexico is a state filled with vast landscapes including mountains, deserts, steppes, and major rivers like the Rio Grande and the Pecos. Cities and towns are few and far between, but the ones you’ll run across on Route 66 are awash in history and often beauty.
Just inside the New Mexico line past Glenrio, a relatively new addition to the landscape is Russell’s Endee Truck & Travel Center (I-40 exit 369, 575-576-8700). They not only have plenty of items for stocking up, but a huge collection of classic cars. Seriously, this place has everything, a terrific museum, a Subway shop, a diner and a convenience/grocery store that rivals anything for 100 miles. Throw in the air conditioning and you have one place that, especially in summer, is becoming a new-school Route 66 “must stop.”
It’s a good idea to gas up at Russell’s if you’re anywhere under ½ a tank — services get few and far between past here. There’s a stop in tiny San Jon (pop. 302, pronounced “san HONE”), and some ghost town-style relics to boot, but otherwise it’s a haul westward on Route 66 or the adjacent I-40 with little in between.