Day 8, Moriarty NM to Springerville, AZ

0Apr 17, 2018 Tue0Route 66, Motorcycle
Home > Blog > Travel > 2018 40 to Phoenix > Day 8, Moriarty NM to Springerville, AZ
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 10:20 AM MDT Alt: 5878
Miles:317
Start Point:Moriarty, NM
Start Weather: At 6:00 AM the temperature was 44.8° with 22% humidity. The conditions were clear with a windspeed of 6.9 miles per hour.
End Point:Springerville, AZ
End Weather: At 4:00 PM the temperature was 64.9° with 9% humidity. The conditions were clear with a windspeed of 21.9 miles per hour and windgusts of 27.6 miles per hour.


Quick Links
  1. Luna Lodge Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. Tewa Motor Lodge Albuquerque, New Mexico
  3. KiMo Theater Albuquerque, New Mexico
  4. Maisel's Indian Trading Post Albuquerque, New Mexico
  5. Rio Puerco Bridge Rio Puerco, New Mexico
  6. Pueblo of Laguna
  7. Bowlin's Old Crater Trading Post Bluewater, New Mexico
  8. El Rancho Hotel Gallup, New Mexico
  9. Querino Canyon Bridge Houck, Arizona
  10. Elevation Changes During the Day
  11. Track Log for Today
  12. Other Blogs About This Trip

Wow! What a day. I checked my weather app during the day and the cross wind gusts were in excess of 50 MPH. I had dust storms and fire smoke. Signs on I-40 warned of 0 visibility and advised drivers to not stop in the travel lanes. I had a tumble weed hit the windshield. So I am a little tired tonight.

I did route 60 and Pie Town last year so I continued on I-40 west as there were a few more Route 66 sites I wanted to visit. The day started with a ride on the Musical Highway and then old Route 66 through Albuquerque. I did not linger there as I felt like a fish out of water. There were barefooted people on the sidewalks dancing to music I could not hear and talking to people I could not see.

But the Rode Inn in Springerville, AZ tonight is great. The floor squeaks and I can hear the people walking above me but I really like this place. The check in staff were very friendly. They gave me the sign in sheet with the rules and I said I would not be any trouble. I was exhausted and just wanted to drink my adult beverage and order a pizza. They laughed and told me who to order pizza from in town and said I would get a 10% discount. The first bag of ice for my cooler was free and the breakfast in the morning includes bagels and biscuits and gravy. I have hit the mother lode. And check out the photos below. I love the instructions and attention to detail so I am set but I’m not sure what “off of body” cleaning needs I have yet.

I just received the pizza from Goobs Pizza and it is great

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 5:45 PM MST Alt: 6968
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 5:45 PM MST Alt: 6980
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 5:45 PM MST Alt: 6983


Luna Lodge Albuquerque, New Mexico



As traffic grew along Route 66 after World War II, so did the need for roadside businesses, including gas stations, restaurants, and motels. Evolving from the primitive campgrounds of the 1920s and the motor cabins of the 1930s, motels offered greater comforts such as private bathrooms, daily linen service, and eventually television, phones, and swimming pools. At the peak of Route 66 in 1955, 98 motels lined the Mother Road in Albuquerque. Today, fewer than 40 pre-1955 motels remain. Among these is the Luna Lodge. Built in 1949, the motel was one of the easternmost motels along Albuquerque’s commercial strip.

The Luna Lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 and described as one of the best examples of a largely unaltered tourist court remaining along New Mexico Route 66.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 8:32 AM MDT Alt: 5421
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 8:33 AM MDT Alt: 5421


Tewa Motor Lodge Albuquerque, New Mexico



When wartime rationing and travel restrictions ended in 1945, Americans took to the road in unprecedented numbers, and Route 66 entered its golden age. Tourism was a growing industry in Albuquerque and development continued to push east and west along Central Avenue (Route 66) past the fringe of Albuquerque. Constructed on the cusp of this transition, the Tewa Motor Lodge opened in 1946 to welcome motorists along the Mother Road. Other motels, many of them also using regional Indian names to evoke the Southwest, would soon appear in this area.

The Tewa Lodge consists of a one-story building and a two-story building with a manager’s residence located above the office portion of the east building. The motel is an example of the popular Pueblo Revival style with rounded parapets, irregular massing, battered walls, and projecting vigas (wooden roof beams). The units, some with garages, are organized in a parallel linear plan facing a small courtyard. Although the neon sign isn’t original to the building, it is highly regarded along Route 66. The motel’s use of neon has been judged as among the best in Albuquerque. A giant arrow points to the motel’s entrance with flashing gold lights. The Tewa Motor Lodge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 8:41 AM MDT Alt: 5304
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 8:42 AM MDT Alt: 5304


KiMo Theater Albuquerque, New Mexico



Built in 1927 to show both motion pictures and stage productions, the KiMo Theater has an important place among the elaborate palatial dream-theaters of the 1920s. KiMo, in the language of the nearby Isleta Pueblo, means “king of its kind,” and the name is certainly well deserved. The KiMo was the first theater constructed in the Pueblo Deco style, a fusion of ancient American Indian and Art Deco design. This short-lived style was highly unique during a time when Chinese and Egyptian designs were the predominant styles used for film palaces

The interior is designed to look like the inside of a ceremonial kiva, with log-like ceiling beams painted with dance and hunting scenes. The interior also includes air vents disguised as Navajo rugs, chandeliers shaped like war drums and American Indian funeral canoes, wrought iron birds that descend the staircases, and rows of garlanded buffalo skulls with glowing amber eyes. Painted in oil by Carl Von Hassler, seven murals depict the Seven Cities of Cibola. Each image depicted throughout the theater was carefully chosen for its historical significance, including rain clouds, birds and swastikas. The swastika is an original Navajo symbol for life, freedom, and happiness that was applied to the KiMo long before Nazi Germany adopted the symbol.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 8:58 AM MDT Alt: 4976
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:02 AM MDT Alt: 4962


Maisel's Indian Trading Post Albuquerque, New Mexico



Located in the heart of downtown Albuquerque, Maisel’s Indian Trading Post has been selling Southwestern and Mexican curios for over 65 years. Completed in 1939, the building was celebrated for what Albuquerque Progress, the local business magazine, described as its Indian Pueblo architecture. The distinctive façade clearly signaled the building’s function to tourists, making it a popular stopping place for souvenirs of the Southwest, a role it continues to fulfill today.

The Maisel Trading Post was unique in that it was the only Pueblo Deco building in Albuquerque that employed work by Pueblo and Navajo artists.

By the 1940s, the trading post had become the largest of its kind on Route 66 and at one time employed over 300 American Indian craftsmen onsite. The store closed after Mr. Maisel died in the 1960s. In the 1980s, Mr. Maisel’s grandson, Skip Maisel, reopened the shop. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:01 AM MDT Alt: 4962
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:01 AM MDT Alt: 4962


Rio Puerco Bridge Rio Puerco, New Mexico



Heading west out of Albuquerque on Route 66, travelers can enjoy a scenic descent from Nine Mile Hill into the Rio Puerco Valley, where a Parker through truss bridge crosses the steeply eroded banks of the Rio Puerco River. The valley is the site of Laguna Pueblo, the home of Puebloans since the 1300s. Because the Rio Puerco is known for its violent flooding and severe erosion, the State Highway Department specifically chose a Parker through truss bridge design for the Rio Puerco Bridge to eliminate the need for a center pier and prevent washouts.

The structure was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. In 1999, the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department replaced it but preserved the historic bridge. Though currently closed to car traffic, the old bridge is open for people to walk across, allowing visitors a glimpse of the old Highway 66 slowly curving and dipping as it disappears into the vast New Mexico desert.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:43 AM MDT Alt: 5239
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:44 AM MDT Alt: 5239
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:44 AM MDT Alt: 5239
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 9:45 AM MDT Alt: 5239


Pueblo of Laguna



The Pueblo of Laguna, the largest of the Keresan pueblos, is 45 miles west of Albuquerque on Route 66. Its most prominent landmark, the whitewashed St. Joseph Church, is readily visible from the road. The entire pueblo covers four large counties and includes the six villages of Encinal, Laguna, Mesita, Paguate, Paraje, and Seama. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, the district consists of approximately 108 acres including a southeastern section of the pueblo that dates from the 1400s and a larger section established in 1699.

The historical record indicates that ancestors of the pueblo’s current residents have been in residence since at least 1300, and that people have inhabited the area since at least 3000 BCE. Pueblo tradition says that Pueblo people have always been there. Their Spanish name, Laguna, translates to lagoon and derives from a lake, now dry, once located in the pueblo.

The pueblo we see today was established after the Pueblo Revolt in 1699 by a group of Kawaik people and other refugees from Cienguilla, Santo Domingo, Cochiti, and Zia Pueblos. It expanded rapidly, growing to the north, east, and west. The pueblo’s main village is built into the soft, light-yellow sandstone slope on the west side of the San Jose River. Buildings are of stone and adobe, and the St. Joseph Church, which dates from 1701, dominates the skyline.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 10:19 AM MDT Alt: 5878
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 10:20 AM MDT Alt: 5878
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 10:20 AM MDT Alt: 5878
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 10:21 AM MDT Alt: 5878
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 10:29 AM MDT Alt: 5831


Bowlin's Old Crater Trading Post Bluewater, New Mexico



Located in the high, scrub desert north of Bluewater the Old Crater Trading Post stands as a quiet testimony to the booming trading post and curio shop industry that once lined the Route 66 roadside. Built in 1954, its stucco walls, viga beams, and flat roof are typical of vernacular construction in the Southwest. However, this building is distinguised for its connection to an enterprising family with a long trading post history, and also for its colorful, stylized murals that have caught the eye of travelers for more than half a century.

A walk along the façade today reveals a painting of an American Indian holding a hoop. Another plays a drum. A man rides horseback; a woman weaves a rug. Two girls walk with pots balanced on their heads. Above the paintings are several layers of painted advertising. Largely faded or superimposed over one another, some are still legible. “Jewelry,” says one, and “Rugs” another. “Bargains” and "Bowlin” can both be read along the south wing of the building, along with the Bowlin Company logo, a running Indian holding a tomahawk and wearing a headband and feather. Colorful and simplistic, the murals illustrate the way native peoples were commonly represented in tourist and popular mainstream culture.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 12:10 PM MDT Alt: 6671
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 12:10 PM MDT Alt: 6671
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 12:12 PM MDT Alt: 6671


El Rancho Hotel Gallup, New Mexico



Joe Massaglia constructed the El Rancho Hotel in 1936 along U.S. Route 66 for Mr. R.E. “Griff” Griffith, brother of the famous movie director D.W. Griffith. El Rancho Hotel is a large, rambling, Rustic style building that still feeds the fantasy of the Old West in Gallup, New Mexico. Griff came to Gallup in the early 1930s and fell in love with the area, returning a few years later to build the hotel. From the very start, El Rancho was the center of the movie industry in Gallup. Both Griff and his brother encouraged moviemakers to use El Rancho as a base for crews and stars on location because of its proximity to striking western landscapes and the hotel’s rustic elegance. When it opened in 1936, the El Rancho boasted superior service and accommodations for roughing it in comfort.

El Rancho continued to be linked to Hollywood and the movie industry until the mid-1960s. Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, and Humphrey Bogart are only a few of the film stars who stayed at the hotel while making movies in the vicinity. By 1964, however, the lure of the western hero was fading, and brilliant Technicolor vistas were replacing dramatic, stark images in black and white. The mysterious West was no longer mysterious but readily available by automobile along Route 66 and the almost completed Interstate-40.

Armand Ortega, a well-known Indian trader, bought the hotel and restored it to its original luster. Today, the hotel is a popular stop for Route 66 travelers, who can stay in rooms named for movie stars who were guests before them. El Rancho was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 and received a Cost-Share Grant from the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program in 2003 for a new wood shingle roof.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 1:15 PM MDT Alt: 6538
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 1:16 PM MDT Alt: 6538


Querino Canyon Bridge Houck, Arizona



The Querino Canyon Bridge is picturesquely situated over a rugged and beautiful canyon just outside Houck, Arizona. Designed by the Arizona Highway Department, the bridge is a representative example of early highway truss design: 77 feet long, 20 feet wide, and comprised of a concrete-decked steel trestle with three Pratt deck trusses supported by steel piers. Concrete abutments support the bridge from below and steel lattice guardrails typical of the period line the roadway.

The State built the bridge in 1929 as part of a grand rehabilitation and relocation of Route 66 across northern Arizona. The project included several bridges, drainage construction, and at least 25 miles of roadway. The largest of these multiple efforts, the bridge over Querino Canyon formed an integral link on one of America’s primary arteries.

This section of the highway became a county road during the 1960s after construction of Interstate 40. The Querino Canyon Bridge remains intact, carrying local traffic on the Navajo Indian Reservation. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

This info was taken from the National Park Service website and more info can be found here.

Apr 17, 2018 Tue 2:15 PM MDT Alt: 6019
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 2:18 PM MDT Alt: 6076
Apr 17, 2018 Tue 2:19 PM MDT Alt: 6076


Elevation Changes During the Day



The day started at 6,249 feet and ended at 6,993 feet. The highest altitude was 7,159 feet and the lowest altitude was 4,962 feet.



Track Log for Today




You may be interested in the next article, Day 7, Amarillo to Moriarty, NM.

The previous article is Day 6, Route 66 El Reno OK to Amarillo TX.

© Bobby Daniel