New Mexico Roads - Old US 66 - Mesita-Correo

Former US 66, Mesita to Correo

All photos are eastbound.

Near and then in Mesita, typical US 66 desert pavement shield (also seen in CA and AZ) and a typical Indian route shield. (Why have they not been renamed to Native American routes?)

This would be your scenery if you stayed on I-40 like a plebe instead of exploring the old route like a boss.

Leaving Mesita, old US 66 is still paved as it forks from I-40 and heads alone into the desert, accompanied only by long-dead power lines. This stretch of road has been essentially abandoned for so long that the old white dashed stripes are still visible in the center, both next to the old yellow solid stripe and alone in passing zones. In other words, the last time this road was striped, the U.S. hadn't yet standardized the use of yellow centerline markings. That's at least 40 years ago.

Suddenly, all that scenery along I-40 to the north isn't so interesting. I can see it from here, anyway. But I can't see old 66 from there.

Something interesting to the south.

Somehow the striping gets even more vivid as I head east. It's even still reflective! However, shortly before hitting NM 6, the pavement ends, and paradoxically the roadway widens, leaving a four-lane pockmarked dirt approach into a ghost town. Correo was platted out with a nice suburban grid, but being 25 miles from the western edge of Albuquerque development isn't conducive to settlement. There are plenty of other platted grids in the barren desert that are closer while still being away from it all.

Thanks to a gate, traffic can't cross NM 6 to continue on the old road. It has become someone's ranch driveway as it heads back northeast toward I-40. Just before the pavement disappears into tire tracks, there appears to be a faint trace of yellow stripe down the middle of the road.

Continue east on old US 66 to the Rio Puerco Bridge
Back west on old US 66 to NM 124
Back to US 66 main page

Onto I-40 (US 66's successor)

US 66 Cibola County scenery photos
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