Monday, August 6, 2018

Travels on the Mother Road, Route 66: Part 13: Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Most of New Mexico is arid. But Santa Rosa is a surprising exception. Thanks to artesian springs, the city was known as the City of Natural Lakes. Route 66 passes through Santa Rosa, and even in the automobile era, the presence of lakes  must have been a welcome relief from the dry terrain of eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. For early settlers and pioneers, the water would have been a life-saver.
I only spent a few hours in Santa Rosa. There are a number of old-time restaurants and closed businesses along Will Rogers Drive (the former Route 66).
Many of the old lounges, like the Sahara in the photograph above, were shuttered.
But the Sunset Motel was still active. Note the classic 1967 or 1968 Mercedes in the parking lot.
A swim in the Blue Hole is cold and refreshing. The hole is 80 ft deep, and we saw scuba divers below exploring. The Blue Hole is in a park with a modest parking fee. Well worthwhile, another one of the many Route 66 wonders.
Schematic of the blue Hole, from http://santarosabluehole.com/index.html

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