From Albuquerque, we headed east and stopped for a quick visit in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Santa Rosa is a small town, and is home to part of old Route 66. A longtime fixture along Route 66 in Santa Rosa was the Club Cafe, which sadly isn't in operation anymore. The only remnant of the place now are these old signs.
We drove along the path of Route 66 and stopped at a few of the old haunts.
And then we got back onto the freeway and headed east towards the ghost town of Cuervo, New Mexico. Now there are numerous ghost towns along Route 66, but Cuervo might be the largest and most complete ghost town. This old home sits on the edge of the town, complete with a rusting skeleton of what might be an old bus.
This was taken while looking inside that old house:
Which, sadly, is about the same shape my apartment is in right now...
Cuervo is a sad and lonely place. But its history dates back to the early 1900s, when the Southern Pacific Railroad passed through. When Route 66 was established, a few gas stations and hotels opened up. During it's peak, Cuervo had two schools, two churches, and two hotels. By the 1930's, the town had a population of about 300 people.
But that number would soon dwindle, and by the 1940's only 150 people still lived there. When Interstate 40 was constructed, it cut through the middle of Cuervo's residential neighborhoods and essentially divided the town in half. After the interstate was built, the town withered and turned into the ghost town that greets travelers today.
This old house sits on the south side of the freeway, and has been abandoned for many years.
The front door of the old house is permanently open, so I invited myself in to have a look.
It was creepy, but I had been here before. A few years back, I took a similar road trip along Route 66 and made a visit to Cuervo. This is how the same room looked back in 2007:
Cuervo isn't entirely abandoned, since it seems like people still live out there. I heard random yells and voices coming in from the distance, which added to the creepy state of the town.
This is taken from the same house as the previous pictures. Ugh, I do not want to know what is growing in that Miracle Whip jar...
And the view looking through the busted doorway:
That abandoned house sits next to this old church, which still seems to be in good condition.
Both times I've visited this town, I had the strange sensation that I was being watched. That did easily add to the creepiness of this lonely old ghost town.
On the west side of town is this old school, situated in an almost poetic field of straggly cactus plants.
The interior of the school is empty, except for a few old stoves. These might have been used to heat the school back in the days when students actually attended classes here. Now the windows are gone, and the building is open to dry winds of the desert.
The light from the setting sun passed through the open windows and hit the side of this old stove, sitting in the old and empty school room.