Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
May 11, 2003


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San Fidel on Route 66

Quiet San Fidel, New Mexico

  Saint Joseph ChurchSt. Joseph Stained Glass San Fidel is the "poster child" of New Mexico towns in my mind. In the Guidebook of Route 66, Jack Rittenhouse gives the population of San Fidele at 128 in 1946. I'm not sure if its much more than that today. Certainly the fading of old Route 66 didn't help. There is a beautiful mission style church in San Fidel. As I was taking pictures of it the caretaker came out and asked if I would like to go inside. He didn't have to ask twice!

 

In Rittenhouse's time there were many Indians sitting along the roadway here selling pottery. In his guidebook he recounts an amusing tale he heard about one clever Indian girl, tired of all the "sharp-bargaining, callous tourists." She retaliated "by collecting some cockle-burrs which she sold to a tourist as very rare 'porcupine eggs.' The tourist bought them!"

The San Fidel Cafe has been Closed Awhile

  Rays Bar in San Fidel Today there are some abandoned businesses like the cafe above. But the town is still very much alive. At Rays Bar we were about to meet the whole town it seemed. They noticed our Route 66 Caravan RV when we passed and came out to have a look at us.

 

Mother's Day in San Fidel

Rose Maestas To our surprise we had come upon a Mother's Day Celebration for Rose Maestas. Four generations of the Maestas family had come to San Fidel to honor Rose. Now Rose is 78 years old and all get up and go! What a cool lady she is too. Rose (left) points out the location of San Fidel on Route 66 for the entire world to see.
 

The Rose Maestas Family
Four Generations of the Maestas Family pose in front of our RV.

 

Whiting Brothers is Closed Now

Whiting Brothers Just outside of San Fidel to the west are the lonely ruins of an old Whiting Brothers Gas Station, Store and Motel. It reminds one of the days not to long ago where the familiar WB on the golden shield could be found all through the southwest.
       
  Whiting Brothers was originally founded in Saint John, Arizona in 1926 and became a familiar sigh all along Route 66 in the southwest offering inexpensive gas to the traveler. In 1990s the gas chain ended, and today all that is left are the fading signs and empty stations that can still be found along the highway. Soon they too will have disappeared and another chapter of Route 66 history will have vanished.

Old Whiting Brothers Signs

     
  Whiting Brothers and the 66 Caravan RV

Whiting Brothers Station

The motel is now gone and I would hazard to guess that the service station will be following shortly.

 


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

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Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

East 66
Albuquerque
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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