Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
May 13, 2003

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Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is an old Spanish town on the Pecos River, it began as a large Spanish rancho. It got its name in 1890 from a chapel built by Don Cleso Baca to honor his mother. In the early days of Route 66, 1926 through 1937, the old alignment of Route 66 left Santa Rosa to continue on towards Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico then drop back down to Albuquerque and Los Lunas. In late 1937 Route 66 was straightened out to go directly to Albuquerque and by pass Santa Fe completely. The story behind that new, shorter alignment to Albuquerque is as interesting as any you'll find along the Mother Road. I'll talk more about that when we get to Santa Fe on the old pre-1937 alignment of Route 66. Ah those were the days.

Joseph's Bar and Grill

  The World Famous Fat Man In 1935 Phillip Craig and Floyd Shaw probably never dreamed their logo for their new Club Cafe would someday become a world famous Route 66 Icon. Over the years the smiling, satisfied face of the Fat Man invited thousands of hungry Route 66 travelers to stop for a while and enjoy a tasty home cooked meal. The Fat Man became synonymous with Route 66 in Santa Rosa.


  In 1991 the Club Cafe served its last meal. The end of an era had come. The Club Cafe stood vacant and soon fell into disrepair with the passing of the years. Joseph and Christina Campos purchased the building with plans to reopen the Club Cafe. Unfortunately the building was just too far-gone. The Campos, who own Joseph's Bar and Grill down the road on Route 66, decided to bring the Fat Man home to their restaurant in an attempt to save this famous icon.

66 Caravan at Joseph's Bar and Grill

Joseph and Christina succeeded in saving the Fat Man. Now his smiling face greets hungry tourists at Joseph's Bar and Grill, an icon of the Mother road in its own right. Jose Campos, Sr., founded the restaurant in 1956 as the La Fiesta. In 1985 the restaurant was handed down to his son Joseph and soon became Joseph's Bar and Grill. Joseph's Bar and Grill continues to serve up good food to hungry travelers along Route 66. With the resurgence of interest in the Mother Road it looks like the Fat Man will have a nice new home for some time to come. Joseph and Christina continue to carry on the fine traditions established by Joseph's dad, Jose, and restaurateurs like Phillip Craig and Floyd Shaw. Hampton Inns felt this wonderful Route 66 business was definitely a Route 66 site worth seeing.

Joseph's Roadside Attraction Sign

  Christina & Jim at Sign Dedication  

Jim Conkle & Christina Campos

Christina Campos talks Route 66 with Jim Conkle.

Joseph's Bar and Grill is a must stop on Route 66 as Christina points out.

Old Club Cafe Sign


All that's left of the Club Cafe now is the weathered sign.


Route 66 Auto Museum

Auto Museum Sign James "Bozo" Cordova grew up along Route 66 and he has always been interested in cars. Thus began a life long interest in all things that go vroom, vroom. He started out with small model cars and worked his way up to the real thing. Of course in the process he started a Route 66 business, Bozo's Garage, in Santa Rosa.

Route 66 Auto Museum "Sign"

  The Original Fat Man

Route 66 Auto Museum


The original Fat Man lives at Bozo's Route 66 Auto Museum now.

I have many of these cars at home myself ~ only they're Hot Wheels!

  Three years ago Bozo needed a place to put his extensive collection so he started the Route 66 Auto Museum. He and his wife Anna welcome all Route 66 travelers to their Santa Rosa museum. And what a museum it is too. There's enough hot pink, chrome and fins to satisfy any vintage car buff. Besides automobiles, Bozo has acquired an extensive collection of signs (including the original Fat Man sign from the now defunct Club Cafe), toys and memorabilia celebrating Route 66.

Guy Randall at Bozo's Auto Museum


  I wouldn't mind driving around town in this baby.

Bozo & Anna Cordova The Route 66 Auto Museum is another must stop in Santa Rosa. For a real road experience drop in, check it out and say hi to Bozo and Anna. The museum is open seven days a week and also features a snack bar and gift shop. In fact Jim purchased a great neon clock from Bozo, so now Kevin and I can fall asleep under its soothing neon glow in the 66 Caravan RV!

James "Bozo" and Anna Cordova invite you to the Route 66 Auto Museum


Travel America one of our sponsors...

Santa Rosa Travel America Crew
Employees of Santa Rosa Travel America pose in front of our 66 Caravan RV.


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

Road Log pages read like a book:

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

East 66
Santa Fe
Go East on the Mother Road



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