Between Amarillo and the New Mexico border, the landscape is made up of endless flat plains dotted with occasional oil derricks and Aermotor windmills. The one biggish town, Vega (pop. 906), has a photogenic collection of former and still-functioning businesses, including a nicely preserved 1920s Magnolia service station.

West of Vega, the main event hereabouts is both a geographical and culinary magnet: the hamlet of Adrian (pop. 167) and the unmissable Midpoint Café (806/538-6379, daily Apr.-Nov.). One of the route’s most enjoyable places to eat, located more or less at the halfway point in Route 66’s long ride between Chicago and Los Angeles—both of which are some 1,105 miles away—the Midpoint is friendly, has great food, and basically epitomizes all that old-fashioned hospitality that makes Route 66 such a special experience. Be sure to check out the fine selection of Route 66 books and “midpoint” souvenirs, or just stop by for a piece of baked-from-scratch Ugly Crust pie. As more than one satisfied customer has said, you can taste the happiness.