As I was driving back to Albuquerque from my whirlwind tour of Tucumcari (and before I explored Santo Niño Cemetery), I stopped at Montoya Cemetery, another randomly selected stop found with the Find A Grave app. Montoya Cemetery was established in 1910 and it's located right along Route 66, about halfway in between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa.
Montoya Cemetery is literally a roadside cemetery, sandwiched between the highway and a smaller road. Not a single car drove by on the smaller road while I poked around, although it seemed like a nicely maintained burial ground. The town of Montoya was founded in 1902 as a loading point for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Not much remains of the town, except a few crumbling structures, but Richardson’s Store and Sinclair Station—open from 1925 until the '70s —was once a popular stopping point during Route 66's heyday.
The most recent burial I could find occurred in 2015, but a lot of the birth dates are from the late 1800s. Like other desert cemeteries I visited on my trip, Montoya is full of unique markers—wooden crosses, crudely carved cement tombstones, picket fences and more contemporary granite stones are scattered around the dusty plot of land.
Montoya would be a peaceful spot if it weren't for the occasional rumble of a semi-truck speeding nearby, but it was the perfect place to pull off the road and stretch my legs for a few minutes. Although I didn't get photos, while I was trying to find out the history of the cemetery, I found the intriguing epitaphs of Eliseo (Lee) J. Sanchez and his wife, Gregorita Agapita Garcia Sanchez. His: "He Walked in Sunshine" / Hers: "And She Took Care of the Rain."