Embudo, New Mexico is about two thirds of the way from Santa Fe to Taos, along Route 68. Both the road and the tiny town hug up against the Rio Grande, and passing through you’d think there wouldn’t be much to stop for. You’d be wrong.
The Classical Gas Museum is the singular passion of a man named Johnnie Meier, who stuck around northern New Mexico after retiring from a career at nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory. The love of the open road and the unsung beauty of its commercial art has always been under Johnnie’s skin, so about 25 years ago he started hard core collecting all kinds of travel and gas station paraphernalia: neon signs, maps, soda machines, toys, motor oil cans, a few cars and trucks, a whole lot of old gas pumps, and even a little vintage diner. Needing a place to put it all, he settled on a spot in Embudo and created the Classical Gas Museum.
Johnnie lives here too, so as long as he’s home his museum is pretty much always open. Just to make sure, if making a special trip it’s a good idea to call first. He might be up the street getting some lunch, but he’ll come back and pull the chain down for you.
Know Before You Go
Embudo is about 45 miles north of Santa Fe, and about 25 miles south of Taos. The museum is on the south side of NM route 68 as you drive through town. Johnnie doesn't punch a clock, but he's mostly there - and if he's home, the museum is open. Entrance is free, but donations are welcome.