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Route suggestions, recommendations?
Old 09-20-2014, 06:06 PM   #1
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Route suggestions, recommendations?

We're thinking of driving from Fort Worth to Albuquerque around T'giving. We don't want to spend more than 2 days enroute, but don't like taking interstates (boring, usually). We enjoy quaint, quirky, interesting places/sites/things-to-do.


Any local knowledge, ideas for an interesting route?
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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We went from Houston to Santa Fe a couple of weeks ago and stopped in Santa Rosa NM to see the Blue Hole. It's a quirky, interesting place. Lots of water in the middle of a dry area.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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Take US 287 to Amarillo. I40 is a the shortest way to Albuquerque from Amarillo. Lots of things to see on that route. Most of the main streets in the towns are on Historic US 66.

We like to sight-see in the small towns on the route. Most are historically and architecturally interesting. Be sure to stop at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo On I40.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:10 PM   #4
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Whoa, whoa, whoa..... where are the moderators on this thread. Shut it down!
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:25 PM   #5
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I think I'm overdue for a road trip - I just spent an hour mapping out a couple of options.

The biggest challenge with the direct route is much of the territory is neither scenic enough nor desolate enough to be particularly memorable. Towns like Plainview and Brownfield got their names for a reason.

With two days to make the trip, I think I'd swing either north or south to see sites I have on my wish list. I don't mind the extra distance, particularly when the speed limit is 75 or 80.

Northern route: Before leaving, watch the Last Picture Show. Get an early start. Stop for a little sightseeing in Archer City mid-day, picking up a dip cone from the Dairy Queen for the road. Continue toward Amarillo.

Palo Duro Canyon just south of Amarillo is on my list of places to see. I'd think it would be particularly beautiful late in the day with the sun low in the sky. A dusty day with a pretty sunset would be ideal. I see the park is open for day visitors 8-6 in November, except on Friday and Saturday when they stay open until 8. Sunset is around 5:30 in November. I'd get an early start from Ft. Worth and arrive by 2:00 or so there's some time for hiking / sightseeing / picture taking through sunset.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Spend the night in Amarillo, after eating a free steak.
The 72 OZ Steak

On Day 2, get up early enough to get to Taos for lunch after a 5 hour drive. The trip up the forested mountains from the plains is a good one. And chile rellenos....yum.

Before driving into Albuquerque, spend a few hours at either the Taos Pueblo or wandering through some galleries and the old hotel on the square in Santa Fe down the road a bit. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge just NW of Taos is a great option if you prefer panoramic vistas over adobe and R.C. Gorman prints.

The southern route is longer, but has three places I'd like to see: Balmorhea State Park, McDonald Observatory and Guadalupe National Park.

On day one, drive from Ft. Worth to Balmorhea and take a swim in the spring-fed pool after 6 hours in the car. That evening go on down to Ft. Davis and see some stars.
Balmorhea State Park — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Calendar of Events | McDonald Observatory

There's a lodge at the state park, or maybe you could find a place to stay in Ft. Davis or Van Horn.

On day two, there will be many miles on desolate roads. My kind of road trip.

In the morning, there's the road from Van Horn to Guadalupe Mtns. N.P. (Pack a lunch.) In the early afternoon, there's the road from the park to El Paso. I didn't see any signs of civilization along either road when looking at Google maps / photos.

From El Paso, it's a straight 4-hour shot to Albuquerque up I-25.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:38 PM   #6
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On the northern route, If you have the time, take US 84 north from I-40 about 10 miles west of Santa Rosa. You end up on i 25 near Las Vegas, NM. You go thru Glorieta pass and pass right thru Santa Fe.
On the southern route, consider going up to Carlsbad Caverns, and then over thru Ruidoso.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:12 AM   #7
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Yep - Route 66, blue hole at Santa Rosa, palo duro canyon south of Amarillo. The drive up to Sandra Crest overlooking Albuquerque is also worth it.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBOT View Post
We're thinking of driving from Fort Worth to Albuquerque around T'giving. We don't want to spend more than 2 days enroute, but don't like taking interstates (boring, usually). We enjoy quaint, quirky, interesting places/sites/things-to-do.


Any local knowledge, ideas for an interesting route?
I don't know about the route there, but I have it on good authority that, once in Albuquerque, you need to take the left turn.

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Old 09-21-2014, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBOT View Post
We enjoy...quirky
Once you pick your route, the Road America web site is the definitive source for quirky.

Things like the Cadillac Ranch on the northern route and The World's Largest Jackrabbit Statue on the southern route...

Roadside Attractions Map - Texas
Roadside Attractions Map - New Mexico
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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I just enjoyed the ABQ/Santa Fe area on a trip there this past Labor Day weekend. Some highlights I enjoyed:

Tent Rock National Monument (my favorite park I've ever hiked, and still love going there having been there 3 times). Awesome rock formations. About 1 hour NW of ABQ.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument


1 hr West of ABQ:
There are 3 areas, 2 in one park, 1 in another:

El Malpais National Monument

Sandstone Bluffs - A nice scenic view, road to the bluffs is maybe 1/4 mile off of the main road. You also pass an old house from about 120 years ago.

http://www.nps.gov/elma/planyourvisi...20bulletin.pdf


Lava Falls - A short 1.1 mile hilke, but it is somewhat challenging. You are hiking on lava flows that are thousands of years old. They're slightly weathered, but can be a little rough in spots. Be prepared to walk slowly and gingerly with well-footed shoes (i.e. not flat, worn down tennis shoes). Also, it's just 1 mile, but it will take a good 30 minutes. Finally, they use "rock cairns" for the trail markers. They're stacks of black rocks that sometimes blend into the landscape. They're not particular hard to see, but there could be a few times where you are at one rock cairn and can't obviously see the next one until a minute or two later. Take a copy of the trail map with you so you know the general path, and you should be fine.

http://www.nps.gov/elma/planyourvisi...Guide-6-12.pdf



Cebolla Wilderness
Cebolla

La Ventana Arch is a neat rock formation. You can actually see it from the road, but a short 1/4 mile flat trail gets you right up close to it.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:57 PM   #11
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Thanks, these are great ideas, keep 'em coming!
Might want to make a longer trip of it after all!
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