Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Driving Across New Mexico

I only have 10 days between jobs and it's 1200 miles from Mesa Verde to South Padre Island.

I decided to do some sightseeing along the way and to stop at roadside RV Parks and not at destination type parks - like state parks. The state parks are never close to a highway and that would add extra miles to an already long drive. 

Thursday, Oct 25th
I left Mesa Verde around 9am and headed to Farmington, NM.
I did some shopping in Farmington and then went a few miles east to Aztec National Monument.

Aztec was one of the "great houses" of the Pueblos,
standing three stories high
and having about 500 rooms.

There is a short self-guided tour of the Pueblo houses and Kivas.  I was able to walk through some of the buildings. All of the rooms had connecting doors.

The doorways are very short, the tallest coming up to my shoulder. I wonder if each family lived in only one room. There were several kivas on this site and one very large kiva that has been restored.

From Aztec, I drove southeast on Highway 550 to Bernalillo, NM. This is a very scenic route with a gently curving, newly paved road. I would have loved to take some pictures of the hills and mesas, the colors and shadows were stunning, there was no place to pull over on the highway.

I made a quick stop for fuel and tamales in Cuba, NM.
I stayed overnight in Rio Rancho, NM

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Friday, October 26th
I picked up a brochure yesterday describing the "Corrales Scenic Byway" and headed that way in the morning.

"As the site of irrigated agriculture of over 1300 years and with evidence of pit houses dating back to 700 AD, Corrales has been a working village since before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.  The past still resonates in local architecture. Casa San Ysidro was built in the 1870's on property that was a portion of the Alameda Land Grant in 1704. Tours are by appointment only. It is no surprise to find that San Ysidro, the patron saint for Corrales is also the patron saint to the farmer. Corrales is a rich agricultural community."

The road is a narrow, two lane and has weight restrictions. Luckily my rig is underweight. If the road was wider with a bike path, this would have been a great place for a bike ride. There are many farms and places to stop and buy apples and pumpkins, I saw a few signs for wineries. As you head south, you come into the town area. I parked at the little grocery store to pick up a few items and asked if it was ok to leave the RV parked there while I walked around. I walked over to the quilt shop and to a thrift shop. I purchased some 50% off fabric, to use in the RV remodeling and I purchased a book at the thrift store. I also bought fuel in this town, as the prices were cheaper than what I paid yesterday on Hwy. 550.

Beautiful Blue Skies and Cottonwood Trees


Corrales is on Hwy. 448, I continued south until I met up with I-40 and stayed on I-40 for the rest of the day. There is absolutely nothing on Interstate 40. When I drove through New Mexico in March, I traveled north on Hwy 285.

I wanted to take a different route this time and all that was along this route was the same tourist stop, "Clines Corner" at the Intersection of Hwy 285 and I-40. I did not stop there today.

I did stop at all 3 highway rest stops, once to eat lunch and the other times just to take a break from the road.  The scenery is nice, but there are no homes, and hardly any animals.  I did see what looked like a ghost town along the road near Cuervo.

I drove along Route 66 between Santa Rosa and Tucumcari and there are a lot of vacant, run down buildings. I know that some people think this is the romantic notion of Route 66, but I do not like the way it looks.  I think that the cities should invest in fixing up the facades of the buildings.  If they don't want to tear them down, they should be fixed up.  Someone must own these properties, I don't understand why they are being left as is.

Because of all the hype, I thought there would be more to see along Route 66. I stayed overnight at an RV park in Tucumcari, NM.

Saturday, October 27th
Heading into Texas............ Sunday will be a long driving day.

Mileage and Fuel Prices (mid grade, 88 octane)
last fill up before leaving - Saturday, Oct 20th: Cortez, CO - $3.929

drove 255 miles on Thursday, Oct 25th: Cuba, NM - $3.909

drove 200 miles on Friday, Oct 26th: Corrales, NM - $3.569

drove 188 miles on Saturday, Oct 27th: Tucumcari, NM - $3.529
(time zone change, I lost an hour on Saturday)

I hope the prices continue to go down.


  1. You're making tracks, Just keep pointing south.

  2. The drive sounds relaxing. I think the gas prices will go down. It's around $3.33 here in the Houston area.
    Nice pics!

  3. hmmm Well? I don't know ... I'm debating on which route to take back south and where to go ... interesting your route...

  4. Nice to be able to sightsee along the way. I liked Aztec. Don't remember being on that part of Route 66, some of it is more interesting than others. I own that purse.

  5. Holbrook and Winslow are like that too. But I still would like to trave more of it.

    Gas prices down here in Tucson are about .30 cents cheaper than up the mountain.

    Its nice to visit while On your way. Stay Safe.

  6. Our gas prices are coming down, too, and I hope they stay down for a while. Our Vancouver, WA Costco now has gas for $3.59 and that's about the cheapest we've seen in this area. The Costco price was almost $4.00 a week or two ago.

  7. Bill's from Farmington so we've driven about every road there is to drive between there and... well anywhere ;-) Not surprised the gas was so expensive in Cuba. It's $3.18 a gallon ($3.06 of you use a HEB card) Granbury (near Ft Worth) so there's probably some relief in sight for you. Safe Travels!

  8. They (those tv type people) keep saying gas prices are coming down so fingers are crossed that this time they're right. We enjoy Rte 66 - just because of the memories it brings back. Be safe out there.

  9. You've really been moving. I liked Farmington when I went through it last year. There's a lot of romance attached to Route 66, isn't there? I've never noticed much when I was on Route 66, but maybe I wasn't on the right parts.

    Aztec National Monument looks very interesting. I find it amazing that these structures are still standing after so many years.

  10. Oh the memories of Route 66...back in the 60s rode with 4 other fam members in our Lark from IN to AZ with no air...sure we stopped at many a place along that route. Thanks for bringing back those memories :). Too bad so much has gone by the wayside! Nice fabric :)

  11. Funny, because I kinda like the run down buildings. To me it is a symbol of what once was.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb