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.