Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Mexico Car Window Travelogue

I know. We vowed this trip to take time to stop and smell the roses since Craig is retired and we now have unlimited time, but we still whizzed along I-40 in New Mexico rarely stopping for anything other than gas (which always varied between $3.79and $3.89 a gallon).

Most people think of New Mexico in terms of the historic artsy streets of Santa Fe and Indian pueblos, or if they're like me -- Jackalope! Since we've driven the width of the state multiple times in the past few years on our way to and from Kansas, we see the state as a hard scrabble land full of volcanic rock, old car graveyards, and colorful billboards.

This area along the New Mexico/Arizona border is called Painted Cliffs.

I always marvel at how beautiful the color of the box cars look against the surrounding New Mexico cliffs. Color coordinated!

The uneducated eye might think you're traveling in the real Mexico and the road builders have just scooped up and abandoned the old asphalt alongside the interstate. But then you'll notice the volcano below in the distance and the reason for the roadside rubble becomes clear.

Bandera Volcano might be something to investigate if we ever do get off I-40. I have less than fond memories of visiting what was referred to as an extinct volcano outside Raton, New Mexico as a child. My dad suddenly left my mom with us as we were hiking up the path and returned to the car to have what was later identified as his first heart attack. He was only in his 30's at the time, which shows the detrimental effect that free cigarettes and stress from WWII can have on a body.

New Mexico -- the land of tourist trap billboards.

I-40 through New Mexico is also blanketed with Route 66 museums and memorials. This old car museum in Santa Rosa was just down the road from our hotel. We stopped by after our dinner at the Santa Fe Grill, but I snapped the photos quickly because it was cold and windy! Actually, being from Phoenix, I would say it was frickin' freezing! When we were in Santa Fe on the way to Kansas, it snowed. It wasn't much warmer 10 days later on the return trip.

This family truckster's seen better days.

An old cemetery and church in the town of Santa Rosa.

We may take a little trip to New Mexico later this summer in July to get out of the Arizona oven. I promise we'll get off the interstate and see the sights next trip!


Isla Deb said...

Great photos, Beck. A friend just gave me a pamphlet on the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. One of them is a 5-day class on the "Mother Road" in New Mexico. The cost is $850 and that DOESN'T include meals, transportation along the way or accommodations. Sheesh! I think we could do it ourselves for a lot less!

Life's a Beach! said...

Deb, there seem to be a lot of those photographic workshops in Santa Fe. When we were lunching at La Fonda on the square, I noticed a large group of women walking by with big cameras. We're supposed to go back in late July, so maybe I'll take the slow road and stop at every rustic oddity!

drgeo said...

I recommend taking the winding back road from Santa Fe to Bandelier to Jemez Springs. Bandolier features cliff dweller towns and woodlands where we saw deer and rangers handed out "beware of this bear" fliers. Jemez Springs featured a museum of the native Pueblo and Soda Dam. On the return trip the interstate is quicker but substantially less scenic. We stopped to eat at The Range in Placitas where they had a photo of a visiting Obama greeting families during the last campaign.

Life's a Beach! said...

drgeo, very useful info! We may be in that same area again this summer.

Babs said...

Haven't been over to your blog in a while - don't know how long. Love your header and the way you're framing your photos with the turquoise border. WAY cool!
My blog is breathtakingly boring, to put it mildly. When Steve Cotton comes in July I'm going to see if he can help me "jazz it up".
Have fun at the BEACH! Will be thinking about you when you get there....

Jessie Pearl said...

Photos is very nice. This means that vintage cars really exist now and is having importance to buyers. In fact, its expensive!

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