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Hi, I will be in New Mexico the last week of Sept. & the 1st week of Oct. The balloon fest is already on the list. I will be starting in Carlsbad, what else should not be missed while I am touring this area? Any exceptional roads or site suggestions will be very helpful.

Thanks in advance
Tom
 

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I assume you will check out Carlsbad Caverns while you are there.
We were there in July and it was pretty amazing. 750 feet under ground and huge. The batt flight are not so good this year. They have not had any rain since last September. So no bugs means very few batts. There has not been this few of batts since 1930.
Have fun.
 

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Definately Carlsbad. White Sands was interesting in it's own way, but go early in the day as it gets HOT quickly.
On one trip through New Mexico my wife got a craving for Chinese food; we tried several places and as best we could determine it is not within their area of expertise. We had a similar experience in Hawaii when she got a craving for Mexican food.
Yeah, I know, but she's a keeper!
 

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You must be talking about The Balloon Fest in ALBEQUERQUE. We went a few years ago. Really enjoyed it.Try to get up early and see the balloons take off when they are lit up. This takes place when it is still dark out,so dress warm. We also took the back way up to Sante-Fe, not sure what route,a nice ride. In Sante Fe there is a French bakery on the street from the old church. If you are facing the church it is on your right down a ways. Definitely worth it. YUM YUM. Enjoy your trip. :thumbup:
 

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There are many great areas within NM to visit. Of course it depends on how much time and how much riding you want or plan on doing. The ballon Fest is outstanding.

So here are some suggestions. From Carlsbad you can go to Roewell if you are into UFO's. Or head out on Hwy 82 towards Almargodo. Desert riding with some twist, but you will go through some lava fields that I found enjoyable. Also some of the area where the Trinity site is.

If you have the time I would suggest head over to Las Cruses and pick up Hwy 180. You can make a day of this ride. Hwy 180 to Alpine the Hwy 191 to Hwy 78 to Hwy 180. Hwy 191 is the old Devil's Hwy. It use to be Hwy 666 but Arizona changed it because people kept stealing the road signs. Great twisting highways and it takes you up to higher alpine meadows. Again there were a lot of forest fires so the scenery may not be the best, but the road is great to feed the twisties. But if you do this be careful because there will be ELK and DEER along the way. Rutting season starts around that time.

The Turquiose Trail Hwy 14) is on the east side of Albq. It takes you through old west and mining areas to Santa Fe. I'd plan a whole day in Santa Fe if you are into art galleries and things like that.

Taos Loop is a great ride into the mountains.

Sandia Peak tram is great and a good viewing for the ballons. My wife and I climbed the east side of Sandia Peak (many moons ago when we were young) and while on the top we watched the lighting of the ballons. Fricking fabulous. The air is thin up there.

Farmington NM has a public golf course (Pinon Hills)that is always rated in the top 50 by golf magizine and it is cheap in comparison. Four corners is on the western side of NM (NM, CO, UT, AZ).

The electronic telescope fields are west of Datil on Hwy 60 or Hwy 12.

I probably forgot something. But it's early fall desert riding so be prepared for large temperature changes and drink PLENTY of fluids. The humidity is low and sometimes you don't even know you're sweating until its too late. Once out of the metro areas, buy gas when you can get it. Some towns close up early in the evening and you may get stuck waiting for gas. I know, that happened to me in 2002.

Charlie Morse
Land Elephant
 

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There really isn't much between Carlsbad and Albuquerque--you could head up to cloudcroft and then go down to the God forsaken desert where white sands is. Or you could visit Cloudcroft briefly and then make your way through the Indian reservation to Ruidoso. That is a nice ride through the mountains--so at least you'll see a tree.

If you decide instead to drive from Carlsbad to Roswell you need to know 3 things:
1. I've lived all over the world and Roswell is my favorite place to live.
2. Having said that, you would of course stop in to see the Alien Museum--and like everyone else you will be disapointed and wonder why in the world the UFO festival every year is so well attended. But at least you can say you were here.
3. Once you get out of Roswell or Ruidoso, there will be lot's of straight roads no matter what path you take. Your only choice is really whether you want to take 2 lane straight roads or 4 lane straight roads through the high-desert.

Feel free to contact me if you need anything near Roswell, and I also assume you'll be seeing the Carlsbad caverns--they are amazing.
 

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Great job Land Elephant. I live here and haven't done some of those rides.

Sounds like your route to Albuquerque will be much nicer than heading North out of Roswell or taking 25 north.
 

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Any comments about Chaco National Park?
 

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I guess I have a bit different outlook on my homeland and backyard. The Land of Enchantment is truly enchanting, and that includes the south and east with it's flatness and desert like areas and lack of trees, etc. Because of the extreme drought we've experienced, this country is more desolate looking than ever, but in my eyes, it is still enchanting. The desolation itself and the fact that many people live and survive here in spite of it is interesting. I find it fascinating that some folks have never experienced the truly WIDE OPEN spaces we so take for granted here. Seeing this country is definitely different at mid day as compared to sunrise or sunset. We have a very special brand of those most days and evenings, and none of them are ever exactly alike.

I really enjoy the trip between Roswell and Albuquerque. After you get to Vaughn and Encino (US 285 ande US 60), you are presented with some choices of route, any of which are very interesting in their own ways. If you stay in Carlsbad, yes, see the Caverns. You will be astounded at the devastation of the surface damage all around that area caused by one of the many wildfires we've had all over this area this year. An extremely beautiful area is now blackened and melted in the area of the Caverns. While you are in town, there's a place on the north side called "Living Desert State Park". It's not a big deal, but to me a very interesting place where you can see and identify all kinds of desert plants, cactus, and animals. You can easily spend a couple hours there. Sure beats spending that time at the Alien museum in Roswell!!

Definitely swing over and see the White Sands if you've never been there before. I'd suggest turning left at Artesia on US 82 and travel to Cloudcroft, then down the mountain through the tunnel where you can view the White Sands from a distance. Out to the Sands, then back toward Ruidoso on US 70, or if you are headed to Albuquerque, travel north from Alamogordo up US 54 to Corona, then across to Willard, Estancia, and Moriarty and then take old US 66 through Tijeras to Albuquerque. IF you wish to take the back road mentioned to Santa Fe, the road passes north over Sandia Crest up through Madrid to Santa Fe. It's a neat ride!

So many things and places to see. Whether or not you find them enchanting will depend a lot on yourself. Suggest you get fuel where you find it, since distances between places are pretty far between. Don't risk running out. Some places shown on the map are not really places or don't have fuel or certainly don't have it available evenings and nights. I think you will enjoy your trip whichever routes you take and whatever you see. It's all good, and even if it doesn't meet with your particular approval, it will likely be unusual and a one of a kind experience.

Good luck with your trip and let us know how it goes!
 

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Well back in the early /mid 70's and early 80's I was a member of the best military branch Uncle Sams Misguided Children (lifetime card carrying member) and it seemed that I was so important that I'd be sent on deployment for months at a time. Of course I'd be rolled over and I collect so much leave time that when I got back to the USA there would be someone at the bottom of the aircraft ramp with a set of leave papers telling me to get lost and don't come back until you used up them days.

So I'd throw a leg over my wing (75,78, or 81) and I'd get lost. Then when I retired I started building roads and I'd wind up someplace and when I had time I'd throw my leg over my Valk I/S and I'd get lost. We lived in Amarillo for a while and we would go to ALBQ for softball tourneys and well it's 4 hours across high plains desert.

I love the west. I actually travelled across NM in 86 with my family when I was being transfered to MCB Camp Pendleton and we drove a good part of these roads. We camped in Springerville AZ and when we woke up there was snow on the ground and it was 20 degrees.

I love the west and dream about getting back.

Charlie Morse
Land Elephant
 

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There are many great areas within NM to visit. Of course it depends on how much time and how much riding you want or plan on doing. The ballon Fest is outstanding.
Agree with all the above and to expand.
Old town Albuquerque - old missions and great food

Tram one of the longest in the world - High Finance is the Resturant at the top, good food, lousy service

+++ on the Turquiose Trail - plan a stop in Madrid (Maggies dinner of Wild Hogs) its a movie set but pretty good burger at the Mine Shaft Tavern right down the street

Enchanted Loop - that is the (Taos Loop) refered too above, awsome.
http://enchantedcircle.org/

Addition,

Chama - we love the Cumbres & Toltec RR, the town of Chama itself and Hwy 17 north out of Chama over Cumbres Pass. There is a great New Mexico Restaurant of the south side of town; "High Country Restaurant and Saloon"; if it seems like everyone in town is there, they probably are. (I had the trout there 4 weeks ago, yum, ready to go back, never had a bad meal there)

If you ride the train, take it to the half way point, get off have lunch at the way station and take the return back. After the halfway point there is not alot to see.
http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/
 

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resturants

It seem when we go to one of those high dollar resturants like the one at the top of sandia mountain the food is terrible at best.
 

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It seem when we go to one of those high dollar resturants like the one at the top of sandia mountain the food is terrible at best.
Shame, we have been there 4 times in the last 3 year and other than the service, it has been very good.

Different people like different things.

From a couple of years back,

the Krew


Just past the tram going the other way


The view, the city below really lights up after the sun goes down


Every one enjoyed their dinners, the talk has turned to business for the coming day, what a great evening



I forgot to mention, the two boys in the first picture (brothers), (1) on the right, one in the back are now overseas serving the country.

Freedom ain't free.

Thanks goes out to all that serve.
 

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I was stationed in NM for 2 years Air Force and i hated every minute of it.
I was TDY quite a few years ago and loved it; look at the post above, my friends do too. We keep going back....

I do not enjoy Old Town as much as I did before it was modernized, but then I liked Key West Better in the early 70's too.
 

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Chama - we love the Cumbres & Toltec RR, the town of Chama itself and Hwy 17 north out of Chama over Cumbres Pass.

I second this recommendation -- very nice ride.

We also enjoy riding Hwy 64 between Cimarron, NM and Taos. And we liked highway 84 between Chama and Pagosa Springs, CO.

We spent the night at The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs and had a really enjoyable evening soaking in the mineral springs baths.
 

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Definately Carlsbad. White Sands was interesting in it's own way, but go early in the day as it gets HOT quickly.
On one trip through New Mexico my wife got a craving for Chinese food; we tried several places and as best we could determine it is not within their area of expertise. We had a similar experience in Hawaii when she got a craving for Mexican food.
Yeah, I know, but she's a keeper!
Dale,

The three rules of travel are: You do not eat fish in Kansas, Mexican food north of the Red River, and you take the first flight that gets you within a $100 USD cab ride of home.

If it makes you feel better, MsBubba is Scottish and a couple of years ago nothing would do but some, I quote, "Good soup with some crusty bread". We were riding in the rural southwest where Denny's is considered gourmet dining, needless to say my life was hell for a few hours after I plopped a DQ hamburger in front of her :).
 

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The Trinity site is open the first weekend of Oct. Only opens 2 x a year. Great chance to go there, but It's on a Mil base so you need a dayglo vest.
The tram is alsoi very cool, but go to the top of Sandia Peak. If you're into it the is Petrogylph(sp) Park.
Great breakfast Burroitos at Golden Pride on Central as is pizza or subs at Dion's.

The Nuc Museum is also off of Central and Juan Tabo I think. There is also the Unser Racing Museum. Go to Old town and buy some jewelry. Have a great trip.
 

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White Sands

Hi, I will be in New Mexico the last week of Sept. & the 1st week of Oct. The balloon fest is already on the list. I will be starting in Carlsbad, what else should not be missed while I am touring this area? Any exceptional roads or site suggestions will be very helpful.

Thanks in advance
Tom
You should be close to White Sands National Monument,a desert of white you drive through,i have some nice pics.
 
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