Thursday, November 7, 2013

Destination Las Cruces

We got up early again this morning and were on the road by 10AM.  Now that wouldn't be impressive for most people, but for us it's pretty good.

We had great weather for our trip west from Amarillo.  We had to make a decision on our route and decided to play it safe with the weather and take I-40 W to Santa Rosa, NM and then catch US 54 south toward Alamogordo and spend the night there.  We had a brief stop in Tucumcari, NM for fuel and then back on the road.  We made such good time we decided to change our plans and continue on to Las Cruces.

There isn't much to see on US 54 south other than rolling hills and scrub trees.  We did see a number of herds of antelopes and enjoyed that.

One of the towns on the way down is Vaughn which was a railroad town.  The old railroad station still looks very nice and is in use.  Vaughn was established in the early 20th century as a Southern Pacific Railroad town. The town's importance grew when a second railroad, the Eastern Railway of New Mexico (an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line from Belen to Clovis), was completed in 1907 with Vaughn as a division point. A large two-story depot, a roundhouse, and a Harvery House hotel were constructed shortly thereafter.

They do appreciate the snowbirds in the Alamogordo area and even had a welcome sign out for them.  You don't see that much in Florida where some places seem to resent snowbirds.

 US 70 runs by the White Sand Dunes National Monument and the dunes are close to the road.  Gerry managed to get some nice shots of the dunes as we drove by at 65mph.

 It was a hazy afternoon as we came down the mountain side heading for Las Cruces on US 70.  It is hard to capture the expanse of the valley as you approach it.  Yes, the road down was that steep and the other side had a long climb coming out of the White Sand Dunes area.

We will stay here a few days and then move down the road a little closer to Tucson.  The Cattle Baron restaurant in Las Cruces has been one of our favorite places to eat for many years and we always take time for a nice meal there.

We managed to get a spot at a Passport America park and it will help offset the price of the park in Amarillo.  No cable tv, but full hookups and free wifi for $18.75 a night.

It was a 425 mile drive for us and that is about our limit now.  Driving time was little over 7.5 hrs and if we wouldn't have been held up driving 35-45 mph in a 15 mile construction zone, we could have made it in a 7 hour driving time.

Gerry prepared a new recipe for dinner tonight.  We had talked about cutting out meats occasionally and eating more fiber and vegetables.  Tonight's experiment was Black Bean Salsa Cakes and they were, surprisingly, pretty good.  I think the recipe is a keeper. 

That was our exciting day, how was yours?


  1. White Sands is one of my favorite places. They are just so amazing. I can't even imagine doing a 425 mile drive in one day. That would probably take us three days.

  2. Windy here in Tucson yesterday. Hope the wind will let up by the time you get here. Safe travels.

  3. Since you don't have TV, whatever are you two going to do for amusement at night?

    1. We can get over-the-air tv from El Paso and it comes in fine. After the 425 mile drive, it was an early to bed night for us. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow and slept for 8+ hours.