Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Alabama To New Mexico (3/29-4/4/2016)

The drive across the several states was mostly uneventful.  I did enjoy a visit with my cousin in Mississippi, and felt very fortunate to dodge the bad weather systems that kept coming across the region.  I learned that a tornado touched down near where I had stayed in MS, but it was the day after I left.  All across MS and AR, there was plenty of evidence of the deluges that had been occurring.  Ditches, creeks, rivers and lakes were all overflowing, while many fields were also under water.  Ducks swimming in one field seemed to be eating the seeds that had floated to the surface not long after being placed there by the farmer, possibly for the second or third time.

I did take time for a quick trip into Oklahoma to visit another Whispering Giant, located in Beavers Bend State Park near the town of Broken Bow.
Oklahoma Whispering Giant
Once I reached Tucumcari, NM, I slowed down and started enjoying my trip.  Tucumcari is located on I-40 near the border with Tx.  I've driven through quite a few times, but never stopped before.  Checking campground reviews, I learned that most of the campgrounds in town have closed, so I stopped at one said to be operating and suitable for an overnight stop (not a destination).  Cactus RV Park was once a Route 66 motel re-purposed to an rv park by installing hook-ups in the parking lots.  The buildings are still there, but haven't been used as a motel (or even maintained) for a long time.

Other establishments in town still reflect the old Route 66 kitsch that once lured travelers to stop and spend money.

Moving on, I spent a couple days in Albuquerque, a town with lots to do, but most of which I've done before and didn't care to do again.  Petroglyph National Monument has three units, and I had visited only one of them in the past.  So, I chose to visit the Rinconada Canyon unit and photograph the petroglyphs.  The canyon hike is about 2.5 miles, a lot of it in sand, and was disappointing with regard to the petroglyphs that could be seen.  A sign pointed out one petroglyph said to be halfway up the ridge, but I never saw it.  The sign noted that lighting was a big factor in seeing the petroglyphs, suggesting that shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset would be best.  Unfortunately, the park is only open between 8am and 5pm.  Eventually, a few petroglyphs were visible, but not the number I had seen in the Piedras Marcadas Canyon years ago.

I've stayed in several different RV parks in Albuquerque, but this time tried one I had not used before, called Enchanted Trails.  It's a nice enough park and allowed me to rest from driving so much and also catch up on laundry.  The park, consistent with its Route 66 location, has several vintage trailers available for rent.  A couple of them are accompanied by a vintage Hudson automobile to complete the 1950's image.

New Mexico has a reputation for having fiery sunsets, so I did get out one evening to capture a couple photos of a pretty nice one.


  1. Welcome back to the travel scene here in the West my friend! Love the pic's and stories, as usual thanks for sharing!!!! Have a beautiful day.

  2. nice sunset shots - it is starting to get warm here 90+ today - maybe rain the rest of the week