New Mexico SOUTH of I-40?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by TimVermont, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    I may be able to piggyback on someone else's trip. Any suggestions for landscapes/towns/villages/rural life pictures south of I-40? Is there an artsy town (some version of Santa Fe) in the southern half of the state?

    Thanks!

    Tim
     
  2. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    There is always some interesting stuff going on in the little towns south of Albquequere (SP?) along the Rio Grande.

    Don't know if its your type thing but the Rio Grande Gorge is spectacular. If you're going almost all the way south, Cloudcroft and Ruidoso are somewhat artsy and probably skiey at this time of year.

    The Mesilla Valley south of Las Cruces and north of ElPaso is an area of small farms, orchards etc. along the river. In fact, the whole river valley is fairly well populated with small truck farming operations.

    Also in the south are the photograph-able cliff dwellings in the Gila National Forest which -frankly - are pretty good this time of year with the low angle of MORNING light (evening/sundown doesn't work cause they,re on the wrong side of the mountain) and some of the leaves off some of the trees. Take a wide angle as chances to step back for framing are limited.

    The town of Las Vegas and neighboring villages to the south - Moro comes to mind - have lots of original adobe/frontier architecture still standing.

    Enjoy, its a good trip especially this time of year - uncrowded outside the ski areas.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ruidosa and Cloudcroft might be interesting; Alamogordo/White Sands has terrific scenery and good food.
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    Go to the Gila and stay in Silver City.

    Don't forget White Sands. Now is a good time to be there because the temperatures are pleasant. Cold at night.

    Will you have a car?
     
  5. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    I think so, towed behind the moving truck- as long as it is easy to get on and off, and isn't packed to the driver's seat. Room for the 66 camera, but not the 5x7.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would suggest White Sands, then U.S. 82 between Alamogordo and Artesia, then down to Carlsbad, since you are in the neighborhood. U.S. 82 is about as picturesque classic American rural life as it gets, as far as what I have seen. Pines, snow, yellow grass, softly winding roads, ranches, barns, streams, etc. You wind through the Sacramento mountains out of Alamogordo, then come out of them and begin the gradual descent into the desert of eastern New Mexico/west-central Texas. I just passed through on Tuesday on the way to Washington, and I still can't get that area out of my mind. I wish I had had the time to actually stop, but having just spent three hours at White Sands, I had to keep going. You can bet that I will be back, though!

    If you are headed down there on the way to AZ, also make sure you hit Pie Town, along U.S. 60 near the Arizona border! (There is nothing there, BTW! Just a funny road sign.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2009
  7. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Roswell is kinda cool if you're into kitchy stuff. The whole town is decked out in alien motif. The street lamps downtown are shaped like alien heads and even have eyes painted on them! The McDonald's there is shaped like a UFO.
     
  8. steve

    steve Member

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    Depends on where you're going after "south of I-40." There is nothing south of I-40 that equals "some version of Santa Fe."


    The problem you have is once you're headed on an east-west road you can't go north - south easily; and vice versa.


    The eastern side of the state is flat with agriculture (Clovis, Portales, Lovington, etc.). When you get to the southeast (Lovington, Hobbs, etc.) it's oil field country. Carlsbad is semi-interesting for having that 1950's look.

    But, then you're stuck and have to either go to Texas or back to Artesia. Artesia is famous because it smells like a refinery 24 hours per day....


    70/380 from Roswell is a very good road and has some interesting things on it. Including Ruidoso, Mescalero, and Tularosa. Then you'd be in Alamagordo, and have one choice - 70 to Las Cruces.


    Las Cruces is now - just plain too big....lots of traffic...I avoid it whenever possible.


    An interesting route is 60 west from Socorro through Magdelena past the VLA to Datil. From there south on 12 through Horse Springs, Apache Creek, and Reserve. Then a right turn in Reserve west (7 miles) to 180. Then left on 180 towards Silver City. 180 is slightly mountainous with lots of 35mph corners - but easily negotiable and you'll finally exit the mountains into the Aldo Leupold wilderness and on any given day you can get spectacular mountain views back to the east from 180.


    About 1/4 mile after you make the left turn onto 180, there will be a restaurant on the left that serves unbelievable breakfasts and lunches - with fresh baked goods like eclairs, cheese danish, etc. However, they're 7th Day Adventists so they're not open on Saturday....but,they do have a full up espresso bar...when they're open. They also operate a small motel that's clean and not expensive.


    Downtown Silver City is interesting. They've tried to preserve the look of the old city. Isaac's Bar and Grille and Shivek and Mi are the two best (but expensive) restaurants. The Red Barn Family Steak House (not a chain - but a real restaurant with a good salad bar) is fine for any meal. The Drifter for breakfast or lunch (directly across the street from the Red Barn). The Wrangler (east on 180 about 3 miles from downtown) is really good for steaks and reasonably priced. I could never understand why people like the Kountry Kitchen as I've never been that impressed with it...


    Deming is....well...Deming. Downtown Deming is not all that interesting and it's starting to be tarted up with WalMart, etc. Lordsburg is like something out of the twilight zone - it's low rent and weird.
     
  9. nc5p

    nc5p Member

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    I used to live in that part of the state. There are endless mountains and canyons. These are especially good for photos in the early morning and late afternoon. Except for WSMR and the Apache reservation near Ruidoso you can generally photograph all you want down that way. Take 28 south from Las Cruces through Mesilla, Stahmann Farms, San Miguel, La Mesa (lived there 6 years), La Union, and Chamberino. White Sands used to be open late on full moons. Stay within the park boundaries, it's surrounded by military reservation. The Florida mountains east of Deming are covered with bright yellow flowers in the spring, especially the east side.
     
  10. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Hey that's a great report! I'll file this one away as I travel out to NM every year and a half, but I've never been south.
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Hey now, my dad is from Deming :wink: I'll have to pass this on to him!

    Truth be told, I never particularly enjoyed visiting Deming, except that I had the most wonderful aunt there who took us out rock hunting. She was a lapidarist (?) and as I recall she actually saw Poncho Villa. Anyway, she lived to a ripe old age and she did wonderful work with local rocks. Somewhere I have the most amazing bolo made out of fossilized dino dung. You just cant buy that kind of cultural treasure at Walmart.
     
  12. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    Thanks Everyone!

    This is a great wealth of information that gives me many options.

    @2F, have a great time in Washington DC!

    Tim
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    2F if you feel inclined to drop down to Charlottesville, drop me a note.