With a revised itinerary, cutting out Albuquerque in New Mexico State, and a renewed objective to avoid the Interstate, we cut across to Roswell in New Mexico taking routes 60 and 380. The travelling time from Phoenix to Roswell was around 10 hours, gunning it we shaved off 8 hours driving through the night. One of the rest stops taken was at a Fish-and-Chip shop; Nik-l-Niks. A quaint but cheap dine-in “chippy” serving the American equivalent of fish and chips, the waitress even cooked up some fry-bread (essentially a fried bread base topped with cheese, chopped lettuce and salsa) – on the house!
The UFO museum ($5 admission) wasn’t our cup of tea. Temporary office wall dividers played host to reams of newspaper clippings of “witnessed sightings”, theories, sketches, “actual evidence”, and presidentially endorsed myths. I don’t want to destroy everyone’s hopes that Roswell really is home to such a vast amount of extra terrestrial activity but come on, one of the photographs providing evidence shows a US Army officer with a metal sheet. Said metal sheet, amazingly, resembles tin foil; same thickness, colour, shine and used crinkle effect. This black and white photo was taken back in around 1950, when was tin foil introduced?
Carlsbad on the other hand was great. I hate to sound repetitive but we found only one horse here too. The Carlsbad Caverns ($6 entrance) – an underground cavern system with more Stalagmites and Stalactites than you could shake a stick at. With a 3 mile walk to and around the bottom and a lift back up to the top our rapidly expanding, fast food encumbered derrieres were saved from strain. Do the Big Room walk, 2 miles and avoid dining in the underground restaurant; it only serves pre-packed sandwiches and crisps.
The caverns were actually located 10 miles south of Carlsbad in Whites City. Parking the RV here, which Whites City is literally a motel, restaurant and gift shop, we caught a free shuttle to the caverns. Cars can drive to it as its only 6 miles west, but the RV would have struggled (tight, twisting roads and steep hills).
Taking route 285 south*, we headed towards Fort Stockton, Texas with the intention that we would park up here overnight. Nope, we couldn’t see anything. Perhaps we didn’t go south enough? A quick team discussion put us on to Interstate route 10 and another 6 hour marathon drive put us within 1 hour of San Antonio, Texas. Utilising a rest area, our 7 tonne, 25ft RV blended in with about 10 lorries all of whom had the same idea as us – sleep!
I haven’t mentioned the weather so far in New Mexico – a hot for a Brit, 20®C, dry and barely a cloud in the sky.
Where do the Brit boys go now?
San Antonio, Texas! It feels like we have brushed New Mexico to the side really but so many Americans have advised us to avoid Albuquerque. Have we done the right thing? It did mean we missed the Petrified Forest and a major city in New Mexico.
Cystic Fibrosis related problems?
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