The white sands, the colorful and vibrant Santa Fe, and the never-ending open country roads of New Mexico have always been on my priority list. And I am so glad I finally made it. I had spent countless hours researching about New Mexico, so much so that I had developed a fake sense of realization that I had actually been there. I am sure it happens with all of us at some point in our lives. But whats more amazing is when you are physically there and things match up perfectly. It was a déjà vu for me – in a positive way.
Although it was a short trip but still the diverse terrain ranging from deserts to mountains, the blend of cultures, the food, the architecture and the history kept me enchanted. There’s art and history everywhere and all the cities that I have visited in New Mexico reflects that clearly. Everywhere there’s a resistance towards modernization, trying to keep the history still alive.
If you want to know how I plan my trips, check out my Solo Trip Guide.
I always use Furkot to prepare the high level plan so that I do not have to calculate the distance/time from one point to the other, and then it becomes easy to check how much I can travel in a given day.
The trip started from Plano,TX on Friday evening and I got back home on Tuesday night. I knew most of my travel would be around desert where temperature can easily cross 100 F, so I packed plenty of water, light clothes, basic travel kits and car accessories ( you can find them in my Solo Trip Guide. The 2000 miles trip never felt hectic, thanks to some of the very less traveled hence adventurous roads.
Day 1- Amarillo
I have a dedicated Amarillo travelogue. You may want to check out that for further reading.
I generally do not prefer starting a trip at the evening after work, but this time I had to, to squeeze in the maximum time. As always, the traffic was worse at this time until I merge into US 287. The wide open roads, the legacy of cattle and ranching, millions of tallest wind turbines and of course my favorite tunes playing through my car speakers relaxed my mind and helped alleviate the days exhaustion.
There are couple of small cities that I crossed, so small that I am not sure if they can be called a “city”- well not technically but practically. But those were well equipped city – finding a gas station, coffee or local food was not difficult at all. The people are very polite and somewhat extra sweet. They were kind enough to talk about the localities patiently and willingly. That’s why US 287 towards Amarillo is so far my favorite route- I have already traveled 4 times.
When everything seemed so perfect and going so smooth, the weather had something different for me. All of a sudden, I could see the storm cloud gathering. I was feeling my car loosing its balance due to high wind. The last 100 miles to Amarillo was heck of a drive- with hardly any place to safely park my car, I decided to move on. Sure enough, there were many trucks got dis-balanced and rolled over completely on the road and blocking the entire freeway. I continued with rain, thunder and some random lightning decorating my path. It was quite adventurous already and I started saying myself-” this trip going to be memorable”.
Finally I reached Amarillo at midnight and thought I will directly jump to the bed. But alas ! At midnight, the hotel check in had a line similar to Las Vegas hotels. I have never seen Amarillo like that. Somehow managed to get my keys and thank God there were no other adventures for me that night.