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Old 08-05-2015, 06:35 PM   #1
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Dodge nut needs CO and NM trip advice

Hi,

I am a glutton for punishment and a Dodge fan so it's time for a road trip to pick up yet another old Dodge van in Taos, New Mexico.

Last time out in 2011 I used the 1996 conversion van as my tow rig to bring the 1982 Dodge Sporty back from Atlanta:



The trip went well and the Sporty's roof now rests on my 1984 4x4 Dodge B350.

What I need is the smoothest route out of New Mexico to Kansas to help make the flat towing as easy as possible on the conversion van in the summer heat.

I'm asking you New Mexico and Colorado members for advice on planning my route. Also what is the most scenic route into Taos from Kansas so we can at least enjoy that part of our adventure?

Thanks team SMB.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: Dodge nut needs CO and NM trip advice

Hi,

I might have to rip the toilet out of the blue 1982 Dodge SMB for Jage. That might convince him to show his head in NM. He always wanted one and it would be a great gift for our founder. Thanks for all your hard work. Here's a crapper...

Toilet roll holder extra, of course.

And the tank. Hmmm.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Dodge nut needs CO and NM trip advice

To:

"Most scenic" - Bee-line it over to Denver and take US 285 out of the west side of Denver over Kenosha Pass and beyond into South Park to Fairplay and Buena Vista, then saunter your way down south to Poncha Springs, Salida, Alamosa , over to Ft Garland (maybe take in the Great Sand Dunes since you are close) and down to Taos. A variation is to stay on I70 west out of Denver until Copper Mountain and turn south through Leadville to Buena Vista and parts south.

For best speed, either angle through the back roads of Kansas and east CO to Walsenburg and down (most mileage-direct), or straight bee-line to I-25 and head down to Walsenburg and west over LaVeta Pass to Ft Garland, then down to Taos.

Return:

I'm guessing your best route is to head north out of Taos to Fort Garland, CO, then up over La Veta pass (US 160) to Walsenburg and angle straight on out east to LaJunta and beyond to Kansas. La Veta isn't that high of a pass and has decent passing / truck lane all the way up the west side eastbound so you can go slow. Going north or south on I25 from Walsenburg is pretty hilly and might put a strain on the tow. East CO is likely to have bad cell phone reception (especially that stretch between Wals and LaJunta), but is slightly more populated than routes further south - so help might be easier to come by if you break down. Should be fairly light traffic on all these roads except the approach to Walsenburg from the west gets a little busy with locals traffic.

The other option is to head straight up into the mountains out of Taos to Angel Fire, and back down the other side to Cimarron and to I-25... then a slight jog south to US 56 and take that all the way angling back into Kansas through the OK panhandle. That's pretty remote and I'm pretty sure cell service in those parts of NM will be quite bad even on the interstate - any breakdowns could be ugly. Going north on I25 takes you up over Raton pass which is a little twistier and steeper (though lower as it turns out) than LaVeta, and fairly hilly north of the pass on to Walsenburg.

Either way... once you get away east of the mountains, the terrain is pretty much like Kansas / Nebraska / Oklahoma / Texas / the Dakotas / east Montana / east Alberta / Manitoba...


Hope that gives you some ideas to ponder... feel free to hit me up for more details if you'd like. I know the least about the Angel Fire roads - I went over them many years ago and it is a bit fuzzy.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Dodge nut needs CO and NM trip advice

285 South as previously mentioned. Take CO17 (?) south of Poncha Pass to Alamosa to save miles. Lots of side trips if time permits.

No way out of Taos without climbing a hill. Taos-Angel Fire-Cimarron-Ration-Clayton-Kansas, or something similar to return.

Don
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