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Old 10-04-2019, 01:32 PM   #1
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Colorado, NM, AZ trip around Thanksgiving

Hello everyone!

My lady and I are gearing up for another road trip/tour/expedition. We use our van to tour from gig to gig and then sleep in some BLM spots in between on our off days. Right now we have shows starting 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and then all the way up until December 14th. We start in Colorado Springs then work our way south. We have some down days in between shows and looking for some advice on where to go and what to see.

We have a couple days off between our show in La Veta, CO and Cimarron, NM and wondering if there's anything in particular we can see or should see in that area around Taos and Cimarron.

Then we play another string of shows and have 2 days off between our gig in Albuquerque and Tucson. Anything we can see between ABQ and Tucson?

From there we have 1 day to travel from Tucson to Phoenix to meet up with my family for Thanksgiving. Anything worthwhile between Tucson and Phoenix?

After thanksgiving we head out to San Diego, up the coast and then out I-10 through Joshua Tree. I'm pretty familiar with the spots to go in between CA and AZ since that's where I'm from and have spent a lot of time camping out there. Just mainly looking for stuff to do in NM and AZ.

Or if you have a favorite watering hole around any of these areas that we could fill in those dates with another gig, let me know
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
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VagabondMBA southern CO and northern NM has many watering holes don't think find any shortage.
1) La Veta is a cool place, kind of old west feeling. If it's Deer season many of the deer will be in town.
Fabulous drive Walsenberg to Trinidad via highway 12. Beautiful views of the Spanish Peaks, several lakes and lovely forests, one of my Fav short drives.
2) As recall if you go up (north) 69 to Gardner area there is a very large Bison ranch, the herd I saw numbered in the 1,000's...yes 1,000's. Check with local's but I'm sure it's north on highway 69.
3) Tucson: If you have any interest in military aircraft (as I am VietNam vet) they have one of the best displays of military aircraft outside the Smithsonian in D.C. The real experience is to take the tour of DAVIS MONTHAN A.F.B. where they store aircraft that are no longer needed. They also use them for parts and at times will be refurbishing mothballed aircraft to return to service. Again if you have any interest in aircraft it's a must see place.
4) South of Tucson there is a preserved ICBM site you can visit. They take you underground to the crews quarters and you can see a ICBM missile in place.
Enjoy
2003 Sportsmobile heading back to Utah next week...last fishing trip to the high country this year.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:22 PM   #3
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Lots of great places, but the place I have needed to go, to but have not yet, is the Chaco Culture NP....few visitors, best Native sites in the nation...a Forum member told us about it (warned about the 8mile rough road [i think washboard] to get there)..we didn't make it there then but on our must do list...and soon b/c you never know about park closings etc anymore... City of Rocks is another great fee camping spot...If your near Gunnison, stop by Gunnison Gallery...our good friend owns it and highlights over 40 local artists works...otherwise...you know the drill, these Forum members will get you the best ideas!!...Fun stuffs and don't for get to POST PICS!!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:19 PM   #4
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Chaco is amazing, but it does take a while to get there, and it deserves a couple of days to see at least most of it.


Also, northern NM is not much lower in elevation than a ,lot of Colorado, so you could still be dealing with significant snow depending where you go.




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Old 10-05-2019, 01:08 AM   #5
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Chaco is also a must see.
The location makes the site history even more incredible.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I am trying to stay south on the trip in case there is any snow like @broncohauler mentioned.

@highcountrymike we have shows lined up in La Veta, Walsenburg and Trinidad. Looking forward to some of those back roads. We'll try and find the bison ranch in Gardner while we're there. I am a huge fan of military aircraft. I was never in the military, but my Dad's a marine air support officer. I grew up around all sorts of fun USMC and USAF aircraft and will always love seeing them. So thank you for that tidbit.

I'll be sure to take lots of photos of the trip to share. Thanks again, everyone
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:58 PM   #7
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Departing in the morning on my own trip to Flaming Gorge Utah (fishing the Green River).
I need to learn how to post pictures here.
Will check in next week.
Sportsmobile is clean, fueled up and set to depart about 8 a.m. for Cedar City, Utah.
I hope you have good weather on your trip, I really like the La Veta, CO drive.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:08 PM   #8
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Then we play another string of shows and have 2 days off between our gig in Albuquerque and Tucson. Anything we can see between ABQ and Tucson?
It takes me at least two days fro Abs to Tucson.

New to me as of last week: Cosmic Campground, the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the northern hemisphere. It's not on the short line to Tucson. Instead you head south on I-40, take a right at Socorro to US 60 (the first transcontinental road, according to some), drive past the VLA, turn left on NM 14, drive a while to Reserve (Catron County seat where all residents are -- or were -- required to own a gun by the county commission), turn right at the only street intersection, merge left on US 180 and turn into the campground at MM37+. We were there for the first quarter moon so it was quiet, I expect it gets busy around the new moon. It's the only campground I've visited with telescope pads. Admission is free.

Here's the moon shot with an ordinary Nikon and 200mm lens. Most disappointed it couldn't get features on face but I'll take the craters on the edge:


And the campsite. Not a great pic but it's from the phone after sunset to give a sense of the ambient light:
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:16 PM   #9
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P.S. If you go I-25 to NM26/Hatch to Deming and I-10, consider a stop at Bosque del Apache, assuming you'd enjoy seeing tens of thousands of cranes and snow geese. Chupadero Mountain View RV Park (575-518-8264) is small and barebones but very friendly. There's no dispersed coming in the area.

Don't miss the San Antonio Crane for a good NewMex meal or Buckhorn if you need a chile cheeseburger.

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Sire: The Turtle Shell, 1991 Chevy K250 V8 with Lance Squire 11 3/4 cabover
Dam: VannieGone, 1987 VW Westphalia
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:40 AM   #10
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P.S. If you go I-25 to NM26/Hatch to Deming and I-10, consider a stop at Bosque del Apache, assuming you'd enjoy seeing tens of thousands of cranes and snow geese. Chupadero Mountain View RV Park (575-518-8264) is small and barebones but very friendly. There's no dispersed coming in the area.

Don't miss the San Antonio Crane for a good NewMex meal or Buckhorn if you need a chile cheeseburger.

Don

There's always Sparky's in Hatch, for another chance at a great chile cheeseburger.




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