I’m BACK! Took a little trip with my buddies, Jeff, Don and Troy to Albuquerque for the weekend and we had a BLAST!! We did something similar 5 years ago but to Memphis but this time we went to Albuquerque in Don’s RV. He got it a little over a year ago and has lived in it with his wife since then and traveled more than 16,000 miles in it!!
We set off Friday night just as rain clouds were rolling in and almost returned in the same conditions. We’re in Dallas and we need it! We hit the road at about 6:30 and didn’t really plan any stops. It took us a little over an hour to get of the DFW area and on the open road. We talked about the last trip we did and what we should do on this one. First stop that we planned was Amarillo to stay the night there and then get on the road early. About 8:30 pm we arrive in Jacksboro, TX just as a storm did. The sun was setting but it was almost black out because the rain was coming down so hard. Don reduced our speed to about 30 mph to be safe and to see. It took us about 45 minutes to get out of the storm and by that time the sun was just setting. Travel sped up when everything cleared. We stopped just outside of Amarillo about 1:30 am to see if we could see some meteors of the Perseid shower. Didn’t see many but we did have a blast photographing the beautiful night sky. We packed up, went a few more miles and settled in for the night.
The next morning we got up and got some breakfast and started off for Albuquerque. We had to make a stop at two of the most iconic destinations in Texas, The Big Texan and Cadillac Ranch. The Big Texan is where you can get a 72 oz steak and if you eat it under an hour, you get it free (have to eat all the sides as well). Then there is Cadillac Ranch, 10 1950’s Cadillacs stuck in the ground nose first back in 1974. It’s a must see. I think we’ve all been through there and knew how beautiful the West Texas scenery can be but the sky was clear and there were large white clouds that made it even better. We were on the road for maybe 3 hours and we were getting close to the New Mexico border when the skies started getting darker. Heavy rains came quick and the RV started showing us signs of issues. Once the storm cleared we crossed into New Mexico just as the sun was setting. Our plan was to stay in Albuquerque so that we could get up early and explore the next day. We stayed at a RV park about 7600 ft up in the Sandia Mountains. The temperature had dropped by 30 degrees and it was awesome! We setup the RV and got out the chairs to enjoy some drinks, food and friendship.
Remember we had no plans set in stone, so we got up and started looking for things to do. Troy found the first adventure, The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History not to far down the road. It was amazing! They had a lot of old fighter jets and bombers outside and then a TON of old memorabilia about WWII and the Cold War and Nuclear Science. We also went to see the Unser Museum. I really wish my Dad could have been with us, he would have loved seeing it. It has several of the original race cars and outfits that the family have used over the years. A great find by Jeff and recommended to anyone into Automotive Racing. Our stomachs were starting to talk and we need to get on the road. We took the back roads to Downtown and looked around and got a bite to eat. Trying to find a place to park a 40 foot bus in the tight streets of a downtown isn’t easy. But Don is a master at it now and we had no issues.
At lunch we talked about the route home and where we should go. Roswell isn’t too far down the highway so we plotted a course there. Once you get out of Albuquerque, New Mexico really opens up. The trip down to Roswell was quick and quiet. We found a place to stay on the edge of Roswell, which is kind of a big town. Might have to take a trip out there with the family one day to see more. We parked just as the sun was setting and it didn’t disappoint. The weather was perfect, it was nice to be somewhere you didn’t melt in 2 minutes of being outside. We setup everything again and made sandwiches and drinks. On the first trip we did, Don got me my first cigar and I’ve loved them since. We both brought our own and discussed what we brought while we smoked. The Olympics were on, so we sat and watched and talked about life. This was the last night before returning home so I think we soaked it in a bit more than the others.
The night went by quick as we all were cozy in the RV. Today we wanted to get on the road fast so we could make it home before sunset. We went back through town to get breakfast and then got on the road. This leg of the trip was fun because we got to go through several small towns that almost seemed to not be lived in for years. Old rusted out signs and cars littered our way home. We made several stops along the way to capture the past life of the US highway towns. There were so many sights to see and not enough time but we did our best to stop and get some shots. When we got home at sunset, I told Elissa that it seemed like the longest part of the whole trip. I don’t know if that’s because it was the end or if it was the straight through driving. It took us nearly 10 hours to get back home and we arrived just as the sun was setting. It was an amazing trip and we are already talking about the next one. Since Don travels, he won’t be back in Dallas until April. It sucks but I’m happy him and Lisa have this opportunity to see the US like I’ve been dying to do. But we’re sad that we won’t see them for that long but when they do return, it’s going to be time for us to start looking for our trailer. So there is a little ray of happiness at the end of the long wait. And to my buddies, again, I can’t thank you more for taking me on this trip and just being great friends. Thanks again!!