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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Arizona Trip 2013 - a multi-part post

Our first day on the road to Yuma was long, buffeted by winds and colorful, courtesy of the highway department painting lines on the road. We left Lubbock a little after 7:00 A.M. CDT, and headed west to the town of Brownfield on US 62/82. 
From there we continued to Plains, passing through towns named Gomez and Tokio. Then it was US 380 through the towns of Bronco, Gladiola, Tatum and Caprock before arriving in Roswell, NM. 
The highway from Brownfield to Roswell is predominantly two-lane roads through flat west Texas. From Roswell on to Ruidoso (where we picked up the paint), highways are predominately four-lane. US 380 passes through towns such as Riverside, Picacho, Tinnie and Hondo before arriving in Ruidoso. At Hondo the road changes to US 70 and cuts through the Lincoln National Forest the home of Smokey the Bear and Billy the Kid.  US 70 also cuts through the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation and through the towns of Mescalero and Bent. At Tularose we picked up US 54 for a short distance to Alamogordo, then back on US 70 and down the mountain and across the White Sands National Monument and White Sands Missile Range. 
This was not the first time we had been by White Sands National Monument. Many years ago when we still owned a Miata, we went with the Miata Club to the Monument. It was a good thing that white Miata had a tan top or we might have lost it. 
After stopping for fuel in Las Cruces we got on I-10 for another 120 mile drive to the Lordsburg, NM Travel Information Center, which was our stopping point for the day. About a 9.5 hour driving day covering about 480 miles. This was a little longer than our rule of thumb (which is about to change) of 400 miles or eight hours driving per day. This was our first trip headed to Arizona across US 62/82, US 380, US 54 and US 70. We decided that we like this route much better than going to Midland, TX then taking I-20/I-10 west. El Paso traffic, even if you take the "by-pass" has never appealed to me on the previous two trips to Arizona. The Lordsburg Travel Information Center has a pretty good size parking area. When we went to bed, we were the only ones there. At 7:00 A.M (MDT) when we got ready to leave, the place was packed with 18-wheelers.

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