Transit to and visit in Albuquerque and Santa Fe NM

Tuesday was a pretty easy travel day. We got up and had breakfast and coffee and headed off from Durango about 0900 on our 250 or so mile drive to Albuquerque. We ended up being on a 4 lane highway most of the way and there were only a few hills. One pretty steep one about a mile or so long getting out of the Durango Valley then it was just rolling hills mostly all the way into NM and down to Albuquerque. We pulled into American RV Park on the southwest side of the city about 1600 and got setup in a nice full hookup 50 amp pull though site. After unhitching BAT we back him right up to the kingpin to get him out of the road and parked the car in the back. Dinner was leftover pizza from the night before in Durango and we split a can of cream of mushroom soup. 

Here’s a shot of our site 204 here at American RV. The sites are spaced pretty nicely and it’s open so we have good satellite visibility.

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This morning Connie worked until almost noontime…she got her assignment of students to affiliates approved and sent out the assignment letters for those who have completed all of their paperwork for the clinical rotation. Sure enough…within an hour she got a call from one of the students complaining about the location she was being sent to…Connie patiently explained to her that an hours commute to the site was within the guidelines and essentially said tough, you’re going there.

Once that was done we had a short chat with the folks directly behind us who are in a New Horizons Summit model; we met them at the rally in May and there have actually been 3 other New Horizons in and out of the park in the past couple of days…quite surprising to see that many in one location since there are only about 1,100 New Horizons total. We then headed off to Santa Fe to have lunch and tour around a bit. It’s about a 70 mile drive but pretty empty on the freeway on the way up. We arrived and parked and headed for our first stop…the Five and Dime store on the plaza for their famous Frito Pie.

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Frito Pie is a bag of Frito’s Corn Chips cut open with scissors then filled with home made NM chili and cheese. 4.75 and it was an outstanding lunch. We saw this on Anthony Bourdain’s show Parts Unknown. His comment on it was that it felt in his hand like a full colostomy bag…but that it was really delicious. Ya know…he’s right, it’s squishy in the bag but tasted really good. 

After lunch we wandered around for awhile so Connie could buy some bargoons and then wandered up to the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. This is the oldest cathedral in the US (construction started in the 1700s but the oldest part is the original church which dates from the early 1600s) and has the oldest Madonna statue in the New World…she arrived in 1625. The wooden beam ceiling is the only remnant of the original church…the cathedral nave was built around it in the 1700s…it’s a way old building.

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It was a really beautiful church…we talked to Jose (one of the docents) for a few minutes and he gave us a nice history of the Madonna seen above as well as the Cathedral and Santa Fe itself.

After our tour…we decided against staying in Santa Fe for dinner…we ate lunch late and were still full so we drove home, had a short nap, went down to the hot tub for awhile then got dressed and headed out to find something for dinner.

Connie found a place locally named “The Effing Bar and Grill” and we agreed that it seemed like our kinda place from the description and reviews so we went there. Had a couple pints of Guinness for Neil and Sam Adams Oktoberfest for Connie. We split a Combo basket appetizer of fried mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms, and fried zucchini sticks…had a nice conversation with a retired local couple we met at the bar, then headed home.

On the way back…we skipped the freeway and noticed that we were on Historic Route 66…


It’s sort of a lousy picture but Connie took it through the windshield with her iPhone. Route 66 is probably the most famous highway in America…it was the first cross country highway and back in the day was the main route from east to west…populated by motels, roadside cafes, and the like. It’s since been largely overcome by the Interstate Highway system and relegated to largely backwater status but it was nice to be on a piece of it and get a memorable (if somewhat blurry) photo.

Tomorrow we’re up early to break camp and hitch. Once that’s done we’ll get breakfast here at the park (there’s complimentary continental breakfast)…then we’re off 298 miles to Amarillo TX. We have one pass to get through just east of Albuquerque; about a 1500 foot total climb and then it’s a pretty easy drive over into western Texas. We’re really glad that we’ll be down below 3,500 feet tomorrow; Albuquerque is 5,200 and it’s lower than either Moab or Durango…we’re really looking forward to being at a lower altitude so that breathing is easier. We’ve also been in extremely dry conditions in Moab through Albuquerque so getting a little lower and farther east should give us a little more humidity in the air making us feel a little less like a piece of human jerky.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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2 Responses to Transit to and visit in Albuquerque and Santa Fe NM

  1. Mj Trainor says:

    What a beautiful basilica! Thanks for the great pix! BabySis

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