12 February, 2009

Seven League Boots

Road Trip!


Driving the Blue Highways:
Bernardo to Galisteo,
New Mexico


We drove into Socorro near sunset in blustery, unsettled weather. It had been a long day's drive from Green Valley, AZ following Interstate 10 east across to the Hatch turnoff, then north on Interstate 25.

Interstate -25 runs through central and southern New Mexico following the line of the Rio Grande from just south of Santa Fe all the way to the border in El Paso Texas.

Most of the drive is delightful, filled with pastoral scenery or stunning mountain vistas. However, the section of freeway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe can be painfully slow during rush hour. We realized when we packed up the next morning that we would enter Alburquerque at the height of the morning rushhour...No thanks:

A quick look at the Road Atlas gave us an alternate route on two lane highways, bypassing the metroplex that has become Santa Re/ Albuquerque. We exited I-25 at Bernardo and headed east on U.S. 60. Just as we crossed the Rio Grande, a huge flock of blackbirds poured across the sky in the sunrise:

Highway 60 from the river to the foothills is one of those infamous "gunbarrel" straight two lanes that run across so much of the desert Southwest. The photograph in the blog title was taken looking back westward towards I-25 about 12 miles from the turn off. The mountain massif in the back ground is Ladron Peak (9,176ft), one of the many oddball geological singularity uplifts that dot southern New Mexico and Arizona. Looking north we saw the tail end of Los Pinos Moutain range. The highway would take us through the foothill to the eastern edge, through Mountainair and the turnoff north onto State Highway 41:

To the south we watched as the sun washed across the the aptly named White Face Mountains. Scattered herds of white face Herefords and Angus cattle grazed in the bitter cold morning:

Sometime near mid-morning, we crossed Interstate 40 at Moriarty and said a quick hello to the infamous old Route 66. The next stop was to stretch our legs and take a couple of pics in the quintessential little town of Galisteo. Its one claim to fame is its long row of garish, brilliantly painted mail boxes all lined up across the street from the Catholic church:

From Galisteo, it is a short drive north to Lamy, where the two lane meets up with Interstate 25 just outside of Santa Fe. I wish that we would have had more time to explore the two lane roads all the way back to Denver.

"Caleb" is a comfortable and dependable road car, easy to drive and easy on fuel:


  1. Beautiful pix and dialogue. Thanks for sharing Sven. Your writings actually do the scenery justic. I LOVE the mailboxes. Stuff like that always interests me and makes me smile. Life is meant to be fun!

  2. DW,
    Thanks! Northern New Mexico is magical......and,sadly, chock full of liberal,wingnut'moonbat'mooks!

  3. The pics are beautiful!
    Something about the sunrise.....
    BTW, Sven... the darn 'bats are everywhere!

  4. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Next time you're in the neighborhood, wave and say Hi. If you have time we could have a chat over coffee or a meal.


  5. mech,
    Might be April or May, after Easter.

    bohica and I still need to get wet some fly lines.