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Old 07-08-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
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AZ & NM trip

My good wife and I are planning a trip to Arizona and New Mexico in September. We are doing the GC, Sedona, Carlsbad, Santa Fe and Taos (she is an artist). We are looking for other places to explore and some recommendations for places to stay. We are not adverse to RV parks as we will probably need them to run the a/c that time of year. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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That sounds like a wonderful trip. We've traveled about AZ a fair amount, stayed in some nice spots, and admired its beauty and surprising variety. I've been plotting our 2013 AZ trip.

Rather than ramble on about suggestions all over the state, besides the GC, where in AZ were you thinking, i.e., staying north along I-40, or heading further south?

Can't help on NM from an RV perspective, though we've traveled and enjoyed it by car.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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My personal recommendation: the road less taken. Couple of random shots traveling through Lincoln, NM, San Antonio, NM, and into Holbrook, AZ. There are some fabulous places that don't exist on the beaten track. Early morning/late afternoon colors - OMG.

I think the Bosque del Apache wildlife area is particularly great in November when the birds flock there, but by itself a stop at the Owl Cafe (San Antonio) is worth the trip for one of their green chili cheeseburgers and fries.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Sorry, Brad, but you blew it. Forget the Owl. Go across the street to the Buckhorn for your next green chili cheeseburger!




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Old 07-08-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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How long do you have? You could spend all your time on a few of those places.

In Santa Fe we stay at Trailer Ranch. It is over 55, but I don't know if they are really strict about it. In Taos we have stayed at Taos Valley—seems to be the nicest place and certainly overpriced though. If you go to Angel Fire, Lynn (post above) and Maria have a nice campground, Monte Verde.

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eubank View Post
Sorry, Brad, but you blew it. Forget the Owl. Go across the street to the Buckhorn for your next green chili cheeseburger!




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I love a good reason to go back.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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We are staying in Williams and taking the GC railroad and then heading south to Sedona for 3 nights. After that, heading south to Carlsbad.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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We are taking 17 days but want to savor some special places such as Santa Fe/Taos, Sedona, Carlsbad area.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Just south of Carlsbad is Guadalupe NP. It is just a marked off parking lot with no hookups. The altitude should allow it to be cool enough at night. You can run generators during the day, not sure how late. Climb the highest point in Texas. Not an easy hike but very doable given enough time and an early start in Sept. The same ocean the formed the reef that is Guadalupe Mountain, also formed the Carlsbad Caverns.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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GC... Gilla Cliff dwellers?
A great spot on the way there, down by a river... boondocking though.
Plan to get there early, and stay for the day.

A few photos of our trip there and around NM...
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ico-37011.html
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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17 days doesn't give a lot of time to get more than the flavor of a place, but then you'll know where you want to come back to later.

Carlsbad's main cave is very crowded in the summer. You shuffle along amongst noisy kids and adults. There is really not much of a chance to contemplate the grandeur of the place. There are tours of other, mostly undeveloped caves. We did "New Cave", since renamed (don't remember new name), and that was more interesting because it was a small group and we had to use flashlights (bring one for each person). Check their website and see what is available and whether you can make reservations for one of the undeveloped caves.

If you like shopping at shoppes, Sedona is for you. Parking is difficult. The red rocks in the area are nice to look at and the drive north along the creek is pretty, but such sites are all over the southwest. Last time we were there, the little parks along the creek required a forest service fee and permit than you had to get in town, so hardly anyone used them. They do ticket people even though the parking areas are empty. There is a store with Navajo items that is well known in Sedona—Garland's. They have high quality items.

Most of the galleries in Santa Fe are either on or near the Plaza or Canyon Rd. I like River Trading Post on Canyon Rd. just because the people are nice and they have good stuff.

But when we have bought Navajo rugs, we go to other places were prices are lower and bargaining is the norm. Rug auctions are another source of bargains, sometimes. I know lots of people go to the southwest looking for a Navajo rug as a souvenir. There are lots of fakes. Navajos very, very rarely make rugs with tassels anywhere but the 4 corners. Thick black tassels at the corners (about 3/8-1/2" in dia.) are from India. We've been doing this for years and we can spot a fake from 20' away most of the time, but be careful. Sometimes we have a hard time telling too.

The old trading posts are disappearing. One just south of I-40 in Sanders, Ariz., is owned Bruce and Virginia Burnham: R.B. Burnham and Company - Serving the native people of the Southwest for five generations . This is the real thing and the Burnham's represent the best in trading post owners. A small grocery in the front and the jewelry and rugs in the back. Ask to enter the rug room.

There are a number of rubber tomahawk trading posts (Ortega's are a prime example). Stay away from those. Gallup has many of those, but Richardson's is another real gallery (not really a trading post) and has some excellent stuff. It is on old 66 as you go through the town south of the interstate. If you want really expensive stuff, they have a special rug room. We didn't buy anything there, but asked to see their best stuff and they appreciate it when you tell them how beautiful the rugs are—they were. As we said, we look for bargains, but that takes a lot of time and research.

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Old 07-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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AZ and NM Trip

You might enjoy Mesilla, New Mexico just outside of Las Cruces.

Lots of history and art there, plus great Mexican food!

Fascinating little town.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #13
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There are four KOA Kampgrounds in that area we like. The KOA in Flagstaff, AZ. Las Cruces, Las Vegas and Silver City in New Mexico.

http://KOA.Com
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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Sedona- Cave Springs campground in Oak Creek Canyon
Heading to Carlsbad via Tucson- Catalina SP or Gilbert CG in Saguaro Nat Mon. or via I-40 El Morro Nat Mon is a pretty neat stop.
Santa Fe- Black Canyon CG is nice but no hook-ups. If you need power, Santa Fe Skies is a handy spot close to town.
Taos- Orilla Verde Rec. area down in Pillar has some nice spots on the Rio Grande. Monte Vista is a RV park between Taos and the RG bridge.
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