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Old 12-08-2009, 05:23 PM   #1
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Durango to Austin best stops?

We will be traveling from Durango CO to Austin Tx as soon as we can dig out the AS! Gosh I hope she is cold blooded cause she had 4 feet!!of snow on top of her this morning. We are hoping to hit the road this weekend and I was thinking we would go thru Carlsbad. Its about half way and thought it would be fun for the kids. I was thinking we should head south than east to avoid the wintery mix? I like to see the world when traveling. Any suggestions? We have a 2 6 and 10 year old but they go everywhere and do everything.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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Humm. Obviously, you don't want to attempt this trip until there's no storm hitting you.

As far as route is concerned, I think I'd go down 550 to Albuquerque, then out I40 to Santa Rosa. Then turn south to go through Ft. Sumner, then over to Clovis and down to Lubbock.

From Lubbock, you can pretty much see the routes down towards the Austin area. I'd suggest that you head into Austin proper on Highway 71, a pretty reasonable place to enter down, though it depends in part on just where you need to be within Austin.


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Old 12-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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Due to the current weather, (seams like you are trying to mis) I would travel to Farmington...(491) to Gallup... (I-40) to Albuquerque, Turn south on (I-25). Head east on (380) to Roswell... (285) to (I-10). Take (I-10) east to (290) east to Austin.

This will miss all mountain passes! Keep you south of cold weather, and will get you in to warm weather fastest!

Just watch out in Roswell... the "other people" may want to steal your ride... and leave mother earth...lol
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:25 PM   #4
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Pagosa Springs through Chama to Santa Fe is a beautiful drive, highly recommended. It's a slower route then heading directly east to I-25 and then south. It's also pretty remote in areas but that's what makes it so beautiful IMO. If the roads are questionable then this might not be the best route.

I think you are right on with the desire to head down to southern New Mexico and then cross over to Austin. You might be able to take in some local flavor down closer to the border (just don't dip into any areas that are too sketchy) and then cross over into Texas and take a peak at Big Bend National Park.



Marfa and Terlingua will give you a fun funky Texas feel more reminiscent of Santa Fe 30-40 years ago. San Antonio is worth a stop, they have some neat attractions including the historical stuff like the Alamo, touristy stuff like River Walk and even a Sea World.

Enjoy Austin, it's great!
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
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Wow all these directions.... I have a place in Durango and am from Austin and the best/quickest is as Lynn describes - if you go through Carlsbad, I supposed you could hit 10 or come back up to Roswell and go east from there...

From Lubbock the fastest is down through Sweetwater - take hwy 153 around and you will miss Abliene.

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Old 12-08-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies. I would like to add at least on night stop and one day adventure. I dont like to get to where I'm going, I like to get to lots of places on the way(thats why I bought my AS!)! My poor old man! But he has learned and is usually a really good sport. That's why I thought Carlsbad would be a good stop. It is almost exactly half way and the kids will love it. I think the Pagosa Santa Fe way may be a little tricky this week. We just got 4 feet of snow last night on purgatory! Any other MUST SEEs?
PS my husband usually goes Alb - clovis to TX but I wanted to by pass Lubbock(no offense Y'all) Was looking for a trip with a great memory? We have had a hell of a couple of months!!!
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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I would calculate my trip around getting to the Owl Cafe in San Antonio, NM for either lunch or dinner - unbelievable green chili cheeseburgers and fries. It is right on Rt 380/I-25, and then keep heading east on 380 - very pretty.

You'll look at the place and wonder about bringing your kids in - heck, I wasn't sure about going in myself, but the place is awesome.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob View Post
I would calculate my trip around getting to the Owl Cafe in San Antonio, NM for either lunch or dinner - unbelievable green chili cheeseburgers and fries. It is right on Rt 380/I-25, and then keep heading east on 380 - very pretty.

You'll look at the place and wonder about bringing your kids in - heck, I wasn't sure about going in myself, but the place is awesome.
Actually, the Buckhorn cafe in San Antonio (NM) makes the good ones. The cook there is the one who beat Bobby Flay with his green chili cheeseburgers.


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Old 12-08-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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Durango to Austin

Last August we left Durango went through Albuquerque to Roswell and on to Carlsbad, spent the night at a state park near there, went through the caverns next day and through Guadalupe Mountains State Park (54) to Van Horn is a great drive. Here you hit I10 and go to San Antonio and over to Austin. We wanted to stick with the mountains as long as we could.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:25 PM   #10
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OK, so I am adding the Buckhorn Cafe to my list of places to visit! Cool!!

And yes, Andy R suggested Big Bend. Big Bend is stunning - the least visited NP in the US! And it is just gorgeous, albeit remote. Don't feed the Havalena's...
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #11
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We made that trip several times this summer, love the lake haviland campground north of Duango. On our way up from Austin we camped in Fort Davis State Park outside of Fort Davis Texas and took a tour of the McDonald Observatory. Carlsbad was a trip several years ago before the AS. It has some nice tent sites do not know about trailer sites. Another place I like to stay is a little RV park (not the koa) in Santa Rosa. It is behind one of those old Route 66 cafes. It makes for a quick stop and go. You can set up the trailer full hookup and walk to the resturant for dinner and breakfest. We have stayed here twice. Both times we were making long driving days. Maybe if you dig out soon enough you could make it to Blanco. There is going to be a small AS get-together this weekend. Hoping to make it ourselfs but Blanco is just such a long way from Austin (:
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:14 PM   #12
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Durango to Austin

Blanco is like in your back yard man. I'm going there from Houston.
We stayed at Lake Haviland in August, loved it. The trip through Davis mountains is remote and pretty nice way back. Carlsbad doesn't have any overnight camping, thought that was strange.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:23 PM   #13
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We traveled from Austin to Silverton and back for many years, before we finally retired to Silverton...for cold weather driving, your safest route from Durango in wintertime would be 550 to IH 25(Bernalillo), then south on 25 to less snowy/icy climes...you can cut over to Carlsbad(don't remember the hwy #s)...South from Carlbad to catch IH 10, and east on 10...there are several offerings accessible off 10...the wind generator 'farms' are near Ft Stockton, and visible from the highway...quite a view...we cut over towards Austin on 290...The northern route will expose you to potentially hazardous driving conditions in the winter(IH 40 is often closed, especially when the semis start sliding off the road)...worth the effort in the summer, though...mike
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:28 PM   #14
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Day 1: About 4pm Leave Durango after stopping by the Steaming Bean for coffee and take 160 to Pagosa Springs. Stop in Pagosa Springs and pick up 3 growlers of Pagosa Brewing Companies Wasail. It's amazing. Put them in the fridge which will already be cold and ready. Eat dinner in the trailer by the springs as you watch the sun go down then get back in the car and go south on 84 to Taos NM. When you get to Taos head to the Ski Valley where you can pull in and enjoy free RV parking where you will boondock for the night. When you get there pour a hot toddy and put the kids to sleep. Step outside of the trailer and look at the stars. Depending on when you are there there may be an amazing fireworks display to watch.

Day2: Ski, put the kids in the cheapest/best ski school I know of and enjoy a day of skiing. When you're done load up and drive towards Sante Fe, then on to Clines Corner. Depending on when you leave, or how tolerant that 2 year old is of being in the car you should be able to make it all the way to Roswell or Carlsbad for the night before pulling over.

Day3: Visit the Carlsbad caverns. Depending on how long that takes you, you can either camp another night there or head south to Fort Davis, TX. Try to make it there by 7:30 for the Star Party.
McDonald Observatory
Camp in the South Facilities of Davis Mountains State Park.

Day4: Cruise through Marfa, stop at the bookstore downtown for coffee and to browse before getting in the car for a hard day of driving. Roll through Alpine and then hook a left back up to I10. Take I10 to 290 and try to make it to Fredricksburg in time for a good Mexican food dinner at Bejas Grill and Cantina. There are several places to put the camper outside of town that are easy to find.

Day5: Breakfast in the trailer then head to LBJ's ranch for a guided tour. After it's over drive straight in to Austin on 290. Make reservations to stay at Pecan Grove now and enjoy Austin for as long as you like.

Return: Although I've done the drive in 1 day non stop to Durango now that I have a kid 2 days would be the way to go. Take I35 to Fort Worth to 287 to Amarillo then take I40 to Albuquerque and make your way home. If I lived in Durango I would stop at Steamworks to relive the trip over a nice cold one.
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