Not sure of your travels in NM, but I have skied in Taos several times, and always enjoyed the drive across the panhandles of TX and OK on US 412. Clayton is the portal at the NM line.
We are about 4 hours from Hot Springs. We go there a few times every year. October is a great time. Warm days and cool nights. Probably not much leaf color this year though, it has been too dry. There are several state parks along the way that are great.
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH