HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » New Mexico (Group) » The New Mexico Plan

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 01:21 AM

The New Mexico Plan

My husband and I dreamed for years of selling our condo, buying a motorhome and traveling throughout the US. We love the southwest, and particularly the four corners area, and visited that area several times over the past few years. In October, we sold our condo and traveled to Texas to buy our motorhome and started living our dream. We spent the winter in Texas and finally made it to southeast New Mexico two days ago. Yay!

When we were planning all of this, we came up with something we called "the New Mexico plan." We prefer state parks to private parks due to the big, private spaces in a natural setting compared to the "parking lot" feel of most private parks. State parks are usually more expensive though because you don't get breaks on weekly or monthly stays. New Mexico, however, has the best deal in the country for state parks. If you buy an annual pass, for around $230.00, you can stay in an electric and water site for just 4 dollars a night. We love New Mexico anyway so our plan is to spend several months a year here saving money for more extensive travel during the other months. We're so excited to finally be here.

I know I'm kind of rambling but I just wanted to say hi to the New Mexico group and, hopefully get some travel tips. I'll probably have tons of questions, too, about roads and routes and sights to see. We're in Hobbs now and will probably leave Thursday for either Roswell or Carlsbad or maybe Artesia. We don't usually travel more than about a hundred miles at a time and try to spend at least a week at each stop. I started a thread like this in the Texas group a few weeks ago and got some amazing tips so I thought I'd try that again here. This is more of a lifestyle than a vacation so we don't always hit the hot tourist spots. Not opposed to them though, so I'm open to any suggestions. We've been here several times before but mostly along I-40 and points north of I-40. We've never been to the southern parts so this is all new to us. We're going to be practically living here over the next few years so we don't have to hit everything at once.

So anyway... hi! I can't wait to see more of your beautiful state. If it's okay, I'll update this thread as we move to different areas. For now, I'm mostly wondering about the southeast corner around Hobbs, Carlsbad, Roswell, etc. Thanks in advance! Sorry this was so long. I'm ridiculously excited to finally be here.

15 replies, 3227 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply The New Mexico Plan (Original post)
pamela Apr 2013 OP
Warpy Apr 2013 #1
pamela Apr 2013 #3
Warpy Apr 2013 #5
Voice for Peace Apr 2013 #2
pamela Apr 2013 #4
SheilaT Apr 2013 #6
pamela Apr 2013 #7
SheilaT Apr 2013 #8
pamela Apr 2013 #9
womanofthehills Apr 2013 #10
pamela Apr 2013 #11
pamela May 2013 #12
pamela May 2013 #13
pamela May 2013 #14
pamela Jun 2013 #15

Response to pamela (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 02:38 AM

1. Welcome. I moved out here from Boston a little over 20 years ago

and I'm completely spoiled by the climate and lack of nasty bugs at sundown and sunrise.

I would advise you to head in a more northerly direction with an aim toward acclimating to higher altitudes slowly so that by this time next month, when your RV turns into an oven every day, you'll be used to the altitude enough to stay high enough up to be able to go into it during the day, even though you won't much want to stay there.

It might be a dry heat, but it's still HOT.

If you start to get nosebleeds once you're on the dry side of the mountains, that's normal and they eventually do go away. You'll eventually get used to eating green chile in everything, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 03:02 AM

3. Thanks for the welcome!

I love green chile in everything.

I think we are going to head north soon. I wasn't sure if it was too early. It's already much colder here than it was in Texas but I think we're just hitting a weird weather pattern this week. We mostly use the weather as our travel guide. I thought about trying to head over towards Deming for a little bit this Spring but I think we'll wait until we come back this Fall. It sounds like it will be too warm soon plus I can't see a good route over that way without taking the motorhome through mountains and we're not ready for that. (Not because of the altitude but because of driving the motorhome.)

I appreciate that advice. That's exactly the kind of thing we need to know. I plug a bunch of towns into my weather ap and try to make decisions from that but it really helps to hear from people who have lived here for a while. We definitely try to avoid extreme temps. We have heat and A/C but it's only effective up to a point.

Are there any weather dangers I need to be watching for? Any areas prone to tornadoes or wildfires, for example? We need to head back to Maryland sometime soon to get our stuff out of storage and plan to wait to cross the country until after tornado season has passed but it dawned on me that I never really checked to see if I needed to worry about that here, too.

I usually do okay in high altitudes, in fact, I kind of feel even better there for some reason but it hits my husband hard. That's good advice about acclimating ourselves to it. Thanks again!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 03:12 AM

5. Wooded areas are always prone to wildfires

but now through June is the major fire season. There is plenty of warning for most of them if you need to decamp to a safer location. The whole state is classified as being at moderate earthquake risk but the only one I've felt since I've been here was no worse than the ones I felt back east. The earliest snow here in the big city was September 20 and the latest was May 5, so weird weather is fairly common. It just doesn't last. It blows out and turns into tornadoes farther east.

November is when travel on the interstates through the high passes can get a little chancy if a storm blows in.

Just watch how you're reacting to the altitude. It takes a while to manufacture all the extra red blood cells it takes to live up here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 02:57 AM

2. great lifestyle! I'm jealous


I'm in Albuquerque but haven't been here a long time
and don't know much of NM.. but I'll follow the thread,
have a great time. The weather is getting so nice as
long as you don't blow away (or start any fires)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 10, 2013, 03:11 AM

4. Yeah, this wind is crazy!

We left Texas Monday early to try to get here and off the roads before it hit and just made it. I swear, the wind kicked in just as we were parking. Whew! It's been crazy windy today. We really feel it in the motorhome.

I love Albuquerque. We usually try to avoid cities bit we make an exception for ABQ. I don't know if we'll be there sometime this Spring but we are definitely going to be there sometime this Fall. We want to go to the balloon fiesta. You probably hate that, being a local, but we were there briefly for it a few years ago and always wanted to come back when we could stay longer.

I promise not to start any fires. We're super careful about stuff like that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2013, 04:33 PM

6. How cool!


I'm not one for living in a motorhome myself, but I have always thought that it's a great thing for many others.

How wonderful to hear that this state gives you a bargain on staying here.

Warpy's warnings about the altitude are very important. At the risk of too much information, the nosebleeds may not completely go away. I've been in Santa Fe five years now, and every single time I blow my nose there's a bit of blood. I'm used to it by now.

We are being warned all over the state that this year may be an exceptionally bad fire season because of continuing drought. The Santa Fe New Mexican paper has been writing articles about the very real danger here. I happen to live on the south side of the city which is far less likely to experience a wildfire because of local topography and relative lack of trees.

I moved here from Overland Park, Kansas, and I am very, very happy I did so. I am also capable of complaining about various aspects of life here, but I love the climate. Living at altitude -- we're about 7,000 feet here -- suits me. I've had no problems making friends, and even though I was already 60 when I moved here, I've had not trouble finding jobs.

Like every single other state in this wonderful country of ours, we have lots of wonderful places to see and explore. Museums, art galleries, theater, sports. We don't have any major league teams in this state, which I personally think is a positive, we have some minor league teams, and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and New Mexico State in Las Cruces have very loyal fans of their various sports.

Oh. While you're in the southern part of the state consider going to the VLA, the Very Large Array of radio telescopes about 60 miles west of Socorro. I was there a couple of weeks ago when my son was visiting. I've been there several times before, and it's always worth seeing.

Have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to SheilaT (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 15, 2013, 10:52 PM

7. Thanks for all the great tips, Sheila!

You're so lucky to live in Santa Fe. We've visited New Mexico several times over the past few years in preparation for this lifestyle and always ended up in Santa Fe. It's one of my favorite places. There is a really nice state park in Las Vegas so we'll probably be staying there a lot in the next few years.

You all are starting to worry me about the nosebleeds. I'm prone to them anyway, to the point of having to take blood thickeners when I was younger. It's good to know to expect them though or it might have scared me when I started getting them again.

We definitely want to check out the Very Large Array. We plan to spend more time in that side of the state when we return this Fall, so we might wait until then.

We're in Artesia now. I think we're headed towards the state park near Carlsbad next and then the one near Roswell after that. I'm excited to see Roswell. I hear it's kind of quirky and fun.

Speaking of quirky, have you ever been to Tinkertown? That's not too far from Santa Fe. I loved that place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 15, 2013, 10:59 PM

8. The "nosebleeds" really aren't what you think.


There's just a small amount of blood on the tissue, not an actually blood is running down my face kind of bleed.

I have never heard of Tinkertown. Sometimes I'm embarrassed by my own ignorance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2013, 05:51 PM

9. Bottomless Lakes State Park

We've been at Bottomless Lakes for about a week and we love it here. New Mexico has beautiful state parks and, as I mentioned in the o.p., it is unbelievably cheap to stay here. It's amazing to me that one of the prettiest campsites I have ever been in is only costing us four bucks a night. (Well, actually more because we paid for the annual park pass but it still averages out to be really cheap.) Thank you, New Mexico!

I have some pictures from the park on my blog if anyone wants to check it out. http://postcardsfrompamandlarry.blogspot.com/. We're near Roswell so I should have some UFO related pictures up soon. We did a couple of short hikes today around the other lakes and I'll be doing a blog post about that soon, too.

We're heading north from here, probably to Sumner Lake or Santa Rosa, so keep the travel tips coming if you have them. I really appreciate the ones we've gotten so far. It really helps to have input from people who live here. Drop me a note and come by for a cookout if you're in the area!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:40 AM

10. I live in Abo, near Mountainair

Off of Route 60 - The Salinas Pueblo Missions are neat to visit - Abo, Quari and Grand Quivera. They are all near Mountainair. There is a state park in Manzano (Manzano Mountains state park) , near Quari, but I don't know if it's open this yr. because of fire danger.

Also, I love to soak in the hot springs at Truth or Consequences in the south and Ojo Calliente near Espanola.

I knew Ross Ward who made Tinkertown. I have an etching that Ross did in the 70's - a naked women on an iron bed in the desert. I also know his widow Carla Ward who runs Tinkertown. I love the sign Ross posted as you enter Tinkertown, "I made all this while you were watching tv."

Have you been to Madrid, NM? (old mining/hippie town) It's on the "Turquoise Trail" not far from Tinkertown.

There are so many wonderful places in NM.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to womanofthehills (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 11:21 AM

11. Thanks for the great tips!

We'll definitely check out those pueblos. We went to the Acoma Pueblo a few years ago and really loved it.

We've been to Madrid but plan to return. The Turquoise Trail is one of my favorite places. We've often said that if we ever come off the road, that area tops the list for possible places to live.

That is so cool that you knew Ross Ward. Places like Tinkertown are my absolute favorite places to visit. I love it when people take ordinary stuff and turn it into something extraordinary. That sign you mentioned was my favorite thing about the place. It's such a simple message but so incredibly powerful. I think I would have really liked Ross Ward.

Thanks again for your comment and the tips. I really appreciate it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 04:57 PM

12. Roswell UFO Museum

We went to the UFO museum in Roswell. Lots of fun and very interesting. Here is my blog post about it if anyone is interested...


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Wed May 8, 2013, 05:37 PM

13. Fort Sumner

We left Roswell Monday and headed north to Fort Sumner. There is another beautiful New Mexico state park here on Sumner Lake. We'll probably head to Santa Rosa next and then there are 3 or four state parks in that vicinity.

The "New Mexico plan" is working out great. I hope no one minds me updating this thread so much. I just want to let people know when we're headed to a new area in case anyone has any travel suggestions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 09:28 PM

14. Bosque Redondo

We visited the Bosque Redondo Memorial when we were in Fort Sumner. It was very moving and I highly recommend a visit if you're ever in that area. I wrote about it a bit in my blog if anyone is interested. http://postcardsfrompamandlarry.blogspot.com/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to pamela (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 10:07 PM

15. Just wanted to update this thread.

We spent two weeks in Las Vegas at Storrie Lake. I like that area. We drove up to Mora one day and went to the raspberry ranch and the alpaca ranch. The raspberries weren't in season so we plan to return there this fall. The alpacas had just been sheared and they were so cute. I would recommend a trip to Mora if you've never been there.

We're in Tijeras now. We're only going to be here about a week and I don't know how much sightseeing we're going to do this trip. We're going to Tinkertown for sure and probably just spend some time exploring the turquoise trail. The rest of the time is just catching up on some errands plus, I think I need to find a dentist. I have an irrational fear of dentists but I broke a tooth and don't think I'm going to be able to avoid it. A lady where we're staying gave me a name and number but if anyone has a favorite dentist around Tijeras/Albuquerque, let me know.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread