Thankfully, the weather was warmer in New Mexico, although we discovered that the temperature dropped quite a bit at night. We picked up some brochures at the Visitors Center in eastern New Mexico, and one was a brochure on state parks. Camping fees in New Mexico state parks are only $14 a night for an electric site and this included the daily park fee. We stayed at Storrie Lake State park near Las Vegas, New Mexico for several nights. We had thought there was only one Las Vegas; the city in Nevada, and were surprised to find another with the same name.
Las Vegas is a very old city; most of the buildings there are on the Historic Register, many are hundreds of years old. We toured two sections of the city, Old Town and West Las Vegas. Many different styles of architecture, plazas, Mexican bakeries, and lots of restaurants. One of Joan’s favorite buildings was in West Las Vegas, the Plaza Hotel, which had undergone a complete restoration. The desk clerk graciously showed us some of the public areas, and gave us information on the building, it’s history, and a story about a ghost who haunted his favorite rooms.
Our next stop was Santa Fe. This turned out to be our favorite place in New Mexico. We stayed at Hyde Memorial State Park northeast of Santa Fe, in the mountains. The campground was at approximately 6000 feet, and the 8 electrical sites were on a hillside, but the pads were fairly level. The couple next to us were from Texas, and planned to relocate to the area; next to them was a couple on vacation from British Columbia, and a little further down the road was a very young couple from South Carolina-they were renting out their home and traveling in their motorhome for a “year or two” to see the country. We shared a campfire with all three of these couples for several nights. During the daytime, we toured Old Santa Fe, stopped at the Loretto Chapel with the circular staircase and to the Basilica of St. Francis. We went to several different districts, stopped in at a few interesting looking shops, and ate fantastic Mexican and American food. Did lots of walking, went on a couple of scenic rides in the area, and saw some great views on the top of the mountain where our campground was located. By our third night there, it was getting down into the 20’s at night, and snow was forecast for the area, 3-6 inches. We decided to head west.
We spent 6 nights in Albuquerque; staying at Leisure Mountain campground on the east side of the city for 3 nights; went on the Turquoise Trail, rode up to the top of the Sandia Crest (about 10,100 feet) for a magnificent view of New Mexico, spent a very interesting day in Madrid, New Mexico (one of the towns on the Turquoise trail) where parts of the movie “Wild Hogs” were filmed. We relocated to a campground on the west side of Albuquerque, right on Route 66, called the Enchanted Trails. It was a very nostalgic campground, and the office was in a building that had been a trading post in the 1940’s-it was adobe, and decorated inside with many vintage furnishings. There were several vintage travel trailers that could be rented on weekends, and we took a peek inside a couple. They were furnished with items from the 50’s and 60’s right down to linens and kitchenware. This campground was close to several places we visited over the next 3 days-Old Town, Downtown, and Nob Hill. We also went to the Route 66 casino, and Dave won a little money. Joan broke even, so we considered ourselves lucky. The weather was again getting a little cooler than we liked, so we headed for Arizona on October 20th.