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 > US 54 in New Mexico

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Dennis M M

Winter in Tucson, AZ; summer on the road

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Posted: 09/19/09 08:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Would US 54 to US 70 in New Mexico be a good route from Santa Rosa to Las Cruces? Looks like a good way to avoid Albuquerque.

Thanks.


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dbbls

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Posted: 09/19/09 08:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I remember right, there is not much of a shoulder most of the way. I went that way once but decided I would not do it again.


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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 09/19/09 09:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We often us this route to get up north. Mainly it is a very good HWY, some parts are excellent, others not as good. They have been improving them for some years now. In some areas there is not much of a shoulder, but I don't believe it is most of the way. It is closer in miles as well as missing Alb'que. Time wise, not sure, maybe faster on the Interstates. Much nicer landscapes IMHO.

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Roadpilot

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Posted: 09/20/09 05:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took it three years ago and they were working on it. At that time it was very narrow and the shoulder area was about 8" lower then the road. If we had dropped a tire over the side we would have rolled. Maybe it's better now, but last year we stayed on the interstates.


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jrs1871

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Posted: 09/20/09 06:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took that road this summer and for the most part it wasn't bad. As previously noted, they are working on it so several miles have been widened. That stretch that wasn't widened wasn't particularly bad. There was very little traffic however so we didn't mind the drive.

AGBAT

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Posted: 09/20/09 07:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is about 100 miles shorter and takes less time, unless you drive your RV at freeway speeds (75 in NM) then it takes the same amount of time. The stretch from Corona to Carrizozo has narrow shoulders but plenty of wide spots. Most of the road has normal shoulders. You can use google maps to see pictures of the road.

Dennis M M

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Posted: 09/20/09 11:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks guys, think we will give it a try when we come through NM on the way to Tucson for our first winter of snow birding.

We only run between 62 and 65 on the interstates anyway and we prefer the US routes when we can, more interesting and you never know what interesting things you will come across!

DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 09/20/09 01:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dennis, I checked your Profile, very nice rig you have. I'd like to see you unload or load your Smart car for sure. Quite a few 18 wheeler rigs use the short cut, I have not seen any lying along the route on there sides. Ha! The speed limit is about what you drive on the interstates at best for most of the way. Maybe 70 in some areas. You may over take or see some caravans of Mexican nations bring cars from places in the US to Mexico on the route. Each towing another vechile. They seem to like the route as well. See them on I-10 at times as well. I call them 'Mexican Trains'.

In case you need a place to over-night along the route:
Valley of Fires Recreation Area & BLM Campground. I believe I like it better than Oliver Lee State Park. It has been revamped recently, it seemed when we stopped there last year. Very neat area with the Lava Field, nice sites, new shower building. AAA had it under rated in last years Camping Guide. Fires
Camping
Both of these would have a site your rig can fit into.

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is between Alamo & Valley of Fires. Petroglyphs

Space Museum
White Sands

My daughter lives in Tucson. A very neat area. Neat city, easy to get around in.

Chiricahua National Monument by Willcox is great, been there will go back. Chiricahua

Close by Chiricahua Nat'l Mon there is the neat ruins of a fort, some hiking to get to it. Fort Bowie National Historic Site is worth the 3 mile round-trip walk for the best experience of Fort Bowie National Historic Site. If you physically can not walk the trail, please contact the visitor center staff at 520-847-2500 for directions to the alternate access. Fort

In the Bisbee Area: The town itself is neat to walk around in and we enjoyed the art galleries. The Queen Mine Tour was neat, we enjoyed it. Tombstone is very tourist trap site, if you get my meaning. The old Court House was interesting. Site of a lot of wild west history, but very commercial. Queen

Near Wilcox is The Amerind Foundation Texas Canyon a ethnological, anthropological, archaeological museum and art gallery with paintings by 20th century Anglo and Native American artists. We enjoyed the art gallery and the museum. A neat out of the way, hidden site in the boulders of Texas Canyon. The Amerind is located in Cochise County, one mile south of Interstate 10, only about an hour east of Tucson, between Benson and Willcox. It is easy to find - just look for Dragoon Road exit, #318, and head south until you see mile marker 1 on one side of the road and the Amerind entrance on the other. http://www.amerind.org/
Cochise Strong Hold is in the same area. Stronghold

In the Tucson area: Saguaro National Park near Tucson is great to see. Two sections seperated by Tucson. East and West.
Saguaro

The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum is really great (a zoo mainly without bars) is over on the west side of Tucson by the Saguaro Nat'l Park and Old Tucson (the movie set/theme park). The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum is a must see for sure. Zoo
Old Tucson

Good luck in your travels.

* This post was last edited 09/20/09 02:18pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history

Am Eagle 01

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Posted: 09/20/09 03:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We travel from Iowa to Yuma every year. I assume you are travelling on I-40 west. Look at going south on I-27 @ Amarillo to US 60 at Canyon. This takes you thru Herfored Tx to Clovis NM. Then take US 70 thru Portales NM.to Las Cruces. This takes you thru Roswell Ruidoso, Alamogordo and others. It is very well mark and getting thru these towns is plum easy. Very good senic road and about 90% 4 lane. One word of caution, at the Valley of the Gods Casino watch the grade going south. Not steep but a long gradual downhill drive. Found this route saves miles and time. I was over 54 once before we found this route and I would not take 54 again.

Dennis M M

Winter in Tucson, AZ; summer on the road

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Posted: 09/20/09 04:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Hawk: Thanks for all the great tips, several there that we had not tracked down yet that definitely look interesting. we will check them all out!

Loading and unloading the smart is not too dramatic, have a pair of ramps and a winch that does all the work. I have driven it off, but that can be a bit exciting!

Am Eagle: Thanks, that looks like another interesting option, I'll have to ponder that one.

Dennis

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