A Winter Scene in Summer: White Sands National Park

Time was running out to visit White Sands National Monument. The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo and nearby pistachio farms took up most of our day. In a few hours, it would soon be dark. When my wife and I were there in 2011, White Sands was a national monument. Only in... Continue Reading →

City of Rocks State Park (Faywood, NM)

Our final night of camping on this road trip was spent at City of Rocks State Park, north of Deming in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert, a unique, surreally beautiful area where every campsite is nestled among huge boulders. City of Rocks features a wide field of boulders created 35 million years ago when... Continue Reading →

Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM)

Neither of us has ever been to Carlsbad Caverns. We set aside three whole days to explore it since its remoteness in the southeast corner of New Mexico makes it unlikely we'd ever have an opportunity to return. This remoteness is the reason that, although its wonders are many, far fewer visitors show up than... Continue Reading →

New Mexican Pistachios

We were surprised to learn that New Mexico grows quite a lot of pistachios. One normally associates the nut with California. The state has the largest pistachio growing area in the country, though not by volume. The San Joaquin Valley of California enjoys that distinction. Arizona also grows it. Hot and dry conditions are required... Continue Reading →

Hatch (NM), Chile Capital of the World

As we neared Las Cruces, the Mesilla valley came into view. Here is where the famous Hatch chiles are grown. No journey along I-25 in this area would be complete without a stopover at the "chile capital of the world." The Hatch chiles are prized for their flavor and heat, a pronouncement that many New... Continue Reading →

Camping at Leasburg Dam State Park (Las Cruces, NM)

The wind and rain clouds were rolling in over Las Cruces as we arrived in the late afternoon. Though we'd already canceled camp sites on this trip because of weather, we decided to pitch camp anyway and hope for the best. After dinner, we headed straight to our next camping site at Leasburg Dam State Park,... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Mary and Tito’s (Albuquerque, NM)

After a day at the balloon fiesta, we were ready for dinner. Close to our hotel was the legendary Mary and Tito's, purveyor of what many foodies regard as one of the best places to have New Mexican food and a 2010 winner of the James Beard “America’s Classic” award. The accolades don't stop there as... Continue Reading →

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

It was fortuitous that the grandest balloon festival in the world would be staged while we were touring the Southwest, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I made sure that we would be in Albuquerque when it happened, which required my juggling our itinerary somewhat to accommodate the event. We always wanted to experience it, so... Continue Reading →

Bún at Saigon Restaurant (Albuquerque, NM)

For dinner, we headed over to Saigon Restaurant and ordered bún (☆☆½). It would have been a very good version if the noodles had been drained adequately after being removed from hot water. The result was a pool of water at the bottom of the bowl that diluted the nuoc cham that we like to pour over... Continue Reading →

Lunch at Bobcat Bite (Santa Fe, NM)

I was on a quest for the great green chile cheeseburger in New Mexico. Blake's Lotaburger is pretty good, even if it is a fast-food chain, but the patty was thin. 5 Star Burgers fell short, primarily because the beef was too lean and therefore pebbly in texture.  A great burger starts with ground beef... Continue Reading →

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