Day 7 – Durango, Colorado to Las Vegas, New Mexico (288 miles)

by tailored on November 26, 2011

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Out of Durango in -4 C (25F) to Pagosa Springs on Highway 160 (the old Route 66), with snow on either side of the road.

With signs telling us we hitting 8,000 above sea level, we knew we were in for a fairly chilly day.

There were farms on either side of the road as we headed to Pagosa Springs which were covered in snow and all the lakes and dams at the farms were iced over.

We passed through the town passing heaps of holiday homes that would get a lot of use in the summer; they all looked like they were supposed to be on a ranch in the forest rather than in a town.

We went back to the lake and had some photos in front of it and the mountains. We noticed that a whole section of the huge lake had completely frozen over and the rest of the water looked close to freezing.

Pagosa Springs Colorado

Harry relaxes in Pagosa Springs, Colorado


McDonalds Great For WIFI & Warmth

After warming up in the local McDonalds – McDonalds are great for free WIFI, clean toilets and warming up in – we hit to road to Highway 84 for the Colorado – New Mexico border.

It was easy riding through the mountains with picture postcard scenery, easy roads and hardly any traffic.

More photos here at the border signs, with plenty of snow about,

At the New Mexico border with Colorado

Harry hits New Mexico

We then headed out of the town into New Mexico and followed a desert road at around 7,000 feet. We  reached a section of road which was a long, steep and winding that dropped us out of the mountains down to about 6,000 feet.

There was now no snow and it was purely flat desert with towns becoming further and further apart. We then went into the Carson National Forest which was had heaps of mountains surrounding the road and caused the road to weave in accordance to them.

Although we had dropped out of the mountains we were still freezing cold so we had a painful ride through Espanola and we arrived at Santa Fe at around 3:30pm and we began looking for somewhere warm to stop.

Java Sounds Like Lava, Lava Is Hot

We saw a place called Java Joe’s Coffee Shop used the logic that Java sounds like Lava, and Lava is hot which means that this coffee shop must be warm inside, which convinced us to go in.

Clever, huh?!

We walked over and headed in.

Coupe of Hot Chocolate and Muffins later and we were feeling better.  We used the heat to warm us up but, sure enough, we had to leave eventually.

Santa Fe is a beautiful city, with the city scape blending in beautifully with the surrounding landscape.  A pretty place I’d love to return to – has a very relaxed vibe.

Santa Fe downtown's cityscape

Santa Fe downtown's cityscape

Onto Las Vegas, New Mexico

It was along Highway 25, dual carriageway zipping along at 70 miles an hour.

The scenery was very nice with desert roads and mountains all around.

We got into Las Vegas, New Mexico late afternoon and took a look around.

The place seemed very run down, with abandoned buildings, wrecked cars and empty streets giving a sense of a dying town.

There’s not a lot to do in Las Vegas, other than try and avoid stray cats darting across the road, so after a good look riding around the town we sought out a motel.

Super 8 In Las Vegas, NM Is Sensational Value

The Super 8 motel in Las Vegas (read my Trip Advisor review here) is probably the best value motel I’ve ever stayed in, with the best service.

The perfectly clean rooms had every convenience and Shirley (the Manager) provided us with some free hot soup to warm our cold bones.

Our room was the same set out as all the other rooms except it had a colour coordination going. We then went downstairs and had the free hot soup that they had prepared for all the guests, I had the tomato and dad had the chicken which were both really nice.

Super 8 New Mexico

Our room at the Super 8 New Mexico

After a long day we headed to the restaurant next door and had a great steak, a few beers, then it was time to throw out some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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