Things To Do On A Solo Road Trip To New Mexico.

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Left Lane

Just a Guy and his truck (Red Truck – photo top left, my dependable 2004 Mazda B4000 4×4). Photo took during my Solo 5100 mile Road Trip out West. As I entered into New Mexico

During the Christmas, and New Years Holidays. I decided to take a Cross Country Solo Road Trip. Stopping in many major U.S. Cities along the way. Namely doing whatever activity I wanted along the way. One of the more interesting activities happened during my 1 night stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read on to check out my guide to Road Tripping in New Mexico.

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Where To Stay

Starting the morning off in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Where I had spent the previous night. I stayed at the recently built Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oklahoma City Airport hotel.

Photo of the nice corner view King Room at the Oklahoma City, Holiday Inn Express. The rooms are spacious, clean, well furnished, and have a good selection of electrical wall outlets to power your cellular devices, and other electronics
The rooms here also have a good selection of your daily use home appliances. Some of these appliances include a Mini-Fridge, Microwave, and most importantly a Keurig Coffee and Tea Maker

Pancakes Anyone?

Another perk of staying at the Holiday Inn Express is the free breakfast included with your stay. Meaning that’s one less meal You have to find during your travels throughout the day.

This Holiday Inn Express has a pretty good breakfast to get your day started off right. Including sausage patties, sausage links, scrambled eggs, biscuits, pancakes, and most importantly Coffee! They also have an assortment of fruit, pastries, and cereals
This particular chain of hotels included something that was new to me. Even with all the countless different hotels I’ve stayed in over the years. Although it was my first encounter during my solo road trip out West with a Pancake making machine.

It most certainly was not my last encounter with one. As a few other hotels I stayed at during my trip also had these automatic pancake making devices. Just press the button, place your plate at the end, and in about 1 minute flat you have 2 fluffy, freshly made pancakes on your plate

Solo On The Highway

When I hit the road, I had about an 8 hour drive ahead of me. Once I left Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, until I made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s around a 550 mile Road Trip.

Since I was driving on the Famous U.S. Route 66, I had to stop and check out the Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma. Just to get my selfie with one of the largest Route 66 sign on the route! Plus I needed at least one more selfie with my Pickup Truck 😂

After my quick detour, I kept on trucking until I made the Texas state line.

Photo of the Welcome to Texas sign as I enter Texas, from Oklahoma on Interstate 40, and Route 66 West

My first stop in the state of Texas was at a rest area in the city of Pampa. This is the Gray County Safety Rest Area. Powered by modern Green Energy, via a Wind Turbine. Gray County rest area offers up some amazing views of the surrounding rock outcroppings, and grasslands.

No matter how beautiful the landscape around might have been. It was pretty easy to fight off the Temptation to climb the Mound over the Rest Area for a better view. No view was worth finding out rather “Everything really is bigger in Texas”. Especially the Rattlesnakes 🐍 as the warning sign listed!

Next Stop New Mexico!

A Gas stop, or two later. Just as I reached the 1000 miles from home mark of my Solo Road Trip. I pulled across the State Line into Bard New Mexico.

Selfie with the “Welcome to New Mexico, Land of Enchantment” state line sign on I-40 W
I was on the lookout the whole time I was in New Mexico, hoping to catch a glimpse of their State Bird. As depicted on the “Thank You” sign. The Greater Roadrunner (or Geococcyx Californianus), unfortunately I didn’t get to see one during this trip… That just means I have a reason to return now 😜

Battle Scars

Also my vehicle didn’t make the whole 1000 miles from home mark unscathed. My trusty Red Pickup named “Cheyenne” as I call her. Took a little battle damage.

Photo as I refuel at a gas station in Santa Rosa, New Mexico (which also double charged me. Like gas wasn’t already high enough. Without paying for the same tank twice 😡)…
Just before I left the Oklahoma City, City Limits. There was a piece of debris in the Highway. It appeared to be a piece of siding off a mobile home, or something very similar.

Soon as I approached it on the Highway, and prepared to drive to the side of it. An 18-Wheeler moved over from the lane to my right at the last second for no apparent reason. The wind turbulence off the back of this Semi-Truck picked the piece of siding up off the road. Then sent it flying at the front of my pickup truck. Striking it, as I did 70 mph on the interstate
New Mexico is also known as “Home of the Zia Sun”. The Zia symbol is pictured in the image above. It’s the Sacred Sun Symbol of the Indigenous Nation of Zia People. While also being the symbol for the New Mexico State Flag. To learn more about the Zia Symbol: Click Here

Home For 1 Night

A little over 2 hours after entering New Mexico, I finally pulled into my destination for the night, Albuquerque! When I was at the Gas Station in Santa Rosa I also booked a 1 Night Stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Albuquerque.

They were sold out of the original room I booked. As it was close to a major holiday, everyone in the country was on the move trying to get someplace. All things considered, I was still quite happy with the room I received as a substitute.

After Check-In, parking my pickup, and getting my luggage up to the room as quickly as possible. Then I headed back down to the main lobby for dinner at Lounge 201.

Photo of dinner from Lounge 201. I had shredded chicken enchiladas, topped with an over easy egg, with beans and rice on the side

The room I had came with a Mountain View. As it was nighttime when I arrived. I would have to impatiently wait until morning to get my first view of Albuquerque in the daylight.

It’s A New Day!

Daylight at last! First thing in the morning soon as I woke up. I opened my window to a view over Albuquerque, and the Sandia Mountains. The Sandia Mountains crest at 10,678’ feet
A Photo Close-Up of the massive Pyramid shaped, Plaza Del Sol building (meaning The Sun Square in English). This historic Landmark in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. An 8-Story building that was built in 1975, it’s currently home to the Albuquerque City Planning Departments, and it’s divisions

After soaking up the view of the surrounding city. From my room on the 10th Floor. I headed down for breakfast from the Icon Bistro. To use my breakfast voucher provided by the DoubleTree hotel.

A photo of my Breakfast from the Icon Bistro, a Belgian Waffle, with scrambled eggs, Bacon, and most importantly Coffee ☕️!

After breakfast, I quickly checked out, so I could get my day’s activities under way. Which included a hike, and a whole lot more driving.

Petroglyph National Monument

Selfie with the Park Sign as I entered Petroglyph National Monument

You can’t leave Albuquerque without visiting the Ancient Petroglyph’s. Which were left behind by the Ancestral Pueblo, and Spanish Settlers.

Petroglyph’s are images carved, pecked, or engraved into rock using a stone chisel, and hammer stone. They are commonly mixed up with Pictographs, which are rock paintings.

The Petroglyph’s at Petroglyph National Monument date back as far as the 10th Century B.C, all the way up to 1700 A.D. With the majority of them being created in the 1300 A.D to 1700 A.D time zone.

Let’s Do Some Hiking

There are four hikes that can be done at the Petroglyph National Monument. The hike I chose was the Boca Negra Canyon hike. Which included 3 Trails: the Mesa Point Trail, the Macaw Trail, and the Cliff Base Trail.

When Hiking the Mesa Trail, you’ll most definitely want some good foot wear. The hike to the top of the Mesa Trail will take you 5280’ feet above sea level. It’s an extremely rocky trail, with plenty of spots to cause an ankle, or leg injury. Be careful when hiking, follow the trail, and wear the proper hiking attire.

Picture showing some Mesa Top rock stacking, and the average size of the stones along the trail. You wouldn’t want to get your foot caught in between them, and roll an ankle

Let’s See Some Petroglyph’s!

These petroglyph’s contain symbols that were important in the Pueblo, and Spanish cultures. As well as depictions of animals, and people.

The names of all these Petroglyph’s aren’t known, so for the sake of fun I’ll give them a few names of my own 😂! My made up names will be identified with a ( * ). Without further ado, here are the Petroglyph’s from the Mesa Point Trail:

More Petroglyph’s just below the ridge of Boca Negra Canyon. Depicting the * Curly Haired Princess, and King with his Crown

Mesa Point Trail

The City of Albuquerque, Land Survey Point. Located at the top of the Mesa Point Trail at Petroglyph National Monument
Photo looking back over the Boca Negra Canyon, from the top of the Mesa Point Trail
Video taken at the Top of the Mesa Point Trail overlooking the Rio Grande Valley, and over looking Albuquerque. Which has been a U.S City for 316 years

Macaw Trail

After carefully making my way back down the Mesa Point Trail. I headed over to the Macaw Trail. To see the Featured Photo Petroglyph of the Boca Negra Canyon.

Photo of the Macaw Petroglyph. The namesake Petroglyph of the Macaw Trail, and the featured Petroglyph image representing the Boca Negra Canyon
Another Petroglyph from the Macaw Trail. It’s clearly * The Fallen Tulip Blossom

Solo Road Trip Adventures

If you liked this Blog Post, and want to see some of the other locations I visited. You can check out what else I saw during my 5100 mile Solo Road Trip. By Clicking one of the two links included below.

Link 1 – From my Solo Road Trip
Link 2 – From my Solo Road Trip

The Roving Gypsy

Thanks for reading my Travel Blog, I hope you enjoyed this Solo Road Trip as much as I did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Follow, Share, and Comment to let me know.

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