Summer 2009

Tucumcari, NM to Albuquerque, NM

167 Miles/267 Km

6 June 2009

Route Map

Route Information


Points of interest

Distance From





Tucumcari, NM Mountain Road RV Park Home
Albuquerque, NM
N 35.1625
W 103.7024
NM I-40
Santa Rosa, NM Home
Tucumcari, NM
Albuquerque, NM
N 34.9448
W 104.6734
NM I-40
Albuquerque, NM Albuquerque Central KOA Home
Tucumcari, NM
N 35.0721
W 106.5094
NM I-40
Sandia Peak Tramway
Old Town

Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

Yesterday I mentioned the winds that dropped our fuel consumption rate to a low we had not seen this trip. I thought it was bad, but I was wrong!

Last night was a wild night in the RV Park. There were a number of thunderstorms that passed through with a lot of noise and a light show but little rain. We figured that after the storms passed, the winds might subside. Once again we were wrong. The winds increased during the night, buffeting the trailer constantly. The other surprise was the temperature. When we arrived in Tucumcari, the temperature hovered around ninety degrees. As the storms moved in, the temperature started to drop dramatically, until it was in the 50-55 degree range.

When we got up this morning the winds were still howling. Driving a truck towing a trailer is not much fun... you have to be constantly on the alert for the shifting winds so that they don't drive you off the road. As we left for Albuquerque, a short ride away, we had hoped that the winds did not play havoc with us. Again, we were wrong. At times, the winds were hitting us so hard that the truck could not get into sixth gear. Couple the strong headwinds with the hill climbing we did and our fuel consumption was down to 6.8 miles per gallon. I thought we could make Albuquerque with one third of the fuel left in the tank. One more time I was wrong and we had to stop to refuel after about 100 miles as we approached my safety margin for fuel in the tank (6 gallon in our 26 gallon tank).

When we arrived at the Albuquerque RV Park we were advised not to put up our awning because the winds were forecast to go up to forty miles per hour. Those kind of winds can tear the awning to shreds. I had not planned to use the awning on an overnight stop like this. After we got the trailer set, we headed out for Old Town Albuquerque. Old town is where Albuquerque was founded in 1706. Today, Old town is said to be the cultural heart of Albuquerque and it contains many shops, galleries and restaurants. In the heart of Old Town is the Plaza. Around the Plaza was a carnival with food, games, rides and other amusements. I'm not sure the merchants were happy with the carnival because many of the stores were closed today and tomorrow. While not identifying the carnival as the reason for closure it seems that they didn't feel that the people coming to the carnival were shoppers. This is validated by the fact that the other streets in Old Town were relatively empty for a Saturday,

After leaving Old Town it was our intent to take the Tramway up to the top of Sandia Mountain, As we drove up from the downtown area we could see that we would not get a good view because of the clouds and haziness. Any pictures I would have taken would have looked quite poor. We didn't even bother going to the base station and went back to the RV Park. This has been our story with the Tramway. About 13 years ago we tried to go up on the Tramway only to find it shut down due to high winds. With the winds forecast for this afternoon, the odds were that it would be shut down again. I guess we will have to come through Albuquerque again in the future... preferably on a day without any wind and clouds.




Last night Susie read about the Legend of Tucumcuri and found it an interesting tale. This morning she took the picture (left) of Tucumcari Mountain from the Mountain Road RV Park.

Mesas along I-40

As we headed west from Tucumcari the terrain changed to views like the one above and then to the Sandia Mountains which we had to cross to get to Albuquerque

Carnival in Old Town Plaza

A carnival occupied the streets on all sides of the Plaza

Native American crafts for sale on the Plaza

Native American artisans displaying their wares on one side of the Plaza. This is reminiscent of the front of the Palace of Governors in Santa Fe. See picture taken during our 2006 visit to Santa Fe.

Big pot

Susie was considering buying this piece of pottery but changed her mind when she realized that it wouldn't fit in the living room display case (or for that matter, the living room)

Seen on the Road

Keep It Simple Stupid Coffee

I guess this is Old Town's competition for Starbuck's

Albuquerque Cat House

We never did find out what this was. Use your imagination.

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