Another Road Trip; TX-NM-AZ-UT-CO, July 2019

In 2016, I did a solo road trip in July and never thought it would turn into a yearly thing for me and that I will be doing a major road trip every July.

In 2017, I did another road trip with a friend. It was my best road trip ever.

In 2018, we went on another trip again. It was another nice trip as usual.

In 2019 now, I never thought I would have time for a trip because of other commitments, but I happen to find time to squeeze in a solo road trip and decided why not make a thread, even if it is just to share pictures with others and have a place where I can always come back to it and see pictures. So here I am starting my thread for another July 2019 road trip. And for this trip, I really hope at the end of the trip I try and make 1 or 2 videos of a summary of the whole trip. Also, who knows? I may get some suggestions from others and may even be lucky to meet some people from the forum during my trip.

In 2020, will I take another road trip in July? I don't think so right now but I am glad I can do one for 2019. Since I love taking tons of pictures, it is just nice to share on here so one can always come back and look at them every now and then.
 
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July 8: Leave Houston about 6am and drive 12 hours to Las Cruces, NM. Sleep in Las Cruces, NM for 2 nights.

July 9: Drive to Ruidoso, Drive up the ski resort, Billy The Kid trail, Capitan, Lincoln historic sites. Fort Stanton Historic site and Museum. Visit Lincoln State Monument to see where Billy the Kid was locked up but escaped. Stop at Pistachio on way back and visit White Sands NP at sunset for sunset pictures and to take sunset tour. May drive across the border to Juarez, Mexico to go eat in Mexico. Drive to Alamogordo, Cloudcroft.

July 10: Leave Las Cruces, NM and drive to Tempe, AZ. 6 hours drive, which should take me about 12 hours because of planned stops. Possible stops along the way; Coronado National Forest, Detour to the touristic town of Tombstone, AZ, Visit Saguaro National Park, Pikacho Peak State Park, Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch.

July 11: Leave Tempe, AZ and drive to Flagstaff, AZ. 7 hours drive, which should take me about 12 to 15 hours because of planned stops. May visit the desert Botanical Garden first thing. May not get to drive the Apache Trail now because wild fires has it closed now!!! (((I will drive the 42 miles Apache Trail (West to East that is from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Dam), which is 20 miles of paved road and 22 miles unpaved offroading of dirt, dusty and bumpy road of the Apache Trail.))) Visit Tonto NF, Coconino NF, and maybe Apache-Sitgreaves NF. Sleep in Flagstaff.

July 12:
Leave Flagstaff and drive to Page, AZ to explore. Visit Upper and or Lower Antelope canyon. Tickets are already sold out, so I do not even know how I will do this. Visit Horseshoe bend, lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge national Monument. Sleep in Page.

July 13: Leave Page, AZ to Cortez, CO. Passing though Utah. A 4 hours drive that should take me about 12 hours because of attractions to stop at. Try to be first at Horse shoe Bend in the morning to get some sunrise drone shots. Will ask first if I can take off out of the park and fly in. I hear others have asked and done that. So, I will ask if they will allow me or not. Drive to Oljato-Monument Valley. Visit the valley for some hours. Drive to and visit 4 Corners. Then drive to and visit Shiprock to see and take pictures and tons of drone shots and video of the mighty Shiprock formation. Sleep in Cortez, CO.

July 14: Wake up and visit Mesa Verde NP and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Then in the evening, Leave Cortez and drive 3 hours to Ouray, Co. Plan to get to town about 6pm in time to check in at airbnb and go out for dinner before it gets dark. Sleep in Ouray for 4 nights.

July 15: Wake up and leave at 6am for a 3 hours drive to Marble, CO for a day trip. Air down tires and continue in 4wd to Crystal, CO to see Crystal Mill and visit the ghost town of Crystal. 8 hours driving time round trip for this day trip.

July 16: Do Imogene Pass. Pictures and video. Do Ophir Pass. Visit Telluride (Bridal Fall, Black Bear Pass).

July 17: Do Corckscrew Pass, California Pass, Cinnamon Pass, Engineer Pass, Animas Forks, Silverton, Black Bear Pass.

July 18: Check out of airbnb before sunrise and hit the road for Longmont, CO. 6 hours drive which should take me 12 hours because I plan to visit Independence Pass, stop and visit Aspen, CO (visit Maroon Bells), stop at the Continental Divide. If I get to Denver area in time, go and do evening run of Mt Evans. Sleep in Longmont, CO for 2 nights.

July 19: Spend the whole day visiting Rocky Mountain NP. Trail Ridge road, Bear lake, Emeral lake trail, Old fallriver road, Chapel on the rock.

July 20: Checkout of hotel and drive to Colorado Springs. Drive up Pikes Peak. Visit Garden of the Gods, The Broadmoor Seven Falls, Royal Gorge, Sand Dunes National Park. Sleep in Colorado Springs.

July 21: Checkout of hotel and drive 3 hours to Great Sand Dunes NP. visit it for some hours and then drive 5 hours to spend the night in Amarillo, TX.

July 22: Drive 10 hours back home to Houston. Or stop halfway in Dallas to spend the night visiting my cousin and her family. Then drive home the next day.
 
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I have always wanted to install offroad driving led lights on my Infiniti. I bought some large offroad led lights from Australia because the companies in the US selling similar led lights wanted almost twice the price for what I paid shipped to me. Performance of these lights are top notch. Blinds oncoming traffic. So, one uses it only when alone on the road at night. With this mod, I plan to do a bit more of night driving on this trip on some desolate or isolated highways or do some nearby 4x4 trails at night, depending on what destination I am at during this trip.

Here are some pics... and a link to more pics of the light.






STEDI 8.5" Type -X Pro OFFROAD Led in my 2012 Infiniti QX56
 
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Frazeur1

New member
Nice! Look forward to your July trip! The new lighting looks good too! Enjoy! It will be here before you know it!
 

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
July 8: Leave Houston about 6am and drive 12 hours to Las Cruces, NM. Sleep in Las Cruces, NM for 2 nights.

July 9: Drive to Ruidoso, Drive up the ski resort, Billy The Kid trail, Capitan, Lincoln historic sites. Fort Stanton Historic site and Museum. Visit Lincoln State Monument to see where Billy the Kid was locked up but escaped. Stop at Pistachio on way back and visit White Sands NP at sunset for sunset pictures and to take sunset tour

July 10: May drive across the border to juarez, Mexico to go eat in Mexico. Drive to Alamogordo, Cloudcroft. May drive to Sunspot to see larger telescopes. Leave Las Cruces about 12noon for 4 hours drive to Tucson, AZ. Stop to visit Coronado National Forest.

July 11: Leave Tucson, AZ and drive to Flagstaff, AZ. 7 hours drive, which should take me about 12 to 15 hours because of planned stops. Visit Saguaro National Park, Pikacho Peak State Park, Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. I will drive the 42 miles Apache Trail (West to East that is from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Dam), which is 20 miles of paved road and 22 miles unpaved offroading of dirt, dusty and bumpy road of the Apache Trail. Visit Tonto NF, Coconino NF, and maybe Apache-Sitgreaves NF. Sleep in Flagstaff.

July 12:
Leave Flagstaff and drive to Page, AZ to explore. Visit Upper and or Lower Antelope canyon. Tickets are already sold out, so I do not even know how I will do this. Visit Horseshoe bend, lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge national Monument. Sleep in Page.

July 13: Leave Page, AZ to Cortez, CO. Passing though Utah. A 4 hours drive that should take me about 12 hours because of attractions to stop at. Try to be first at Horse shoe Bend in the morning to get some sunrise drone shots. Will ask first if I can take off out of the park and fly in. I hear others have asked and done that. So, I will ask if they will allow me or not. Drive to Oljato-Monument Valley. Visit the valley for some hours. Drive to and visit 4 Corners. Then drive to and visit Shiprock to see and take pictures and tons of drone shots and video of the mighty Shiprock formation. Sleep in Cortez, CO.

July 14: Wake up and visit Mesa Verde NP and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Then in the evening, Leave Cortez and drive 3 hours to Ouray, Co. Plan to get to town about 6pm in time to check in at airbnb and go out for dinner before it gets dark. Sleep in Ouray for 4 nights.

July 15: Wake up and leave at 6am for a 3 hours drive to Marble, CO for a day trip. Air down tires and continue in 4wd to Crystal, CO to see Crystal Mill and visit the ghost town of Crystal. 8 hours driving time round trip for this day trip.

July 16: Do Imogene Pass. Pictures and video. Do Ophir Pass. Visit Telluride (Bridal Fall, Black Bear Pass).

July 17: Do Corckscrew Pass, California Pass, Cinnamon Pass, Engineer Pass, Animas Forks, Silverton, Black Bear Pass.

July 18: Check out of airbnb before sunrise and hit the road for Longmont, CO. 6 hours drive which should take me 12 hours because I plan to visit Independence Pass, stop and visit Aspen, CO (visit Maroon Bells), stop at the Continental Divide. If I get to Denver area in time, go and do evening run of Mt Evans. Sleep in Longmont, CO for 2 nights.

July 19: Spend the whole day visiting Rocky Mountain NP. Trail Ridge road, Bear lake, Emeral lake trail, Old fallriver road, Chapel on the rock.

July 20: Checkout of hotel and drive to Colorado Springs. Drive up Pikes Peak. Visit Garden of the Gods, The Broadmoor Seven Falls, Royal Gorge, Sand Dunes National Park. Sleep in Colorado Springs.

July 21: Checkout of hotel and drive 3 hours to Great Sand Dunes NP. visit it for some hours and then drive 5 hours to spend the night in Amarillo, TX.

July 22: Drive 10 hours back home to Houston. Or stop halfway in Dallas to spend the night visiting my cousin and her family. Then drive home the next day.

Sounds like a jampacked trip. Perhaps a safer and easier way to eat lunch in Mexico is to go to Columbus NM and walk across and eat lunch at the Pink House in Palomas MX. be sure to have a passport.
 

kai38

Explorer
I 2nd MEP1811- The Pink Store is easier to get to, park on the US side and walk 200 yrds across into Mexico, great food, do a little shopping and walk back thru US Customs. The Pink store is by Columbus NM, about 30 miles from Deming NM and I-10.
A better scenic route is on the Columbus Highway NM9 connects from Artcraft rd in El Paso, TX
 

Peck

Observer
Check your high passes in Colorado. Lots of snow and lots of avalanches this past year. We just got done with 550 from Durango to Rideway.

Ophir is closed do to avalanche debris. Engineer and Imogene still have a ton of snow up there.

I know a lot can change in a month but I figured I’d give you a heads up. So be advised.
 
Nice! Look forward to your July trip! The new lighting looks good too! Enjoy! It will be here before you know it!
Thanks about the lights. I really like the way they turned out. And I am looking forward to starting my trip. I just have 2 more things to do to my truck to get it ready. Last thing will be a oil change. I don't really need one since the current oil has been there for only 2,500 miles, but I just want fresh oil and filter for the trip and will change it after the trip also, which will be after about 4,000 miles. I will be updating this daily with pics when I am resting at the hotels.
 
Sounds like a jampacked trip. Perhaps a safer and easier way to eat lunch in Mexico is to go to Columbus NM and walk across and eat lunch at the Pink House in Palomas MX. be sure to have a passport.
Truly jampacked indeed. But honestly, not amust that I have to visit it all, but I always likie to know what is available to see and I try to hit every spot. Work keeps me at home a lot, so any time I get to go on these long trips, I try to cramp in as much experience as possible. Since I enjoy looking at my thousands of pictures when I get back home.

Thanks for the tip about going to Columbus, NM to cross the border. I will make sure to remember to take my passport, indeed. I looked up the Pink House and it sure looks really good and a place I would like to go to. Too bad it is 1 hour 40 minutes to get there. I don't know if I will do it. But the sure does have nice reviews and the pictures on tripadvisor from other travelers show they have a lot of the kind of souvenirs I like to buy.

Pink House restaurant in Palomas, MX

Columbus might really be safer because last year I went across the border with my suv and when I returned, border patrol told me it was a risk to take such a fancy looking suv into Juarez especially as there has been like 3 or so random unsolved murders so far the week before I got there. So, maybe I will scratch Juarez off this time.

I 2nd MEP1811- The Pink Store is easier to get to, park on the US side and walk 200 yrds across into Mexico, great food, do a little shopping and walk back thru US Customs. The Pink store is by Columbus NM, about 30 miles from Deming NM and I-10.
A better scenic route is on the Columbus Highway NM9 connects from Artcraft rd in El Paso, TX
Nice to know. Unfortunately, now I am worried the distance of 1 hour 40 minutes one way seems too long for me to go to Mexico from Las Cruces. But the store there sure has some really nice things I would like to buy some.
 
Check your high passes in Colorado. Lots of snow and lots of avalanches this past year. We just got done with 550 from Durango to Rideway.

Ophir is closed do to avalanche debris. Engineer and Imogene still have a ton of snow up there.

I know a lot can change in a month but I figured I’d give you a heads up. So be advised.
Thanks for the heads up.

I plan to to do the high passes on July 16 and 17. The FJ Cruiser event starts on the 17th and those trails get atleast 300 or more vehicles during that time. History has it that those passes are always passable then. So, I am hoping it is the same this year.

Last year, I did Imogene Pass and it took me hours to complete it. That included me stopping many times for pictures and to spot myself. I tried 3 times to fly my drone and the wind was really bad. This year, I want to use my drone and get a cumulative drone footage of atleast 30 minutes up to an hour at different locations on the whole trail, so I really hope the win cooperates with me. Since I really want to make a video of my suv on Imogene Pass. I am doing it on July the 16 because traffic may be less on Imogene Pass and since the FJ Cruisers will be flooding the trail the next day. Last year it took me 4 hours to complete the trail, this year I may be looking at 6 hours or more to complete that 17 miles trail.

The next day, I really Ophir and Engineer Passes would be clear since IO plan to really do all of these on that day: Corckscrew Pass, California Pass, Cinnamon Pass, Engineer Pass, Animas Forks, Silverton, Black Bear Pass.
 

Cayuse

Observer
Heads up that right now the road from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Dam is closed due to the Woodbury fire. Hopefully that'll change by the time you get out this way.
 
Heads up that right now the road from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Dam is closed due to the Woodbury fire. Hopefully that'll change by the time you get out this way.
That is for that info. I just looked it up. The fire looks pretty serious. And yes, the Apache Trail looks closed now indefinitely, they say. I think they mention like 600 firefighters are currently battling tje fire which is 0% contained so far. Forest officials project the fires might not be controlled until July 1. That is some serious fire. They say good thing it is not threatening any structures right now.

But yep, you are very correct. Apache Trail SR 88 is closed indefinitely and who knows? May not be open on July 11 that I hope to drive on it. On the other hand, if it is open by that day, it would be nice as I plan to take some drone pictures along the SR 88 to show those Superstitions Mountains in the background. So, the burnt landscape would be interesting if I can capture that from bird's eye view.

Here is a picture of the closure that I just got from the article I just read after googling it.

 
I was supposed to start my road trip tomorrow Monday at about 6am and drive 12 hours to get to my first destination of Las Cruces, NM, but i just changed my mind and do not want to get there at night. So, I am leaving tonight at about 10pm and driving throughout the night. So I can get there early enough to be able to see one or 2 attractions before nightfall.

I choose to travel overnight especially because of my new led spot lights and I would love to see how they perform in the real wee hours of between 1pm to 4pm. I want to put them to work during this overnight trip. Since I am on a solo trip and leaving after work, if I get too tired on the way, I will stop at a rest stop and sleep for 2 to 3 hours before continuing. Something I don't usually do at all. So, it would be interesting.

Will be updating my thread with pictures as I go.

My car is packed and loaded. Just waiting for me to get home and load a few more things and install my roof rack and CB antenna and then I am good to go.
 
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