Stop twenty nine actually started more than two years ago. We booked the Route 66 RV Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico for fourteen days back in March of 2019, to be our base for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. That was even before we sold our home and bought the motor home. Daughter Donna was to fly out to meet us so we could all take a balloon ride to celebrate her birthday. Of course, when COVID hit, that plan was put on hold. It took a great amount of persistence but I was able to rebook at this resort in July of 2020, THE MINUTE they were accepting reservations for 2021. Game On!
The Resort and Casino was in the middle of the desert about twenty minutes from anything. At least it had its own hotel, casino, truck stop, convenience store, and gas station, right off I-40. (both the hotel and RV pools were still closed and other COVID restrictions were still in place in the casino) You really didn’t need to leave this property unless you wanted to explore the Albuquerque area, or in our case attend the Fiesta. (three times) The entire facility was clean and well maintained. Our ratings: Kathryn 9, Paul 9, out of 10. Like Las Vegas, this place really appreciated being open again after being shut down for a year. To do that, signs were posted everywhere – NO MASK NO SERVICE.
Similar to Stop twenty Seven, Flagstaff, I am going to recap some of the highlights of this stop in this post. For the complete details on the Balloon Fiesta, see the post Time Flies! Spoiler alert – it was worth our wait and your read.
Our first discovery was the Piedras Marcadas Canyon and the Petroglyph viewing trail. It was in a strange location, in the foothills, directly behind a housing community and on the edge of a commercial and retail district. I am so glad they didn’t build over this area which is now protected. On a short mile and a half sandy trail, you can view hundreds of petroglyphs that were created between 400 and 700 years ago, by the Pueblo people and other native groups traveling through the area.
Next we drove the Musical Highway, a small section of the old Route 66. We read reviews from people who could not find it since there are no longer any signs or markers of any kind. Armed with great internet mile marker directions, not only did we find it but we were able to hear it! You have to hit the grooves in the road at just the right speed, but if you do, your tires play the song America The Beautiful! It took us three tries but we got it. It’s quite comical though, seeing cars keep making a u-turn on this short section of the road to make another pass until they hit it just right.
We took a day trip to Santa Fe to visit the town and The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and The Loretto Chapel. The Basilica and Chapel were very impressive but I thought the town itself was a disappointment. It was so crowded with bus loads of people you could hardly walk, and there was no place to park. Other than the Native American crafts for sale around town, the shops were very “exclusive.”
We did like the Old Town Section of Albuquerque. It was very quaint with small touristy shops, Pueblo people selling their crafts on the sidewalks outside the shops, a mariachi band playing in the gazebo, and the beautiful Iglesias de Sa Felipe de Neri Church.
On our final day of touring, we visited the Uptown Section of Albuquerque. It was an open air mall of posh stores, in individual buildings, with areas to sit in between. We discovered Frost Gelato. Delish!!
I have been blessed in so many ways throughout my life. That feeling was especially true during this two week stop. First, we are out here doing this. The things we have seen and experienced are just amazing. The weather at the Fiesta was perfect for our three visits, but just after that, not so much. Imagine flying all the way out here, braving the parking and the crowds, only to have your events cancelled.
I am also blessed to be married to Kathryn. She gave up our beautiful home and left our friends behind to put up with my crazy dream trip for two years plus. She does not enjoy the “adventure around every corner” like I do, and faces physical challenges that make this whole experience less than pleasant, on more than one day a week.
And when those adventures take a turn for the worst, God sends me an Angel or solution to the situation at hand. Just before we left, we got hit with a wind sheer that blew the topper over the full wall slider right off the motor home. My angel this time was named Don who had it fixed as soon as the wind died down and at a reasonable cost.
On to Tucumcari, New Mexico!