Since we were simply overnighting, we had pulled into our spot the day before and only hooked up water, cable, and electricity. Leaving was simple – just disconnect the water, the electric, and the cable, pull in the slide, and pull out. We were probably the last of the overnighters to pull out.
Just down the road from the park is a McDonald’s with a large parking lot to its side, so we pulled in for some breakfast. After breakfast, we pulled on to IH-40 and continued our trek west.
The area around Santa Rosa is a bit hillier than the areas east and west. This is probably because the Pecos River runs through town. A few miles west of town the landscape leveled off again to a more gently rolling terrain.
We were surprised at the amount of traffic on the interstate on this Sunday morning, especially trucks. I don’t drive fast when towing – heck, I don’t drive fast when NOT towing. I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere, so I take my time and enjoy the drive and the landscape. On a good road with multiple lanes, I drive even slower. When towing on such roads, I like to keep it around 55 mph. In addition to just enjoying the drive, this also helps my mileage. On 2 lane roads where traffic backs up behind me, I’ll drive faster, but not on multiple lane roads.
So, lots of trucks were passing us that day. Many would reach a long slope and then lose speed, and then I’d catch back up.
About 20 or 30 miles west of Santa Rosa, the land becomes a bit more rugged, and as we look to the north, we get our first glimpse of the mountains of northern New Mexico. In just a few more miles, we exit the interstate at Clines Corners and head northwest on US 285 towards Santa Fe. This is a very good 2 lane highway, but there are no passing lanes as I recall. The mountains loomed closer, now appearing to the west as well as to the north.
As we neared IH-25, the highway expanded to multiple lanes and housing subdivisions began appearing on the slopes around us.