Eastward Ho! – Feb 2020

Want to know the most beautiful road in America?  We’ll get to that shortly.  Patience (Yoda).

We finished up our stint at the fireworks show, and were now prepared to head east towards home.  But we wanted to map a route that a) was not on interstate highways, b) was pretty and/or interesting, and c) glanced by some of our favorite haunts.

Trying not to sound too food-obsessed, most of our “haunts” served food.  We wanted to revisit Guayo’s el Rey restaurant in Miami, AZ, the Owl Café in San Antonio, NM, and of course Franklin’s BBQ in Austin, TX, where we had a full cooked brisket on order.  We mapped a route accordingly.  The route took us on US Route 60 from the Phoenix area to Socorro, NM.

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US Route 60 from the Phoenix area to Socorro, NM?  Seriously, this is the (or one of the) most stunningly beautiful drives in America.   Freaking unbelievable!  Now, I have almost no pictures to prove this, so you are going to have to believe me.  Trust but verify – believe me, but take this route!

Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous views, whether they be canyon views, mountains or plains.  This road in Arizona shows you views of Arizona that we did not know existed!  And we know Arizona is a beautiful state already and have traveled other parts of it extensively.  And the same thing into New Mexico.

But let’s step back, to a really small town along this route called Miami, AZ where our favorite Mexican restaurant (ever!) is located, Guayo’s el Rey.  We found this place some years back, and have never been disappointed!  Oh, so good.  The place is completely unassuming.  Don’t fill up on the chips and salsa (hard not to do here), because the food is so good.

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From here, we continued on our path heading east on US Route 60.  Partly due to time, and partly due to towing a 30-foot trailer, and partly because I was a bit of a slug I did not stop and take pictures along the way.  Pictures would not do it justice anyway.

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Plains in Arizona

We ventured through several Indian reservations, drove down through a huge canyon that reminded me of a smaller Grand Canyon, passed through views of Arizona that we had never seen on our way towards Show Low, AZ, and on into western New Mexico.  If you are looking for a stunning drive, this is it.  And quite frankly, we have been on some amazing roads.

Phoenix to Socorro is a long drive, so we (that would be Karen) made our destination for this day Pie Town, NM.  Now I told you this was not a foody post, BUT…

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We picked up a few pies … February is not Pie Town’s sweet spot in the year, but picked up 3 small pies that were really pretty good.  And if nothing else, it was a fun stop.

We camped at, don’t you know, Pie Town RV!  This ended up being a perfect stop for the night, as it was self-service, yet full hookup, for a reasonable rate.  In addition to the RV park, apparently the owners also have a construction and septic service business.

Now while we never did meet these people, we were amused with their septic service business – the Stool Bus.  “Follow the Movement” is their theme.  The license plate was … drum roll… Number2.  You get the picture.  Pretty cool.

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We continued on towards Socorro, or truth be told, our true destination the Owl Café in San Antonio, NM for a lunchtime Green Chile Cheese Burger.  Stopping here is not a “want”, it is a “need”.  Only people who have never been here would question our motives.

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Don’t be disheartened by the lack of windows and steel door entrance
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Words to live by

Having satiated our hunger, we marched on towards Roswell, NM.  During a fuel stop here, I noticed some liquid leaking under the front of my truck, so we went to the local Roswell Ford dealership, who quickly determined we needed a new radiator.  Yeah us!

So, with previous plans now set aside, we booked a campsite at the Trailer Village RV Park in town and spent the night so we could have the truck serviced the next day.  BTW, these people at Trailer Village RV were SUPER nice and accommodating to our particular needs.  Thanks again!

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Keep in mind this is Roswell, NM, with its rich tradition in space aliens.  Very inclusive here.

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I arrived at Roswell Ford, they had my radiator, and began work immediately.  While this obviously could have been a very painful process, the dealership was fabulous.  Yes, I received a relevant bill for the work performed, but it was done well, courteously, and quickly.  Go Roswell Ford!

Since I was there for most of the day while they fixed the truck, and there was a Buffalo Wild Wings literally next door, I said to myself, self, would some chicken wings make this day go better?  I considered, and came to the conclusion that, yes, it would.  So I traipsed over to the restaurant and sat at the bar.

Me at Buffalo Wild Wings to bartender: “I’ll have a virgin Bloody Mary.”

Bartender: “Can I see your ID?”

Now I am old, shrinking and gray, and this guy was young enough to be my grandson.  ID.  Really?  For a non-alcoholic drink??  Good wings, though.  Slow, shitty service, but good wings.

Our truck was returned to us in good working order, our wallets a little bit lighter, we re-hooked the trailer and departed from Alien Central towards Austin, TX for a hit-and-run stop at Franklin’s Barbecue.  Karen had pre-ordered a full brisket from Franklin’s and we were going to move heaven and earth to keep our appointment with destiny.

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Franklin’s reminds me of the Soup Nazi from the Seinfeld episodes.  If you don’t show up at your appointed time, then say goodbye to your order – and your money.  But long story short, we retrieved our brisket – with about 5 minutes to spare, and continue our trek east, where at some point and time we will enjoy this brisket.

We’ll report more when we have something to say.  Get out on the road and find your own haunts and stunning roads.  They are out there.

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