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Southern Route Suggestions

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I'm back again as my trip dates now have to be in May (probably 5/22 for 5-7 days).

Will fly into ABQ from LA and pick up rental car. Either drive south the same day or spend overnight in ABQ and leave for Carlsbad Caverns & Guadalupe Nat'l Park the following day for 1-2 nights. After that will return to ABQ and travel north to SF including some of the by-ways.

If taking Rt 40 to 285S on the way down, would you recommend returning to ABQ the same way, or another routing? Should I consider connecting with I25N? White Sands Nat'l Monument has been suggested previously.

I know I have been around this question before, but I am now ready to make definite plans and reservations, and hope i can still get some help.
Lottie

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