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Driving from Austin to Santa Fe

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Dec 26th, 2012, 08:00 AM
  #1
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Driving from Austin to Santa Fe

Hi! My husband and I are driving from Austin TX to Santa Fe NM in the middle of January. We plan to stop for one night on the road to recharge and possible explore. We are in our late 30's and enjoy good food and quaint towns. Does anyone have any suggestions on what town would make a good half way stop to spend a night?

Also, would we need chains for the car when we get into New Mexico? It is our first time in the area and are not certain of the driving conditions in winter.

Thank you!
Browns is offline  
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Dec 26th, 2012, 08:59 AM
  #2
 
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Are you planning on your own car or a rental? If it is your own car, plan on taking a pair of chains in the trunk along with a good shovel and about 40 lb. of cheap kitty litter.
If you are driving a rental car, turn around and head for a warmer place when there is more than 4" of snow on the road.
The midway point is near Pecos, TX. I would not try it in one day.
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Dec 26th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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How many days do you have for your trip?

As tomfuller said, you might need chains. Check the weather forecasts and be prepared if necessary. The highway department does a good job of clearing snow off the roads, but it can still be icy if the weather is bad.

It's been a few years since I've been in Pecos, but as I recall there isn't much to see there. If Carlsbad doesn't seem too far, you could spend the night there and visit Carlsbad Caverns for the day. Spend the night again there or head on to Roswell, then drive to Santa Fe the next day.

Lee Ann
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Dec 26th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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"The highway department does a good job of clearing snow off the roads"

That doesn't include the local roads etc, which can be a problem with significant amounts of snow. Check with NMDOT for road conditions.

http://dot.state.nm.us/content/nmdot/en.html
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Dec 26th, 2012, 01:08 PM
  #5
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Thank you for your responses. We will be traveling in our own car- an SUV with 4WD. It sounds like we may need chains. Have any of you ever traveled the route from Austin through Amarillo as opposed to Pecos? If so, what are the differences? My husband and I prefer more scenic routes with less trucks, traffic, but also don't want it to take forever. Would Amarillo be more interesting than Pecos or Carlsbad? I would like to hear any feedback you may have. Thanks again!
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Dec 26th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Well, there isn't anything scenic between about Abilene and Pecos, if that helps.

If you're looking for something to do in the evening, you might find more to do in Amarillo.

Lee Ann
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Dec 26th, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Amarillo to Santa Fe can have tricky weather during winter storms especially at the turn at Clines Corners (285) to Santa Fe. If the roads are good the drive should be a little less than 4 hours. Amarillo isn't a scenic stop either but it's so quick to get to SF from there I would suggest it and you can easily find a motel/hotel to overnight.
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Dec 26th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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If you have 4 wheel drive you don't need chains.
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