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Thread: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

  1. #11

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Castles View Post
    In from work now:

    The Metro-Mess (aka FW/D) might offer something, but I would be inclined to go around (however if you make it here let me know, we can meet up for coffee or some other beverage of choice).

    There are some old frontier forts in Jacksboro - Old Ft. Richardson, then futher West in Graham is Ft. Belknap. Down to Albany - Ft. Griffin, then Abilene Ft. Phantom Hill. The old forts are in various stages from ruins to restored - most are state Parks, all have good access.

    Going West from here, either to Amarillo (North West) or on 380 due West you would have a number of nice older towns, with nice courthouses and period buildings.

    Once in the panhandle there are the grain silos some of which are alone in the middle of nowhere (good photo ops though). As has been mentioned are Caprock Canyon State Park and Palo Duro Canyon, taking the back roads rather than interstate or US287 gives a much nicer view and drive if time allows. West of Amarillo, there is Adrian of Paula Chamlee's - High Plains Frame fame (and not a bad place to stop would be Midpoint - the half way stop on old Rt.66 between Chicago and LA). Going North through Dumas, Dalhart and Texline would yield some great sunflower fields if you can catch them...this is farm country. Oh, and the clouds can be great in July/Aug - think Clayton to Springer is a good drive.

    A bit more to the South could take you south around FW/D through Brownwood and San Angelo (another old fort here - Ft. Concho) then West to Monahans - Monahans sand dunes - different from White Sands which is North out of Pecos, via Carlsbad and the caverns. This would also place you within a few hours of Guadalupe Moutains NP, which is full of great landscape.

    Many of the small towns have declined and there are numerous places to shoot buildings (though on a small scale) that are empty. The area has a littered landscape of old oil pump jacks that no longer work and make for an interesting graveyard so to speak.

    These are just a few, if you want email or PM me off line with areas you may be considering and we can discuss. Have a LOT of windshield time in most parts of the state and would be happy to help if I can.
    Mike,

    Wow, thanks for all the information. I'll e-mail you about this after I look at the map a bit.

    Thanks,

    Don

  2. #12

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Don, mid August in Big Bend is usually brutally hot (albeit a wonderful place for semi desert photography). Up in the Chisos basin (5000 ft. +) it will be cooler 80 to 90F but the valley along the Rio Grande could be 110 to 120 F in the shade. Guadalupe Mt. area could be almost as hot until you climb to higher altitudes. For a road trip as you describe I'd do photography within walking distance from the car.

    Northern New Mexico is my hangout and I like to get away from the tourists. On the eastern side of the Sangre De Cristos Mts. is the little Spanish town of Mora with some wonderful old adobe buildings. Nearby is the adobe mill at La Cueva on the Salman Ranch. Also a beautiful church nearby on the ranch property which with luck can be framed by thunder clouds that have formed over the mountains and blown eastward. I like the town of Madrid (really an old coal mining town) to the south of Santa Fe and further south a bit I adore the adobe church at Golden however they seem to be uptight about photographing there now given the posting of NO PHOTOGRAPHING signs.

    Just a few additional suggestions.

    Nate Potter, Austin TX.

  3. #13

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    [QUOTE=Nathan Potter;371474]
    Don, mid August in Big Bend is usually brutally hot (albeit a wonderful place for semi desert photography). Up in the Chisos basin (5000 ft. +) it will be cooler 80 to 90F but the valley along the Rio Grande could be 110 to 120 F in the shade. Guadalupe Mt. area could be almost as hot until you climb to higher altitudes. For a road trip as you describe I'd do photography within walking distance from the car.
    Nate,

    Thanks for the warning about the heat, though I have to mention that Georgia can also be brutally hot in August. So I keep my head covered, drink plenty of water and shoot close to the car. I've been in Death Valley at 115F but that's dry heat which isn't so bad. The UV exposure can be nasty out west in the high elevations so I'm prepared for that too.

    Northern New Mexico is my hangout and I like to get away from the tourists. On the eastern side of the Sangre De Cristos Mts. is the little Spanish town of Mora with some wonderful old adobe buildings. Nearby is the adobe mill at La Cueva on the Salman Ranch. Also a beautiful church nearby on the ranch property which with luck can be framed by thunder clouds that have formed over the mountains and blown eastward. I like the town of Madrid (really an old coal mining town) to the south of Santa Fe
    Great tip about Mora and La Cueva. I've been to and photographed in Madrid and Cerrillos, but tourists - outsiders, are fairly welcome there, more so in Madrid as I recall.

    and further south a bit I adore the adobe church at Golden however they seem to be uptight about photographing there now given the posting of NO PHOTOGRAPHING signs.
    I've photographed the church in Golden but that was a long time back. Then there was a chain link fence which I didn't go past but I don't recall the NO PHOTOGRAPHY signs. It sounds like a sign of the times (no pun intended) with more tourists and development going on along the Turquoise Trail and south of Santa Fe, the long time locals don't like the status quo and their property disturbed or desecrated, same here in Georgia and everywhere else too.

    I've been in some fairly desolate little villages in NM, places with graffiti that read, "Gingos Go Home"; so I am careful not to trespass or stick my nose where it shouldn't be, especially when I'm traveling alone.

    Thanks for the great tips,

    Don

  4. #14
    Darren H's Avatar
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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Don-

    There is so much to see out here a couple of weeks is not enough. You could just string a bunch of places together or goto 2-3 locations and have a bit more time at each.

    From Santa Fe area I would say Big Bend is too far away, save it for another trip.

    Guadalupe Mountains NP could be done and tied in with seeing White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns. There will be warm/hot days in the Guadalupes but it will cool down into the 50's or 60's at night due to the mile high elevation (even in August). This is a great park but be warned there is no food, lodging, or gas for 40 miles in any direction. If you like to camp, stay at Pine Springs (park HQ) and then drive or hike to your hearts content. The images are everywhere and you won't need any help to find them. BTW- I'll be here on Labor Day weekend, so if you are too and see a guy with an Arca-Swiss, stop by and say hi.

    Carlsbad Caverns is neat and always a comfy 56 or 58 inside it. Stay for the bat flight at dusk.

    Coming south from Santa Fe you could go toward the Gila Cliff Dwellings north of Silver City. That would tie in nicely with a trip to White Sands and the Guadalupes.

    If you make it to El Paso there is a state park right in town (the Franklin Mountains) and right outside of town is Hueco Tanks which is a world class pictograph and rock climbing site. The rules have become rather draconian there about access so on a weekend you probably cannot get in without a reservation. but if you want to boulder or find some great rock art, this is worth a stop. Also, if you like good greasy cheap food, then check out "Chicos Tacos" in El Paso. Might be the Tex-Mex equilivent of a slider at White Castle.

    You can see some images of these Texas areas on my Texas blog:

    http://imagesoftexas.blogspot.com/

    You can see more on my large format blog (link at bottom).

    If you like UFO kitsch then you have to put Roswell on your list, it is just up the road from Carlsbad.

    Another southern NM area to photograph is around Ruidosa. Up in the high country and much cooler than the surrounding desert. Check out the nearby Capitan to see where Smokey the Bear is buried and Billy the Kid country.

    Finally alot of Route 66 stuff all through the Texas panhandle and the eastern NM plains.

    So much to see here, you could spend months at any location.

    Have a great trip!

    -Darren
    My Arca-Swiss Camera Blog- The Large Format Camera Blog

    My website-WildernessPhotographer

  5. #15

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Darren,

    Thanks very much for your detailed reply. Your blogs are great also. Yeah there is a lot of possibilities out in West Texas and New Mexico so that's why I made the post. Getting input like yours is very valuable to me. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

    Don

  6. #16

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    There are some great photo ops around southern NM (northern too) between Las Cruces and Albu. Carlsbad and the Guadalupes are nice, but there is NOTHING for a hundred miles practically around there. Mountains and caves. You said you wanted historica, so I'd look at some of the off the beaten path ghost towns and forts:
    Fort Seldon, Near Las Cruces
    Cuchillo, off of I-25 west before TorC
    Winston and Chloride, if you feel like continuing west.
    Or...north towards Socorro
    Or....West of TorC, thru Hillsboro, Kingston, to Silver City.

    All have nice old buildings and in various stages....

    Garrett

  7. #17

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Don,

    In New Mexico plan a visit to the old Spanish Missions.

    See here for a start. http://www.americancatholic.org/Mess...8/feature1.asp

    The old mission ruins are fascinating both visually and historically.

    I am going to be driving out there myself about the same time for a carbon printing symposium at Bostick and Sullivan, but probably not staying quite as long as you.

    Sandy King

  8. #18

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    Don,

    In New Mexico plan a visit to the old Spanish Missions.

    See here for a start. http://www.americancatholic.org/Mess...8/feature1.asp

    The old mission ruins are fascinating both visually and historically.

    I am going to be driving out there myself about the same time for a carbon printing symposium at Bostick and Sullivan, but probably not staying quite as long as you.

    Sandy King
    Sandy,

    I'll be driving out about half a week after the symposium so our paths probably won't cross. Dick said I could come by and look at carbon prints though, which I will. Thanks for the link.

    Are you flying or driving. There could be a remote possibility we could meet. Who knows?

    Don

  9. #19

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    There are some great photo ops around southern NM (northern too) between Las Cruces and Albu. Carlsbad and the Guadalupes are nice, but there is NOTHING for a hundred miles practically around there. Mountains and caves. You said you wanted historica, so I'd look at some of the off the beaten path ghost towns and forts:
    Fort Seldon, Near Las Cruces
    Cuchillo, off of I-25 west before TorC
    Winston and Chloride, if you feel like continuing west.
    Or...north towards Socorro
    Or....West of TorC, thru Hillsboro, Kingston, to Silver City.

    All have nice old buildings and in various stages....

    Garrett
    Garrett,

    I'll definitely research your points of interest, thanks for responding. Based on my previous trips to NM, there seems to be an endless of locales to photograph.

    Thanks,

    Don

  10. #20

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    Re: Road trip to New Mexico from Atlanta

    Don,

    I think our paths will not cross for sure as I will be driving back toi SC right after the symposium.

    BTW, I did the math on various ways of doing the round trip to Santa Fe from SC and it turns out that the least expensive way for me is to rent a Toyota Prius rather than go by air and rent a car there, or drive my own SUV, which gets about 20 miles per gallon. I can rent the Prius for eight days for $226, and calculating cost of gasoline the total turns out to be about $200 less than I would have paid just for gas for the SUV. Plus if the rental car breaks down en route I won't have to worry about paying for repairs.

    Sandy






    Quote Originally Posted by D. Bryant View Post
    Sandy,

    I'll be driving out about half a week after the symposium so our paths probably won't cross. Dick said I could come by and look at carbon prints though, which I will. Thanks for the link.

    Are you flying or driving. There could be a remote possibility we could meet. Who knows?

    Don

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