New Mexico: Travelogue 2016
If you’ve seen the show Breaking Bad, a) you are my best friend b) you’ll definitely appreciate this travelogue. So, a bunch of my friends from college and I went on a roadtrip to New Mexico during the Easter weekend. There were 11 of us, so you can imagine the insane fun we had on our road trip. We all go to school in Texas, at the Texas A&M University and we have all been wanting to go to New Mexico for quite some time now. Now that graduation is just a month away for most of my friends, we decided it was finally time that we take this road trip. So, we rented two cars – one seven seater Chrysler Town and Country, and a Hyundai Sonata. Our trip spanned from Friday to Monday early morning.
- Day 1: Long drive and reaching our motel at the first destination
Our first destination was Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We started from College Station, Texas at about 1 o clock in the afternoon. We had planned to leave much earlier than that. Initially, 9 of us were supposed to go on this trip and we were going to rent two sedans. However, in lieu of all the planning, activity and excitement, a couple of our friends felt the infectious enthusiasm and decided that they wanted to join. So, we rushed to the car rental agency again, and upgraded our car to the Chrysler. This entire process took a little bit of time and hence delayed our departure from College Station. We got on the road and with a bunch of stops along the way, reached our motel in Carlsbad around 10.30 pm local time. The drive took us about 11 hours.
Miscellaneous: The drive to New Mexico is beautiful. For many miles, it is just a long open stretch with nothing around you and no gas stations, no human interaction for a good couple hours. It is important to note that if you’re taking a roadtrip to New Mexico, be mindful of gas in your car because you never know when and if you’ll have access to a gas station.
I don’t have many pictures to post from this day since all we did was pretty much drive most of the day. So, above are pictures of the makeup and outfit I wore for the drive. I absolutely loved this makeup and outfit pairing. The outfit is perfect for a roadtrip because both the top and pants are so comfortable especially since I was going to be driving/sitting in the car for approx 9 hours. And the pink lip paired perfectly with this outfit in my opinion.
- Day 2: Visiting the Carlsbad Caverns and Camping in Oliver Lee State Park
The next day we set out to visit the caverns. So, we checked out of the motel and headed there. The caverns and our motel were only about 15 minutes apart so we wasted no time in heading to the caverns.
Inside the Carlsbad Caverns, you have options as to how much you want to hike and which spots you want see. So, after paying an entrance fee, you start the hike down to the underground caves. What we weren’t aware of was that the hike is a pretty strenuous one. It is relatively easier to go down, however, for those of us who aren’t the best shape and aren’t avid hikers, the hike back up is literally ‘breath-taking’.
I wish I could put up some really good pictures of the caverns, but you really need a DSLR for the low lighting inside the caverns- an iPhone camera just won’t do. However, I’ll post a picture below anyway so you get an idea of what the inside looks like.
The full hike will take you about four to five hours down and up, so keep that in mind when you are scheduling your trip. After we finished our hike, we were starving so we sat down to eat in the restaurant in the visitor center. Surprisingly, their food was absolutely delicious. And they even had provisions for a fantastic veggie burger (important to me because I am a vegetarian). We left from the caverns and began our drive towards Oliver Lee State Park. We planned to camp at the state park. We hadn’t made any reservations or booked our camp ground so we were just being super spontaneous and hoping for the best. The drive from the caverns to the state park is about 3 hours. We reached the park well into the night. By this point, we were extremely worried that there would be no spots left for us. Fortunately, the campground host was an extremely nice man; we woke him up around 9 pm and asked if we could camp there for the day. The kind man that he was, he told us they weren’t fully booked so they had a few spots open and we could pick whichever spot we wanted to. We couldn’t believe our sheer luck that we were able to secure a spot this late into the night. The camping spot we had was a ‘primitive spot’-this means no electricity. We were more than fine with it – in fact, we wanted such a spot so that we could all just have a night full of friends, barbecue, beer and no one would be involved in their phones. The park had excellent facilities for the showering, toilets etc.
Miscellaneous: As is typical of a desert, it was warm in the day and freezing in the night. Luckily, all of us had come prepared with our tents, sleeping bags, comforters, jackets – the whole nine yards.
- Day 3: White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico
After cleaning up our camp site the next day, we headed out to visit the famous White Sands National Monument. Personally, this turned out to be my favorite part of the entire trip just because of the sheer vast beauty that was the white sands. We had been told by a few friends that even though the White Sands are beautiul, you will get bored after about an hour because of the unchanging landscape. I completely disagree! I think there was not enough time for us to spend at the White Sands. So, we left from our camp ground at about 11 am, stopped to eat and reached the monument twenty minutes later. You can take your car inside the monument up to a certain point ( approx 8 miles) after which your only option is to hike. We were supposed to leave that day and drive back home, so we didn’t hike in the monument. The very first thing we did is SAND SLEDDING! I had never done sand sledding before, and I am so glad I got to do it. Sand sledding was a ton of fun especially with all my friends.
After sand sledding at one spot, we drove some more around the monument and saw an empty volleyball net! We couldn’t pass up this chance so we played four games with a whole horde of other tourists in the park.
After volleyball, we drove around and took a bunch of pictures for our memories. I’ll post some pictures below in hopes of doing justice to the beauty of the sands.
After spending nearly four hours in the monument, we finally started our 12 hour drive back to College Station. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and the pictures have inspired you to take a trip with your friends.
Miscellaneous: The further you go into the monument, the more pristine and untouched are the dunes.
- New Mexico is a must see!
- Bring your passports because there are CBP checkpoints en route
- Try to camp in the White Sands Monument if you can
- Road trip is hectic but is probably the best way to travel for this type of destination
- People are nice and always willing to help; don’t be afraid to ask!
- This was the perfect weather to go in -any later than this and it is going to start getting too hot in New Mexico
Stay beautiful and travel a ton lovelies,