Uh, Oh! If you’re easily frightened, looks like maybe you better just stay away from New Mexico as well as the AZ-Old Mex border area:
How ’bout I-80 through Wyoming?
I’ve read this (what Frank posted above) a million times in the Tucson papers (http://www.azstarnet.com ). In reality, the most danger is on the US side of the border. There are gunfights between vehicles on I-10 fairly often and lot and lots of car chases between the Border patrol and overloaded vans full of illegals (you wouldn’t believe how many people a coyote can pack into one van or camper shell on a pickup). None of which makes any difference for someone just wanting lunch in Nogales. The drive TO Nogales on I-19 worries me a lot more than my safety walking IN Nogales. But the real danger is out in the desert along the border. As for most of your article which deals with terrorism-style activity, I agree 100%. There’s a huge risk of terrorists crossing that border and doing something awful. But that doesn’t stop me from getting a plate of chiles rellenos at Elvira’s either. Fisherman’s Wharf is schlock. So, incidentally are parts of Nogales (lots of t-shirts for sale there too). But there’s much more.
Apologies to anyone who actually lives there, but hell yes, you should bypass Houston altogether, if only to avoid the traffic nightmare. My parents lived outside of Houston, in Richmond (Fort Bend County), for a time after they retired, and I hated going to visit them. The traffic was awful, the humidity was awful, the local evening news invariably started with a five-minute summary of everyone who had been murdered in the preceding 24 hours…I just really have a hugely negative opinion of Houston. And I don’t know of any absolute can’t miss restaurants there either, so there you go.
As far as El Paso is concerned, I also think you can give it a miss. It’s, y’know, just another border town. Myself, I preferred Del Rio when I lived there. You’ll get the same experience simply by going to Calexico and Tijuana, so you can rest assured that you won’t be cheated. However, big ups on Carlsbad — Charity and I have only been once (even though I lived within 200 miles of the place for most of my life), but we loved it.
Also, there’s a barbecue place in Carlsbad called Red Chimney Bar B Que (817 North Canal, 505.885.8744…I’m copying all of this down off of Charity’s t-shirt, incidentally, which she got because it features one of our favorite advertising motifs, the Cannibal Pig) that’s worth checking out — the barbecue is just okay, but the potato salad is out of this world.
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
BT .here we go again………… lol. And your the guy that tells tourists to stay out of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco because it’s a tourist trap ………. Please read on.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Mexico U.S. border violence must be taken seriously
By Jerry Brewer
Considering U.S. State Department warnings earlier this year to U.S. citizens of a drug war in Mexico, more recent months have clearly demonstrated that the associated fears of violence are justified in many cities on both sides of the border. As well, the murder of police officers and their leaders, along with the killings and kidnappings of Mexican and U.S. citizens, have outraged both nations.
According to the office of Mexico s Attorney General, the nationwide total was over 900 executions during the first four months of 2005.
Two U.S. Border Patrol agents recently wounded near Nogales, Arizona, were ambushed and shot by assailants dressed in black commando-type clothing. More than 50 rounds were fired at the agents. To aid the perpetrators escape, one apparently remained behind and used a portable radio to pinpoint the agents’ location for snipers hidden nearby. Authorities said the gunmen fled using military-style cover and concealment tactics, while investigators later found commando clothing and other "sophisticated equipment" at the sneek attack site.
This shooting was another in a rising number of assaults on Border Patrol agents in the Tucson-Nogales sector. Since October 1, 2004, 196 assaults on agents, including 24 shootings, have been recorded. Making things worse, there is a reported US$50,000 bounty on Border Patrol agents, and state and local police officers.
In addition to the concerns of attacks on police officers, members of the Texas Border Sheriffs’ Coalition fear that terrorists could easily slip across the U.S.-Mexico border and carry out deadly attacks. Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez was quoted as saying, "If drug traffickers can take 3,000 or 4,000 pounds of marijuana across our bridges imagine a load of bombs.
Rick Flores, the Webb County Sheriff, said, "Staging a terrorist attack in Laredo (Texas), America’s largest inland port, would be very simple. We’ve got 7,000 trucks crossing on a daily basis. What’s to say that someone won’t stick something underneath one of the trucks and have it blow up right in the middle of the bridges? Or terrorists could smuggle across a small dirty bomb, which would spread radioactive material across South Texas."
These Texas officials are expressing real fear about being out manned and outgunned and rightfully so.
Mexico s Attorney General, Daniel Cabeza de Vaca, met a couple of weeks ago with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and other state officials to address this violence. Cabeza de Vaca, Abbott and Gov. Rick Perry,20,154465.043,1,17355,220.127.116.11
154507,154465,154465,2005-08-09 13:01:16,RE: please help me w/ my new mexico itinerary (long)!!”
If you are still on the 10 west of Houston, take a break and visit the Shiner Brewery in Shiner Texas, a little south of the 10 about an hour out of San Antonio. What a neat little town, and the tour is relaxing with some free beer in the deal for tour takers. Shiners is becoming a larger regional beer than it was a few years back (now availble at Jungle Jims in Ohio) It makes a good break on a long ride.[:p]
Lucky’s got it about right. I’d skip Houston(sorry, Lone Star).
What’s your scenery to food ratio? How much does each matter?
Visually, that’s why I wanted to route you through Sedona, Jerome etc.
The mayor’s southern Utah route to I-15 is good too, but you have to make the call.
Two recommendations in Santa Fe and reviewed on this site:
Roque’s Carnitas: Great street food right off the plaza. Be careful because they can be filling. Reviewed
The Plaza Cafe: Located on the plaza (what a coincidence) is also worth the trip. They have good pies not mentioned in the review. Read the review here. http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1388&RefID=1388
Many other NM reviews here http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurants/SearchResults.aspx?st=restaurants&ob=restaurantname&ps=1&s=NM
man, lucky bishop, this puts a whole new perspective on my trip! why is TX and NM becoming 2 of the most difficult states to navigate through? well, TX is easy cuz it’s so damn big! lemme ask you then if you dont mind – coming from louisiana on the 10, should i just bypass houston altogether? i’m thinking yes, cuz i really want to get to austin (have a friend there yay!) and hill country, then san antonio and fredericksburg. i would be skipping el paso if i take the route you suggested (or similar route; i think i want to stop at carlsbad) – what do you (and everyone else) think about that? i MUST go to chope’s tho, so keep that in mind (so out of the way tho if i come from eastern NM). i really must decide on a solid route, cuz my jeep only gets 200 miles/gallon 🙁 thanks again lucky, and anyone else who chimes in…your info is invaluable…keep on truckin! oh and thanks for recognizing unocal76 lucky (ive loved the orange and royal blue colors and the antennae balls since when i first went out to cali for a high school graduation trip – maybe it was destined to move there).
hey BT, i was just in mexico in january, took a road trip from san diego to ensenada (man, what a blast, one of the best road trips ever!), so ill definitely be making excursions down mexico way from my new home. it agree it would be nice to stop in nogales but i’m not venturing that far south in AZ. but i’ll get there eventually… cant wait to eat sonoran cuisine!
I said–don’t drive into Mexico. Park on the US side in a guarded parking lot for $5 and walk across to the restaurants. I have never driven into Mexico and wouldn’t really want to even without all my stuff. It isn’t necessary in Nogales and almost nobody does just to eat and shop on the Mexican side. And it’s so easy I think you’d enjoy having a Mexican lunch on its home turf at least once but maybe that’s just me.
WOW!!!! I’ve lived here over 30 years, and I couldn’t accomplish all you want to do in a couple of weeks. The Southwest is not a place you want to hurry through. To try to do Santa Fe, Albuquerque, the Four Corners, Monument Valley, etc. would take at least a month of slow driving to enjoy the beautiful mesas, sandstone cliffs, pine forests, and the GOOD food you find down here. A previous note mentioned the distances out here. Just one example; we drive 60 miles to Santa Fe twice a month to shop at TJ’s and eat at Diego’s or Bobcat Bite. We don’t think anything of a three day trip to Denver, which is 440 miles, or to Phoenix (Ugh) which is 400 miles. You are really missing all the beautiful places. New Orleans? O.K., but come through San Antonio then west to Fort Stockton and north to Carlsbad and visit the Caverns. I also think you are missing a bet by not seeing the Grand Canyon.
I would love to talk to you in depth about New Mexico and Arizona. I am an amateur archaeologist and historian of the Southwest. Would enjoy bending your ear.
Unocal76: First off, gotta love anyone who names themselves after a chain of gas stations. One of the other frontrunners before I settled on Lucky Bishop was "Little America," for the truck stop chain and the R.E.M. song named after them. Anyway…
Speaking as someone born on the Texas/New Mexico state line who has spent the vast majority of his life in one state or the other, I gotta tell you: going from San Antonio to El Paso is a fool’s errand. I lived briefly in a town about halfway between, and I can assure you that the food is nothing special and the scenery is going to be a letdown after the majesty that is the Texas Hill Country, which may well be my favorite place on earth. It’s a long, sloggy drive and there’s nothing worth driving through it for.
Now, what I do when I’m going from San Antonio to Albuquerque is San Antonio (Earl Abel’s!) to New Braunfels (Naeglin’s Bakery!!!!) to Fredericksburg (not much of anything interesting foodwise, but it’s a pretty little town with some fun German kitsch) to Menard (where I pause and bow my head in respectful silence at the former site of the Navajo Inn Restaurant, which had the finest cheeseburger in the entire world) to San Angelo (where I stop to say hi to my parents’ gravesite — you can skip that part if you want) to Big Spring (Herman’s Restaurant has a cheap and decent diner breakfast, but it’s not as good as I remember it being when I was a kid) to Lamesa (don’t bother stopping unless you need a pee break at the Town and Country convenience store) to Lubbock (One Guy From Italy, on University Avenue across from the Tech campus, where you will find what it still the best calzone I have yet found, and I’ve eaten a LOT of calzones) to Littlefield (as good a place as any to discover the joys of a Texas Dairy Queen, which are completely unlike Dairy Queens in the rest of the country — get the Country Basket) to Clovis and Portales, New Mexico (see my previous post). From there you can either go south and hit Roswell and work your way back up from there, or you can go from Clovis to Fort Sumner to Santa Rosa and hook up onto I-40 there.
You’ll save hundreds of miles, and you’ll have a MUCH better time.
I agree with Bill. Keep your truck on this side of the Border.
One alternative for the Monument Valley segment. Consider heading over from Shiprock to Page AZ then cut across Southern Utah via Kanab and Mt Carmel Junction, thru Zion N P and St George to go down I-15 to Vegas and SoCal. I love that ride and will choose it over the i-40 segment in AZ anytime.
I had the opportunity to spend a winter in Albuquerque on a company expense account and attempted to eat everything. As odd as it may sound, the absolute standout dining experiences in Abq. is a little place called Ragin’ Shrimp (just off Central at Carlisle). Their original Cajun-sauced shrimp with a salad and a loaf of French bread is perfection! Other evenings found me at Mr. Powdrells BBQ on the east end of Central Avenue (Route 66), and at Rudy’s BBQ (I-40 and Carlisle)…would love to have those options available to me here on the Great Plains! There are literally dozens of great mom and pop diners featuring great New Mexican food…ask any local and prepare yourself for a dissertation on the fine points of burritos and huevos! Man, do I envy you this trip! Best Wishes!
no uhaul, but i think ill skip mexico anyway for now. there’s enough in the u.s. of a. fwiw, that pizza place in phoenix is run by a guy born in the bronx, so that’s reassuring. but i think i’m gonna bypass phoenix…from the way BT described it, it sounds like LA (minus all the good food)! thanks again guys
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