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SW Riders,
I'm planning a 1-month cross-country trip from Portland OR to Albuquerque where my wife will join me mid-Sept for the ride back (conditional on Covid-19 situation). We want to spend a few days exploring and riding around Taos including the Enchanted Circle Scenic Loop. I looked at my collection of Butler maps and created a 'first-cut' preliminary route in Basecamp (below). I figure we will need to spend one night in Albuquerque after I collect my wife from the airport, and two nights somewhere in the Taos area before heading back home. Any suggestions for interesting lodging in old-town Albuquerque and somewhere in the Taos area convenient to our riding loop(s)? Any suggestions on the riding route? Note that we have already visited Santa Fe several times (by car) and explored the Los Alamos/Valles Caldera region as well as most points west towards the AZ border. Thank you!
Ken
Annotation 2020-08-01 144858.png
Annotation 2020-08-01 144858.png


144446
 

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Q
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Whatever you do.. you must eat at a little mexican joint on the north end of Taos called Orlando’s. We were there for 4 days in June of ‘19 and ate there 3 times.. ohhh its so good! Show up early for dinner, it gets busy around 5pm and seating is limited.

Heres their FB page.

address.
Orlando‘s
1114 paseo del pueblo norte
Taos, NM 87529
 

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Rio Grande river bridge is a little north/west of Taos. Hwy 64 to Chama is great with little or no traffic. Cumbersome & Toltec RR out of either Chama or Antonito Co is really cool. The Hampton Inn in Taos is very nice and priced good. Hwy 84 between Santa Fe & Chama has cool red rock areas. Love the area.
 

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Texas Thorn
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Michael’s Kitchen is also a great place to eat. If Don Fernando’s is open, it was a good place to stay (was closed for remodel last time I was there). Where ever you stay make sure you leave nothing on your bike. Taos was the only place I ever had anything stolen. The police say there is such a drug problem, that they steal anything.
 

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Texas Thorn
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Also, if leaving headed west; the drive on 64 to Tierra Amarillo is a really nice ride. However, no gas long the way. Chama is first reliable fuel.
 

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When I go to Taos, I base out of Las Vegas. The ride from LV to Taos is amazing (especially if you are from the flatlands of Texas). The Plaza hotel in LV is a very good, affordable, friendly historic hotel and worth the stay. Everything (hotel and a couple of restaurants) are located within easy walking distance on the square. Keep in mind, New Mexico’s governor has shut down the state twice, including currently, and it is not visitor friendly at all. Hopefully that will change soon.
 

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Darn....New Mexico indeed has a travel quarantine! I was not aware of that. Looks like I need a plan B. And just as I was getting excited after reading everyone’s Taos advice. Back to drawing board... Thank you all for your advice. Travel is ok (with reasonable precautions) in the Pacific Northwest states. I’ve done several multi day bike trips recently and engage in most of my usual outdoor activities. Ken
 

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Keep an eye on the various city and state websites. Regulations change rapidly.
 

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Darn....New Mexico indeed has a travel quarantine! I was not aware of that. Looks like I need a plan B. And just as I was getting excited after reading everyone’s Taos advice. Back to drawing board... Thank you all for your advice. Travel is ok (with reasonable precautions) in the Pacific Northwest states. I’ve done several multi day bike trips recently and engage in most of my usual outdoor activities. Ken
You could do Colorado instead, we are open as of right now. I mean.. NM is nice but... we got them beat hands down here in Western Colorado for great roads to ride.
 

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Mr.Fix It
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We were in Chama, NM last month. Almost everything was shut down due to Covid.

Duane
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You could do Colorado instead, we are open as of right now. I mean.. NM is nice but... we got them beat hands down here in Western Colorado for great roads to ride.
If it was just me I’d be headed to Colorado instead. But it’s a 2-up trip and my wife wanted Santa Fe, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon as part of this package. We’ll talk it over as we are doing a five day motorcycle trip next week along the western Washington coast (Olympic Peninsula), and looping up to Mt Rainier. Plan B for our outing in September may be a 5 day kayak & camping/fishing trip down a wilderness river in Idaho. So life is still pretty good.
Ken


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If your timing is flexible, wait a couple weeks and catch peak fall color - both on the Loop and thru Colorado / Aspen etc......
 

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Your not missing anything by not going to Taos. Wife and I went there for our 25th anniversary 10 years ago and loved it. We road from KC to Taos, Durango, Ouray, and back. Loved it. Then we had a chance to go back to Taos last year. It was nothing like it was 10 years ago. They really haven't recovered (or at least it didn't appear that it did) from the economic downturn in 08. But since it's an artist community they still want the prices for things like the economy is booming there. Not so much. The riding is great around there but Taos is not what it used to be IMHO. Good luck with your plan B trip. Stay safe.
 

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If it was just me I’d be headed to Colorado instead. But it’s a 2-up trip and my wife wanted Santa Fe, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon as part of this package. We’ll talk it over as we are doing a five day motorcycle trip next week along the western Washington coast (Olympic Peninsula), and looping up to Mt Rainier. Plan B for our outing in September may be a 5 day kayak & camping/fishing trip down a wilderness river in Idaho. So life is still pretty good.
Ken


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This is the most godforsaken country in North America. The only exception is Monument Valley which is a very, very small section of road on the Utah/Arizona border which is covered in black.

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If I were you, I would pick her up in Albuquerque as planned. Head up to Santa Fe, Taos and Chama. Instead of cutting across northern NM head up 84 to Pagosa Springs Co, fantastic bit of road, then over to Durango etc... Then take the cut off to put you on the north side of Monument Valley and ride south thru it on 163. Map would look like this..

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This would also keep you on good roads. The highway between Farmington and Gallop NM is garbage. So is 191 south through Arizona, I seen pot holes out there last fall that would tear the front end right out from under my truck... not to mention its sparsely populated through Indian country with zero services and no cell reception through most of it.
 

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...very true. Not much to see or do west of Albuquerque until you get to Flagstaff. Then it gets scenic again.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
This is the most godforsaken country in North America. The only exception is Monument Valley which is a very, very small section of road on the Utah/Arizona border which is covered in black.

View attachment 144470

If I were you, I would pick her up in Albuquerque as planned. Head up to Santa Fe, Taos and Chama. Instead of cutting across northern NM head up 84 to Pagosa Springs Co, fantastic bit of road, then over to Durango etc... Then take the cut off to put you on the north side of Monument Valley and ride south thru it on 163. Map would look like this..

View attachment 144485

This would also keep you on good roads. The highway between Farmington and Gallop NM is garbage. So is 191 south through Arizona, I seen pot holes out there last fall that would tear the front end right out from under my truck... not to mention its sparsely populated through Indian country with zero services and no cell reception through most of it.
Darbinco, Good advice! I’m updating my route. Thank you. Ken
 
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