Discovering the enchantment of New Mexico

Carrizozo, NM Highway

New Mexico Border

New Mexico has always had a special place in Clayton and my heart. In fact our very first trips together while we were dating was to New Mexico for Clayton’s good friends wedding. That was almost 5 years ago so we were both pretty excited to be back in the land of enchantment.
Lordsburg, NM gas station

Our first stop was a little gas station in Lordsburg, NM and they had this really neat model T parked outside. Stopping for gas turned into more of an adventure then we thought it would be. Just as we were about to get back on the road we noticed we didn’t have any running lights. It was starting to get dark so obviously traveling to our planned destination wasn’t going to happen that night. Clayton went to start checking all the fuses when we realized we forgot our volt reader at home. No matter how prepared you think you are or how many times you double or triple check something is always forgotten. In this case it was all the necessary tools to get the RV back up with running lights. Luckily we weren’t far from our next stop so we waited for daylight and headed out the next morning.

Mesilla, NM church building

The next morning we woke up bright and early to hit the road. We stopped in Mesilla, NM and found a really neat historical district. The town is right outside of Las Cruses, NM and the historical museum is definitely worth a visit. Mesilla, NM Historical Museum

Mesilla,NM Historical Museum


The Mesilla plaza was our favorite part of the town, link to plaza history. We had a great time walking around and going from shop to shop.
Mesilla, NM Historical district

Leaving Mesilla, NM we started to go down hill into the white sands national monument. We loved the scenic views on our way down the mountain.

Scenic view before White Sands

After Mesilla we ff course we had to get a sign picture at the White Sands National Monument! Even though we didn’t actually drive through the white sands we did stop into the visitors center. We spent some time learning about the animals found there, link, and it was super cool how they have evolved to camouflage themselves.

White Sands National Monument

Our first park stamp!

National Park Stamps

We drove about three more hours along I10 and highway 380. There are a lot of neat spots we saw a long the way. I (Cori) loved how they added character to the road.

I-10 towards Ruidoso, NM

Lincoln, NM

Ranch Gate

We finally made it and our first night in Carrizozo, NM we immediately fell in love with the surrounding mountains. We were staying with friends and they live pretty far out so it was really peaceful. Getting to stay with friends has been a real blessing for Clayton and I. It was nice to be able to spend some quality time with good company and it helped us miss family a little less.

Carrizozo, NM plains

Carrizozo, NM hwy 380

Carrizozo, NM Sunset

Next we went Capitan, NM and it totally stole our hearts! I always thought that Smokey Bear was just a marketing thing. Then I come to find out that he was a real little bear cub changed my life. You can read the story here, smokey bear story. The historical park is built on Smokey’s grave site and it’ll make you feel all the feels man. Admission is super affordable and we highly recommend going to visit.

Capitan, NM Smoke Bear Historical Park

Smokey Bear Museum

Smokey Bear Museum

As we worked our way through New Mexico, we stopped in Roswell to stay with Clayton’s good friend and his wife. It had been years since we had seen each other so it was so good to catch up. Plus Roswell had grown a lot and it was nice to see all the new places it had to offer. Our friends took us to a couple places to eat and one was an Italian place called Portofino. The food was fantastic and the service was really nice as well. Clayton had the chicken parm and I had the chicken alfredo both were fantastic. We also tried out Classics, and it was the best frozen custard we’ve ever had. I highly recommend the strawberry cheesecake swirl.

Roswell treated us really well, especially considering that we stayed parked in this parking lot behind our friends apartment the two nights we were there. We got lucky and the parking lot happened to be for RVs to park at during conventions and it was the weekend so didn’t have any issues with employees and what not.

Roswell, NM

Bottomless lakes state park was really interesting. We had heard about them from some friends of ours and defiantly wanted to go check them out. The park wasn’t technically “open” yet, but you could go in and walk around. They have a total of 9 “lakes” and its really interesting to see all the limestone cliffs around them.
Bottomless Lakes, Lea Lake

Lea Lake, Bottomless Lakes State Park

Limestone Cliff, Bottomless Lakes State Park

Our last stop on our way out of New Mexico was Brantley Lake State Park. We only stayed one night there but it was a cool little place. Total we only had to pay $14 and that got us water and electric so we were pretty happy campers. We explored down to the lake but it was pretty marshy so we weren’t able to get that close to the water. The park does offer boat ramps for people to use to have easier access to the water.

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake

Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

We really enjoyed our time in New Mexico and we hoped you enjoyed reading about our travels. Clayton and I are currently working our way through Texas and we’ve got some really great stuff coming to the blog. If you liked this post and want to see more on our travels we’d love for you to subscribe to our blog or follow us on instagram.

As always Happy Travels

The Cathemers

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