Way Out West: New Mexico

Welcome to long days and warmer nights, Summer is here! It's also time to stretch your wandering limbs and explore: in this blog series we will be highlighting the great things to see and do Way Out West (check out last week's!). You don't need to step far from our coast to discover great adventures-make it a day or a weekend, grab your sunhat and go...
Never one to turn down an adventure, I agreed to join a friend of mine on a road trip to her family reunion, driving from San Luis Obispo, CA to Truth or Consequences, NM. The trip totaled just under 3,000 miles and most days the weather was expected to be well over 100 degrees. Needless to say, the journey was daunting, but who wouldn't love the chance to explore a handful of cities in Arizona and New Mexico, to snap some photos, eat yummy food, and see some great sights? 
With the help of roadtrippers.com and many recommendations from locals, we found lots of fun stops to break up the long driving days. Here's some tips in case you ever find yourself in any of these cities:

Sleep in a teepee at the Wigwam Hotel 

Stop at rest stops to get a great shot of the mountains. Avoid rattlesnakes.
Eat at the Dinosaur McDonalds

Truth or Consequences has a population of just under 6,500. But the city, more commonly referred to as T or C, does not lack an interesting history or things to keep you busy on a vacation. The city was originally called Hot Springs, named for the naturally occurring spas throughout the area. However, in 1950, a radio show by the name of Truth or Consequences announced that it would be broadcast from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won that honor and thus the name of the city was changed. 

Enjoy a bathe in a natural hot spring while staying at the La Paloma Hot Springs and Spa
Float down the Rio Grande and enjoy the serenity of the river
Find some good old diner food with plates bigger than your face at BBQ on Broadway 
Cool off from the heat at Elephant Butte Lake
(unnamed 11 and 12) Take a day trip to the nearby farming town of Monticello

Take photos of cactus. There's not much else to do and they're quite photogenic.
Drive through the Petrified National Forest at sunset.

Abandon your dreams of sleeping in only cute, kitschy motels, and give in to air conditioning and gambling at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino.
Buy Starbucks from said casino and enjoy the comforts of civilization again after days spent driving through the desert.

Drool over the beautiful treats at Bottega Louie
Buy some souvenirs and eat some Mexican food at historic Olvera Street