Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Magic of Back Roads – En Route to Albuquerque

I love interstate driving, it gets the job done. We love having all that room and zooming down a highway, especially if the highway is empty. We were born to drive.

I also love the backroads, and the USA has some great backroads. Today is almost all backroad, and oh, what a fun driving day it is.

Leaving Roswell, New Mexico, we take a route to Albuquerque through cattle country, and through Billy-the-Kid country, and Smokey-the-Bear country. We come across a giant lava flow, it goes on for miles, with vegetation finding a way to survive – even thrive – in the formerly molten rock:

We find a restaurant with old Homer Simpson in front:

When we were kids, everyone knew the song about Smokey the Bear:

And along this road, we went through Smokey the Bear’s home town!

We merge onto the interstate into Albuquerque, and this time, I successfully call a real Fairfield Inn and find a room for the night.

Now I rarely do this. If there is a place we eat and don’t like it, I just won’t say anything. This time I will say something, because this place, The Quarters, is listed in the Marriott recommended list of nearby restaurants. Hey, and it’s barbecue.

We found it, there aren’t a lot of restaurants around, and this sign was about 2 feet by 3 feet:

Less than a BBQ restaurant, it is very much a lounge, and as soon as you walk in you see men sitting alone at the bar, looking like they’ve been planted there for a century. There isn’t a lot of jolly conversation, just men silently drinking.

There is a separate area for dining, and I will say this, the servers are doing their best to make the best of a bad situation. The dining area has a mixture of bar mirrors and old quilts hanging. We ordered from the menu, and when my BBQ Turkey came, it was like Publix sliced turkey, the kind you buy in a package, on a normal hamburger bun. Their BBQ sauce was good, but this sandwich – it was like you would throw together with scraps you had left over in your own kitchen.

The Quarters has seen better days. It is dingy. The furniture is in bad repair. The carpets are in bad need of cleaning. And it’s Albuquerque – I am sure there are better places to eat. Don’t go there.

April 29, 2012 - Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cultural, Geography / Maps, Road Trips, Travel | , ,


  1. what a fun trip! and: you’re so close! Are you coming through CO?

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | April 29, 2012 | Reply

  2. Oh! Little Diamond! We were so close! At least in the same state! We were at Mesa Verde! Now heading home, en route to Seattle – any chance you will be in town? 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 1, 2012 | Reply

  3. I hope you didn’t go to the Roswell UFO Museum. Trust me, you don’t want to do that. Unless, you really enjoy that level of corny. The Valley of Fire lava flow is cool but, it doesn’t do much. If you ever get a chance, you should try to see the Bat Flight at Carlsbad Caverns – kinda surreal.
    Have a safe trip. Come back soon.
    If you do like the kind of corny the UFO Museum has, you should come back for the UFO Festival in July.

    Comment by sluggerssoftball | May 8, 2012 | Reply

  4. LOL, I would guess you know what you are talking about. Love the Sluggers, love the green tape, love all the incentives 🙂 I loved the lava flow, but (shudder) I really don’t do bat flights. I feel so sorry for the little bats right now, with that white nose virus . . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 8, 2012 | Reply

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