July 10th thru July 17th
2129.8 miles driven over parts of 8 days, 2060 less breaks and Las Cruces urban driving with 40 hours actual driving time.
Gas used approximately 69 gallons. Average MPG a bit over 30; best stretch was over days 6 & 7 (Alamogordo to Boise City) at 34+ mpg – this was over 400 miles.
I used gasbuddy.com to see which areas and stations would have the best gas prices, based on my estimated range and comfort zone for my 16 gallon tank (while price levels may change, relative prices between towns/ stations are fairly constant):
Newton KS: Jump Start on 1st street east of I-335/US50.
Boise City OK: Toot n Totem on US-56/64/412 on east side of town
Alamogordo, NM: Murphy Express (Walmart) , Bus 54/70 south side of town
Warrensburg – Short Stop (Valero), Mitchell & DD
Lodging: I stayed at Holiday Inn Expresses, mostly using points accumulated in prior years. When the HIE was not available or too expensive (would cost too many points), I stayed at Best Westerns.
Best hotel facilities: HIE Dodge City – new, modern hotel. Walk-in shower, good lighting, big TV (2nd recent stay). Breakfast acceptable, but no milk.
Also good: HIE Santa Rosa – either new or totally renovated to modern amenities. Good hotel breakfast.
HIE Las Cruces – partially updated. Breakfast sub-par
BW Liberal - Best hotel breakfast, 2 meats plus B&G. Room fine.
HIE Emporia – good room, terrible breakfast. No hot items (covid protocols)
A cut below: BW Las Vegas (NM). Room OK, breakfast served w/ lots of choices. No milk.
A note: Don't use on-line check in if you tend to arrive early – they couldn't change my room assignment to one already cleaned, had to wait a solid hour.
Dining: I did not eat at any fast food places on this trip. All were sit-down.
Mexican: Best chiles relleno – Andale Amigo in Holden, MO. Salsa had bite, rice & beans good.
Las Trancas in Las Cruces – Taste not quite as good as the others, but it was only one de-seeded. Posole side decent.
Silver Moon in Santa Rosa – Relleno/green was good, beans decent, hominy in posole hard.
Acceptable: Si Senor in Las Cruces – Noted for choice of sauces. Food decent, not memorable.
Terrible: Pino's in Lsa Vegas – ground beef in enchiladas had funny taste, beans blah. Indifferent server (bad enough that I didn't tip at all – I normally leave $2 minimum).
American: 3 really good meals, 1 good breakfast, 2 acceptable places.
Cattleman's Cafe 1 in Sublette – best chicken fried steak in quite a while
Cattleman's Cafe 2 in Liberal – really good pot roast
Annie's 58 Drive In, Holden – good hot beef sandwich, side green beans good
Rick's Restaurant, Pratt – Bacon & eggs good.
Village Inn, Las Cruces – chain restaurant, green on their Mexican entree good. Breakfast OK
Pizza Ranch, Emporia – buffet, pizza OK, other items blah. Didn't try fried chicken.
Total cost of trip about $1000, plus 5 free room-nights. Cat boarding single largest item.