Saturday, May 7, 2022

2022 Trip Southwest Summary

2022 Trip Summary

This, and the text of all the blog posts in date order, are posted at

2844.6 miles driven over parts of 10 days, including about 100 miles local travel in various spots. 

Gas used approximately 93 gallons. Average MPG almost 31; best stretch was over days 6 & 7 (Las Cruces to Bloomfield) at 35+ mpg – this was over 650 miles.

I try to plan trips using “virgin roads,” one's I've never traveled before. On this trip, I counted almost 590 miles of “virgin roads,” a bit over ½ in Kansas, then some in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and a bit in Arizona. New Mexico had the most total miles, over 1200, with Kansas in 2nd place, followed by Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Only drove 133 in Missouri.

I use 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). My average gas price was $3.81.9:

  • Newton KS: Jump Start on 1st street east of I-335/US50 – still the cheapest at $3.58.

  • Boise City OK: Toot n Totem on US-56/64/412 on east side of town - wish I'd stopped there rather than Guymon.

  • Texas was generally $3.69, New Mexico best prices were about $3.96 with many well over $4 (some over $4.35).

  • Warrensburg is high. Wish I'd gassed up in Harrisonville.

Lodging: I stayed at Holiday Inn Expresses, mostly using points accumulated in prior years or purchased. Where the HIE was not available, I stayed at Best Westerns (2) & a Quality Inn.

Best hotel facilities: Best Western Night Watchman Inn, Greensburg, KS – new, modern hotel. Walk-in shower, good lighting, big TV (2nd recent stay). Breakfast good.

Also good: HIE Portales – Good hotel, virtually no breakfast.

HIE Las Cruces – Typical, breakfast OK this year

HIE Gallup – Good hotel, good breakfast

HIE Liberal – Newer hotel. Breakfast lacking.

A cut below: BW Bloomfield (NM) - Room OK, breakfast OK.

Quality Inn Taos -.Older hotel, lacking some amenities. Breakfast good, real art in lobby.

Avoid: Wichita West Inn – Until renovations in progress are complete.

Dining: I ate at 2 fast food places on this trip. Rest were sit-down.

Taco Bell in Wichita – typical

Whataburger in las Cruces – worst green chile cheesburger ever!

I'd go back to:


  • Best chiles relleno – El Rancho in Portales. Excellent Relleno, indifferent service..

  • Las Trancas in Las Cruces – Chile rellenos taste fine. Posole side decent. Good service

  • Don Diego's in Gallup – Out of Chile rellenos, green chile stew good. Good service

  • Shed Cafe in Santa Fe – Enchiladas with posole, rice beans – excellent service

  • Mexico Viejo in Wichita – Chile relleno was fine. Sports bar, mediocre service


  • Cattleman's Cafe 2 in Liberal – Chicken fried steak wasn't up to usual standard. Sublette is better

  • Prairie House in Leon KS – Large portions at small town cafe.

  • Village Inn in Wichita – Chain restaurant with decent breakfasts

  • Reggie's Pizza in Greensburg – Thin crust, decent taste. Only place in town on Sunday.

I will avoid:

  • Cafe Lemus in Raton – Only 1 green chile dish, was mediocre. Most expensive meal of trip.

  • Holy Smoke BBQ in Borger, TX – Brisket came soaked in rather vile sauce. Indifferent service.

  • Casa de Valdez in Taos – Nothing wrong with food, just didn't feel welcome. Poor service

  • Earl's in Gallup – Rather limited Mexican menu, and tasteless at that. American might be better.

  • Roadside Cafe in Bloomfield – Chile relleno was OK, but rice/beans inedible. Service slow.

Site/sight seeing:

  • I recommend BIA 12 from Window Rock to Tsaile, along the AZ/NM border – some spectacular views and rock formations.

  • Also BIA 13 from Lukachukai to US-491 – a very curvy paved back road with red rock formations and long views at some spots.

  • And, or course, Canyon de Chelly and Capulin Volcano.,

  • Museums in Roswell and Raton (from this trip)

Links to attractions are be posted for the appropriate day in the Blog Text section at

Total cost of trip about $2200, including points cost of 4 “free” room-nights. Cat boarding and gas other largest items.

Monday, May 2, 2022

2022 Trip Southwest, Day 10 – Liberal to Home


2022 Trip Southwest, Day 10 – Liberal to Home, Sunday, May 1st

Left Liberal at 0715, CDT, after a really meager breakfast. Made really good time, as virtually everyone treated the speed limit with utter contempt. Saw virtually nothing new my posts about these roads in the past, so took few notes. Planned for lupper (that's lunch/supper) at Annie's 58 in Holden – it was not open, 3rd such disappointment of the trip. Got home at 2:35 PM and did three loads of laundry (1 line dried), got the accounting caught up, and got to bed about 10.

For the day: 444.1 miles, for the trip 2844.6

For Monday: a long list of chores, update Day 9 with details (DONE!), and work on my photos for the Mid-Mo Artists show.

Later: Write up a trip summary with additional details, lessons learned, and comments on motels and restaurants.