Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Thursday, February 2, 2012

From -Q- to -LA- to -TorC-
Jan 30 - Feb 2

I left Q (Quartzite, AZ) on the 30th, visited LA (Los Algodones, Baja, Mexico) on the 31st, then on to TorC (Truth or Consequences, NM) on the 1st and 2nd.

I took US-95 south from Quartzsite, AZ.  On this road I decided to turn off at one of the signs pointing toward the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.  I love the stark contrast of the mountains to the desert below.
On US-95 between Quartzsite and Yuma, AZ
Rock Mountains (Barry M Goldwater Range) tower over the desert.
After overnighting among the RV'ers at the Quechen Casino Resort, I woke early the next morning, drove the 7 miles to the border, parked my car and walked into Los Algodones by 8am.  I was advised to arrive and leave early to avoid the long lines at Customs when returning to the US.  Algodones is a little town known for providing medical services for Americans, mostly snowbirds and the elderly.  Dental, optical and prescription services are available for a fraction of the US cost.  There's an extremely high concentration of these professionals in a 4-block radius.  Everyone speaks English and the US dollar is the currency of choice.  I went there out of curiosity. It's known for being a safe and interesting town. I wasn't disappointed.  I may just go back should I ever need these services.
The outside facades were "nothing to write home about," but
the inside of the medical buildings were as pristine as any
doctor's office you would find in the States.
Surrounding most of the medical establishments were other vendors
 ... most selling crafts, trinkets, clothes or jewelry ... others selling food or
services (like shoe shinning in this picture).  The locals are not shy
about trying to draw you in to buy their wares or services,
medical or otherwise ... they reminded me of carnival barkers.
After 2 hours and a great-tasting tamale, I was ready to walk back over to the US with my souvenirs and a few household items.  It took me about 15 minutes to get through the US Customs line.
At one vendor's stand, an artist paints a metal box for a customer.  Here they decorate
common objects with desert and cowboy scenes.

Next I headed toward Truth or Consequences in New Mexico ... so named after the 1950's game show.  After overnighting at Lordsburg, just inside the NM border on I-10, I took the scenic route to TorC ... US-70 to NM-90 to US-180 to NM-152 to I-25.  It was not only a shorter route, but the NM-152 portion of it was spectacular ... beautiful scenery, fun twists and turns, over Emory Pass and through the Gila National Forest.

View from the lookout point at Emory Pass
I went to Truth or Consequences to visit my traveling friend Brian

Brian with his dog buddy Dina at Elephant Butte State Park near Truth or Consequences
Brian is one of those people who has lots of life adventures and entertains with the recounting of them. He's a genuinely nice guy and fun to listen to.  Currently, he's been traveling on a 1980's motorcycle to which he's added a side car (for gear and his dog Dina), as well as in an AstroVan with a Chinook conversion

It seems appropriate that my visit with Brian is in the same blog post as my visit to Mexico, as Brian is a huge proponent of going south of the border.  He gave me lots of tips about my future travels, including Alaska (where he lived and worked for many years), Mexico, and Big Bend National Park.  I hope to use many of his Big Bend tips soon.

In addition to being a very gracious host, Brian is a mechanic.  I'm so grateful that he volunteered to help me with a couple of unexpected car problems.   He and wife Kit will soon be vacationing in South America.  I'm looking forward to hearing how they like it this time down.  And, rumor has it, that Brian will be up in our neck of the woods this Summer too!


  1. Thanks for the info about Los Algodones. I would really like to travel there, but I seem to stay in the northern states where possible. Maybe some day.

  2. A visit to TorC is on my list, too! I hope you're enjoying this ride enough for both of us! Keep those pictures coming!


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