From the pages of I RVing: Winter 2023

Snowbirding the Southwest

Journey from the warm desert sands of New Mexico to the bright beaches of Texas.

THAT STRANGER APPEARING ON THE HORIZON, the one with sharp hawk eyes dismounting a trusty steed … well, out here, that’s you. Naturally, you are on the run—from Winter. And the sands of the Southwest certainly offer a new beginning for snowbirds, be that the sun-drenched desert or the warm Gulf-water shores of a beachy paradise. With the region’s elevated heat index, there are a lot of hot spots to nestle into and out of during the colder months. As you might have guessed, snowbirding satisfaction comes down to what drives you, stranger. (A good thing to
ponder while listening to our Desert Tracks playlist on Page 9). Looking to stay active this Winter? There’s New Mexico’s secret oasis, Truth or Consequences with golf, hot mineral baths, fishing, and water sports. Want a sweet beach spot in a state not named Florida? We have a recommendation. The point is: You don’t even have to choose. Go wherever the sun takes you, stranger.

The Desert Trail to the Sea

Starting at that desert town with the titillating title, head west out of Truth or Consequences and merge onto I-25 South. In just over an hour, you’ll reach Las Cruces where I-25 S meets I-10 East and reaches El Paso after another hour, putting you right next to the Mexican Border and the town of Ciudad Juarez. Cruising another 120 miles east, you’ll take exit 140A onto US-90 E, which will intersect with US-385 S after two hours. That road will take you down to Big Bend, and you can take it all the way back up to I-10 E. Back on I-10 E, you’re now four hours out from San Antonio. At exit 158, you can merge onto I-35 S toward Corpus Christi. A couple more hours of steering south will put the taste of salt water in the air as you approach the Gulf of Mexico. Take US-181 North across the water and follow the signs toward Port Aransas—where a ferry will take you across the water to the Tropic Island Resort.

Repair Deputies and Supply Necessities

It stands to reason that if the West is basically Appaloosa, you should get to be Ed Harris. (Your word is law in your rig, right?) But before you marshal your RV down the road, it bears remembrance that even ole Ed Harris needed backup sometimes. Especially near the border. As you make your Southwestern travel plans, research mobile RV repair services around the area
to deputize in an emergency. Off US-90, Big Bend RV Supply & Service is a great option. No matter what, you always wanna pack more water in the desert (at least a gallon a day per person).

Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico USA

A Left at Las Cruces

Heading south from Truth or Consequences puts some unworldly topography on your left flank. Just east of Las Cruces, the Organ Mountains jut out of the Chihuahuan Desert like jagged, broken teeth. Travel a little further, and you’ll see the gypsum-white dunes of White Sands National Park. Both offer unforgettable hikes—just don’t forget your water.

Strange Sightings Around the Bend

Out West, you can—and should—expect the unexpected. Things like the unworldly rock formations of Big Bend. Devastatingly beautiful prairie sunsets and a night sky crowded with stars. But you’ll also run into towns like Marfa. And, well, they have tales about different kinds of lights in the desert. Stop by the Lost Horse Saloon, and the locals will tell you all about it.

Grab Some Green Chili Burgers

If you blazed by exit 41 and the Pepper Pot Restaurant in Hatch, you’re very much in danger of leaving New Mexico without having a Green Chile burger. Oh friend, don’t let that be. Swing by Blake’s Lotaburger—open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.—and order a burger … New Mexico style. They stack the meat two high and slather on Hatch Green Chile peppers.

A Siesta in Ole San Antone

After driving down those lonely desert roads, the lush allure of civilization sure has its charm. San Antonio isn’t the kind of town you drive by. It’s full of life, with opportunities to listen to live Latin music, share the pavement with a sea of people on the riverwalk, and even sneak in a bit of history for kids at the Alamo.


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