Southern States Tour – Day 18

Day 18 Route
Day 18 Route

The weather was hotter today, with highs reaching the mid to upper 80’s in the afternoon. Winds were light with moderate gusts at times.

Day’s distance: 281 miles
Total trip distance: 3,418 miles

It was almost 10am when I finally left Las Cruces today. An earlier departure was planned but eating breakfast at the motel, packing up, stopping to purchase a quart of oil from an auto supply store, and then separately stopping for gas, the time slipped away.

There is a long, very strait stretch of Hwy 70 adjacent to the White Sands Missle Range. The winds were a bit gusty so both hands on the bars while doing 75 mph.

I took about 45 minutes to make an unplanned stop at White Sands National Monument. There is a 5-mile long road that takes visitors to a observation area. Taking the walkway, …

White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument

I hoped for a vista-like view but was disappointed. So you get to see a selfie with the local white sand dunes instead 🙂

Selfie at the White Sands National Monument
Selfie at the White Sands National Monument

Hwy 70 passed through a variety of scenery. This scenic historical marker is well located for a view of the stunning Sierra Blanca Peak.


I also really enjoyed the views from the part of Hwy 48 north of Alto.



Because of the late start, I shortened my route midday. I was in Capitan, where Hwy 48 ends, when I was getting concerned about the time. Taking Hwy 246 north around the Capitan Mountains was my planned route, but instead I decided to take the Billy-the-Kid Trail back to Hwy 70, staying to the south of the Capitan Mountains.

day 18 descision point

The Trail was a scenic, lightly traveled, well paved two-lane road that passed through several small towns.

Soon enough I was back on Hwy 70. This part was not scenic, but again straight and fast. I stopped at a roadside table (rest area) …

Hwy 70 rest area west of Roswell, NM
Hwy 70 rest area west of Roswell, NM

when I discovered I was traveling near the now decommissioned Atlas Missle Silos.


My last stop before the campground today was Roswell, where I passed by the UFO Museum.


I didn’t spend much time in Roswell. It was congested and I was too hot to deal with it. I took off towards Carlsbad and the KOA campground I chose to stay at because motels are pricey here. This place has internet (albeit slow), a pool, and a restaurant of sorts. It isn’t too scenic or too close to town, but it is inexpensive.

I leave you with the obligatory camp setup photo. Enjoy 🙂


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