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2018-08-16  
2014-08-01  
El Morro National Monument, NM
mini location map2014-08-01
27 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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El Morro National Monument, NM 
El Morro National Monument, NM
 
Scenic Drive avatar Aug 01 2014
rwstorm
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Finally! My first trip to New Mexico in 2014. This was the return leg back home. Because of the heavy weather I cut this one short. I had planned on spending one more night in a motel in Santa Fe (the base for this adventure), but I decided to head back because the storms were making it difficult to do the tourist thing and walk around town. Not that I minded terribly, as I got to see some great monsoon action! :D

After a good breakfast at the always dependable Weck's, I left Santa Fe for Albuquerque, where I gassed up the RAV, then it was westbound on I-40 to Grants. Now it was off the interstate to slow the pace and enjoy one of my favorite drives: across the lava fields of Malpais, to El Morro, then Ramah, Zuni and Witch Well. Decided to stop briefly for a few photos at El Morro, but the wildflowers and beauty of the area made me linger awhile before continuing my journey. This has always been a favorite place for me. It's one of those National Park Service gems: not well known or heavily visited; off the beaten path. Perfect! The staff at this one are always so friendly (probably because they don't get burned out by the crush of visitors common at other places). And now it is totally free; no admission charge and the wonderful little campground is also free. Great place! :)

Next it was on to Saint Johns, where I ate the second half of a Subway sandwich at the city park (that I purchased Tuesday in Safford on my way up to Santa Fe). Gassed up again at Show Low for the final part of the drive home. It was already thundering when I left El Morro, so I knew I would likely encounter storms the rest of the way. 8) It stayed pretty tame until I was about to start the drop down into Salt River Canyon. Okay here we go! :scared: Very heavy rain along with road construction made it a little tense, but it let up when I reached the most serious section of driving. I really wanted to stop for photos, as the rain and storms made for an incredible sight, but it was just too risky, so I kept on going to Globe.

I don't like heading back to Tucson through Winkleman and Mammoth anymore, mostly because I don't like the slow going and traffic congestion from Catalina to Oracle Road. Plus, since I live on the west side of Tucson, it is better for me to come back via I-10. So I usually go to Superior and Florence Junction, then south through Florence and over to Coolidge and down SR87 to I-10 at Picacho. Like that drive better anyway. Stopped at Los Hermanos in Superior for a little something to eat, then at the Gallopin' Goose Bar in Coolidge for a cold one, before heading out to brave the last leg of my journey. :D

Storms were building all over the place, and I hit some blowing dust and strong outflow winds from about Picacho Peak all the way into Tucson. Made it a bit interesting! :sweat: I was sad I wasn't rewarded with a big storm at the house that night, but no real complaints. It was a great day! :y:
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Named place
El Morro National Monument
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Meteorology
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wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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912 Photosets

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