post travel, United States

72 hours in the Southwest — lots of driving and very worth it

I’m no stranger to long road trips. Or, lots of driving done in a short amount of time — as was the case last weekend.

Bryce and I had planned a few months ago to do a Southwest road trip. We would hit up White Sands National Monument Park, Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. These were places he had been as a kid with his family and he was excited to show me these crazy new-to-me landscapes and the “interesting” town of Roswell. OK, you caught me — he did all the planning for this trip.


We booked our flights and lodging, rented a car — and, I kind of forgot that the whole trip was even happening. After all, we had planned this a few months ago, then the holidays came and went and we were in Japan for two weeks.

When I arrived back from Japan and realized that I would be leaving for this Southwest road trip a week later, I … felt exhausted.

But, it was worth it. The +700 miles of driving, the 6 am wake-ups so that we could get to our next destination, the this-small-town-only-has-fast-food-so-I-guess-we’re-eating-fast-food stops and even the flight delay home at the end of the trip. All worth it.

OK, OK! You caught me again … Bryce was the only one who partook in the +700 miles of driving. I was the mere passenger.

Not only was it my first visit to these two national parks, it was my first time in New Mexico and Texas. (The road trip ended in El Paso, Texas for me). And, both White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns were incredible for very different reasons. We had great sunny weather all three days. We made it to all our destinations, as planned. We enjoyed lots of authentic Mexican food since we were so close to Mexico.

I don’t think I would have ever thought to do a Southwest road trip on my own. Honestly, I don’t think much about the desert. Also, I didn’t even know about White Sands or Carlsbad Caverns. (Before Bryce told me about Carlsbad Caverns, I thought it was the Carlsbad in California!)

We did and saw a lot in three days. The highlight was probably hiking and sledding through White Sands. (Yes, sledding!) Check back for other highlights and lowlights and photos. I have a lot to share on what I saw, ate and experienced! 🙂


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