Mountains, volcanoes, mesas and basins intertwine into a series of unique and enchanting landscapes only found along the Rio Grande valley. This beautiful valley formed within the sinking terrains of the Rio Grande rift, creating a unique but narrow geologic unit within the North American continent. 12 detailed routes employ both new and old highways to explore the unique rift-created terrains of central New Mexico. Starting and ending in Albuquerque, the routes radiate out in all directions. Exotic terrains include the Plains of San Agustin, the Valley of Fire and Ojo Caliente valley. Lesser-used routes are employed to reach the local favorite destinations such as the Sandia Mountains, the Taos Plateau and the sculpted terrains surrounding Chimay . Most drives can be completed in an afternoon, but the many side adventures found along these routes can easily entice one into quick and long stops. For each drive, a summary is included: route mileage; estimated drive time; info about roads; info about gas stations and stores; and any special notes or considerations for the route. Map and directions are provided for each trip. Discussions about the landscapes and their geology are provided, and when available, other interesting info is discussed, such as local history.
"Tamara goes far beyond describing these road trips as picturesque--she brings her considerable knowledge of geology to peel back the layers of time and reveal stories of the landscape most drivers would overlook."--Ashley M. Biggers, travel writer
"New Mexico is a geological treasure, with surprises and beauty in every corner. Sunday Drives will inspire you to jump into your auto and explore the treasures in these well-mapped tours. Combining history, geology, and tourism, each driving tour is enhanced by the extra info provided. A great read and guide to exploring how unique our state truly is. It's worth not just reading but also in exploring on your own pace."--Jill Lane, 2018 NM Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee, travel writer, & retired Exec. Director, Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation