New Mexico Backroads - Best of 2014 Gallery

Want to go for a drive? New Mexico Backroads' Best of 2014 Gallery is complete; narrowed down from over 15,000 miles of travels & over 25,000 images. Visit the Best of 2014 Gallery on SmugMug HERE. Grab a cup of joe, put on some good tunes, and ENJOY. -Jake Quinones

Trail Tool Kits - The Basics of Assembly & Organization

Assemble a trail tool kit that fits your vehicle. Use this kit in your garage to get acquainted with what works, what does not, and what is lacking. It is better to find out you don't have that 22mm socket or T55 [Torx] at home rather than on a remote shelf road. If you keep a quality set of sockets, ratchets and wrenches in your garage tool box, but keep a cheap or inferior set in your vehicle tool kit, you should reverse those roles. Those Snap-On ratchets at home will do you little good when you are holding a broken [cheap] one on the trail. Once your vehicle tool kit is satisfactory, choose a tool storage system that makes things easy to access and takes up as little space as possible. Go for soft sided storage that keeps things quiet and tightly organized. This past spring, New Mexico Backroads selected Adventure Tool Company's heavy waxed canvas bags and tool roll when rehabbing and reorganizing the NMBR Rubicon's on-board tool kit. Paul at Adventure Tool Company [or ATC] also custom made an extra large re-enforced tool bag to carry some big, heavy tools; aptly labeled "FUBAR KIT".




Jim Taylor at Bosquecito

     Jim Taylor stopped to ask if I needed help while I aired up my tires near Bosquecito. In the miles leading up to his stop, every loose piece of steel in his truck and trailer could be heard; clanking in defiance of the rough road. Jim owns and operates a trash hauling business that services the rural communities surrounding San Antonio, New Mexico. His handshake was like a vice-grip and his unflinching gaze was of equal strength. The area lowlands had flooded during the summer monsoon, leaving miles damaged and sand covered [paved] roads, and debris in trees as high as six feet.  Deep tracks in the soft shoulder revealed the hardships of those that made the mistake of going off course. When Jim passes stragglers, he stops and asks them if they need a wrench, a tug, or a ride.  He's seen it all [good and bad] in the decades he's traveled the maze of backroads that connect his route. Through our conversation, he told me about growing up in the area, having a family, starting a business, and watching his kids move away to larger towns. He also told me about the wars, families, fortunes, and tragedies that shaped the community's rich history. Jim was kind enough to let me capture this image before we parted ways.

Bosquecito | Socorro County, NM



Conductor at Antonito - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Conejos County, CO

Chama Yard at Dusk - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Rio Arriba County, NM


Northern New Mexico Exploration - Great Plains & Taos Plateau

Santa Fe Trail, Cerro Negro, Charette, Rio Grande, John Dunn Overlook, Penabetoso Peaks | Mora County, NMMora County & Taos County, NM


Colorado Exploration - San Luis Valley & Rio Grande River

Costilla Crossing Bridge, Punche Valley, HWY-142 at PiƱon Hills, Rio Grande & Church at Lobatos - Conejos County & Costilla County, COLORADO


Salida Life - Salida & Arkansas River, Colorado

Salida Life- Between the backroads of Central Colorado, it‘s easy to find yourself in Salida at the end of the day. Its central location provides easy access for nearly every outdoor pleasure imaginable. The area's most notable natural feature is the Arkansans River. The Arkansas River attracts both those looking for solitude and those looking for adventure. Along the weathered sidewalks, dogs and bikes wait outside the local markets and cantinas for their owners to return. In Salida, you need not go further than the corner of F Street and 1ST Street to see classic Americana that mixes one part Norman Rockwell, one part mountain town, and one part Austin, TX. It seems Salida’s eclectic mix of residents know how to live the good life.