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The Tour heads to the Grand Canyon State…”Hey AZ: Got small towns?”

We woke up to “good news, bad news” weather. GOOD NEWS? The sun was shining and gale force winds had subsided. BAD NEWS? Check out these sub freezing temps. Brrr. We bundled up and headed out to the State of Arizona.


First stop on this leg of the Tour was a place our friend and neighbors The Lakes told us about – Rudy’s County Store – just outside the City of Albuquerque. Can you say smokey, lean brisket for breakfast?


Chris x 2, this rub’s for you!


Nothing like BBQ-shaming


Leaving Rudy’s, we continued our trek west. We passed the site of the annual international Balloon Fiesta, a nine-day event featuring over 500 balloons. Wow!


Driving on, we traversed some stark but powerful scenery on Native American reservation land. We kept “oohing and aahing” over the landscape, finally just calling it the “Wow Wow West”.


We couldn’t help but stop here in NM because it’s…


This was where The Tour hit the 3,000 mile mark.


Not far from Truth or Consequences (pop. 6,246) is the Chile Capital of the World – Hatch, NM (pop. 1,597).


Sparky’s Restaurant is a local sensation and famous for their green chili burgers.


It appears that Colonel Sanders might be trying to steal some chili trade secrets (see him hiding on the ledge?) Bet they’ll be introducing a bucket of KFC’s Chili Chicken soon.


These figures line the street across from Sparkys. Why you might ask? We have absolutely no idea.


Everywhere you look in Hatch are these gorgeous swags of dried red chili peppers. We were told to just put the chilis in a blender and then add the mix to anything for extra spice. Bart was in his nirvana!


Our last stop in New Mexico was Lordsburg (pop. 3,379 people). The town is the final destination in Stagecoach, the 9th greatest Western film of all time according to the American Film Institute, starring John Wayne in his breakthrough role as the Ringo Kid.


Leaving NM and crossing over into Arizona, we had to take a picture of this rest area. This is how Arizona does rest stops. You feel like you’re in a wild west outpost.


Next stop: Tucson, AZ for a little sightseeing and a lot of R&R.

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