Arriving into ABQ on a Wednesday afternoon 6/22/11 and will be spending the night in Old Town. The following day is set aside for travel to Durango.
I believe the most direct route is to follow 550 up but I was thinking of instead taking the more eastern route through Santa Fe, Chama, Pagosa Springs. My reasoning for this is that I believe this route may be more scenic / interesting. Will have the entire day as I do not need to get to Durango until evening to check into hotel for the night and dinner is flexible as to when/where. Looking for any thoughts or suggestions. My questions and concerns are:
1. Is there enough time to take this route without feeling rushed?
2. Would there be any advantage to going up the other way and into CO via Cortez in order to get advance tour tickets to Mesa Verde for the following day (and do they still offer this?).
3. Going up via 550 would allow us to stop off at Aztec ruins or some other Native American sites versus going the other route which I am guessing would offer more Spanish colonial type of feel (would like to get the best overall experience of NM).
Plan on returning back to ABQ from Moab, UT and the return drive I don't believe will allow enough time to do any real sightseeing stops along the way as it is a much longer distance.
I have taken some time to browse through the archived post topics related to some of this but would appreciate any thoughts or ideas. Thanks!