We decided to not drive the freeways home over the extended July 4th holiday weekend. Instead we decided to stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico until after the holiday. So from Tucumcari we took the road less traveled, New Mexico state route 104 to Las Vegas, then to Pecos National Historical Park. (New Mexico also has a Las Vegas, but it’s much less crowded than Nevada’s.)
We did not see more than a handful of cars until we approached Las Vegas. But we did see one pronghorn antelope and one red racer snake (which I could not avoid running over). Red racers are not indigenous to New Mexico and I was saddened to reduce the population by one… even though ” Red racers commonly end up crushed under tires along the highway,” according to one source I consulted.